How to Find Gratitude and Grace When It Gets Tough

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At times, life is hard. Life as MOM contributor Prerna shares how she finds gratitude and grace amidst the storms of life.

How to Find Grace and Gratitude

It was 2010. My husband, Mayank had been in chronic pain and pretty much on bed rest for almost 2 months now. I had a toddler, a fledgling blog and business, and absolutely no way of knowing what the next day brought for us, in terms of income and emotions.

It was the lowest, toughest time of our lives as a family. I was angry, tired, resentful, and just emotionally drained.

Gratitude and grace were hardly what I was striving for. I was making it from one day to the other and just praying for the struggle to end.

And then, one day, in a rare quiet moment, while sitting with my cup of tea, I read:

1 Thessalonians 5:18 – In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

And it hit me. This season of life was one I should be thankful for. I grabbed a pen and notebook and started scribbling all the things that this seemingly horrid and tough time was doing for us. Among other things, it had been teaching me patience and compassion, encouraging us to be good stewards of our finances, helping us learn that family sticks together and that tough times happen, and so on.

All of a sudden, things didn’t look as bleak as they were earlier.

I made it a daily exercise to jot down 5 things that I was thankful for and also, started being more intentional about noticing how our “plight” was a LOT better than many, many people in the world.

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This simple, simple exercise helped me stay calm, find happiness, and focus on being the best I could be during those tough months.

And as they say, “This, too, shall pass”, the seasons did pass and thanks to changing our diets and lifestyles, Mayank’s chronic pain condition disappeared as mysteriously as it had appeared in the first place.

We’ve had happier times and there have still been storms.

But, I have stuck to my simple exercise of giving thanks for everything. It makes the journey and the learning a lot easier and quicker.

My 3 steps to grace and gratitude in tough times {and otherwise} are:

  1. Writing down 3-5 things that I am deeply thankful for and am learning because of the season of my life.
  2. Being compassionate to those around me because they, too, have their struggles. We all do.
  3. Noticing the struggles and troubles that others are facing. Ours seem much smaller and give me the grace to face the day with a smile and courage in my heart.

It isn’t always easy. It doesn’t always happen. I do end up in an unsightly heap on the bathroom floor in tears when things get rough. But leafing through the journal is almost therapeutic in helping me find grace and gratitude when the going gets tough and in getting back to being grateful and thankful for the lessons I am learning.

How do YOU find gratitude when the going gets rough?

– Prerna Malik is a mom, a wife, a writer and woman who believes in parenting with love, being postively productive, and creating a home that invites you to put your feet up and relax. Check out her free eBooks on organizing and productivity to get literally, hundreds of ideas on how to get organized on a shoestring budget, right now.

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  1. Prerna thank you for a lovely, thoughtful post. I’ve been in one of those seasons for a while now – and when it gets hard to stay out of my own head things like this become touch points for me.

  2. Thanks for this post, Prerna! Long time no see! And I just stumbled across this through browsing some blogs that linked up to one another!

    Sometimes I forget in the midst of my hectic life to give thanks to God and JUST BE STILL knowing He has a plan for me. 🙂