A marriage story: One not so pretty Sunday in the fall, Sam and I came home from church in the cold rain. We ran from the car to the front door and fumbled for the house keys. Sam pats his pockets, turns to the car, pats them again, and oooohhhh noooo. He left the car/house keys in the car. Oh yes, with the car locked. I gave him the evil glare and then turned to the silent treatment. There we stood, side by side, under the over hang, staring at the car and the rain.... I stuck with my silent treatment glare tactic for about 5 more minutes. Then I started reasoning through this situation. #1, it is okay. We would soon call AAA and be inside our house in no time. #2, does it really matter? I had nothing to do with my day and really had all the time in the world that afternoon. #3, these were the moments I had always wanted to share with my husband. #4, I was grateful to have a husband, a house, and a car to begin with! Instantly, my attitude changed. I looked at Sam and busted out in laughter. We both started laughing, embraced the humor in the situation, and within an hour we were inside the house.

Wordle: Gratitude

Gratitude changes your life. My 4:8 Principle book proved this to me this week. I finally got to the end. I was taking the slow route since I've enjoyed it so much! ha. The last chapter gives you 40 ways to increase your gratitude, therefore maximizing your potential for joy. Here are a few that stuck with me:
  • Journal your blessings for 3 minutes right after you wake up in the morning
  • Make a list of what you expect to be grateful for 10 years from now
  • Leave mini thank you notes around the house or workplace to thank others for the small and big things they do
  • Make a list of 7 people who have taught you important life lessons... then thank them
  • Praise God for the aspects of your life that are working well right now
  • Make a list of mistakes you are fortunate not to have made
  • Recall the bestchoices you've made as an adult
  • Write a brief note of encouragement to someone who would never expect it from you

These things especially stuck out to me. I consider myself a pretty positive person, but I realized how much more I could be doing to increase my gratitude. Right away, I thought of people, circumstances, life lessons I am so grateful for! Things I ignore day to day and may go unnoticed. I started this morning by making a list of things that are going well in my life right now. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects, my attention and focus was on the positive! Imagine that! What if our world, our culture, our news focused on positive things instead of negative. Our lives would be incredibly different. My challenge for you and myself is to be intentionally grateful. Not just saying thank you, but really sensing what gratitude looks like, sounds like, feels like on a daily basis. Try it and pass it on. :)