Striving for a Heart of Gratefulness


Thanksgiving always means to me a time to stop and give thanks. I’ve seen many lists on the things people are thankful for in their life. I have my own list as well. But I have really been contemplating something beyond this. I’ve been contemplating and thinking about a heart of gratefulness.


How is this different you might ask? Well I’ll share my thoughts. In my mind a true heart of gratefulness goes beyond my list of what I’m thankful for. It is a deeper meaning that I am going to strive for in my life. I looked it like this.. if you were walking through a desert of heat you would be so thankful, deeply grateful for every drop of water you had. If you stood next to a huge lake, water would be taken for granted. How many things in my life do I take for granted? 


It’s not about looking at those less fortunate than I am and realizing my blessings. It is choosing every day to be honestly grateful for all my blessings. I remember something from several years ago. I was driving with my van full of children to Walmart. Now, I live in a beautiful area. It is so beautiful that is considered a National Scenic Area (The Columbia River Gorge). I’m driving to Walmart and my kids are being noisy and my mind is focused on my trip to Walmart, what I need to do after I get home, food to prepare and chores to be done. Then it hits me. It is a completely beautiful July day. The sun is shining, the sky is an intense blue, the trees and mountains beside me are a deep, rich, vibrant green and brown the Columbia River to my left is stunning in its colors and calmness. If a tourist was driving through they would have been in incredible awe by the beauty of it all. But on that day for me, up until that point, it was just how I got to Walmart. I realized that in the hectic pace of my life, I take things for granted. The beauty of God’s creation right in front of me goes unnoticed due to focus on other things. 


How many other things go unnoticed in my life? The laugh of a child, the quiet of an afternoon, the noise of a houseful of grandchildren, a cup of coffee shared with a good friend, the rain making my area so green and beautiful, the hard work of my husband to provide for us, a load of clean and folded laundry, the wood stove simmering and keeping us warm, the work of my husband and sons who gather the wood in and stack it and bring it into the house so I can make a fire and keep us warm and toasty all winter long, a pot of soup on a cold winters day, the blessings of being a stay at home wife and mother, a clean kitchen, dirty dishes (as they say it shows I have someone to cook for), a child who learns a hard concept in his/her school day, a quiet evening spent with my hubby, new toothbrushes, dirty windows that show the handprints of little grandchildren who’ve been at my house, a barn full of hay to feed my goats for the winter, and my list could go on and on, the big stuff and the little stuff. Lord may I never take any of it for granted. 


So many things go way beyond my list, it is a daily heart that wakes each morning and says, thank you Lord, I am alive today, and I have so much to be thankful for that it can bring me to tears. If you’ve ever lost a loved one or been close to losing your own life, then you know how incredibly grateful you can be to simply wake up in the morning and step into the day ready to tackle whatever God has in store. Let me live daily with a heart that is truly grateful to Lord and chose not to take my life for granted. As a Peanuts cartoon I saw the other day said, “What if today I was just grateful for everything”. That is my desire, to strive towards a daily heart of true gratefulness to my Lord and Savior. Not all days will be great days, some will be hard, some will be sad, some will try my patients, but every day there is beauty, there are blessings and there is a Lord that has blessed me with so many beautiful simple things. Lord may I never take any of it for granted.


  1. Thank you so much, for sharing this! My English is not so very good, but I'm learning, with a little bit help of Google Translate. Have a good day, greetings Marijke

  2. I have also been thinking a lot about this very thing lately. But you know what it took for me? My husband being in a tractor-trailer accident, my heater dying, my septic system not working and almost losing my house! All in one month. THAT is what woke me up and made me realize just how much I take for granted! I'm glad you were able to see it in a much easier way. We should always be grateful; in all things. :) Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Oh my what a month for you! I will say that was not my only wake up to being grateful.. I've lost family members unexpectedly, almost lost my own life, and many more.. I think it's a daily walk to chose to be grateful.. at least for me it seems that way.. Thank you for the comment and if these things happened to you recently I pray they are solved quickly! Sounds stressful.. Crystal

  3. You live in the most beautiful part of the World. I used to live near Cape Horn. Blessing to you and your family.

  4. Thank you for this beautiful piece. Something we all need to remember and strive for.

  5. Hi Crystal, I've chosen to take these days before Thanksgiving to take a spiritual journey and really think about what it means to be thankful. Like you, I am thankful for the small things as well as the large things. Your post gives me great insight on not taking things for granted. Things like living in a country where we are free to vote and chose those who govern us, and like jumping in the shower in the morning to hot running water, of being able to share our thoughts and feelings over this wonderful thing called the internet. Thank you for broadening my spiritual journey. Peace and blessings. ~ ChrisDee

  6. ChrisDee.. thank you for the comment!! So many blessings in life.. right in front of us..

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