501 Life Magazine | An attitude of gratitude
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An attitude of gratitude

by Laurie Green

There are so many reasons that I love living in Greenbrier/Wooster. There is something wonderful about living in a town where everyone pretty much knows everyone. Seriously, if you don’t know me or my husband and kids, then you probably know my wonderful mom, Martha Roberts, or my step-dad, Ed, or at least one of my six siblings who reside in Greenbrier. At 46, I’m much more thankful for this place I call home than I was at 18.

I graduated from Greenbrier High School in 1990. I remember I couldn’t wait to get away from this town. It was small, and “everyone knew everyone” and all their business. I wanted something more. I wanted bigger and brighter and a little less familiar. 

The Greenbrier city sign along Highway 65. (Photo by @jake_churchwell)

Ah, but then I had my first set of twins, and it all changed. Suddenly, all I wanted was something small and familiar. A place I felt safe and knew my kids would be safe. A place where “everyone knows everyone.” So back home to Greenbrier I ran. 

It’s funny how you can’t always appreciate that small town feel until you don’t have that small town feel. Just like the 80s rock star hair band Cinderella serenaded us with back in the day, “You don’t know what you got till it’s gone.” Which leads me to another thought.

One of my dearest friends, Tina Goins, shared a statement with me many years ago that I still find myself saying and sharing with others: “If you woke up today with ONLY the things you thanked God for yesterday, what would you have?” 

I mean stop right where you are and ask yourself that honest question and think about the answer. What would you have? 

It’s so easy to let life get busy and just go through the daily grind without ever stopping and being thankful for what we have. I am just as guilty of not spending nearly as much time as I need to in prayer just being thankful. Often, I allow myself to get so busy storing up earthly treasures that I forget about the ones that matter. Obviously, Jesus knew we would all struggle with this, so he reminds us in Matthew 6:19-20: “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.”

I’m serious when I tell you how an attitude of gratitude will change your time with Jesus. I encourage you to grab a journal or just a notebook and start writing down a list to Jesus of the things you are grateful for today — the very things you would want to wake up and have tomorrow. I often find my list is much longer than I imagined, and I am much more blessed than I realize — and I get the added benefit of spending some much needed quality time in prayer all the while storing up some heavenly treasures.

So, I challenge you to start ending your day with a list of what you’re thankful for. Write it down, keep it beside your bed and add to it as often as needed. Life is hard, but God is good, and I guarantee you there is always something to be grateful for.