Thoughts From Dianna

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More gratitude

Published: January 19, 2024 by Dianna Pandak

Looking out the window and it's a beautiful snow. We haven't really had a good sticking snow for awhile and I have to admit- I'm one of those unusual people who like a good snow. I am at the funeral home and a visitation is about to start, our visitors are not quite as enthused about the weather as I am. Still, it's a beautiful setting outside the window. It reminds me of the beauty of nature and that the Creator has provided so much for which to be thankful.

Many years ago I heard a story that Oprah kept a gratitude journal. (Never once viewed her show so I don't know how I heard this...) anyway, I researched and found a story about this topic and have kept such a journal ever since. Gratitude has changed my life – turned me right around. Sounds simplistic but even on those worst days I write down 5 blessings before sleeping. It's a discipline, and I've found that once I stuck to it, I became blessed and more joyful every day. Henri Nouwen says that gratitude is “a conscience choice and you can choose to be grateful even when your feelings are still seeped in hurt.” Helen Keller has a lot to say about gratitude too, just imagine being grateful for her disabilities, yet she was.

Yes, we all have those days, the worst days, that change life. A bad diagnosis changes everything in a split second, an unexpected death. How could we possibly find gratitude today? Overwhelming darkness, grief overshadowed by a brief moment of gratitude? For as we are forcing our thoughts toward gratitude, we find beauty (maybe it's relief just for a moment) The loving people around you as you face this tragedy, the peace of your faith, kindnesses from unexpected places, the silence and hope of a prayer. Maybe, it's a beautiful red cardinal in the snow. Beautiful music, a card that says just the right thing, a hug that says so much.

"If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul" ~ Harold S. Kushner

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