The dictionary defines thankful as feeling or expressing gratitude; appreciative.
What is interesting is that at my church where Kim and I have been helping out with Players Box, which is a program designed to free students to love academics, arts, and athletics. One of the challenges we gave the students was to every day write down in a journal three things they were grateful for that day. As coaches, we were also challenged to do it as well. I started doing it and have been doing a pretty good job of doing it almost every day for the past few months.
It is amazing how your attitude and mindset changes when you take time every day to think about what you are grateful for. It was something I needed to start doing at that time.
When we started attending SouthBrook in September I had just left the church where I was a pastor. I am so grateful that God led us to a healthy church that we could get plugged in and serve. It has been good for our soul and spiritual growth.
This year has been an interesting year. Besides leaving my job and still not finding a new one yet it has been hard for us because we have not seen our son, who is in the Navy since last Christmas and we won’t see him until the beginning of next year. Although I am very grateful that he has found what he loves to do and that he is excelling there. He recently was promoted from E2 to E4. Yes, he jumped a rank! And he is now a petty officer. We are so proud of him.
Then just a few days ago we had to put the dog that we had for almost 14 years to sleep. She was a great dog and a member of our family for a long time. It was a hard decision but she ended up having a very large tumor in her abdomen that was causing her to be in pain. I am grateful that because of my job situation (or lack thereof) that I was able to take her to the vet as soon as possible. Plus, I was able to hold her and let her know we loved her. Kim and Hannah were able to leave work to be there when she was put to sleep. It was hard not having Caleb there with us but she knows she was loved by us all.
It is hard to find the good in the midst of the bad but one thing I have learned through this gratitude challenge is to look for it. Plus, as our lead pastor, Charlie says ”anxiety and gratitude cannot coexist. Just like fear and love cannot coexist”. It has put me into a better and healthier place. Not too mention learning more about the enneagram and how I can be a healthier and more authentic version of myself. I want my presence to inspire kindness and love.
In a few days, I get to celebrate being married to Kim for 24 years! I am such a lucky man and so grateful for her. She makes me a better man and I can’t imagine going through life with anyone else. She is my biggest cheerleader and my best friend. Yes, I am still shocked that she has stuck with me for 24 years.
Now I just need to find that job.