(affiliate links included)
I have been thinking about gratitude a lot lately. When November rolls around, it seems to be the topic on a lot of people’s minds. But what does it mean to be grateful? Does it simply mean that we are glad we have someone or something in our lives? Is it simply just saying that you are grateful for something?
I think gratitude goes far beyond simply just saying that you are grateful for something. I think it involves humility and action. Being truly grateful for something should also involve the realization that your life could exist without that person or thing, but to think just how much better it is because of it/them. When I start to think of gratitude in that way, I become emotional. To say that I am grateful for my husband or my children is one thing but to think of my life without them, it becomes something else entirely. They literally save me every single day and there is absolutely no way to put my gratitude into words.
When I think about the everyday things that I take for granted, like a place to sleep and food to eat, I know that there are better ways to show mt gratitude than to just post that I am thankful on social media. I can share the very thing that I am grateful for. I can share that gift with others. I’m grateful for toys that my kids enjoy, for food that helps us sustain and enjoy life, for diapers, for clothes, like my favorite now Grateful tee from Cents of Style, that both protect my body but make me feel good too. There are literally thousands of people all over the world who don’t have those basic things. I think its so important to take a step back from my constant “busy” state and donate my time and goods to those who don’t have the very things that I am so incredibly grateful for. It is once you can see what it is like without those things that you can be truly grateful for what you have.
I think a lot of get so caught up in our busy lives, that we forget just how blessed we truly are. Running kids to and from different activities may seem like a chore sometimes, but when you sit back and think about it, aren’t you so grateful that your children can experience those things? That you have the means to let them experience those things? If you have the means to do so, I encourage you to find scholarship programs you can donate a little to so children can all experience new things. I was incredibly blessed to have dance when I was growing up. I know it wasn’t the top of the line dance program, but I was able to develop skills, meet friends, and have a really positive role model in my life from my dance teacher. It is honestly something that I don’t think I have ever expressed gratitude for. But 15 years of dance definitely had lasting effects on my life and I feel like I need to express that intense gratitude and find ways to help others experience those blessings too.
My hands are very full most days. My oldest daughter wasn’t much of a snuggle baby, but my 9 month old wants nothing more than to be held. That can be hard sometimes, but I am grateful for a squishy, loving baby. I know the pain of wanting a baby. The pain of wanting a baby and having your body deny the one thing your heart desires most is a pain that is nearly impossible to put into words. That is why I have taken a lot more time to just hold my Zoey. While I don’t wish miscarriage and infertility on anyone, I am actually grateful for that experience because I am able to relate to other women more and I am able to appreciate every little phase with my baby, even when that means that I can’t put her down. I am grateful for my Lillebaby carrier for that exact reason. I can have both of my arms, it can protect her from the sun if we need it, it can vent and keep her cool in the heat, and she gets to stay close to mom or dad. I don’t know what I would do without being able to use both my hands, while snuggling with my squishy baby.
I know that all of us have difficulties in our lives and although we don’t all have to fight hunger, we have hard things that we go through. I’m not saying that we always need to be happy with exactly the way our lives are going, but we can always, ALWAYS find something to be grateful for. Next time you are feeling sad about something, make a gratitude list and take action. Write a letter to someone who has blessed your life, buy diapers and wipes for a women’s shelter, donate your time to your kids that doesn’t involve any electronics. I promise that you will feel better and feel much more grateful for the life you have, just the way it is.
Let’s face it, life isn’t easy. Life is messy and hard and crazy. But life is also incredibly beautiful. Take time out of your day to realize just how beautiful your insane, messy, sometimes sleep deprived life is. It is a messy life, but it is a breathtaking one.
If you want one of these Cents of Style Grateful tees, they are actually free this weekend! If you spend $29.95 on anything on the Cents of Style site, you will get this tee for FREE! Even more to be grateful for.
I would love to hear how you practice gratitude. How do you put gratitude into action? I want to practice more gratitude in my life each and every single day.