This morning, I was surprised to feel gratitude. And it felt good.

I am not grateful that Joseph died. But I am grateful that I got to be his mom and that I will always be his mom. I’d do it all again if he needed it.

I am grateful for my husband. He sure is wonderful.

I am grateful for my other children, that they are healthy and happy and mine.

I am grateful for a warm and cozy place to live.

I am grateful for family and friends.

I am grateful for all the people who have and are helping us get through this hard thing.

I am grateful for prayer and how it gives me something to do when I yearn for my baby.

I am grateful for the belief that I will be with him again, and Christ who makes that possible.

I am grateful for the chance to start this company and blog to help others.

Most of all, I am grateful for hope.

I don’t know that we have to be grateful for all the hard things that happen to us, and I don’t think gratitude should be forced. But when it comes, it’s okay to let yourself revel in it for a while. It does not mean you are grateful that something bad happened. It means accepting that something hard happened, and being grateful for the circumstances around it.

No one can choose gratitude for you. We try to “silver line” things for each other all the time, but that doesn’t lead to true gratitude. True gratitude happens when we acknowledge the beautiful things in our lives. It heals our hearts.

One of my favorite quotes about gratitude comes from the song “Grateful”:

It’s not that I don’t want a lot,

Or hope for more or dream of more,

It’s just that counting what I’ve got

Makes me so much happier than keeping score.

What are you grateful for?

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