Enduring with Gratefulness

Hello everyone! Long-time no talk… (I can’t blog consistently if my life depended on it) Please enjoy this holiday inspired post.

This post exists merely as a quick update and confirmation of life for my friends and family who haven’t heard from me in a while. While my break from social media has been lovely, I realize I have gone MIA for many loved ones. I hope to take some time over Christmas break to share my experience with fasting social media for so long. It has honestly been such a beautiful semester without it. 

In other news, I am still attempting to live my best life in New York City. I’d say I’m currently succeeding in very small ways. Besides contracting the plague that has infiltrated my school, I am pretty excited about all the things happening in my life right now. A huge part of this comes from my decision to try and choose gratefulness in all situations. 

My Attempt at Carving a Pumpkin

As it is Thanksgiving, I thought I would share some of the things I’m learning about gratefulness. At the Fall Retreat I blogged about back in September, a drama competition was held with the theme of endurance. Each of the ten houses at my school was tasked with creating a skit that incorporated this idea of endurance. 

My house, the House of Queen Elizabeth I, told the story of one of my friends who grew up hating the color purple (our house color). She hated it so much, yet the color followed her around like a practical joke from God. The story she shared at Drama Comp told of how with every purple gift she received, she learned to say “thank you.” She learned to “endure” the color purple with gratitude which in turn taught her to endure other, much larger, inconveniences and hardships with gratitude. 

I never had any particular qualms with the color purple, but I definitely have experienced things that I have had to endure. My friend’s story inspired me to approach life with a more grateful heart this semester. In October I started a gratitude journal to help me focus on the beautiful things that happened every day – even those days that were so terrible I would rather just forget they ever occurred. 

I was very grateful for my House Retreat to a mountain town upstate where I could purchase this coffee larger than my laptop

What I have learned in the last two months since starting this, is not only do have so many amazing things to be grateful for but my life is pretty amazing. So often it is easy to retreat inside my pessimistic mind. Journalling one highlight from every day is teaching me that life is beautiful and actually really great. 

I know not everyone reading this is as fortunate to say with all sincerity that their life is beautiful. If that you, know that you are seen and your feelings of pain are valid. But may I encourage you to start small. Thank God whenever the sun is shining, thank God when you hear birds chirping, or thank God that you woke up this morning (even if you are waking up to a living hell). 

Sometimes life feels weird. Like this apple which was rolled onto the 4/5 at 56th Street with no explanation.

Choosing to actively seek things to be grateful for aligns your heart to be more aware of the beauty in the world. It shifts your focus from yourself to the glory of God. Life can be hard. But learn to endure this life with gratefulness. What better time to put this into practice than during the Thanksgiving holiday and Advent season?! 

This year I am so grateful to have my brother in the city with me for Thanksgiving!

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