Revisiting Gratitude

I have a friend who is going through a really, really tough time right now. When she confided in me, I felt a mix of honor that she trusted me, and obligation to help her through. What came to my mind first? Gratitude.

I know gratitude is all over the news. I myself have written many essays, book reviews, and poetry sharing the virtues of gratitude and how it has helped me ride out the long, hopeless days of mothering, teaching and living.

So I got her a tiny, blue leather journal. I printed out two of my favorite poems, one for the back and one for the front. And I told her to write three ‘gratitudes’ every day. Without fail. Even when she feels like everything is hopeless. Even when she feels like there is no light to run towards. Even when she feels alone.

And I shared with her my #365gratitude posts on Instagram. And yes, I do both. I give daily thanks for the big and the small things in life. Some days, my gratitudes are easy to find. Some days, I really have to dig. But I’ve found that walking with an intention to find gratitude opens my eyes in so many ways, allowing hope to shine in when I most need it.

The great thing about sharing #365gratitude posts on Instagram is the ability to quickly revisit the images whenever I need inspiration – like today. It’s like revisiting a museum full of life moments – a quick scroll shows me what I value in life, what my eye is drawn to, and what makes me happy. I thought I’d share some of my favorites with you today. And if you’re on Instagram, I’d love to connect – you can find me at https://instagram.com/mamawolfeto2/.

Before the August accident…

Breathing through the day…#lookup #collegebeginsnow #westminsterslc

A post shared by Jennifer Wolfe (@mamawolfeto2) on

Keeping my #lookup promise, even when the tears were falling.

Notice a few themes here? All things I love – the sky, the mountains, my kids, my dog, my life. Moments strung together, perfectly ordinary, absolutely extraordinary… a life full of love and gratitude 365 days a year.

Hope to see you over on Instagram!

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe at jenniferwolfe.net.

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    1. Thank you, Nina. I find that walking and thinking about what’s around me, looking for the small ordinary details, really helps me stay present and not get caught up in worries.

    1. Sharon, I’m with you! My gratitude list often has similar items – family, friends, my home, people I love. But that’s ok – can’t hurt to remind ourselves of all those wonderful parts of our world! Hope your day is fabulous, and thanks for commenting!

    1. Kathy, I’m so happy my words make it into your world today! Hope all is well, and you’re making it through the end of the year chaos! xoxox

  1. Perfect, love the gift of a gratitude journal.
    I have 3 kids between 15 and 21 years old, we practice gratitude with a daily group text. Teaching my kids gratitude, (I hope!) will support life’s challenges for them forever.

    1. Thank you, Susan. I LOVE the idea of a gratitude group text;my daughter moved away for college last year, and texting is our best mode of daily contact.

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