By Rachel Davis

This morning as I was lying in bed with my mind wandering through memories, I rolled over and asked my husband to pick a number 1-10. With eyes half way opened, he humored me and chose a number. Oh how I love this man. He chose 4, and I explained that now we each have to say four things for which we are grateful.

When I worked in a safehouse for women who had been commercially, sexually exploited, everyday at the end of group therapy, we would do our “gratefuls.” Sometimes, in this group therapy, we had just discussed deep, painful things, and ending on this note was a positive exercise everyone tended to enjoy. Someone would pick a number 1-10, and we would all go around the room and list that number of things for which we were grateful. By doing this, we were teaching the women and reminding ourselves that gratitude is something we have to cultivate. It is not always natural, but it is life-giving. Having a heart of gratitude breeds contentment in our souls. Even now, when I think back on some of the things they would say, it instills more gratitude in me:

I am grateful I am not on the streets.

I am grateful that I had food to eat and coffee to drink this morning.

I am grateful that God has given me another chance. 

I am grateful that for the first time in my life, I feel loved.

I am grateful that I was able to sleep all night last night without anyone waking me up to work…

Oh, the power of gratitude. Here are a few of the ones my husband and I shared this morning:

             I am grateful to have a community of friends who love and support us.

            I am grateful for a job that allows me to use my skills and passions. 

            I am grateful for our life together.

What are you grateful for today?


Rachel Davis is the Senior Project Analyst at RZIM Wellspring International.

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  • Diane Hüennekens

    Believe it or not, I am thankful for my pain! I do not like it (at all) but I am thankful I can feel it again.
    There was a time that I could no longer cry, I could not feel anything. My mind could no longer produce thought. I could right a book and title it “I Lived with Hitler”.
    After being delivered, I can remember having my first thought. I cannot tell you what that thought was, but I remember exactly what my second thought was, it was “HEY! I just had a thought!”
    I am thankful (and highly prefer) when I encounter something that makes me laugh until I cry. I am thankful for the beauty I see, and the lessons to be learned in God’s creations.
    I am thankful for a past (that has passed) that can help remind me, if I choose to remember, to be thankful for pain.

    • Rachel Davis

      Diane, that is a beautiful perspective and one I can relate to in many ways. Pain is so hard in the midst of it, but I am always amazed at the way the Lord uses pain to mold and shape us into something with far more beauty and depth than we held originally. Thank you for sharing.

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