In last week’s post, I shared something about my struggles with depression. I wish I could say that every time I became depressed, I recovered totally and instantly. With no effort on my part. It’s simply untrue. Sometimes, I hang out with ‘Friend’ depression for quite a while before I can shake her off.
Expressing gratitude is one of the actions I take to help me recover energy and joy. When I wake up, I may not feel thankful. I might feel more like complaining. Would it help me to complain? Am I being dishonest if I, instead, give thanks? It helps me to remember that gratitude is an attitude, not a feeling. It’s a choice I can make regardless of how I feel.
When I heard that the weather forecast for today, April 1, is snow, I did not feel happy. I wanted warm sunshine. I could have chosen to complain. Instead, I found the above photo of crocuses in my garden and focused on it. Each spring, these flowers work their way up through the wintry soil and dried leaves and delight my heart with brilliant color. I think it pleases my generous, gift-giving Father in heaven when, on a snowy spring day, I chose to smile and give thanks. When I do so, my heart begins to feel lighter.
Here’s the list of gratitude statements I’ve written so far, today. They are primarily simple things that can easily be overlooked.
- Even though I walk slower and I can’t walk as far as I used to do, I still have the ability to walk.
- My sharp and usually accurate sense of smell brings me joy. The aroma of peanut butter on toasted bread, which my husband prepared in the kitchen, whet my appetite for breakfast.
- I had enough freshly ground coffee to make a cupful this morning. My 4-cup coffee maker worked perfectly, thanks to reliable electric power in my neighborhood.
- The ability to make an easy-over egg without breaking the yoke made me feel happy. I’m thankful for the cooking skills I learned when younger.
- I treasure my husband’s presence and feel deeply grateful for his desire and willingness to discuss a portion of Scripture and pray with me, again today. He values my insights. I value his.
- In this eighth decade of life, my fingers are still flexible and I can move them quite rapidly over my computer keyboard, as well as my piano keys.
- I can put up with the slight discomfort of support hose and will choose to be thankful for them today, knowing I need them.
- My cataract surgery was successful, I need glasses only for reading, and I can pay for prescription eye drops for my dry eyes!
- It’s been easy to think of the good in today and in writing these statements down, I feel encouraged.
- How can my heart not feel grateful?
Thank you Jane for this reminder. I had a child who sat with me every morning and we wrote 3 things each we were thankful for. I look through that gratitude notebook we each kept and my heart overflows all over again. ♥️
What a sweet surprise to find your comment on my blog post this morning.Thanks so much for reading and responding to my words.
Having a notebook full of gratitude statements written by you and your child is indeed a treasure!
Oh, Jane, this just makes me smile! You are so helpful to share your very specific grasp on how to be grateful and express gratitude! I resonate! I had a day recently when I woke up grumpy, and for some reason decided to choose joy. I think that must have pleased our good Father, as my mood lightened immediately. God indeed delights to give good gifts to his children!
Thank you, Jean. I’m smiling in return. You are delightful. Thank you for sharing how you turned your “grumpiness” into joy by making intentional choices to do so. Our good, good, Father so kindly empowers such choices.
Dear Jane. Depression hits me also from time to time but an attitude of gratitude and prayers help so much. I am receiving treatment for anal cancer at the present and, each day, my attitude stays positive because I know God is with me every step of the journey. God bless you Jane.
Thank you for reading and commenting on my blog.
I am so sorry you have cancer. Your focus on God and your positivity certainly demonstrate your faith. May you sense the sustaining grace and presence of Jesus.
Thank you Jane for your sincere thoughts. Depression comes and goes, but we are here for the long haul.
Thank you Judith for your comments. In a season of depression, it helps me to recall I’ve been there before. God’s grace was and will, again, be sufficient.