Today, I have the pleasure of introducing to you, Dorothy Johnson, from Little Rock, Arkansas, USA. I connected with her very recently via another blogger, Talya who you will ‘meet’ tomorrow. Dorothy’s blog is called Reflections from Dorothy’s Ridge.
Thank you for your fantastic post, Dorothy.
Your World View is part of the Living Gratitude Series
Windows on the World
This morning I awakened to a blast of winter. During the night, an Arctic cold front swept down upon us here in Little Rock, Arkansas, USA, causing temperatures to plummet toward freezing. From my kitchen, which has a northern exposure, the world looked gray and forbidding. Even though I was snug inside, I shivered as I watched the wind lift and whirl leaves on my patio. I was glad I didn’t have to go out until noon.
A little later when I went to the front of the house, I was surprised find the room bathed in sunlight. The temperature was the same, but the scene was entirely different – one I hadn’t realized was there. Almost immediately, my mood lifted, and I didn’t mind venturing out to my meeting.
Upon reflection, I remembered that during this season, the sun doesn’t hit the back of the house until later in the day. Therefore, if I want to enjoy its warmth, I must go where it’s shining. I think the habit of gratitude is much the same. If we view the world through shadows and gloom, we’ll miss golden moments and small blessings just waiting to be recognized, even in the darker times of our lives.
Create a Record
Every morning for over a year, I’ve recorded at least one thing for which I’m grateful on its pages. Sometimes I say thank you for a good night’s sleep. Other times I write about answered prayers, problems solved or kind words spoken. It sets the mood for the day, reminding me to look on the bright side, seek the good in whatever circumstances I may find myself.
An Honest Look
I thought I was doing pretty well until this summer when my husband interrupted my complaining about something trivial at a restaurant. In his half-joking manner, he let me know he’d begun to expect me to be critical. It stung because it was true. Without realizing it, even though I was recording my gratitude list each morning, it didn’t always carry over to the rest of my day.
Since then, I’ve tried to stop complaining and instead express my gratefulness, even when things aren’t up to my expectations. Sometimes it takes effort, but I like myself better. And hopefully, I help someone else through a difficult day.
Earlier this fall I attended a bloggers conference where we were invited to submit our names to be paired with a Gratitude Partner. Shortly afterward, I received the name and email address of a woman I’d never met. We began to correspond each evening to share four things we were grateful for from our day. It has become a process of cataloging small victories and comforts.
The biggest blessing of this gratitude-building exercise has been making a new friend. As we’ve exchanged our lists, we’ve also rejoiced with one another and expressed concern when days have been difficult. Rachel lives in Oklahoma and I’m in Arkansas, and even though we’ve never visited face to face, we’re connected by the World Wide Web, and I am grateful.
Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow.