Maintaining an Attitude of Gratitude - Day One
For the rest of this week, the Daily Devos will be centered around what it takes to maintain an attitude of gratitude each and every day. Spoiler Alert: It's not as easy as it seems!
Today I thought I would focus on how retelling the stories of our past in more constructive and life-giving ways can give us the opportunity to live more fully in gratitude.
My wife and I have been married for nearly twenty-seven years. We've actually known each other for thirty-seven years, however, and were boyfriend/girlfriend for three out of the four years we were in high school.
We broke up after high school and were apart for many years before finding each other again. Both of us had terrible things happen to us during those years--hard experiences, difficult life lessons.
For years I beat myself up about what I considered all of that "lost" time. I tortured myself with all of the "what-ifs" that I could imagine, thinking that if only I hadn't been so irresponsible we would have had more years together, and would have saved ourselves from all of the heartaches that we experienced.
But over time I have learned to tell that story differently and in more constructive ways.
This is how I tell it now:
Merideth and I went through hell to find each other again, and once we did---we've never let go. We know what life is like without the other in it, and that's not a life we want to lead.
Our story teaches us to be grateful now--even when things might be tough. And it helps us to be hopeful about the future because of what we're constantly learning in our present.
In her excellent book Grateful: The Transformative Power of Giving Thanks, Diana Butler Bass writes:
"When we are thankful for the blessings of what was and see the goodness of what is, what can be comes into view with greater hope and possibility."May you look back on your own difficult stories and find ways to retell them in ways that give you life and fill you with hope. May the retelling of them enable you to embrace and attitude of gratitude.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.