As someone who has struggled with depression, I developed a habit years ago. I would say to myself, "think of ten things you're grateful for." The rule was not to list obvious things like family or health, but small, specific things that I might not otherwise notice, such as clean sheets on the bed or a cup of hot coffee. While this habit doesn't answer all the needs of a depressed person, it has gone a long way in opening my eyes to all the simple, everyday blessings that so often go unnoticed, and reminds me of the Giver who is always giving good gifts to His children, if only we have eyes to see.
This habit has become so ingrained that it is almost an automatic response when I'm feeling down.
Today, for example, I am thankful for . . .
- A warm, cozy bathrobe and soft blanket to keep me warm as I type this
- A long Thanksgiving visit this past weekend with my college-aged son
- A friend who just texted me and offered to host our next book club, something I usually do
- A quiet day ahead, with only a few errands to run and chores to do
- A good book that I'm in the middle of reading
- Money to be able to get new prescription lenses
- The chickadees at the feeder
- The opportunity to begin this blog
- Gas in my car
- A delicious orange to have for breakfast
Today I am worried about many things. It's still very hard to just place them all in His hands and trust. But I try and focus on each blessing that I have.
Sometimes I think one of the biggest jobs we have here is just to notice and be grateful.