Today’s Word: Gratitude

Grateful for Noah. Photo by Ellen Sala.

It’s hard to believe how quickly time flies. Today marks the fourth anniversary of this blog. I started it on a crisp Thanksgiving Day at the Lake of the Ozarks in central Missouri in 2009, feeling extremely grateful for everything and everyone around me. Not much has changed on that front, except that life just keeps getting better and fuller with every passing day and year.

These four years have brought disease and healing, and they have given us new family members, including Jenny’s boyfriend Zach, our beautiful daughter-in-law Jess and, of course, the new keeper of our hearts, our grandson Noah. We treasure the time with older family members and friends and learn to lean in a little closer when they tell stories that we want to make sure we never forget. Our friends — both old and new — become all the more precious to us as the years pass, and the opportunity to spend time with all those we love is a blessing beyond measure. When you face any kind of serious health issue you learn this fast: It is the presence of those special people that enriches our lives, and everything we have or own pales in comparison to the gift of that time together.

Grateful for each passing day. SJG photo.

And so we learn to live in gratitude and come to know that “thank you, God” can be the most important and deepest prayer we can ever say. For “thank you, God” means, “I’m paying attention.” It means, “This is not all just about me.” It means, “Everything is gift.” With Noah in our family, we have a fresh and beautiful reminder of the gift of life, a little divine nudge that we should never take any of this for granted, but rather embrace it all with gratitude.

Ask yourself in silence
: For what am I grateful today that I couldn’t even have imagined four years ago?

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