It was harder than I thought to practice a month of gratitude. I still find myself cranky or asking God for things I don't really need rather than being grateful for the things I have, but thinking about gratitude this month has really focused me on what I do have:
1. A good husband
2. Healthy children
3. A home
4. 2 operational vehicles
5. Lots of extra creature comforts
6. Plenty to eat
7. Friends to laugh (and cry) with
8. Dreams for the future
9. A great, flexible work-from-home job
10. Amazing parents, siblings and extended family
But as I've been thinking about focusing on gratitude rather than petitions, I've thought about how petitions are such a central part of leaning on God in hard times and good times. It's not the petitions that have been my problem, it's the whining-please-make-everything-work-out-without-any-hiccups nature of my petitions.
When my husband was laid off in 2011, a friend gave me a great verse:
Jeremiah 29:11-For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
And what a beautiful future it is. A new baby, a new job for my husband and enough love to go around. Thank you God for Your plans.