An Attitude of Gratitude

by Stacy Julian | 9 years ago

If you're living in the United States, then this week will likely be filled with all kinds of delicious food preparations, travel, and ultimately the gathering of friends and family to feast and to celebrate all that we are blessed with and grateful for. My extended family has been enjoying a wonderful exchange of grateful thoughts as we anticipate this weekend together. It began, almost on a whim, after my Mom posted this image on Instagram...

​She mentioned that the day had been cloudy and cold and full of frustrations and chores that seemed to drag on. She ran downstairs to search for a tool that she needed, threw open the door to a mud room, and was greeted by this happy plant, surprisingly in full bloom. Instantly her mood was lifted and she felt a shift in her attitude ... towards gratitude. 

Within minutes of reading about her experience, I issued a challenge that we all post images and short descriptions using the hashtag, #hallgrateful2014. I was absolutely giddy when my sister-in-law, Hillary, posted our first image and the collective expression began. Each night before bed, I search the hashtag and review the thoughts that have been shared—I just now checked and there are 97 images so far. Here is a sampling ...

I posted that I was grateful for cold medicine and comforting soup that both help fight cold bugs. My brother Cougar posted, "Thankful for the right to vote." My sister Darci shared a picture of her youngest, Mitt, covered in yogurt. Rather than feeling frustration at yet another toddler mess, she was able to stop, take a picture, and post this thought, "Grateful for a good laugh!" I'm certain we all cheered when Chanda and Jon sent out the first image of their brand-new daughter, Annie, born just a week ago. And my Father, who forgot to use the hashtag, posted an image of an envelope eliciting money for a fund drive. He wrote, "I am grateful for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Except for them, I would have died 23 years ago and I would have never met Hillary, Clark, Chase, Nika, Skye, Trey, Dayne, Taft, Julian, Ty, Parley, Brooklyn, Lucy, Addie, Liberty, Cache, Delaney, Briggs, Tatum, Zindy and Mitt." Wow! Several of the comments that day read something like this, "Best grateful post yet!" 

I can't say that I am grateful for the snakes and tarantula that my nephew, Dayne, is grateful for, but I can say that this shared virtual activity has been a huge blessing and an irresistible reminder of the power of photos and words. Of course we know that scrapbooking is about pausing to recognize and celebrate all that is good in life—it is about freezing time, so that we can attempt to say what we so fleetingly feel in moments that are sometimes silly, other times serious, and all of time happening so fast that we can barely detect them. This easy Instagram effort has been a "living" scrapbook for my family since the beginning of November, and I wanted to share it with you. 

As a memory keepers, the holidays are the perfect setting for taking pictures, for asking questions and for sharing what is in our hearts so that we strengthen bonds of love and feel a deepened sense of appreciation. Regardless of how you scrapbook and how you currently feel about your scrapbooking, I hope you will pause to remember what a blessing it has been in your life thus far. I hope you will remember that anytime you pair a photo with words, you are scrapbooking, and that anything you do is better than nothing. 

Wherever you live and whatever you'll be doing this week, we are grateful for you. When we count our blessings, we count our BPC community and the amazing opportunities we have had over the years to gather inside classrooms and learn and grow together. We cherish the creative expression that is shared and the bond of virtual friendships which we enjoy. 

We give thanks for YOU!



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