"Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars."
Henry Van Dyke
Living “The Glad Life”
Gratitude can be a life-changer. Taking our eyes off of the “I don’t have” and placing them, as a discipline, on the “I have” slowly opens our souls to the abundance that envelopes us.
Our dog is ugly. Well, he is ugly today. His latest haircut was given at home and it’s growing out with hair hanging in his eyes. We visited some dear friends this weekend and their dog is so cute and very well groomed. I was, of course, jealous. We have, as a family, decided that part of our budget goal was to stop the bimonthly visits to the groomer for Simon. He seems to be fine with this plan, but after this weekend, I was dreaming of whisking him right off for a cut and curl. But as I sit here, with him nestled on my lap, I am repenting. We will trim his bangs and then let him live the free and easy life of a country dog. The budget is safe and my jealously is turning into gratefulness. He is a loyal dog and we love him.
We play the gratitude game, taking turns to share our thankfulness. It started at Thanksgiving one year. My youngest and I played it today during our nature walk at the nearby horse ranch.
“I’m thankful to the Lord today for Queen’s Anne’s lace,” I said.
She answered with, “Today I am grateful for orange.”
Yes, she is glad for orange, for the color of orange and for the essence of orange. If she were a color, she would be…orange. Alive, vibrant, usually self-assured, she is a giver. She injects into our lives fullness, energy and an honesty that calls me to a higher place of being alive in this moment.
Oxford Dictionary defines gratitude as:
“The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. It is of late Middle English, from Old French or from the Medieval Latin gratitudo, from Latin gratus, ‘pleasing, thankful.’