The Gift of Gratitude

Last night, I had the pleasure of watching a segment on 60 Minutes about Nathaniel Ayers, a mentally ill virtuoso found living on the streets in L.A.  and the unimaginable bond created when a columnist from the L.A. Times found him and opened up a new world to him through music.  Nathaniel went from Julliard to the streets…and now sits in on rehearsals at the Disney Concert Hall.  I’m sure each person took something different away.   I was left with an overwhelming sense of appreciation for the life I have today.

As we drove home, I was lost in my own thoughts on the things I am most grateful for.  Here are my top five (this list could go on and on):

1. Salvation-First and foremost is the gift of salvation.  If not for Christ, life would be very different.

2. Parenthood-Being a mommy is the single greatest joy of my life. Some days it sucks…no doubt.  But nothing is more rewarding than loving a child and watching that child spread love to others.

3. Family-While not born into the kind of family one hopes for, I’ve been graced with many people who serve as an adopted family with two amazing people who became my adopted parents nine years ago and changed the legacy of my family tree.  There is real freedom in being loved and accepted for who you are, “warts and all”.

4. Career-After a few years stumbling on the wrong paths, I landed on the right one and have been privileged to grow and be mentored by some amazing leaders at Nelson.  Others saw in me what I couldn’t and when it would have been easier to give up…they pushed.  And still do.

5. Second Chances- How wonderful to know that we can start over every time we screw up.  We have unlimited “do over” cards and our attitude and willpower are the only things that stand in the way.

In today’s climate where negativity looms around every corner, I am happy to be grateful, because life could be a lot worse. 

How about you?  What are you most grateful for?

6 thoughts on “The Gift of Gratitude

  1. Gratitude is so underrated. Loved this post, Jen! I’m grateful for my salvation, my terrific husband and kids, getting to finally be a GRAMMY, my great writer friends, the privilege of being a Thomas Nelson author, the joy of writing.

    Ah, the list could go on forever!

    1. Lindsey,

      That’s a great exercise in managing expectations and being happy in the present. Thanks for great food for thought 🙂

  2. Right now I am so grateful for the basics – Faith, Family, Friends, Health, Employment, Housing. I am constantly trying to shift my focus from what I need to what I have.

  3. I love it when movies make us reflect on our lives. I think those are the best movies for they make us better people. 🙂 I actually started a gratitude blog (awhile back) just so I can remember and reflect on all the good. Sometimes it’s profound, sometimes it’s simple. But I have found that gratitude is a wonderful gift. I hope you’ll always be able to find things to be grateful for you in your life.

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