Overtaken By Gratitude


"This is a wonderful day. I've never seen this one before." - Maya Angelou

Life will always be unfinished. There will always be tasks to fulfill, relationships to invest in, messes to clean up and wounds to heal. There will always be times of chaos and times of stillness. Times of drawn out waiting, and times of wishing no time had passed at all. 

We will always be unfinished. Ever-changing beings with souls their own galaxies of revelation and discovery. Deeply longing individuals with desire to find fulfillment and purpose—lives that are connected to family histories and lineages of brokenness. The relational and situational chaos that we find ourselves in can become the only lens with which we are able to view the world.

But even in the chaos, there is something to be grateful for.

Can you think of it?

Even in disappointment, there is delight to be expressed in life.

Can you feel it?

Even as we sit here in our today, there is something new that will be happening tomorrow. I find something so simple and pure about Maya Angelou's quote above, as she opens her heart and her mind to the adventure and new mercies of a new day.

Both discontentment and gratitude, like the ever-growing vines of ivy, can take over the landscape of our heart and the wellness of our souls.

I would rather be overtaken head-to-heart in the life-giving vine of gratitude than covered up and suffocated by discontentment. But believe me, it's an incredible struggle to choose this again and again. Every. Single. Day.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

This scripture isn't telling us to ignore our circumstances or the reality of our complicated world. What it is guiding us to do is to always find ways to express our joy and delight, to keep our spirit in tune with our creator, and to posture our lives with gratitude and contentment. 

Whenever I've been wrestling with discontentment or moments of impatience, the quickest remedy is to simply think through all of the people and elements of my life that I can say thank you for. I realize, then, that I am actually living quite an abundant life.

Thank you, Lord, for the wonderful blessing of family—whatever family looks like. Thank you for my home. For the gift of being able to understand what true love looks and feels like. Thank you for the time and place I was born into this earth. Thank you for this breath and the gift of singing. Thank you for being present in my life. Thank you for food and water. Thank you for your creativity. Thank you for the vocation that I love. Thank you for this computer I am typing on and the gift of words and language.

There is a certain freedom that comes when we cover our thoughts in gratitude. The knots of discontentment unravel, the ache of disappointment is given perspective, and the long roads of waiting become sprinkled with reminders of what is already good. 

Thank you, Lord, for this very day. It is truly wonderful, and I have never seen it before in my entire life. 

Thank YOU, friends, for reading! Comment below if you have ways that you combat disappointment or discontentment.

Jamie L. Robison