7.8.10

Knocking on Gratitude’s Door: Ten Reasons to be Grateful…

"I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.  ~G.K. Chesterton 
Gratitude is the memory of the heart.  ~Jean Baptiste Massieu



With all the news reports swirling around about the economy and atrocities happening around the world, it is a wonder most of us get out of bed in the morning. We do because we believe things will get better and we believe that the life we have, even with its limitations, is blessed. A spirit of gratitude can go a long way in helping us sift through the morass and find our footing again.

It is not easy to stay smiling and positive when people experience tremendous burdens or a shift in life circumstances however, if we can stop and consider that we can use a dark period to bring light to others, it will help take some of the edge off.

I remember reading about the Great Depression era in American History and marveling at the resilience and bravery of the folks who struggled and survived that period. New types of businesses were started and people found ingenious ways to stretch a dollar. I know that this knowledge keeps me focused on the good during these challenging times. What keeps you focused?

We are in the throes of a similar global economic state however, there are still opportunities for abundance and success; we must pay attention to where there are needs in our communities and meet them. The techno age has made it infinitely easier to communicate with people around the world and this has opened the door to virtual communities that thrive. We are beneficiaries of this age and can be contributors if we choose.

Regardless of our circumstances, we can all knock on gratitude’s door and find reasons to be grateful. Below are ten reasons to help us stay focused on the good while we work to resolve the difficult? What Gifts are you grateful for? Do share.
"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it."  ~William Arthur Ward
The Gift of Life: Without life we have nothing. We need to see the preciousness of our life and the lives of others. When we value our life, we are spurred on to sustain it and protect the lives of others. If you are going through difficulties, it is hard to see the value but I encourage you to hold on, seek the help of a trusted family member, friend or a professional and know that you are not alone.

The Gift of Family: Our family knows us best and for those blessed with a supportive family, it is a treasured gift. Do not take it lightly. There are all types of families and we can create a community of supporters who are essentially a form of family. Yes, I commiserate with folk who have problematic families however, don’t give up on the fact that you can be that candle in the dark and that you can bring about needed change to the hurt in your family.

The Gift of Friends: True friends are golden and when we are blessed with such people we should remember to honor them and acknowledge the blessing they are in our lives. We have all read stories about good-time friends and should recognize that it is the quality of our friendships that count not the quantity. Rejoice if you have even one friend who will climb a mountain to help you and will celebrate all your successes with a joyful heart.

***As a special Thank YOU, I want to acknowledge two bloggers who have been very helpful to me on my journey trying to rebuild this blog. Jinnia of Jinnia Low.com has been very supportive and a great one to remind me of the power of saying thanks. Nan from BeOneFineDay has very supportive too and helped me build my following by checking in and inviting me to the special Follow Days.*** Thanks to everyone else; you are appreciated too.

The Gift of Love: Love is expressed in multiple ways and we experience a form of love daily that we must be thankful for. The smile of a store clerk, the help from a friend or stranger, the hug from a child and the support of loved ones are all gifts of love… We must appreciate love and give back to others who need it.

The Gift of God’s Grace: There is grace in everything we do if we believe it. Everything we accomplish requires a measure of faith, knowledge and the grace of God. We must also remember the grace of people who help us achieve our goals. I believe in prayer and a thankful attitude and we can all benefit from remembering to see the grace of the many helpful hands, seen and unseen, that have contributed to our lives.
"Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all."  ~William Faulkner
The Gift of Health: Like life, our health is paramount to our ability to complete our tasks. As time goes by, many of us develop aches and pains and scars from a lifetime of hurts; we can renew ourselves by simple exercises. Walking, yoga, dance, swimming, and other sports can get our endorphins rejuvenated so we can maintain our health. Even people with chronic conditions can find a safe way to keep body, mind and spirit uplifted. Seek help from a professional when needed and keep your body moving.

The Gift of Faith & Food: To have faith is to trust that no matter the circumstances, you will overcome and have food to nourish the body and feed the mind. Faith is needed for everything we do but I will focus on food here. Food is medicine and if we stop to think, there are people in countries around the world who have little or no food to nourish their bodies. I think of Mother’s Kitchen and the array of soup kitchens around the country that feed the homeless and I encourage you to offer your help at any near you. It is a great way to give back and to learn an appreciation for the food we eat.

The Gift of Choice: We choose how we respond to events in our lives and our attitude is a key factor in our outcome. I find that when we focus our attention on choosing to see the good in events and to look for solutions, our mood and circumstances shift. Problems don’t automatically varnish, however, dwelling on the negativity doesn’t improve anything. Make a decisive choice and follow the path of light. Uplift others and see yourself uplifted.

The Gift of a Sound Mind: The mind is a powerful tool and protecting it from stimulants and negativity is a gift we must give to ourselves. We live in a world that is linked to a super highway of accessible information flying at us from many directions. We need to pay attention and be selective about what we are exposed to; the more judicious we are about the kinds of information and opportunities we subscribe to, the better. There is nothing wrong with information - just be vigilant and feed your mind good messages, great music and healthy food.

The Gift of Community & Service: At the end of the day, all of us want to be appreciated and heard. The gift of community opens the door for us to hear/listen and be heard. When we offer our talents and services to others in need, we are lending our hearts and ears to them, and in turn, they share theirs with us. When we build or join a trusted community of people who believe in our well-being and support us, we thrive. A community can be a small group of supportive friends or a larger entity. The size of the community we join doesn’t matter as long as we are comfortable and contribute. What matters is that we care and others care.

Let me know your thoughts. Is there a gift you are grateful for?  Do share what you are grateful for that might not be on the list above. Have a prosperous day!

PHOTO CREDITS:
All photos ~ courtesy of my collection and/or Google Images

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank


80 comments:

  1. "We are beneficiaries of this age and can be contributors if we choose."

    I think, too often, I take for granted all the blessing I have living in this era. I dream of living in "simpler" times, yet I know I would have struggled there just as I struggle here.

    Knowing that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever is an incredible blessing that I can claim regardless of the era I find myself in.

    Thanks for sharing!

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  2. I understand and feel the connections you mention. Thank you for stopping by.
    Eliz

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  3. I find it fascinating to learn about folks struggling through terrible circumstances too. Their determination is inspiring.

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  4. So true... I love stories about people who have maintained their courage while overcoming difficult situations; they inspire me to keep the faith and press on.
    Thank you for stopping by!
    E

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  5. Thank you for sharing! I def would like to remember to be grateful more often. I know it does me good. I'll start with this: I' m grateful for my health and my kids (even though they drive me crazy
    sometimes!)

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  6. Thnak you Alexia and yes, mine do too ... sometimes!

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  7. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and following. I am now following back :)
    @Paisley Passions
    @Laughter & Memories

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  8. Hi, I'm following from Quality Times Follow me Monday. I love the positivity of your blog, if the whole world could be more like this, what a different place we'd have!

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  9. Yes I agree... it would be a different world if we showed more compassion and treated others the way we wish to be treated... I remain hopeful. Will follow back TY!
    E

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  10. Eliz, your post is so well-thought-out and fluid! It is wonderfully inspired and inspiring. I love the depth with which you've combined both the simple things we can all be more mindful to be grateful for, as well as the things that we may not think about as readily because we're not exposed to it as often. I absolutely love all the quotes you shared, esp. the ones by William Ward and Faulkner.

    To answer your question on what keeps me focused on the good during challenging times...it's knowing people want more than just economic well-being. Deep down, we're made to love and be loved and we need God's grace. I believe He's gracious to allow those who will take the opportunities for abundance and success to run with them, fueled by love, purpose and vision. I believe He's pruning back apathy and lack of vision/initiative in general.

    Thank you so much for this post! It really got me thinking, and I really could spend more time doing that! But I'd better get to bed and take care of that gift of health :). And thanks for mentioning me, I'm so touched and inspired that you were helped by my blogging. That's just amazing! God bless you and the rebuilding process, it's looking great with awesome content!

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  11. Beautiful reminder to count our blessings. :) Thank you for sharing those quotes are really spot on.

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  12. Following you back! Thanks so much! :)

    http://tweepoppets.blogspot.com

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  13. Thanks for the quick follow too!
    Best,
    Eliz

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  14. Thanks for your comment Maureen! I will follow back ...

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  15. Thank you Jinnia as your generous words are so touching. I am grateful for so much and especially for bloggers like you! Thank you. :-)

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  16. Thank you Jinnia as your generous words are so touching. I am grateful for so much and especially for bloggers like you! Thank you. :-)

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  17. Thank you again Lori. I enjoyed my visit to your blog and will visit again. Have a great day!

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  18. Thank you..
    Thank you so much for taking the time to visit My blog.
    I truly value you and your time. I hope you will stop back often as I will do the same.
    Have a nice day. (I'm your follower)
    Nan
    Quality Time
    http://beonefineday.blogspot.com

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  19. This is great. I am daily trying to teach my children about gratitude. While things aren't exactly where we want them, we have so much to be thankful for. Thanks for swinging by Between the Lines!

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  20. Thanks you for visiting my blog, not once, but twice! I am glad you left comments so that I could come by and visit your site! Lovely!!

    This post was thought provoking on so many levels...and hit a few cords.

    I am grateful every day that I have the love of my husband and kids. My husband is a cancer survivor (4 years!!) and it was a true wake up call to enjoy EVERY single moment of EVERY single day.
    One quickly learns what is small stuff.

    I have followed so that I can come back again! :)

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  21. I may not have a lot of money ,live in pain everyday and lost loved one but I am so grateful everyday ! Grateful that I can still share what I have,help others that are going through the same as me and so grateful that my sons were wonderful men that came into my life ,even for a short time and I was able to love them. I am the woman today because of it all.
    We all need to be happy with what we have ,the memories and not what we don't have .
    Maybe people will be happier and grateful!
    Thanks for stopping by
    I am now following you
    matternu@gmail.com
    http://www.pegsplay.com

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  22. I so believe gratitude is good for the soul! Wonderful post. I am grateful for my peanut, and our little home, and our health.

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  23. Awesome post!
    New follower from Tuesday Tag Along.
    www.andrialake.blogspot.com

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  24. When I was in my twenties I used to complain about small things, so one day my freind said to me "do you have two arms, two legs - be greatful" everytime now if I want to moan about somehting stupid I remeber his words :)
    Thanks for stopping by and yes I am that Ewa that left you a comment before, I'm your follower already
    Have a lovey day

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  25. Following you back!
    www.everydayphilanthropistblog.com

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  26. I have spent the past year being sure to think about what I am grateful for each day. I even have someplace I write them down. It has really helped me to focus on how abundant my life is.

    Oh, and today I can be grateful that you stopped by my blog.

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  27. Thanks for stopping by...
    I am your newest follower-
    hope your day is blessed!

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  28. Thnak you everyone for your comments. They are much appreciated and a reminder to stay positive and share...
    I look forward to reading your blog updates too.and have followed all of you. If I accidentally missed you, please leave a quick note and I will follow.
    Best,
    Eliz

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  29. I am grateful for this life, for letting me travel this far. And i am grateful i saw you by chance. This is a wonderful post :)

    Loved your blog. Keep blogging!

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  30. I believe there is always something to be grateful for. It's a great post you have :) Thank you for sharing.

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  31. Hi Elizabeth! Thanks for visiting me! I already follow on you GFC (I'm on the second page!), and I just followed on Networked Blogs!

    Have a great week :)
    ~Shelley

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  32. Last year I read about someone who started thanking God for every little thing each and every morning before she even got out of bed. So I started doing it, and it really helps you to put things in perspective about what's going on around you. I have been slack sometimes and don't do it as often as I did, but when i do, I am reminded that I am purposeful and I bring joy and God has blessed me beyond measure with all that I have. It helps me not to dwell on what I don't have, what I think that I missed and what I feel that I have lost. I love the feeling it gives me, all before I even step my feet on the floor.

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  33. Hi Eliz, I'm dropping by to say I appreciate you! I mentioned you on my thanksgiving post today :) Have a great one!

    Jinnia

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  34. It's nice to click onto your blog and read such an uplifting post, especially given the stressful, death-filled week I'm having. I am grateful that this week is nearly over!

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  35. LambAround, I stopped by to encourage you... you and yours are in my prayers. Be of good cheer and thank you for the visit.
    E

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  36. Jinnia, Girl, you know I am so grateful for you too... Thanks again for adding me to your blog. See you on Friday follow...:-)
    E

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  37. artistcsi,
    Thnaks for the visit and blog comment. I would love to reciprocate but can't find a blog link for you. Stop by again and share more; would love to support you too.
    E

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  38. Thank you Shelley... we are definitely linked in every where now. LOL! Glad to connect.
    Eliz

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  39. Thanks too Andria, Ewa, Flipflop, Chef Eureka, Nicole, & Elyse for your visits. I enjoyed my time visiting your blogs too and will visit again!
    Eliz

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  40. Thnak you Nan for your generosity! I have learned a lot from our exchanges and the follow friends effort on your Quality Time blog. much gratitude,
    E

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  41. Kel & K Pugliano,
    Thank you both for your return visits. I am so happy to connect with so many from the 31DBBB that I trust we will support each other beyond the challenge.
    Thanks again!
    E

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  42. Peggy, I am following you back and will continue to visit too... As a parent, I often pray that I am a blessing to my kids and trust the Lord to guide them when they venture out on their own.
    Thank you,
    Eliz

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  43. Tanvi,
    What a nice surprise to have you visit... Much appreciated. I am following you and will visit to comment back.
    Thank you,
    Eliz

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  44. k Pugliano, Yes we do learn to give up the small stuff when we see the blessings in our lives. I am so happy for you and your husband... :-)
    My sister is in remission and I am constantly thanking God for his mercy in her life too.
    Blessings,
    E

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  45. Thanks for following me! I'm returning the follow :) You really have some insightful stuff to say! Can't wait to read more...

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  46. I am joining the Friday Blog Hop. I am following you now. I hope you could return the favor. Its http://ladyguinevere28.blogspot.com and http://singlemotheronthego.blogspot.com

    Thank you

    Ada

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  47. We all have so much to be grateful for that doesn't require money. I, too, have looked back on the Great depression for clues for how to deal with these difficult financial times.

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  48. I love your blog and how positive it is :) The world would truly be a better place if everyone was this way.
    Stopping by from the blog hop :)

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  49. Thank you Courtney, Lady G & Mrs M, I am following all of you and have enjoyed visiting your blogs.

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  50. Thank you for sharing your insight and intelligence. I've been perusing your blog and I find it a really interesting read. Some of the best blog content I've found so far.

    Your other blog is lovely too - Mirth and Motivation! I think you are an extremely accomplished person. Keep up the great work blogging!

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  51. Thanks for stopping by my blog, and yes I like my template. I actually just picked out a freebie while I'm getting started and would like to customize it one day when I have the time. I really love your design; perfect fit for your content!

    What a lovely post this is on gratitude! It reminds me of a speech I heard at my sister's college graduation. An ambassador was speaking on the importance of "cultivating an attitude of gratitude." I firmly beleive that happiness is a choice and oftentimes it begins with gratitude.

    I am following back :) Have a beautiful weekend, Elizabeth!

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  52. Love your positive input. Very inspiring. Thanks for stopping by for a visit at my blog. I am glad you enjoyed reading my post of "setting the example."

    Anne @ http://lessonsthrulife.com

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  53. i think it is so important to remember our blessings....
    we have so many. even when times are tough.

    chasity

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  54. Steph, Lindsey, Anne, Vic, Wild Raspberry,
    Thnak you all for your comments. I am grateful for the support and will continue to support your blogging efforts too. Have a great weekend!
    Eliz

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  55. I am grateful for all that you outlined... I say a gratitude prayer every morning and evening
    Thanks for the follow .. I am following you too

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  56. Beautiful thoughts! I’m a member of the Gratitude Community and love your positive message. Your post reminds me of all the wonderful things I’m grateful for – especially for my family which has brought me incredible happiness and meaning. I’m following you now, too.

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  57. Thank you Deb! I enjoyed my visit to you blog and learned a lot bout the Montessori approach. Thanks for the following too!

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  58. I came over from the #31DBBB discussion board from your post about our fav posts from the challenge. I'm following you now too!

    I love this post about gratitude. This is one of the things I learned when dealing with anxiety issues. To stop and meditate on all that I have in my life to be thankful for.

    Great post!

    Mrs. O

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  59. Also stopping by from #31DBBB "favorite post" discussion...LOVE this post. I started doing Attitude for Gratitude posts on Sunny Bug some time ago. Such an important thing to reflect upon and also share with others.

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  60. I'm glad you linked to this on Blog Frog. It was a good article for me to read today. So lets start with that:

    I am grateful for people and circumstances that remind me to be grateful!

    I'm grateful for fresh mercies and new beginnings!

    I'm grateful for the way every single morning brings a brand new opportunity for a fresh start.

    I'm grateful for the power of forgiveness ... given and received!

    I'm grateful for the forum and opportunity to verbalize my thoughts, express my truth and share my heart!

    I'm grateful for beauty ... in art, music, nature, people, life, etc.

    I'm grateful for the small measure of trust with which I have been graced. Trust is not easy for me in any forum but I have been given just enough to allow me to not be a prisoner of fear in my own home and enough to not be afraid to share my life with others.

    I'm grateful for life ... for the gift of air to breathe, for a heart that continues to beat out one more pulse, for muscles that give me freedom of movement, etc.

    I'm grateful for kindness. I don't understand mean spiritedness but being exposed to it reminds me of how truly special kindness is!

    I'm grateful for just enough! Because if I had too little I would be consumed and overwhelmed by need. And if I had too much I would forget to be thankful!

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  61. Wonderful gratitude post! I gain gratitude by seeking out the little things that make me smile. The big things are sometimes hard to appreciate fully, but the little details warm a heart, put a twinkle in an eye, and turn the corners of a mouth up. We turn in our days when we close our eyes at the end of them and we do not get them back. I think its nicer to exchange them for smile worthy moments. Even on a bad or challenging day, there are usually still those simple little bits & pieces that can help produce a smile. :> Hope your day has been smile worthy!

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  62. This is really good- should be posted on a mirror. I try so hard to be thankful for what I have, even when the circumstances are trying!!

    Great reminder!

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  63. Visiting from blog frog. Love your post. Gratitude is so important. I know it makes my life happier when I am grateful.

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  64. Thank you Wahzat, I start my day with prayer and gratitude is often on my mind... it is not always easy to remember but remains a gift to us all.

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  65. Mrs O,
    Thank you too for your comment and support. Meditation has been a great tool for me as well... I find that it calms me when I am agitated and helps me re-frame the problem.

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  66. Thank you Elizabeth, I love the idea of a Sunday Bug dedicated to acts and thoughts of gratitude. We all benefit in the end.
    Kudos to you!

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  67. Thank you Beth for your beautiful post! Now that should be a post on its own.
    What a wonderful idea to share your reasons for being thankful. We can all do this on a regular basis. I definitely need to do it. :-)

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  68. Thank you Karen, Sure, we gain gratitude karma from the little things we treat with respect and love. The little things help us have smile worthy days! I agree.
    Eliz

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  69. SuzRocks, I need the reminders too and that is why I write a positive blog; I value the good and leave the rest at the door... Thank you for the visit!

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  70. Enjoy Birth,
    Thanks again for the visit... I appreciate the support! And, like you, gratitude makes my heart soar.

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  71. Thanks all, I will follow you and comment back!
    E

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  72. This is a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing! Visiting from SITS/31DBBB

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  73. Thnak you for your visit Jamee!
    I appreciate comments and visits. I will return the goodwill.
    Best,
    Eliz

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  74. If there's a gift I am always grateful for is my family, my son most especially. I never thought I great love can be until I hold this tiny being in my arms for the very first time. Carrying him in my womb for 38 weeks was never easy and seeing him for the first made took away all the pain and hardship of that 38 weeks. From then on, I always feel grateful with whatever life gives me.

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  75. So true...Great post. Thank you so much for sharing,

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  76. Beautiful post! No matter how bad things seem to be, someone, somewhere, has it worse. There's always something to be grateful for, even if it's just a memory of when times weren't so bad. Thanks for sharing :)

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  77. Awesome post and it comes at a perfect time for me. Sometimes we get so bogged down with negatives we forget to appreciate all we have. I need to take the time daily to be thankful for all we have - thanks for the reminder.

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  78. Great Advice one of My favorite sayings is to have An Attitude of Gratitude and I try to remember that and live that everyday so thanks again for the little helper tips because it is something easily forgotten

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  79. Your post is inspiring. I am grateful for so many things in my life. I am reminded daily of how blessed with gifts in life I have

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