I think I’d make a pretty good hipster if I didn’t have such an aversion to men in skinny jeans and boatneck tees. Mostly because whenever something good becomes a trend, I’m instantly turned off.
That’s why when gratitude became a “movement” I was like, “Good grief, everyone calm down! The whole world doesn’t need to know you’re grateful for the way cream swirls in your iced coffee!”
Was it Oprah that made it a thing? Before I just thought gratitude was like love – a feeling we get every once in awhile, like when you zoom past all the merge signs and a kind, if not slightly put off, person let’s you in right at the bottleneck.
But recently I learned a biblical principal that I never noticed before that made me a little less cynical about intentional gratitude.
Thankfulness always came before the miracle.
I mean, I like miracles.
So, like any hipster who secretly listens to Taylor Swift, I tried all this daily gratitude stuff on for size. But I kept getting distracted because my entire family was really pissing me off.
And then that evening, my 2 year old kept waking every hour. She felt fine, but almost like clock work she’d start whine crying. And, filled with a Colonel Sanders like perseverance, refused to quit until someone came into her room. At first my husband and I were rotating shifts, but by 3 AM we were engaged in an intense pretend sleep stand off. Once he started to fake snore, I ripped out of bed, fuming with self pity because I had read in the NYT that lack of sleep leads to weight gain which finally made my tight flannel pajama pants make sense!
I flung open her door and while I was tender, I was still annoyed. I picked her up out of bed and began rocking so swiftly we were making our way into the hallway. I suddenly had a thought enter my mind to declare all I was thankful for. Since I had nothing else to do, I caved.
I began thanking God for her existence. Her health. Her luscious red hair. Her sweet giggles. Her chubby fingers and irresistible toes. Her smell that was both deeply intoxicating but a touch too much like slobber for my taste.
Suddenly my muscles softened and my heart fluttered like Pepe le Pew. I hummed and stroked her hair and never wanted to leave. Not only was I not annoyed, I was filled with so much joy I wanted to weep.
So whatever, I guess I was wrong about this whole intentional gratitude thing. It really does come before the miracle.
Both Poppy and I slept like babies for the rest of the night.