My Lent Project: An Attitude of Gratitude

Lent started this year not long after Daniel was born.  I didn’t exactly have the mental capacity to seriously consider what I would fast from this year and was so focused on figuring out life with four kids that plenty of the things I might give up I pretty much already had.  So I decided to try to develop a new discipline during Lent instead.  Everyday I would write a short paragraph about something I’m grateful for that day.  Just one thing.  Not a list of this, that, and the other.  One specific thing that I was grateful for that day.  Some days I felt like I had a million things to write about and other days it was pretty easy to stick to just one.

Usually Lent ends on Palm Sunday, but I decided to keep up my new discipline for another week until Easter.  I know what I was thankful for on Easter-it was the first time Daniel and I had been to church since he was born. The two previous weeks we missed because Samuel had been so very, very sick and the rest of us had been sick with this and that and we were gone one Sunday and in the end THAT was the first Sunday our family of six made it to church.  We were so very thankful to celebrate our risen Saviour together.

So I made it all the way through Lent and had pages and pages of my journal full of all these great things I was thankful for.  And I really liked it.  I liked it so much I decided to make it a year-long project instead of just a Lenten project. I loosened my own rules and some days write a few sentences about a couple things I’m thankful for instead of just one. And I’ll be completely honest that I don’t write every single day, but I do make a mental note about what I’m thankful for and write it down when I get a chance.  On the 365th day I’ll be able to go back and see all the incredible things God did in my life just by learning to be more grateful.

Today I’m really grateful for all the people who give to make it possible for us to serve full time.  On Friday I was really grateful for finishing our school year and getting a couple months break before we start again. On 21 May I was grateful for the heart God is giving Benjamin to tell people about Him. On 27 April I was grateful for bed time and the fact that all days end- good, bad, or otherwise.  On 8 April I was really grateful Samuel didn’t remember anything from the time he fell asleep on the 7th until he woke up on the 8th in the hospital.  On 15 March I was thankful for rain after several hot, rainless months.  On the first day of Lent I was really grateful for the gift of marriage and the incredible husband God gave me as a partner in life.

The months ahead will bring plenty of things to be grateful for-birthdays, milestones, seeing family and friends in the US, eating at Toot’s (this will probably make more than one appearance on my list-Toot’s is tasty). No matter how easy or hard a day is, no matter if there are more tears or more laughter, I know God’s mercy and compassion are new every morning and He has promised to never leave or forsake me.  And for that I know I will always have something for which to be grateful.

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