Light Notes: I discovered the secret to gratitude when a Facebook post shocked me

Lucy Luginbill, Tri-City Herald on

Published in Religious News

Do you ever find yourself challenged to see the blessings in life?

Sometimes, what I call "First World" problems can send a great day south. It can happen when our internet connection is less than a nanosecond or the barista steams our latte lukewarm, all trivial to be sure.

But it's easy to let those minor irritations start to fill our glass (or Starbucks cup) with a "half-empty" attitude when we could be filled to the brim with thankfulness. Instead of counting our blessings, we're focused on what doesn't go perfectly.

Fortunately, and quite by accident, I may have found a cure for this malady, one that seems to be infectious; complaining instead of being happy.

My discovery took place a few years back, just before the Thanksgiving holiday. At the time, I was perusing Facebook where I noticed the remedy on my daughter Traci's page. She had just accepted a friend's challenge to go on a journey of thankfulness, counting a blessing each day until Thanksgiving.

Her first two posts were typical: grateful for a hard-working husband; blessed to have caring parents. Both items easily taken for granted in day-to-day living. But it was her third post that made my heart stop, and my head bow in thankfulness.


Day 3 of thankfulness: "I'm thankful my hubby didn't run over daughter Hailey and me this morning!"

Traci went on to explain that she had knelt at the bottom of their steep driveway to tie my young granddaughter's shoe. Her husband, Eddie, thinking that everyone was on their walk to school, backed out of the garage in their quiet Toyota Prius. Out of sight in his rear view and side mirrors, Traci never heard him coming. Then within only inches of the two kneeling figures, Eddie caught a glimpse of bright pink, his wife's sweatshirt, when she shifted her position.

An event like this puts a different spin on what can steal our joy; a reminder that in spite of minor grievances, we have a wonderful life, one that could change in a heartbeat.

For me, that incident had me rethinking ungratefulness. And just to make sure I kept my blessings in the forefront of my mind, I started my own thankfulness journey.


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