I wake in the early morning light, eyes gummy with sleep, warm in the bed I share with the person I love most in this world.
Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who gave the heart understanding to distinguish between day and night.
I curl my toes against the cold tiles of the bathroom floor, huddled under the warm spray of the shower head as the room fills with steam. I lather sweet-smelling soaps and shampoos into my elbows and scalp and between my fingers until ever bit of this body is saturated and clean.
Blessed are you, Lord our God, Master of the Universe, who has sanctified us with your commandments and commanded us about the washing of hands.
I cup my hands around a steaming mug of coffee, bringing my nose as close as I can to the liquid, breathing in its spicy warmth and comfort.
Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who brings about all things.
I stand for too long in front of my closet, sighing over too-tight pants and a skirt that makes me look fat, trying to choose the perfect outfit from a closet that holds more than I need.
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has kept us alive, and sustained us, and enabled us to reach this moment.
I walk to work through crisp, cool air, the first day the sun has broken through after many dreary ones. Walking up the hill to my school, the sun and the exertion of my body warm me enough to throw off my coat and let my arms embrace those bright, warm rays.
Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who makes the works of creation
I enter the quiet of my empty classroom and breathe deeply, thankful for the space, for the silence, for the emptiness.
Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who brings peace to the earth.
And when the quiet is shattered by my coworker and I feel irritation towards her and anxiety clawing their way to the front of my mind.
Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has created us all in your own image.
I stand, I speak, I teach, I listen, I laugh, I learn, I study, I work, I eat, I drink, I walk, I breathe, I praise.
Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who holds our lives in your hands. Every day your miracles are with us. Your wonders and favors never cease. Your compassions are never exhausted and your kindness never ends.
This post is the beginning of a series I’d like to do on practicing gratitude. I’ve come to realize that although gratitude isn’t always something that we naturally feel, it is something essential for us to practice. This won’t be a weekly post – it may be bi-weekly or more sporadic than that. I would actually love to have guest posts for this series if any of you are interested in writing a post about things you’re thankful for or what it looks like for you to practice gratitude in your life. You can contact me at lily.e.dunn at gmail.com if you are interested.