A wave of discouragement rushed over me, as I walked out of the doctor’s office. News of another health issue left me down and discouraged. I felt tired of following the breadcrumb trail. I wanted to be done with diagnoses, recommendations, feeling fatigued and in pain. The sadness lingered as I pulled myself out of bed the next morning. It was business as usual for this mom. The children needed me, whether I felt good or not.
As I pulled out of the driveway, I automatically transitioned into the ritual I practice on the way to school: praying in the van with my children.
It is a simple format: I begin, they follow with their special intentions, and we conclude with a few memorized prayers and an invocation of the saints to pray for us.
An attitude of gratitude is very important to me, and I strive to instill it in my children. One way I do this is by modeling thanksgiving in prayer. In those few moments on the way to school, I thank God for the countless blessings in our lives. I even thank Him for the unexpected, like rainy days and windy weather, because I truly want my children to recognize that everything in life comes from God.
On that particular morning, when I was still feeling overwhelmed about my health, I recognized my need to thank and praise God more than ever. I don’t remember the specifics of my prayer that day, but I do remember feeling lighter when I finished. My anxiety subsided, and a breath of hope filled my heart.
Thanksgiving Day is exactly two weeks away. It is one of my favorite holidays, because we have the opportunity to focus our attention on the blessings and gifts that fill our hearts and homes. But why wait until Thanksgiving Day to offer a prayer of gratitude? Why not cultivate a month of thanksgiving all November long? (And possibly beyond?)
To discover four simple ideas to inspire gratitude, as we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, click over to CatholicMom.com to read the rest of my story.