As he celebrates a wedding anniversary and awaits the birth of his fifth child, Jake Frost adds in a new daily spiritual practice: counting his blessings.
Sitting on the middle of the dining room table in the dim light of early morning was a vase with four tulips (our wedding flower) and baby’s breath. It was our wedding anniversary and there was one flower to represent each of our four children who have already been born and the baby’s breath to represent our new blessing due in a few weeks.
The flowers were in a new crystal vase, with a new crystal rosary and box of chocolates next to it, to celebrate our fifteenth wedding anniversary. Later there would be a fancy dinner out, just the two of us, and when we got home, cake with the kids.
But for now, in the little bit of quiet before the alarm clocks rang to get everyone up and moving for another day of school and work, it was just me putting out surprises for my wife to find when she woke up.
And in the quiet, considering my vase full of blessings, I was overwhelmed with gratitude.
Life is usually pretty hectic in our house. There are science fairs and first communions and taxes to get filed and soccer games to get to and it seems we’re always trying to figure out something for dinner that everyone will like (more or less). The laundry is never fully done.
But running through all the hustle and bustle is a lot of joy.
And a lot of fun.
We laugh a lot.
And with all the birthdays and congratulatory celebrations and saints’ feast days there’s usually some cake around or a box of chocolates to snatch from.
Good thing we’ve got all the running around.
But while the fast pace might help balance out the chocolates, sometimes it also crowds out gratitude.
I saw a YouTube video from Father Mark Goring recommending starting every day by thinking of three things we’re grateful for and thanking God for them.
In the weeks waiting for our next blessing to arrive, as we start our next new year together with the celebration of our crystal anniversary, I thought it would be a good time to take up his suggestion.
Father Goring is on to something: gratitude is contagious!
Once I started looking for the blessings in my life, it was amazing how many I found.
Even the never-ending cycles of laundry seem a lighter load to bear (so to speak) when I remember to be grateful we have the clothes to wear.
I hope for many blessings for you and your family in the years ahead!
Copyright 2023 Jake Frost
Images: copyright 2023 Jake Frost, all rights reserved.
About the Author
Jake Frost is a husband, father of five, attorney, and author of seven books, including the fantasy novel The Light of Caliburn (winner of an honorable mention from the Catholic Media Association), collections of humorous family stories ( Catholic Dad and Catholic Dad 2), poetry (most recently the award winning Wings Upon the Unseen Gust), and a children’s book he also illustrated, The Happy Jar.