We are finishing the second month of our Year of Gratitude. (We started in December with the beginning of the Christian year.) This month we focused on new things: New Year’s resolutions, new paths and other choices to begin a new year and gave thanks for the new possibilities we are given. We created a gratitude jar so each week we could put one thing or event that made a difference and for which we were grateful. At the end of December, 2019 we will be able to look back over our year and remember.
For the month of February our gratitude focus will be:
Relationships: This month is filled with “Valentines” but love is more than hearts and flowers. There are many relationships which call for gratitude. This month we give thanks for all our relationships.
Sarah Ban Breathnach in her journal book The Simple Abundance Journal of Gratitude writes: “Grace is available for each of us every day–our spiritual daily bread–but we’ve to to remember to ask for it with a grateful heart and not worry about whether there will be enough for tomorrow.”
Grace is our daily bread as is gratitude. I would like to encourage you to think about the grace you have received through the month of January. Have you written three or four things to put in your jar? If not, take a few moments to so. Breath in grace, Breath in gratitude. What has touched you in January? What has surprised you in its grace, its beauty, its love?
Relationships are also part of our spiritual daily bread along with grace. Our relationships teach us many things. As we prepare for February and our thankfulness for our relationships, today I want you to write two thank you notes. One, I would like you to write a thank you note to God, for the blessings you have received in January. Put it in your jar, so that in December you might pull it out and re-read it with a prayer for God’s goodness.
Second, to begin our month focusing on relationships, I would like you to write a thank you note to yourself. We are so often hard ourselves, we call ourselves names, often have a running litany of what is wrong and why it is wrong and blame ourselves. Often the grace that is our daily bread is offered to others and we offer little to ourselves. Take some time and thank yourself, for getting up and out of bed, for taking care of others whether it be children or friends or a partner or parents. Thank your body for what it can do. In thanking yourself, you have a path to thank God for life, for love and grace.