Spring into gratitude

spring flowers 20170331_201319   April has arrived and spring is in full swing. I have seen beautiful photos of cherry blossoms in bloom in Washington, DC and while the climate changes are throwing things a bit off, most of the country has spring in some beginning stage or another. It’s a good time to remind us to Spring into Gratitude too.

Over the past several days, I personally had multiple opportunities to be reminded of Springing into Gratitude. Some of those opportunities were joyous occasions and some were not.

One of the unfortunate reasons came on Saturday evening, right in the middle of celebrating a very good friend’s 60th birthday party, I received word that a college classmate had died very suddenly that evening. I had seen him at homecoming last October. He was an attorney in Washington, DC and a professional known to be active in his community there. I often communicated with him regularly via Facebook and had done so just a few days before his death. I am in deep gratitude for his life and for how often we connected via social media. I am glad that I had responded to one of his postings on March 24th and made a comment about how much something from 1978 had meant to me at that time. I was a freshman and his kindness then and since stood out to me. He will be missed by his family, friends, clients and community. He will be missed for the moments he took to just be a friend and connect with others. Tell somebody you are grateful today. Spring into Gratitude before you have regrets that you didn’t.

One of the joyous reasons from the past several days to Spring into Gratitude came last Thursday, March 30th, when my husband and I celebrated our 32nd wedding anniversary. With three daughters and one son, we have much to be grateful for. When people feel and experience love in their lives, they see and feel God. Whether this love happens through a friendship or a family relationship or through giving back in their community, that is what God is. God is love and God’s love looks many different ways. Gratitude comes from seeing that and choosing to be love for someone else.

Gratitude helps you grow and  expand; gratitude brings joy and laughter into your lives and into the lives of all those around you. – Eileen Caddy

You find true joy and happiness in life when you give and give, and go on giving and never count the cost. – Eileen Caddy

When we are grateful, we see things in a different way. In fact, gratitude is thought to actually bring more blessings. Some might agree with that, some may not. For me, I am a believer.

Spring into Gratitude to get a spring in your step too. When you act joyfully instead of begrudgingly, your approach to the task also makes a difference in completing the task. Have you ever thought about how attitude changes how well something gets done? In my working days and even in my college days, I can recall that my assignments were a bit more sloppy if my attitude was sour. But, if I had a spring in my step, if I was excited about what I was doing, if I was grateful for the task or saw a purpose in the task, it got a better result.

Do you think three minutes is a lot of time? If you took three minutes out of your routine and spent it on something you weren’t already doing, would you think it would make a difference? Well, if three minutes were used to Spring into Gratitude, it will make a difference.

Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way. – Native Tribal saying

…it is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful – Brother David Steindl Rast

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder. – G.K. Chesterton

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others. – Cicero

We all have something to be grateful for. I say that often, no matter how dim things appear. Maya Angelou said that very often as well. It was advice she gave to Oprah regularly. In some of Oprah’s darkest moments, Maya still told her to first be thankful, be grateful. Someone may have it better than me but I am willing to bet that someone doesn’t too.

I have blessings overflowing, period. But if I were to compare myself to a woman in a some countries across the world, surely I know to be grateful. If I compare myself to someone who wasn’t able to go to college, surely I know to be grateful. My mother found something to be grateful for every day. I learned from her example not simply because she said it but because I saw the beauty of living that way. She was happy because she lived in a gratitude way. And, she made others happy because of a gratitude way of living.

Gratitude opens the door to blessings and helps us to see fortunes even in our sorrows. Spring is full of beauty … trees with leaves budding, flowers with petals blooming, grass turning greener, and skies clearing. I am dusting off my golf clubs this week and teeing off with my ladies golf group for the first round of the season. Our grandson’s third birthday party is this Sunday and we’ll go celebrate with him. I am grateful for friends and family and will take some time to tell them to be sure I don’t have regrets. Life is short, eat dessert first and then Spring into Gratitude.

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