For Mother’s Day I took the day and spent the entire day lounging with my little family. It was the best Mother’s Day yet!! There is something in gifting yourself a day, not feeling pulled or manipulated into having to be somewhere else. I wasn’t selfish about it, I just gifted my husband’s mom an earlier Mother’s Day dinner and figured I see my mom every day (since she lives with us), so I decided to take the day and do nothing but be with my two favorite people. It was priceless, reading sweet letters they wrote me, enjoying meals together and then just popping in a few good movies that we thought would be enjoyable. It was a touch of relaxation and togetherness that we all needed.
One of the movies we enjoyed was called, The Ultimate Life. My favorite part—‘The Golden List’– I loved seeing a man wave his finger in the air as if writing a letter to God, thanking him for at least 10 things from the day!! Sure, we have all heard over and over about the gift of gratitude, but you can never hear it enough. I find that when I am not keeping a gratitude journal or golden list—my life definitely shifts and things are tougher. There is a key in having an attitude of gratitude, so ‘the golden list’ was a good twist.
TO SEE: This especially rang true when I heard the following story that was shared by my sister. My sister has been going through a divorce & it has been tough on her whole family, so she was humbled by the following experience. My sister works in an eye clinic & a women came in for a scheduled appointment, she was about my sisters age (34) and as they sat and chatted in the waiting room my sister realized that this woman too was divorced and had a son that she was raising. They talked about the challenges of going through divorce, especially with children, but my sister was struck with a grateful heart when she heard this woman’s son was autistic. My sister couldn’t even fathom how it would be to raise a child with autism and be divorced. My sister was grateful to have two healthy kids. My sister watched the woman go in for her appointment and wondered why she was in their office. Most of the people who visit the eye clinic are in for cataracts, meds for vision problems because of old age, etc. but this was a young woman.
Further into the visit my sister sat in on part of the woman’s visit as the doctor told this woman she would never be able to drive again. The woman had a vision disorder that took over most of her eyes, so it would be like having two nickels covering your eyes and you could only see slightly from your peripheral vision. My sister’s heart sank again for this woman. How could she raise a child, especially an autistic child and not be able to see or drive.
As my sister shared this story, everyone’s heart broke a little at the thought of how this woman would be able to handle such a trauma. It made us all realize how blessed we are & it was a definite item on our ‘golden list’ before bed last night…”the gift of sight’
TO RIDE: This is a personal story that happened last week while I was bike riding with my eleven year old daughter. My daughter struggles sometimes with gratitude, so I find myself on occasion sharing stories, insight, life lessons, hoping they will sink in eventually. While we were biking my daughter started to get mad, frustrated and started yelling, “this is so stupid. I hate this!” I have a really hard time with negativity and poor attitudes, so I chimed her on, “You can do this, we are more than half way. You are doing great.” She continued with the complaints, so while we were riding I shared with her a story of a close family friend. This is what I told her..”Kate, you need to focus on being grateful that you can even ride your bike, that you have strong legs to bike and dance and walk…we had a guy we knew who was struck with an illness and was going to loose one of his legs and you know what happened?” Kate begin to wonder, “what?” she inquired solemnly. “He decided if he was going to loose his leg that he was going to enjoy his last ride & biked all the way to the hospital where they were going to amputate it. He knew that would be his last ride with both of his legs. Can you imagine how he felt? I want you to bike and feel your strong body and be grateful that you can ride, that this is not your last.” She was quiet the whole rest of the way home.
What a humbling thought. We take so much for granted, even just being able to walk, to see, to hear, to taste yummy food, to be free…free to pray, free to read any book, free to your own opinion. We are given so many gifts each day and we fail to miss them if we don’t take the time to look around, to truly take in the gifts, to get grateful and make a special ‘golden list.’
What will be on your golden list for today?
Are you going to look at your fingers differently & admire how they can type, mold bread dough, hold your child’s little hands, turn the key in your car, plant flowers, feel textures.
Are you going to look at what you see differently…are you going to enter a shopping store through the garden center to see the beautiful details, are you going to walk through your yard and look deeply at the colors, are you going to take the time to see the stars or a sunset or just gaze into someone’s eyes that you love.
Are you going to look at moving your body differently…are you going to stop putting off that bike ride or go on a walk at lunch, what about walking to work or the grocery store, what about that exercise class you have been putting off because you will feel silly—move before it gets harder, don’t take movement for granted, get out and take your kids on a walk or run, appreciate all the details within that lift your arm, that signal your brain to look left or right, the nerves that are so tiny, but make up a huge system that makes you move. Your body is a miracle.
Are you going to look at what you hear differently…don’t curse the morning bird song, listen and enjoy, when your baby cries be grateful she is breathing, listen to beautiful music that soothes your soul, appreciate the artists that were inspired to create such a gift for you to hear, listen to the waves crash, when it rains stop and listen to the patter on the roof, turn the television off and just listen to the silence, listen to the leaves move within the trees branches…
There are so many things to think about: the food we taste and enjoy, having running water, food in abundance, nature, learning and growth, laughter, inspired people, television shows that inspire good things, the quick access of so much information on the internet (there are so many good things–dont focus on the bad stuff :), new experiences, places to always aspire to go, life lists, people we haven’t met yet, lifelong friends, memories, beauty, sunlight, moonlight, animals, health, home, family, so many things…what will yours include? TODAY.
Hope this post gets you thinking about how you are blessed and gifted with so many golden promises.
Peace to you. -Heather