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. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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11 thoughts on “Revisiting Gratitude

  1. Nina says:

    What a worthwhile project! It’s all about what we pay attention to– and it’s so cool you have the visuals to remind you what you want to focus on.
    Nina recently posted…Friendly But Not FriendsMy Profile

    1. Jennifer Wolfe says:

      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.

  2. I have thought about a daily gratitude list many times, but what I find is that I keep going back to the same things to be thankful for over and over – health, my husband, my kids, my family, my friends. Those are the only things that really matter!
    Sharon Greenthal recently posted…When You’re the Old People at the WeddingMy Profile

    1. Jennifer Wolfe says:

      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!

  3. This was just what I needed to read today, thank you!
    Kathy Radigan recently posted…My Daughter is More Than a WordMy Profile

    1. Jennifer Wolfe says:

      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

  4. Wonderful! Shared 🙂
    Bailey Gaddis recently posted…Directions to MotherhoodMy Profile

    1. Jennifer Wolfe says:

      Bailey, I’m so thrilled you liked my piece, and thank you, thank you, for sharing it! Gratitude!

  5. Susan says:

    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. Jennifer Wolfe says:

      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.

  6. […] my gratitudes are somewhat repetitive, but I find comfort in that. It’s my time of self-reflection, of noticing the ordinary things […]

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