We seem to remember how thankful we are at Thanksgiving time. At that one time of the year, we’re bombarded by all the reminders to appreciate what we have and what we are… But, have you ever considered how caught up we get in making a living and surviving just the current chaos that we don’t stop to think about how very grateful we should be… Here are a few reasons for gratitude…

Gratitude for Life

If you’re reading this article, chances are pretty good that you’re alive. You’re continuing to breathe in-and-out. And, that’s something for which to be thankful. H.U. Westermayer wrote:

“The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving.”

The Pilgrims are one of our most prominent symbols of thanksgiving, partly because we know the horrors that they underwent (with starvation, inexperience, disease and beyond). But, while I’m thankful to be alive, I also agree with what Thornton Wilder wrote:

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”

Gratitude for a New Day

Today is a new day. Some would say that it’s a fresh slate, not marred or affected by all the challenges that have come before. We have but to move forward.

Sunrise
Sunrise

Terri Guillemets wrote:

“As each day comes to us refreshed and anew, so does my gratitude renew itself daily. The breaking of the sun over the horizon is my grateful heart dawning upon a blessed world.”

Expressing Gratitude

It’s not just a feeling or an private expression of our inner thoughts. Gratitude is meant to be expressed, as a public expression. That doesn’t mean that all the deep dark secrets, or the deep-set dramas, must be expressed or elaborated upon.

Lightning
Lightning

William Faulkner wrote:

“Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all.” 

There’s something to be said for writing, speaking, or (in other ways) expressing that profound thankfulness for all that we have, for what we are, and also for all those other paths that we somehow missed–that led us to where we are today. John F. Kennedy wrote:

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

Grateful For Hard Time

I know… It’s easy to be thankful all the great things that happen in our lives: health, love, happiness, home, family, job, and all the rest. It’s not so easy to be grateful for adversity: the lost job homelessness, cancer,  hunger and pain. I’ve been there… I’ve lost jobs. I’ve wondered why my whole world was falling apart. I’ve watched my son go through cancer treatments, surgeries and all the worst that a little one could possibly experience. I’ve been there, but I’m filled with gratitude.

I’m not saying that it seems easy, or that it seemed fair. I wasn’t always thankful in those moments. But, hard times have a way of showing us that we are stronger than we ever imagined. We learn hope. Kak Sri wrote:

“Gratitude is an art of painting an adversity into a lovely picture.”

Why “lovely picture”? It’s about perspective too.

No matter how difficult my experience seems when I’m in the moment, I’ve discovered that there are others who’ve gone through much worse.

The Laundry List of Thankfulness

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote:

“For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.”

It’s a laundry list of gratitude. Try it… Make a list, and keep adding to it. What are you thankful for?

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39 COMMENTS

  1. I agree that gratitude, especially for hard times, is almost always the answer. One year I kept a gratitude journal and wrote down five things every day. Sometimes 5 was hard to come up with, but I always managed, even if it was just the word “breathing.”

    • It’s never easy in the midst of hard times 🙁 But, looking back… it couldn’t have happened any other way (divorce, cancer, and most-everything else).

  2. Totally agree with you and what others have said. I’ve been through the dark several different times and different ways in my life. Each time, I have found huge personal benefits for those times. (hehehe, I’ve even gotten to looking for the lessons I can learn whilst still in the midst of it all!) So, yes, I am grateful not just for the ‘sunny days’ but also for the freak hurricanes and earthquakes that come my way. 😀

    Thank you for reminding me, though, Esther, with such a well-written an thoughtful post!! 😀 <3

  3. This is a lovely post and such a good reminder to remember to remain grateful even in the most difficult situations.
    I love collecting gratitude quotes and there are a few here I don’t have.

    • Doreen, thanks so much for your kind words! I appreciate your comment, and I’m glad I was able to offer some quotes you hadn’t yet come across 🙂

  4. We have been working on just this with our little ones!
    I have a stack of quotes myself that I pull out and they are a gem!
    Love that these are “new to me”.
    Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

  5. Really great post that serves as a good reminder! It’s easy to forget all that we have to be thankful for when we are pressed for time, overwhelmed, and plain caught up in our daily grind!

  6. What a great post. It actually reminds me that I was supposed to start one of those gratitude challenges on Fb,… it is definitely a way to really take a look at what is good in life

  7. I always try to remember that my worst is probably not even close to other people’s worsts. That usually helps me stop feeling sorry for myself.

  8. Thank you for sharing these beautiful quotes! I am a quote fanatic myself … love the power in words. I also try to remember to acknowledge at the end of my day, that which I am grateful for.

  9. Gratitude is a precious treasure to have in life, it truly has helped me in enjoying everyday of my life. 🙂 Gratitude changes my perspective of what is going on, especially during hard times. It is a way to be reminded of what is good in life, from being able to see, knowing you can take another breathe, sometimes it is those simple everyday things I cherish most. Other times it is knowing I am loved, can love others, and have the ability to do what I love even when I may not be getting what I think I should receive in return.

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