Thankful First

Veronica - Rexburg, Idaho
Entered on December 4, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: gratitude

No matter what has happened in my day, when someone asks, “How are you?” I would be lying to myself and to the inquirer if I said anything less than, “You know what? I am positively fantastic.” Through painful problems, inconveniences, disturbances, and surprises, I believe in being thankful first.

I will always remember an experience when I was little, where I was praying over breakfast with my mother. The smell of orange juice and the crackling of my cereal in the pool of milk made me rush through the act, saying, “Please bless this, that, and the other” without once saying “Thanks.” When “amen” came out of my mouth, my mother was standing over me with her arms still folded. Quietly, she said, “Let’s try that again, and this time, be thankful.” It seemed a little odd when I was five-years-old, but I interrupted God a second time to tell Him I was appreciative of my home, food, and family. Ever since, I have come to realize that life can be far more satisfying if I look for the things in life that make me appreciate more than self-irritate.

This act of being thankful first can be as hard or as easy as I choose: my car didn’t break down; it gave me an opportunity to fully enjoy a glorious rainy day by walking. My computer didn’t freeze up with a virus; it gave me a break from the Internet so I could spend that time with my husband. Groceries aren’t costing me an arm and a leg in today’s economy; I’m lucky to be eating three meals a day. Being thankful first, means being pleased with life first. It’s your cheerful, grateful reactions to situations that make the people around you smile. Today, I am thankful for my crackling cereal, cold milk and orange juice, and life is that much sweeter.