when gratitude is hard to come by…

Some days it’s not all rainbows and unicorns.
I guess if I were to be truly honest, it rarely is.

I started this gratitude journey long before
I recognized it for what it was.

Eleven years ago I carried deep within
a third child,
a second mancub,
and morning sickness that was unparalleled.
(I’m not sure there was a single day
that I didn’t throw myself at the mercy
of the porcelain throne).

That little boy tossed and turned early.
I felt his flips and flitters,
and so did his Daddy.
And, when, he became so very still,
we felt that too.

I hope I never forget standing with a friend
weeks later when all was said and done saying,
“I’m so thankful for this experience!”

The entire experience of our stillborn son,
taught me to find gratitude in the moments
when gratitude is hard to come by.

It was a field trip in the school of life.

At that time, I didn’t know that a life of gratitude
was beginning to sprout deep within my heart.

It took so many years for that little sprout to grow
and become a regular part of my life.

Years of broken relationships,
hard times,
financial stress,
another miscarriage.

And, in those same years,
anniversaries celebrated,
deeper friendships,
a daughter to fill my aching arms,
and debt free living.

Living a life of gratitude is not
living a life of rainbows and unicorns.

It’s learning to say “thank you”
in the midst of the pain and hardship
when the actual act of saying “thank you”
is harder than you ever imagined.

Because… true joy comes not from
happy experiences or
good times

but from finding gratitude
when gratitude is hard to come by.

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6 thoughts on “when gratitude is hard to come by…

  1. Oh Heidi. I mistakenly thought that by participating in a version of Counting Gifts, I would be fulfilled, content, and…I’m ashamed to admit, happy even. That the act of counting was what would soothe my soul and bring sunshine to my days. What I’ve found is that I recognize far more gifts to count and have gratitude to express in this valley of emptiness than I’ve ever acknowledged when everything looked rosy and felt wonderful. Has counting gifts changed my life? Absolutely. But it hasn’t given me blissful days of smiles and easy times. Instead, it has shown me that I’m blessed beyond measure despite my present situation. God continues to bless me even when I can’t smile. These gifts aren’t about me. Thank you for helping me to count my gifts.

    1. THAT is beautiful! Can I read that quote next weekend?

      1. Ummm, sure!

  2. Thank you for the reminder, Heidi. We can always see gifts in the midst of our darkest valleys if we look for them.

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