I was reminded by a friend and former co-worker today of a saying we used to share at the Bible camp I worked at: "gratitude evaporates frustration." It's true--when you focus on the things you have to be thankful about, any frustration you have in life goes away.
The opposite can also be true: frustration evaporates gratitude. The more we focus on what we don't have, have people mistreat us or what we consider to be "injustices" in our lives, the more our spirit of joy and thanksgiving gets replaced by anger and frustration.
So, be grateful--even for small, everyday things. Here's some of the things we're thankful for around our house:
Tom & Jerry cartoons (Anders)
Sofas and beds with bouncy springs (Nils)
A lost hand-knit hat that was found (Beth)
Swiss cheese and smoked gouda (me)
The Muppet Show
Cary Grant & Audrey Hepburn
Anders' enjoyment of school
Nils' recognizing the alphabet
The Como Park Zoo (free!)
The free museum passes at the library