I remember thinking it must have been over 100 degrees inside the small church in Camaguey Cuba where a standing room only group of people didn’t want to stop applauding as we say goodby. I had never been so overwhelmed by the gratitude anyone ever expressed to me. Our group of missionaries had delivered leadership trainings, biblical teachings, new coats for all the students of a high school, clothing donations to an orphanage and a center for pre-teen girls and their babies affected by sex trafficking and a financial donation totaling less than $4,000. Each one of us paid for our own airline fares and expensed the trip, but I didn’t think the 15-minute standing ovation, gifts, hugs, tears and so many expressions of gratitude were necessary. We truly did it from the bottom of our hearts and didn’t expect anything in return. However, we were all so touched by these people that this moment was so worthwhile! It made me realized I needed to allow them to express gratitude in the best way they could. It was beautiful and unforgettable!
When we got back to Chicago, we “attempted” to describe the feeling as we talked tirelessly of the many tokens of gratitude they gave us. We had several short videos showing how much they appreciated the donations, trainings and especially the funds raised from the efforts of many people from different events in Chicago. This money helped a congregation in Cuba them finish a classroom for kids at their church.
I truly believe that GRATITUDE is underrated! If we could express how grateful we truly are for the things we have and the people we know, we’d be applauding not stop, crying and joyfully hugging each other. I have to confess that I became quite emotional as I was video recording my blog introduction and attempting to find words to express how thankful I am for the 5 closest people in my family I’m thankful for. My hubby, my daughter, my son, my granddaughter and my mom. So many more are on my list. However, my gratefulness for this 5 comes from the most profound love inside me.
I think this is the first time in my life I was made aware of World Gratitude Day! When was September 21st officially named? Every day should be world gratitude day! 🙂 Thanks to Amy, I’ll be celebrating from now on. Why? It is a big deal and I need to practice thankfulness more and more. So, here is my list of 5 things I’m thankful for today (I got the idea of using 5 “themes” to be able to include more than 5). Thanks Amy!!
5. LIFE. I’m alive! Every day I wake up and breath I thank God for my life. My journey has not being easy or perfect but it’s been a perfect journey for me.
4. NETWORK GROUPS. My mom always said “dime con quien andas y te dire quien eres” meaning, “you can judge a man by the company he keeps”. My support system is so important to me. We all should have Mentors, Coaches and friends in different areas of our life, i.e. professional, financial, personal and spiritual.
3. OPPORTUNITIES. I let go of so many opportunities growing up. I was too shy to dare to do things (even though I had people encouraging me to try) nothing made me believe in myself. I’m so glad I found my way through “the way”. Some opportunities are for us to ADVANCE, GROW, SERVE and do what you’re PASSIONATE about. Other times, you create opportunities for others to do the same.
2. FORGIVENESS. It takes a lot to be able to forgive. It takes being vulnerable, humble and selfless. It’s not easy at all and we all need to master this in order to have peace.
1.LOVE. This is definitely my number one pick! Love is the solution! when I realized God loved me the way He does, it made me feel secured, valued, worthy, special, beautiful and…yes, loved!
Share why you’re thankful for. Do it any day, please don’t wait until next year on September 21st! Those living a life of significance practice it daily! 🙂