At the start of November I embarked upon an adventure to become more thankful for all the good in my life. To slow down and count my blessings instead of skipping right over this month of Thanksgiving as the retail industry would have me do. I took some time each day to post what I was grateful for on Facebook and Twitter, and I asked all of you to join me in the Be Thankful Challenge. More than two weeks into the challenge, and I’ve already learned a lot. And I’ve been blessed. A LOT! Here’s how:
It made me more aware. With the challenge to find things to be thankful for each day, I have been much more mindful of my surroundings and the people in my life. I’m actually paying attention to all the good that goes on around me each day so that I can be sure to give thanks. Let me tell you, there’s a lot of good in this world if we just slow down and take the time to recognize it. From a beautiful sunset, to a kind word from a stranger, there is always something we can find to be grateful for each day.
It has been contagious. Guess what? When I act with an attitude of gratitude, the people around me do too. If I say thank you or express my gratitude to others, they are more likely to share that spirit of thankfulness with someone else. Just like that Liberty Mutual kindness commercial. Who knew? It works for gratitude too!
It helped me see good even in the bad. One of my inspirations for participating in this challenge was this video about a group of bloggers who wrote about being grateful for 21 days. During that time, many of them experienced tragedies and difficulties of varying magnitudes. But overwhelmingly they all said that having an attitude of gratitude kept them focused on the good even when things were going bad. I shared it on Facebook and Twitter at the start of our challenge, but here it is again in case you missed it:
Little did I know that my own town of Auburn, Alabama would be hit by a tornado on Day 16 of our challenge. I was AMAZED at the gratitude I saw expressed on Facebook and throughout the day in my community. At the end of this post is a sampling of what an attitude of gratitude can look like
even especially during times of distress.
So, let’s finish strong with one week to go before Thanksgiving. Count your blessings each day. Express your gratitude. Share your love. Slow down and appreciate the ones you’re with. Just be thankful, today and always.
The ‘Attitude of Gratitude’ from my Facebook family in Auburn, Alabama . . .
- All I can say is Almighty God held the junior high school, high school, and elementary school in the palm of His hand while a tornado danced around all three. Thank you, Lord, as I had children in two schools and children I call mine in the other.
- Very thankful today as the tornado came within 100 yards of my house and 2 of my children. How else can you explain a tornado maneuvering in such a way that it avoided 4 schools but managed to go all around them, except to say that God was very much in control.
- I’m so very thankful that today we only had property damage from the storm that is mostly minor stuff to fix, and especially grateful that no one in the area was seriously injured (as far as I know).
- I am very thankful that my family and friends are safe and I am praying for those that have damage from today’s storms…it was absolutely crazy!
- Thanking God for His grace and mercy during the tornadoes today in Auburn!
- Today I am thankful that everyone survived yesterday’s tornadoes. God was definitely watching over our little town. I am also thankful for beautiful blue skies which make the clean up much easier.
- Is thankful there was no “people damage” from the storms yesterday. Also thankful for wonderful friends and teachers who were calm and kept my children calm and safe.
- Is thankful to all employees of our school system who worked tirelessly yesterday to keep our children safe and calm during the storm..Thank you all.
- Very thankful tonight that we are all safe after the storm. According to neighbors, the tornado came right over our house. Our fence is destroyed, and we will be getting a new roof, but my children and I are safe and it isn’t anything that can’t be replaced. Also very thankful for good friends that were at my house before I could get home checking on my animals and the damage. I am so blessed with wonderful friends. God is so good!
- Today I’m thankful that…1. My husband left his job site only a few minutes before a tornado hit it. 2. The tornadoes managed to go in between the gymnasium and the main building of the high school where students were 3. no damage or tornadoes to the junior high or middle school, and 4. The tornado spared my nephew’s preschool where many of my sweet friends work. God was watching out for us today.
- Thankful today that so far, all that I hear, all are alive and unharmed by the storm. Puts things in perspective…..
- Very blessed to be safe and sound after all the damage in AU today. I’m so thankful for all the teachers and administrators who knew exactly what to do today to keep all students safe. You are to be commended! Parents can be assured that their precious children were in the best of care!
- So glad my grandchildren and all the children at the Auburn schools are safe from the Tornado that hit the Auburn area. Thanks to all the teachers and staff at all the schools.
- Realizing how very blessed I am. My house and family was spared by the tornado. Some of our friends’ houses were not. Just 2 blocks away is total destruction. I am thankful that nobody was killed. That you Lord for protecting us!
- Trees & roofs (and BBQ grills, chairs, shutters, basketball goals, oh and trash cans) can all be replaced. Thank God our family has their parts intact. We serve a gracious God who always protects His children.
- My friends and family in several cities are safe and sound tonight, and the nasty April-in-November weather is heading out. Grateful that a miss is as good as a mile, but my heart is heavy for those with losses.
- Such a scary and horrible day in AU but I love the see how everyone rallies together to help their neighbor. Very thankful and blessed tonight!
- So very thankful that no one was hurt as storms and tornadoes traveled through our town.
- Feeling very very blessed. Our family and house are fine. My 7 year old told me very matter-of-factly about how “the tornado sounded.” (Loud). Holding my family tight tonight!
- Feeling very blessed tonight after being in the dark all afternoon. So thankful everyone is safe in Auburn.
- I just want to give thanks to God for keeping the high school along with all Auburn safe. Cars can be replaced, but people can’t be.
- Today I’m thankful for the safety of family and friends. Tornado hit just 2 miles from our house and that is too close!
- Spent over an hour in our safe place with my 25 4th graders. I had some scared kiddos on my hands and I am thankful we are all safe.
- All students, staff and teachers in Auburn City Schools are safe. Thank God.
- Very, very grateful for all of the calls and text messages and offers to help after the tornado hit our street. An army of angels arrived at my door to help remove trees from the roof/car and get tarp on the roof to cover the damage. As my dear friend says “It’s all good.” Praise the Lord!!!!!
and from me . . .
- Today I’m thankful that no one in Auburn was seriously injured in the tornado today that passed within a mile of me at work, my kids at school, and my home. Feeling very grateful to have my whole family under one roof tonight.
- I am so thankful for the teachers and staff at Auburn City Schools for keeping our children safe and calm during the tornado yesterday that was a near miss at a number of the schools in our community. But the true glory in this storm goes to God. It may be hard to understand unless you know the layout of our town, but to have a tornado get so close to so many of the children of this community with none of them sustaining a single injury is nothing short of a miracle.