Recently, I received a message from someone who stated to me that there was nothing in life worth living for. I was shocked. How could this person think that? Life is filled with so many glorious things. Yet, the message also brought me back to a time when I was sad, lost and wandering. Life and its challenges seemed oppressive to me. I wondered how I would ever survive each challenge. That is when the most remarkable thing happened. A gratitude journal.
It started simple. I began by writing down five things each day for which I was grateful. My goal was to write down five different things each day. The first few days didn’t take much effort as I wrote down the names of my family members. But eventually, I ran out of family members and had to start really thinking. I noticed things. I saw things differently.
As we drove up the hill to go home one evening, I noticed all of the wildflowers growing along the side of the road. Now, I had a lot of time to really look at them because our little car, a Chevrolet Nova, was quite old and would barely make it up the hill. I became grateful for those little flowers and thought less about the old worn out car which had typified my life as well as my attitude. I was grateful that I had a roof over my head. I was grateful for the gospel in my life. I was even grateful for the little car which provided me more time to observe the wild flowers.
By Tracy Atkinson
Tracy Atkinson, mother of six, lives in the Midwest with her husband. She is a teacher, having taught elementary school to higher education, holding degrees in elementary education and a master’s in higher education. Her passion is researching, studying and investigating the attributes related to self-directed learners. She has published several titles, including The Art of Learning Journals, Calais: The Annals of the Hidden, Lemosa: The Annals of the Hidden, Book Two, Rachel’s 8 and Securing Your Tent. She is currently working on a non-fiction text exploring the attributes of self-directed learners: The Five Characteristics of Self-directed Learners.