I’ve lived most of my life giving shallow thanks.
Sure, I’ve been grateful when big things happened. I’ve thanked God when he came through or saved my neck.
I’ve thanked God for answered prayer and for those things dear to me — salvation, my family, health, provision, freedom to worship.
But for most of my life, I never saw the simple gifts, the small mercies, the personal love notes all around me.
It wasn’t until I lost the love of my life that I found deep gratitude.
In those weeks and months of hard grief, I was fighting for hope and aching to see God’s goodness when the world felt so horrible.
Opening to a fresh page in my journal, I numbered down the left-hand margin: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. That day I thanked God for the obvious things he was doing.
The next morning, I continued my numbered list: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14. I forced myself to think back over the day before. I noted God’s provision, how he lifted my head, small joys.
And so began a practice of daily thankfulness and the gift of daily surprises.