What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for the day before?
I heard that question today, and my first thought was to cringe. Because, oh no. Surely I didn’t remember to pause at all yesterday and thank God. I’ve been so focused lately on my goals, the things I haven’t reached or found or achieved. But then I remembered words from my journal written just yesterday, gratitude for “My boys. My man. And the joy of writing.” Whew! Passed that test, eh?
It’s a theme right now. People are doing it on facebook in light of Thanksgiving. My sister began a tradition of gratitude in her home. And I’m reading this book by Ann Voskamp: One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, and in it she talks a lot about gratitude, including her attempt (which I’m assuming she accomplished) to make a list of one thousand daily, ordinary gifts. I love the idea, the discipline to want what you have.
I actually made my own thankful list in a bright pink notebook once where I recorded all kinds of things – favorite movie quotes and inside jokes, poems, ideas for stories. I wrote an “I love” list and an “I hate” one too. The hate list is no fun – waiting, not knowing, and braces all made the cut. The “I love” list isn’t that great either. Not like Ann’s with her blue jays and morning shadows and jam. Mine was a little more teenaged and untried – shaved legs, new clothes, the Star Spangled Banner before a ballgame, and no more braces. One sticks out to me, though: “Getting my hair short.” Surely not. My short hair hasn’t really been on my grateful list lately. I move it there sometimes, when it’s so easy to wash-and-go in the morning, when the darker color brings out the darker pigment in my hazel eyes (hazel is another word for meh in my opinion), when I remember that hopefully, prayerfully, I lost my hair in order to keep my life. Still, it’s strange to look back and remember there were times I wanted shorter hair.
I think I’ll be haunted for a while by that idea that I could wake up one day with only the things I thanked God for the day before. And it could make those moments after bed but before sleep really, really long.
What’s the smallest, most ordinary thing that makes it to your thank-you list?