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A Season of Gratitude and Thankfulness: True Gratitude

A Season of Gratitude and Thankfulness:  True Gratitude

Our society seems to push gratitude in a context of comparison:

  • Thank you for my health (that I’m not sick like that person)
  • Thank you for my family (that I’m not alone like that person)
  • Thank you for my home (that I’m not like that homeless person)
  • Thank you for food to eat (that I’m not starving like those children in Africa)

We see others that we judge to be less fortunate than us and use that as an opportunity to feel grateful.  What happens though, when your world falls apart and you find fewer and fewer people fall into that “less fortunate” category?  How do you still find gratitude in your heart when your world is crumbling?  How do we find gratefulness in the absence of health, family, and material possessions?

Perhaps we need a mind shift away from the “I’m so thankful I’m not like that person” to a place of genuine gratitude for the good and the bad and the way those together have formed our life.  Wesley’s birth, and subsequent disability, was not my plan.  I didn’t end up with the birth I wanted nor with a healthy baby.  I could say, “I’m so grateful he survived” which has definite truth to it, but what about the family whose baby didn’t survive?  What do they have to be thankful for?

True gratitude that can withstand the most challenging and heartbreaking situations imaginable comes from an acknowledgement that there is a higher purpose in all of this.  That the messy threads of our life are being woven together by a masterful Artist who sees the whole picture not our limited perspective.  That I can choose gratitude.

So today, even when it doesn’t always feel true, I choose to say:

  • Thank you for seizures
  • Thank you for smiles
  • Thank you for cerebral palsy
  • Thank you for community
  • Thank you for sickness
  • Thank you for progress
  • Thank you for suffering
  • Thank you for strength

Because the gratitude in my heart shapes my attitude towards my life.  I can’t change my circumstances but I can change my attitude towards them.  So today, I choose gratitude.

Editor’s Note:  As we move through this journey of parenting our sons and daughters, we are grateful for those parents who have come before us and those who walk beside us!  We’ve asked several P2P Members to share their thoughts on thankfulness and gratitude and we’d like to hear yours also! Email our group at p2p-co@yahoogroups.org  

 Want to become a P2P-CO Member?  It’s free and easy to JOIN US!

Megan Bowser is a mom of three little ones (5, 3, and 1), Army wife, and former math teacher. Her introduction to parenting was marked by her son’s brain injury and subsequent cerebral palsy diagnosis which has lead her on a journey to help him reach his highest potential and offer support to other families walking a similar journey.

 

 

 

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