By Ivy Bagley

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

How often do we take the time to truly able to express our gratitude? How often are we grateful for our trials? How often do we reflect and are grateful for our belongings, food, and the ability to pay our bills? How often do we recognize God’s provision?

Truthfully, that is hard. It’s often hard to see the blessings when we are faced with the sickness. It’s hard to feel blessed when we are struggling financially.

I’ve watched people sleep outside in the dirt for days for the chance to be seen by a provider. I’ve held babies dying of preventable diseases. I’ve watched children beg in the streets for food. Don’t get me wrong, we have our problems. Families in our country struggle with poverty, food insecurities, and the inability to pay for medical care. But, compared to most countries, we are blessed.

If you have a home, place to sleep, clothes, and food you are blessed. 
However, how often do we forget to be grateful?

We focus on job problems, busy traffic, and our “to do” list. In reality, those minor things don’t matter in the end.  We forget to put people first or to show people gratitude. We don’t say “thank you” for the problems. Instead, we focus on the inconvenience.

Tell people you appreciate them. Smile more. Say “thank you” to someone you may overlook as you go about your busy day. Look to each inconvenient event and ask, “how will this impact my future?” Will this extra five minute wait be important in a month?  Will loosing the promotion result in a better job in the future? How big is this problem? Is it a minor inconvenience? Is it a serious problem which if taken day by day can be handled? Look at the people who support you when the diagnosis you weren’t expecting comes.

Be grateful where you are, with what you have, and the blessings you have. No matter the situation, you can find a blessing. Often, it is hidden in our midst. If you struggle, wake up saying, “Thank you I woke up today” as many aren’t afforded that blessing.

As we jump into the holiday season, be grateful. And, take that gratitude into 2020. 

Ivy M. Bagley MSN, FNP-C, IBCLC “All things work together for those who love The Lord.” Romans 8:28 Provider, Children’s Health Services Intern. Board Certified Lactation Consultant Adjunct Instructor East Carolina University, School of Nursing Certificate of Advanced Education in Obesity Medicine

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