April 27, 2020 Posted by Addie Cunningham, Program Director Indiana Parkinson Foundation BlogGratefulnessParkinson's Disease

Start Each Day with a Grateful Heart

They say it takes 21 days to create a habit. What if for the next 21 days, you created a new practice in your life, one that is life-changing and life-giving…the gift of a life full of gratitude. I don’t know about you, but when I focus on things that I am grateful for, it changes my perspective and allows me to view things through a different set of lens. About 2 years ago, I bought a brand new pair of sunglasses. Now I never spend too much money on a pair of sunglasses cause they will most likely get broken or lost at some point. On my way home from purchasing my new sunglasses, I realized how much clearer I could see. I noticed more details in the things around me, the grass seemed greener and the sky bluer, but over time those glasses got dropped, scratched up and it is harder to see things as clear as I used to.

Isn’t this true about our lives sometimes? There are times when things are going well and we can clearly see the path God has for us and then over time, doubt and fears creep in and we wonder where we are going and if God is really in control. Our perspective gets cloudy and without changing our lens and fixing our eyes on Him then we continue down a path of uncertainty.

Let me show you how this practice of gratitude looks in my life. Gratitude is a practice that I start my day off with, it’s a choice that I move towards each day. I center my mind on God’s truth found in His Scriptures and jot down 5 things that I am prompted that day that I am grateful for. Some days, the things come easy for me to write down, other days they are tough things like the loss of a loved one or for Parkinson’s Disease. These don’t sound like things to be thankful for, but when I see what God has done in my life through these hard things, I am grateful.

My dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2008 and I would say it’s the last thing I am thankful for, however, the Lord through his diagnosis has allowed lots of people to connect through the CLIMB and the CLIMB provides hope and for that I am grateful.

One of my favorite verses which is posted on a sign in my house as a reminder is 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in ALL circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

So will you make the choice towards gratitude and start each day with a grateful heart with me???

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