Gratitude - the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
I don’t know if I’ve had such a hard time being grateful as I have during these past few months. As with most, if not all of us, I’ve been getting my daily dose of bad news. Whether it’s been death count from COVID19, unemployment numbers, unarmed black men and women being killed or business and lives burnt to the ground from riots tearing at more than material things, it seems that 2020 isn’t the year for gratitude. Maybe fear, anger, despair, or some other negative emotion will reign this year.
But then I stop and I breathe. I stop turning on the TV, looking at Twitter or searching online for the latest outrage that has happened. I remember that prior to COVID my whole family had never done a zoom call together. I remember how I took for granted the coffee break with a dear colleague that I’m now dying to do again. I see the grocery store employee and delivery person and feel a real sense of gratitude. All of this makes me pause and realize from family and friends to health and this community, I have so much to be thankful for.
So I return to remembering these things. I return to Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
I don’t pretend to have gotten the above verse right during this time. But it has reminded me that there is a path, which includes thanksgiving, that leads to peace. I’ll leave you with a thought I had while writing this. 2020 Brooks isn’t always grateful for the 5 am scream from his one-year-old daughter. But 2018 Brooks, who was waiting on the amazing news of her birth, dreamt of such things. I am grateful, even if my husband might not see it at 5 am.