The 21 Day Heart of Gratitude Journey: A Gratitude Challgenge

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I was not always a grateful girl.  Ummmm. No.  There have been a few times when I couldn't see past my feet, that is, I couldn't see past myself and was only able to stew in my disappointments. 

 I was thinking about one of them last night.

Turning 30 was hard for me.  I've since talked with a few women (now that forty is also in my back pocket) and they agreed that thirty was a difficult age.  I guess, I thought that with my twenties done, I should have accomplished certain things. When I looked back at my lack of accomplishments, the disappointment completely overwhelmed me.  

I was in such a blind, bad place that more than once that year I'd be driving in my car and think, "I'm going to take my son and runaway."  

I'll run far away.  Go to some place no one knows me - be a mysterious aloof young mom who wears faded dresses from the forties, makes pies in a lonely diner, and gives sage advice to travelers.  (I must have seen that in a movie or something but I sure thought it was a rational thing to do.)

I'd leave all my responsibilities, (except my baby!) and go somewhere else.  

I'd leave my aweful husband.  Marriage was too hard.  And the man I'd chosen was horrible.  He worked two jobs.  He didn't pick up his socks after taking them off. And he always forgot to call when he was going to be late.  

That last one was the thing that set me over the edge.  Seriously.  You'd think the top of my head blew off every time he forgot to call and tell me where he was and why he wasn't home.  

Was he out with his friends? No.

Was he drinking in a tavern somewhere?  No.

Was he doing something that would break our marriage vows?  No.

Where was he?

Usually - he was running an errand or just coming home from work. 

It seems really silly now that I would get so furious.  (oh, ladies, I mean screeching, scalded-cat furious) that he didn't call when he was late, but I would.  And It was a huge problem in our marriage ( Read: for the control freak in me.)

I was going to pick up everything and leave that terrible, inconsiderate man and not tell him where I was!

You would think that a thirty-year-old woman would have enough maturity not to be acting like a five year old.  But Thirty was a Bad year for me.  All I saw was myself.  I had no gratitude -was thankful for nothing-because I was surrounded by the empty boxes of what I didn't have.  

Until last night when I was thinking what I would share today -  I hadn't made the connection that turning thirty was hard for me because I had no gratitude.

I thought it was bad because I had "given up" my dreams to become a mom - which actually had been one of my dreams.

I thought it was bad because other people hadn't seen my potential and thus held me back.  (Sounds ridiculous and arrogant now)

I thought it was bad because my husband forgot to call me when he was late.  

It was a terrible year because I had a terrible attitude, and it took some legitimately difficult times to break me out of that attitude and see the blessings I'm surrounded with daily.  

I wish I could tell you that I don't sometimes revert to a terrible attitude and want to run away and go make pie in a lonely diner.  (I can't roll out a pie crust to save my life!)  But I can tell you that I stuck with it, have four children now, I'm still married, my husband still leaves his socks everywhere, he forgets to call, works hard, and has never broken our marriage vows.  

I can tell you that living with Gratitude makes everything easier.  

Watch for today's Heart of Gratitude post at  There are some exciting things happening over on Nancy's site...

This Gratitude Box - will be in the giveaway!



  1. Another great post <3 I really like the painting of the bird too

  2. That bird box speaks to me! It reminds me of a piece of art by John Derian. Love love love it.
    This blog post really hit home with me for a couple of reasons.
    First of all....I had so much trouble with turning 30. I wasn't expecting it to hit me so hard and it did and holy moly it was hard but in reality...that is when the magic began for me.
    That is when I decided to go to Nanny School and my life has never been the same.
    Thank you for reminding me of how much I have to be grateful for this morning!

  3. Wonderful post, Dana - and I'm in total agreement that gratitude is the key to a good life. Whether 30, 50 or 65, it makes everything easier.

  4. You know what Dana, this is a fabulous post! I love that you showed a piece of yourself so openly! Sometimes we forget that others go through some of the same things we have or are!! I am well past 30...I'm 50, but you know I can honestly say I had some of the similar days you did! And I think for the very same reason!! But when I took my eyes off of myself and my circumstances and focused them on the Lord, He brought it ALL into focus and perspective for me!! Like you, can I say that I don't still have my moments? NO! But, I also know that having that very heart of gratitude, no matter the circumstances, DOES really make the difference! You are just so precious to share yourself with us and I just want to thank you for your AMAZING heart of gratitude with all that you and Nancy are sharing with us! Blessings to you! :)

  5. If we are all honest we would have to admit we do get het up over things we shouldn't. As long as we know those husbands are looking our for us in the long run we won't always get annoyed. Great pic of the dog.

  6. Beautiful blog post! I just love your writing style, Dana! How is it you don't have a book published and up on Amazon? Hmmm?

  7. Turning 30 was a learning curve for me but I am glad I experienced it.

  8. This post was outstanding! Soooo very deep. I like you soooo much:)

  9. Wowzers. My first time here, and I am straight up blown away. Such a wondrous, real, heartfelt, beautiful post. I am so glad I took a few moments to read. Could not stop once I started. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing this.


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