A Lesson in Gratitude

My mom always made my brothers and I,  write “thank you” notes and cards growing up.  Whether it was Christmas or our birthdays, we had to all sit down and painstakingly scribble down everything we liked about our gift(s).  I was not fond of this practice and I am pretty sure my brothers felt the same way.

The shoreline in Yachats, Or.

So when I had my own kids, it was with great pleasure that I too, continued the tradition.  It was like de ja vu as I passed out the paper, cards and pens to my three children,  admonishing  them to be grateful, even when they didn’t feel like it.

The discipline of practicing gratitude at a young age, would prove to be one of the best lessons in setting the foundation for living a grateful life.

If we are aware enough we go from being grateful for what others offer to being grateful for life  experiences and then just for life itself.

I often find myself now, moved by nature, affected by its motion, stillness and power………..the language of gratitude in the storm clouds, the ocean as it pounds the rocky shoreline, the flower as it bends gently  to the wind.

Driving through Eugene, Or. Storm cloud breaks through to sunshine.

Stirring in me,  a smile, a tear, and a fullness of heart that overflows in every cell of my being.

As I live authentically, the lesson of being grateful set by my mother over 30 years ago, has become a way of life.

I hope that one day too, my own children will see the impact that the discipline of gratitude will afford them.

What amazes me
Is that before we can count
we are taught to be grateful
for what others do.
As we are broken open
by our experience,
We learn to be grateful
for what is.
And if we live long enough
and deep enough
and authentically enough,
becomes a way of life.

~Mark Nepo

2 thoughts on “A Lesson in Gratitude

  1. Awe the Thank You note discipline – the same tradition has been carried thru our family. So important!

    Thanks so much for sharing! Love the Mark Nepo quote!

  2. I too, have made my kids write thank you notes all their lives. My prayer was that they would cultivate a heart of gratitude. 😉 But I see that now as they are getting older, if I say something about it, they look at me like, “I know, Mom.” I pray I haven’t pushed too hard but more than that, I pray that the seeds have been carefully nurtured and watered in order to grow. I can see beautiful buds on their trees of life. It is a divine discipline that gives us life. – Loved your post.

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