Home > FTIAT, Guest blogger > FTIAT: Gratitude for Small Things

FTIAT: Gratitude for Small Things

Elizabeth (Mirth & Motivation) was one of the first bloggers I followed when I began blogging in early 2011. Even before I’d gotten the hang of reading blogs, I was readily absorbed into her entries for a few minutes at a time. Her life has been so full and varied, I frequently still read her posts and think, “What hasn’t she done, or experienced?!”

A year after first finding her, her aptly titled blog remains my go-to when I find myself in need of inspiration.  It’s thus with great gratitude that I share her words here today.

Recommended post: Inspiration: Embracing the F Word

Gratitude For Small Things

“As we become curators of our own contentment on the Simple Abundance path… we learn to savor the small with a grateful heart.”
Sarah Ban Breathnach

When I received Deborah’s first email about participating in this wonderful exercise – writing an FTIAT entry – on one thing we are grateful for, quite a number of possible topics with positive outcomes crossed my mind. Should I write about my life altering moments? How about the travails and triumphs of an immigrant woman? Or maybe Deb’s readers would love to hear about the challenges of raising multiples? Perhaps I should focus on my complicated childhood? You see, all of those events had elements that led me to a place of gratitude but none seemed quite right for the task. As 1001 ideas flashed through my mind, a little voice, still and quiet, kept prodding me to step back from the broad brush strokes I wanted to paint, to step back from the big picture, and focus on the gratitude that comes from small things; help from unexpected sources, parking spots that materialize last minute, missing items that resurface on a prayer and the seemingly simple act of taking a breath.

To appreciate the grace in small details, I’ll share a story from one of those life altering events. In my mid 30s, I had open heart surgery to correct a congenital defect. The surgery was successful but the road to that event was complex. I had no idea that the condition existed. As an active, fit person, my heart had never given me problems. But one day, I started feeling tired, dizzy and short of breath. It took multiple tests, several medical opinions and inconclusive results before my cardiologist sent me to a pediatric heart specialist. Yes, it took a simple test and the keen eyes of a children’s doctor to detect the small defect… The doctor assured me that even though my condition could have killed me by age 13, over the years, I had been guided to take small steps, make small lifestyle shifts, perform simple tasks that helped extend my life. Breathwork, jogging, low impact exercise, dance, yoga and meditation, a vegetarian diet, regular checkup and treatments for ordinary colds all contributed something to help my heart hold on. I also believe that the simple act of prayer and a positive spirit had an impact too.

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” Robert Brault

From as early as I can remember, I’ve always loved prayer; both loud invocations and quiet contemplative prayers. As a little girl, I found that saying a prayer had a calming effect and gave me the clarity I needed to tackle all sorts of situations; often with startling results. In my adult
life, I still turn to the calming power of a simple prayer again and again. For instance, recently I was getting ready to take one of my kids back to college and, as we gathered up bags and headed for the car, I realized I didn’t have my glasses. I wear them to drive and needed to find them right away. In a hurry, I looked in all the usual places but they were not there. I searched the living, dining, and kitchen areas and came up empty. The clock ticked away and frustration was starting to set in. Then I stopped. I stood in front of the dining table, held my hands up in prayer and said quietly: Dear God, please help me find my glasses. As I uttered the last word, my gaze shifted, and I caught a glimpse of a gold, metal piece. I stepped towards it to retrieve it, and sure enough, it was my glasses. They had fallen behind a cushion on the sofa and even though I had looked there earlier in my search and didn’t see anything, there they were and my gratitude for such a small thing was … huge. I am grateful for the gratitude that comes from small things.

Elizabeth Obih-Frank believes in positive kismet/fate and writes two blogs; Mirth and Motivation and Positive Kismet where she shares motivational, goodwill pieces and more. She is a mom to twins, a master trainer/educator, writer, healer, and social media fan. She loves people, a good laugh, good food and an occasional jaunt around the world.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All photos Gratitude by Evelyn Lim, and Prayer hands
by Aronki via Flickr

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

last : The Far Side of Sanity and Back Again: An Evolution in Thank You | The Power of Words to Reconnect A Life (6/8/12)  : next

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  1. May 25, 2012 at 7:13 am

    Thank you, Deborah. Loved the FTIAT, but “Embracing the F Word” was the one custom-made for me today.

    • May 25, 2012 at 6:39 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed that one. Thank you! 🙂

  2. May 25, 2012 at 8:08 am

    Thank you for a lovely and timely reminder of the power of prayer. I believe God always answers us, even if we don’t necessarily like the answer.

    • May 25, 2012 at 6:40 pm

      True! I have been the recipient of answers I didn’t think I wanted until much later when I realized they were exactly what I needed. Thank you! 🙂

  3. May 25, 2012 at 8:08 am

    Great post – I also read Mirth & Motivation weekly, but didn’t know about her other blog. Now I have more inspiration to look into, thanks!

    • May 25, 2012 at 6:42 pm

      Thank for your feedback csroth3… Sadly, my other blog as been neglected for a while but will come back to life again this summer. 🙂

  4. May 25, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    Thank you Deborah for inviting me to participate in this wonderful exercise in gratitude. I was nicely surprised (read shocked) when I logged in today and found it in my mailbox. It is an honor to share with your readers and I hope it offers even a single nugget of inspiration. Have a great weekend and thank you again!
    Elizabeth

  5. May 25, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    Here’s a gratitude smiley for you Deb! 🙂

  6. May 25, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    Ah, “the grace in small details.” Such a powerful phrase. Such a powerful way to live. Such a beautiful post.

    • May 26, 2012 at 4:43 pm

      Thank you! It was a wonderful opportunity that Deb offered us as readers… I am grateful! 🙂

  7. May 25, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    Perfect! Thank you for this and I have to agree Eliz is wonderful!

    • May 26, 2012 at 4:43 pm

      TY for your kind words…. You are wonderful too! 🙂

  8. May 27, 2012 at 8:22 am

    I have often prayed to find things and it almost always helps me find them quickly. It’s amaing how helpful prayer can be. Lovely post as always, Elizabeth!

    • May 29, 2012 at 8:30 pm

      Yes, it always surprises me even though I believe in the power of prayer. TY Karen! 🙂

  9. May 29, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    I love this post, and I whole-heartedly agree with finding gratitude in the little things. I believe that is easier to do when we experience trials and make it through them. We also pray, and my little one will ask me to pray with her at night for people and things in her little life that she’s concerned about. I know it give her comfort, and for that, I am also grateful. Your story is a blessing! Thank you! 🙂

    • May 29, 2012 at 8:31 pm

      TY for sharing how it works in your life too… I learn a lot from others and this has been a wonderful experience. 😉

  10. Food Stories
    May 31, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    I have enjoyed your site so I’ve nominated you for the Illuminating Blogger Award for illuminating, informative blog content. You can check out the details at my site … http://foodstoriesblog.com/illuminating-blogger-award/ … Hope you’re having a great day

    • May 31, 2012 at 9:35 pm

      Since this is Deb’s blog, I’m assuming the award is for her. Congratulations Deb! Thanks for stopping by Food Stories. 🙂

  11. July 1, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    Reblogged this on Mirth and Motivation and commented:
    Deborah Bryan of The Closet Monster understands the human heart, its frailties and joys. We go back to the early, heady days of the WordPress blogging challenge to commit to write something daily. She has shared a lot about her life; the painful and the sweet, and I felt deeply grateful when she invited me to share a piece on gratitude. I was happy to do so because it is a topic dear to my heart. Life is the biggest gift; without it we cease to exit and we lose the opportunity to contribute. We can start with gratitude for little things and work our way up to an appreciation for larger things. What are you grateful for?
    Thank you! 🙂

  12. July 2, 2012 at 5:18 am

    This is a wonderful post. I was engorssed in evry word.
    Just fabulous … Isadora

  13. Sue
    July 2, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    So glad I found your blog through eof737 and saw this post from one of my favorites as well. It is always nice to be reminded of the power of prayer and gratitude.

  14. July 3, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    To be still alive at age 77, yes, I am grateful for this. I am grateful for WordPress for enriching my life and enabling me to read blogs like this one. Thank you very much for this glimpse into your life!

  15. July 3, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    A wonderful post!

  1. May 25, 2012 at 5:38 am
  2. May 26, 2012 at 2:36 am
  3. May 26, 2012 at 5:34 am
  4. May 27, 2012 at 1:38 am
  5. May 27, 2012 at 5:10 am
  6. June 8, 2012 at 5:31 am
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  8. July 2, 2012 at 4:02 am

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