Gratitude Changes Everything! | Intentional Hope

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“The real gift of gratitude is the more grateful you are, the more present you become.”

-Robert Holden

Do you remember the days when you would dream about the things you have now? Look at how far you’ve come! Sometimes it easy to forget and overlook the good that’s taking place in your life, when you’re overwhelmed with the responsibilities and pressures that come with it. But, taking time to notice and recognize the good can help shift your perspective of your current experiences.

On Sunday my family and I enjoyed a picnic and outdoor walk in honor of Rare Disease Awareness day. Before this year I had never heard of that day but now it’s a huge part of my families story. My oldest daughter was diagnosed with INAD ( atypical) in September of last year and our lives haven’t been the same since that moment. INAD also known as Infantile neuroaxonal dystrophy is a rare, genetic neurological disorder. The prevalence is estimated to be about 1 in 1,000,000 in the general population. It affects axons, the part of a nerve cell that carries messages from the brain to other parts of the body, and causes progressive loss of vision, muscular control, and mental skills. There is no cure for INAD and no treatment that can stop the progress of the disease. Getting the diagnosis brought grief, pain, heart ace, stress but also hope because I have seen the miracles working power of Jesus, and I know that He is faithful to do what He has promised. My faith has really kept me at peace throughout this journey but as I reflected on the events of yesterday, my family is also a huge part.

“Remember that what you now have was once among the things that you once hoped for.”

-Epicurcus

Taking the time to reflect and think helped me to realize how grateful I was for my family and friends. This journey would be impossible without them. One of the things this journey has taught me is that we are truly better together. Seeing this journey through the eyes of gratitude has really changed my perspective. I am grateful that we don’t have to walk this journey alone. It’s a blessing to have people who are always praying for our family, calling, visiting, babysitting and so much more. No matter how big or small the act of kindness maybe, it doesn’t go unnoticed. Another thing that I choose to see with eyes of gratitude is that I am able to be present and do all I can in helping my daughter get the help and the resources she needs for this journey. Gratitude has helped me to see what a true gift my daughter is. I once heard a special needs mom say, ” I am thankful that God has entrusted my with the gift of a special child with unique abilities. God has entrust me with the lives of three beauty children and I want to do all I can to give my best to them through this journey. I feel like God always prepares us ahead of time for the journey ahead. Becoming a stay at home mom and everything we have gone through has really prepared us for this journey. I am thankful that God gives us grace to walk through seasons we may not understand. Even when we are hurting and broken, just realizing what we have right in front of us can help us to see that He has been with us every step of the way.

“To live a fulfilled life reflect on the things you have with gratitude.”

-Jaren Davis

These are some things I’ve learned about gratitude and how it has helped me in my journey:

1.) The good gets better

When I take time to notice the good that’s in front of me the good get better. When I look at my support system and all the love and support they give, its truly amazing. It helps me to recognize that I am not alone.

2.) You see opportunities rather than obstacles

I started to see my opportunity to be a stay at home mom and virtual teacher as a blessing because I am able to be at home with my daughter to help her make greater progress.

3.) It’s helped me to focus on the more important things in life

Although I know that there is no cure for this disease exercise everyday with my daughter has helped her to stay strong. I am able to really focus on help her and always be present to help my other kids.

Gratitude has helped me to stay present and enjoy the moments that are right in front of me. It’s helped me to embrace hard things, understanding that I am not alone. Gratitude has also helped me to notice the good in this everyday journey. I want to encourage you to take time and reflect on the things you are grateful for. Enjoy the opportunities that you have everyday to live in the moment. Everyday day and every moment is a true blessing to be thankful for. Thanks for reading, I hope this encourages you.

What’s something that you are grateful for? How has gratitude changed you life? Comment below, I would love to hear your story.

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