“Gratitude is the best attitude.” -Author unknown
“Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” -Lao Tzu
The two quotes listed above were referenced in the book Chicken Soup for the Soul: Positive Thinking. I just finished listening to this audiobook and these words stood out to me, in addition to several personal stories that were shared about a decision to view life with a positive attitude and a grateful heart.
One story was about a man who lost his job and had to stay home with his baby daughter while his wife worked, since they could no longer afford daycare. At first, this father was devastated over losing his job and had no idea what to do with a baby all day. This man shared how he eventually developed a routine, he knew what her cries meant, and they formed a very tight dad/daughter bond. He said he wouldn’t have given this time up for anything.
That particular story touched me because I thought of Adam and the time that he spends with the girls during the week while I’m at work. He has grown so close to our oldest daughter and adores our youngest. I rarely ever have to tell him what to do with the girls or how to handle certain situations, since he is so comfortable doing all that needs to be done in regards to their care. It made me realize that things are exactly how they are meant to be right now for us. Often times, I struggle with feeling that we are not where we are supposed to be yet in life. I think, “Someday, we’ll have a nicer house” or “I won’t have to work a full-time job,” etc., but if Adam had a more successful music career already, he probably wouldn’t be as close with our girls and, maybe, they wouldn’t have even been born!
Adam and I have so much to be thankful for. Adam recently said, “If I could be guaranteed that life would get no better or no worse, then sign me up!” We both seem to be approaching life with a much more positive outlook and we express gratitude daily for our beautiful daughters and our family. I think going through a rough patch of sleep deprivation helped draw us closer together because we both saw that the other one was sacrificing a lot. We also have come to the realization that God isn’t “holding out on us,” but is blessing and guiding us each day.
One other message that got my attention, while listening to this Chicken Soup book, was the idea of a “gratitude journal.” What a great concept it is to write down the many specific blessings we receive daily – big and small! I’m at peace and very content with exactly where we are today. It’s great to have goals and dreams, but it is comforting to know that we are living out God’s plan right now! Our lives aren’t being put on hold because we haven’t achieved something specific yet. Like Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “Life is a journey, not a destination…” Each day that we have together is truly a gift!