Be Thankful: Can a month of gratitude reveal beauty?

November is generally known as the month for giving thanks, but what does that look like? 

For the next four weeks, I'll be exploring what it means to be thankful.

I've written about my daily practice before, but this month I want to push out of my comfortable routine and stretch myself in gratitude. 

Much like rolling out dough, I'll knead it close in my hands, spread it across the counter, add flour, and work it to the edge.

Today I'm beginning in the near space with items that are within my physical reach. So often, these are the things we overlook - literally - as our gaze settles on distant objects.

I'm grateful for:

  • My Chromebook. Not only does it help me communicate and learn via the Internet, it makes me think of my husband's love. When I told him I was ready to start writing my book, he purchased the computer as a surprise.
  • Fresh, clean, cold water. I always have a water bottle with me, and when I need more, I can access an abundant, near limitless supply from my house. This is not the case for many areas in the country and in the world. It makes me feel rich in luxury.
  • Kleenex. I'm most grateful for this when I have a drip to catch from my nose and I reach in my pocket or purse for the much-needed tissue. Again, I am spoiled by abundance. 
  • A heating pad. When I sit for a length of time, I get pain in my lower back. To prevent this, I use a heating pad in my chair. When I stop to pay attention to the tool, I wonder whose hands have made it. I think about the invention process and the science of electricity. I marvel at how muscles respond to heat. And I'm thankful that everything came together in this creation for pain relief.
In spreading my arms and realizing all that I am touching, I can't stop the gratitude.

I notice my chair, the desks, a foot rest, my clothes, several organizational binders, a smart phone, prescription glasses. The list goes on.

This is how gratitude begins. Pay attention to the everyday items you touch and use. The fridge, the carpet, the window blinds, the windows. Take time to hold them, to describe how you're thankful for them.

What are four items within your reach for which you are thankful? 

Why are they important or luxurious in your life?

Some Doorways from this week:

  • I overheard my two-year-old nephew talking to his four-year-old brother who was hiding behind a chair. The younger one peeked into the space and said, "I love you." His brother replied back, "I love you, too." This was a sweet, spontaneous moment that made me smile.
  • I was in town earlier this week as it began to snow heavily. When I went out to my van, an older gentleman who was getting the car for his wife followed me out. He helped put my walker into my van then used his brush to sweep the snow from my windows. I was grateful for the assistance and moved by his kindness.
  • Shawn and I have a favorite recipe for homemade stew, but it's very labor intensive, so we don't often make it. Last weekend, he took several hours to prepare three large batches (including three bowls of chopped vegetables!). I was thankful for his efforts and felt loved.


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