“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie

As I’m focusing on balance so far this year, I’ve come to notice that I’m tending to push myself to really and wholly embrace gratitude in the process. It is such a key tool that we can use to turn a rough day into a good day, turn an “ok” day into a good day, or actually notice that the day really has been a good day. When it’s been a rough day with Peanut being fussy, I try to remind myself to be grateful for the time I get with her and the lessons she teaches me. When she just wants to be with her Daddy, I try to be grateful that he is such a good parent and that she loves him so much. When I’m sad about having to leave my family at the end of the Christmas break, I try to find gratitude and remember how fortunate I am to be able to travel to see them.

We all have rough patches – some of us more than others, but I’ve noticed that some people, no matter what they are dealing with, are able to sit back and laugh. To appreciate the “have” rather than the “have not” in their life. They don’t FIND a silver lining, it’s what they see right away. That’s the kind of balance I want to be able to have – to acknowledge the pain or the frustration, but be full of gratitude in spite of the struggle.

Nacogdoches photographer

Finding gratitude in the simple things also helps me stay balanced. Yes, we may have some GREAT days – trips to see family, birthday celebrations, etc. but the little moments are worth your gratitude too. And being able to truly appreciate the little moments makes it so much easier to not get caught up in feeling like things are “less than” when you aren’t having great big experiences everyday.

I think faith goes hand and hand with being able to honestly feel gratitude, especially in some of the darker times in life. Being able to think of the grace we are GIVEN, without ever having to earn it. Knowing that a life – His life – was given in exchange for our salvation. That’s something that can really balance you out and put your struggles into perspective.

So here’s to the peace of today and the vision of tomorrow, y’all. Find your gratitude – even in the little things today.

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