Okay – so I fully realize this blog will be a bit corny.
A bit sappy.
A bit “chick flick-ish”
(that’s probably not a real word… but go with me)
In about a week and a half, Marcus and I will celebrate 5 years of marriage. (I’m not promising you won’t hear more about that in the future by the way!!)
It has gone by soooo quickly – but it also feels like we’ve crammed a lifetime into those five years! And, as I said at the wedding reception – I still feel like the luckiest girl in the world.
Neither Marcus nor I was exactly “wet behind the ears” – we both had jam packed lives up to that point and entering into holy matrimony was both thrilling – and intimidating. We knew what could go wrong. We weren’t naïve about all that was at stake or the giant risk we were taking. We had shared a beautiful, deep friendship for years – that makes it’s perfect to move to the “romantic” level – or you lose a precious relationship. It was really scary.
So – being the nerds we are, we read everything we could get our hands on, went to counseling, and talked a LOT about ways to protect our future and ensure we’d have the kind of relationship & shared life we dreamt of. We were determined to do all things in our power to stop bad habits and avoid “danger zones” before we had issues.
One of the things we knew right away was that we wanted to actively cultivate an attitude of gratitude. (Hey! That rhymes! Maybe I should put it on a t-shirt… hmmm…) Anyway…
One of the ways we decided to do this (and also to help make sure we never went to bed angry) was that every night as we crawl into bed we do the following three things:
One: We name something specific the other person did that day that we loved about them. This has been anything as silly as “you changed the toilet paper roll – and put the other roll on top so we could you those last few sheets and not waste any” to things as serious as “Thank you for staying by my hospital bed all night so that there was no chance I’d wake up alone.” We love to surprise the other by our observation – like “I love the sound of your laughter when you’re watching Beavis and Butthead” or “I love that you warn me before you fart.” (You have to guess for yourself who said what – I will not reveal the answer!)
Two: We list one thing we are especially grateful for. This is always something that we could easily take for granted – but we choose to celebrate instead. “We have a cozy, safe home to curl up in during todays thunderstorm.” “We didn’t have any flight delays this trip.” “I’m grateful the Gator’s won the game today (mE) – I’m grateful you didn’t make me watch the game today (Marcus)” “I’m grateful to be worn out from working so much today because that means both I have meaningful work to do and the ability to do it.”
Three: We say “I love you – sweet dreams.” Or something similar – hey – it’s not a script! (LOL)
Now, I know these are not completely novel ideas. And I’m certain I haven’t shocked you with a mind-blowing revelation.
But I can testify to the fact, that after five years, this habit is hard-wired into our routine. And rather than become blasé or boring – it has actually becomes richer and more meaningful over the years. I know our lives are sweeter for making certain the last words out of our mouths each night are words of appreciation – for life, and for each other.
And if you don’t already do something like this, I really want to encourage you to try it.
You never go wrong by making the choice to be grateful.
Summing it all up, friends, you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.
Philippians 4:8-9 (the Message)
So – if you already do this, or something like it – I’d love to hear your story!
Write your “attitude of gratitude” tips
& success stories below and encourage us all!