Day 1 of the gratitude challenge

by Bonnidette (Site Manager)

Finding gratitude in an unlikely place

Finding gratitude in an unlikely place

Good morning all and welcome to the first day of our 30 day gratitude challenge. I would like to start this challenge off with the story of the little man that taught me a huge lesson.

The day before I decided to have this challenge I was starting to feel a little sorry for myself. You see I have been saving up for this very expensive camera and I finally had enough to make the purchase, and wham my truck broke down and my furnace went out. There went the money I had saved for a camera that I have been wanting for some time.

So the next morning I decided it was time I get back to a grateful heart and I sat down to write up the challenge that would start the first day of November. I thought this was perfect since this is also the month of Thanksgiving.

I had been working on the computer when there was a knock at the door and there stood a little man, 8 years old. He stood there with a rake with a broken handle and he asked if he could rake my leaves for $15.00. At first I thought I really can’t afford for someone else to rake my leaves, I mean I am an able body who can certainly rake my own leaves and it just so happened it was on my to do list for the day. However, It is a big yard and I really had a lot of work to do, so I asked the little man if he was sure he was up for such a big job and explained that it would take him most of the day.

He replied with wide eyes and explained to me that if he could earn just $20.00 he could buy the bike he saw at the thrift shop up the street. I was in awe of this little guy’s ambition and proceeded to get him my rake that was not broken and bring out the yard bags I had already purchased for the job.

After only 30 minutes he knocked on the door to ask if the small section he had finished was good enough. Wow, I was impressed by this little 8 year old, there were still a few leaves on the ground, but it was a very impressive effort. I offered him some hot coco and went back in to get some work done. Another 30 minutes went by and again he knocked on the door, “Can I use your bathroom”, he asked and I let him and showed him to the restroom.

He went back outside and about an hour later I looked out the window to see him opening the lawn bags that were as big as he was. He was struggling to keep it open as he tried to load them with leavers, so I went outside to help. I told him if he finished raking I would start putting the leaves in the bags.

While outside with this little guy, he exclaimed, “you know I sure am glad I came to your house, I can tell your rich”. Laughing I asked, “O, ya what makes you say that. He said, “Well when I was in your house to go to the bathroom I saw you have a very fancy house and all your stuff is so nice and pretty. In that moment I thought I would cry.

You see I bought that house 5 years ago and the first week I was there I put my foot through the floor. It barely passed inspection and the bedroom, hall and front porch were all paneling, The kitchen cabinets had doors that were barely on the hinge and getting the drawers open was like having a fighting match with a snapping turtle that was not coming out of his shell.

At the time it was all I could afford, but I saw potential in the house, so little by little, I laid new floors, put in new cabinets, redid the bedrooms, bathroom and patched some holes in the basement. This certainly is not the perfect house, but it has come a long way and 5 years ago when I bought it, if my truck broke down or the furnace went out I would not have had the money to repair them.

This little guy was glad he chose my house because I was rich and I was glad he chose my house because he taught me to be grateful for even the smallest of things, he reminded me that I was rich, rich in many ways. It’s kinda like the law of relativity, its all relative. To some I might be considered middle class America or even lower class America depending on who’s doing the looking, but to this little guy I was rich.

By the way the next day I saw him riding that $20.00 thrift store bike and again I felt the gratefulness growing in my heart.

Today my challenge to you is to look around and ask yourself what are the little things; I am taking for granted that I need to be grateful for. Look back at your life and look where you’re at today and ask yourself, what it is about today that is so special.

I’d love to here your stories and I would love to here what you are most grateful for today.

Comments for Day 1 of the gratitude challenge

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Nov 07, 2011
Lovely Story!
by: Sherry

...and most importantly, this was a lovely, lovely story! It touched my heart!

Nov 07, 2011
Thank You!
by: Sherry

Ali - Thanks for the kind words. I WILL check out your blog! Any words of wisdom are helpful!


Nov 07, 2011
In response to Sherry
by: Ali

I commend you on your maturity and strength in this situation. Your post was such a reminder of how I have acted so many times in all different situations. The fact that I do not have a single ex who I do not get along with, is proof of that. The pride you get to feel in yourself when you conduct yourself in such a positive manner, is well worth the temporary pain that we have to endure during a break up. I actually speak about this often in my own blog and I have found great joy in sharing my stories with others. Please feel free to share in my blog, as I think there may be some comforting words for you there.

Nov 01, 2011
Compassion vs. Anger
by: Sherry

I am grateful that I am able to react to my husbands's decision to leave the family unit with compassion instead of anger. It's been a stressful two years with all that life has thrown at us as individuals and as a family. I know he is going through his own struggle. I choose to react with compassion in hopes that he is able to find peace. What a great challenge!

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