My sister was doing this thing, 90 Days of Gratitude. You share with a group of mostly strangers 5 things you are thankful for each day. My first thought was, I can totally do that! Super easy to be grateful for 90 days!
For the life of me, I couldn’t tell you what I had other than hope that 2016 would be better than 2015. And, if I’m honest, 2015 was really rough for pretty much everyone I know. I lost my brother, my father and I lost touch in a major way, and no matter how hard I tried my work simply refused to be fruitful in the ways I expected it to.
I was ready for a fresh start and I decided to start with hope day 1 January 1.
Ladies. Why is nothing in life easy?
As soon as I made the choice to be grateful, every thing that could go wrong did. Not in a laughable Murphy’s Law sort of way. The sorts of wrongs that make you really consider throwing in the towel and not being grateful. I’m stubbornly determined, thankfully, and knew I had to see it through – even if that meant the day was bitterly grateful instead of joyfully.
So I did it, and here it is. The three things I learned being grateful for 90 days.
1. I’m not always grateful.
In fact, there are days when I’m incredibly selfish and can’t see past my own nose to give thanks. Those days are the worst. They are dark, they are bitter, and there is very little light in me those days. The hardest part of those days is seeing the bitterness reflect on those around me, like my husband and child. On those days, my darkest days, I started at the beginning.
I am grateful to be alive. I am grateful to have a home. I am grateful to have a family who loves me. I am grateful to have a great many blessings that 99% of the world does not. I am grateful to be exactly where I am.
2. On the good days, it can be difficult to be humble.
There was one day where something just clicked. EVERYTHING went right. And I was so excited about a project getting off the ground. I felt pumped in a take on the world sort of way. But I forgot that these things were not of my own doing. It took a whole team to make them possible, and a large door being opened. It would be so easy to brag about it to strangers. Why did I feel the need to puff myself up to perfect strangers, who was I trying to impress? I took a hard look at what I was grateful for and asked myself, “Why am I grateful for this?” So sometimes, I’d knock it back and make sure that I was grateful for the day for the right reasons
Today I am thankful for: my daughter’s sweet laugh, devotional readings that keep my head on straight, a husband who takes care of me when I’m sick, a dog who teaches me about unconditional love.
3. Being Thankful is a Choice.
I like to listen to Ted Talks. They feature a wide variety of people from all over the world who have found their voice. They are almost always inspiring. One of my favorites is a lady name Mel Robins. She says this: You have already survived all of your darkest days. That puts it in perspective, doesn’t it?
There were days in the first 90 of this year that I simply couldn’t get out of bed because I was too heart sick – or real sick. But then the dawn came and I felt better and tried again. My daughter still loved me. My husband still loved me. My colleagues still believe in me and even better than all of that, I serve a mighty God who has forgiven me. I used to feel weird saying that. Now, the more I say it the more I mean it.
I had to CHOOSE to be grateful before I really was. I had to see the silver lining before I could accept it. If there is nothing left after 90 days, I am here and I give thanks that every day is new.