hard things

        Gratitude is a mysterious thing.  It’s look so simple, and it is, but the more deeply you live it, the more you see how it colors everything in your world.  The more it fills your heart, the less space there is for the things that make you sick -- the anxiety and the bitterness and the self-pity.  And the farther you go down the path of thanksgiving, the more you find yourself giving thanks even in the midst of hard circumstances.  I’ve seen glimpses of this in my life, but I’ve seen it lived out in shining beauty in Barbara’s life.

        Barbara has multiple sclerosis.  It struck almost two decades ago, when she had four young children.  She never knows from day to day whether she’ll be able to sit up or speak or even smile.  She spends many days in bed in excruciating pain, but she has chosen to view her MS as a gateway instead of as a limitation.  She calls it God’s private tutorial.  She knows that He could take the disease away in the blink of an eye, so, until He does, she embraces it with an open heart, learning everything He has to teach her.  Most people in Barbara’s situation would be hard and bitter and self-focused.  Their worlds would have shrunk over the years of pain.  Hers has done the opposite.  It has expanded.  She loves more, and more freely, than anyone else I know.  And it’s no coincidence that she has chosen, day after day for two decades, to practice what she calls “aggressive thanksgiving” -- finding things to be thankful for even on the darkest days.  She makes her days a treasure hunt.   She lives gratefully, and she’s the healthiest, most contented and joy-filled person I’ve ever known. 

        I'm asking you to do yourself a favor today.  Click on the link below and listen to what Barbara has to say about the mystery of giving thanks.  You won't be sorry.

Barbara Brand on gratitude