April Jeppson: Practice gratitude and look for blessings

Published 8:45 pm Friday, February 23, 2024

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Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

The sun is shining through my window again today. We’ve really been spoiled with all this nice weather. However, if I’m aware that I’m being spoiled … am I actually spoiled?

April Jeppson

Hold on, I’ll be right back.

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Ok, I just looked it up. We would only be spoiled by this weather if we expected it to remain this way. Recognizing how awesome we’ve had it, just makes us grateful.

The benefits of cultivating an attitude of gratitude are many. Improved health, better sleep, increased happiness, lower blood pressure, improved relationships and a boosted immune system are just some of the perks of being thankful.

Being grateful comes easy to me, but it’s because I’ve been working at it for years. Just like anything in life, if you want to get better at something, you need to practice.

I started on my journey by simply looking for blessings. I believed they were sprinkled throughout my day, and it was my job to find them. Much like a game you play with your kids on a long trip. When you start looking for yellow cars, or cows, it’s amazing at how many you can see. I found the same to be true as

I was on the hunt for blessings.

When I would find one, I would savor it. I would hold the thought in my mind and absorb all the good mojo that it would give me. I wanted to remember it forever. Life will always have its share of ups and downs. I wanted to have the ability to recall this good feeling later in the day or week when I needed the reminder.

No one owes me anything, and everything that I have could be taken from me in an instant. Having this knowledge makes me acutely aware of how truly blessed I am. I don’t need to look far to see my family, the shelter my house provides or the food I eat daily.

I’ve also lived through some harder times. I think it’s important to try and remember those as well. Not knowing if my husband’s car would start in the morning, being up all night with a sick child or having to shower at The Y because my water got shut off — these are character-building moments. It’s because I’ve been through them that I appreciate the simpler blessings in my life.

I have this very clear memory of crying alone in my kitchen. I don’t recall the specifics of why I was so low, but my thought process was clear. I was reminding myself that if I could only see the bigger picture, it would make sense. I needed to have an eternal perspective and recognize that this was only a moment in a much larger landscape. It was so hard to see any good, but I tried my best. I knew that going through this situation would help me appreciate any future blessings that much more. And it did.

So yeah, this weather isn’t spoiling me one bit. I’ve been going outside as often as my day allows and soaking up every moment of it. I know the cold will eventually come back and I’m OK with that. All sunshine and no rain makes a desert.

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams. Her column appears every Saturday.