Body, Mind, Spirit Magazine

Being Grateful on The Verge of A Promise.

By Jenrene

I decided to blog about gratitude today, because GRATITUDE is actually a prompt  I have with my online journal   exercises. The blog  I  shall feature more  about  gratitude is called Yes! I am Lovely, Special and Good Enough! And …. I know that  self care and gratitude sort of walk hand -in-hand. And it feels great to   exercise it and also share my personal experiences about it!

I am always looking to the skies.

Sometimes I believe it ‘s because I claim often of going places,  and flying way.


I am writing this as a post to myself because my gratitude has been one of the most  life energizing  aspects of my life that has shifted my attitude amazingly. I  have recognized the blessing of staying positive. I worked really hard and committed at least one day, for approximately a year . I found myself studying social work, one day and saying to myself I want to become “self actualized.” I journal a lot. I mean a whole lot. And so this guy, a theorist, Maslow – really prompted me one day to challenge myself.

 I wanted to be self-actualized. I thought it was a great personality trait to have and promised myself I would try to  become this way, because  successful people are  quite possibly, self actualized.  And here’s that definition: “Self Actualization means: “ (note from Wikipedia)

Self-actualization  basically  means you are brave.  It means you have decided that nothing will get in the way of you reaching your potential, and it means you are ready to continue to pursue that place where you though you would ever be.  I remember that place  i will tell you exactly where i was, and what I was doing, because it turned into a an absolute miracle, for me. 

 It was in LaGuardia airport, in New York City. the place where people end to  take giant leaps across the seas to become.

Lucky for me, it didn’t quite take that long to stay positive. I will admit, it was a struggle at times, to think of things to be grateful for. Once I let go of the  “this is going to be hard” phenomena, I stopped  thinking it was going to be hard, and made it easy by just saying “Think, Jennifer, it’s really not that  hard.” And then, it just happened. I started not calling all the ingenuity and intrigue that makes me , ME… I  decided to  start  calling it a blessing, and noting it as courage, and strength, and  resolve I had inside – noticing not everyone had it. And if I saw something that I didn’t even  quite “fully” have; I began to claim it anyway. One things I know about myself, is that  am pretty much one who thrives and makes several gains in life, by  noticing where I decide to  GROW. From week to week, I grow. And it’s a conscious choice. So that growth, becomes something I actually like to pursue and  then, can be grateful for trying to do.

Those “little steps” that eventually became BIG steps, were steps that led me to pursue really neat  goals I could look back on and say: “Wow… I did it…I am so grateful I did that!” and in the same sentence, I would say “Wow… I must have been crazy to do something so brave!  How courageous of me to even try!” And I would surprise myself, and then I would find out how successful it was, and feel really good inside for it, thusly – it became something to be grateful for!”

 This entire phenomena possibly became REAL to me, the eve of my traveling to South Africa. I was on my way to Johannesburg, S. Africa, and  about to get on the plane. For some eerie reason, I was the only one in LaGuardia airport, sitting quietly in that  airport wondering :”Wow, Am I really about to go? Maybe I am in the wrong terminal and that’s why it’s so quiet, and maybe the plane got cancelled or something….? Maybe this isn’t really real, and I am not really going there… maybe I won’t make this leap of faith at all.”


The plan  that day was to meet my friend Karabo, who was a minister of the mission I would be joining in vision, from S. Africa  there in the terminal, and  he hadn’t even shown up! So I was a bit afraid. I was about to get on a plane, not sure if I was really going to make it over the  Atlantic Ocean, and  fly for 14 hours to a place I had never , ever been… yet I was in absolute awe that I had enough COURAGE to even pursue it! I began to pray profusely, and entered into praise, because I talked down ever irrational thought, and then I  convinced myself I was not dreaming, that this was real and … my friend showed up, we  may have been the only 2 who got on the plane… or else there were like six others who came from out of nowhere.. ( I really can’t recall) … and we mounted that plane to  the Senegal Coast.

You see, I realized when people are being grateful, they often talk about the GOOD, but not the blessing of  checking in  within and the type of  conflict you talk about inside in order to get to that place of grateful courage, grateful resolve, or grateful strength! Well, I am telling you, “it ain’t easy!” … So I am going to talk more about it, ON PURPOSE. No one talks about FEAR. But its what it takes to get to courage, sometimes. If it’s not fear it’s anxiety; and if it’s not anxiety it’s some kind of discouragement, you have to press through to get to  the courage! Here’s what I have learned: What I have noticed since 2003, is hat it gets easier and easy to find  things in life to be grateful for,  because of the way I press past what I feel!

 So I made a promise to myself once I stepped on that plane to South Africa, as I spoke to God: “Lord,  if you ever want me to do anything else, I will never , EVER doubt you again, because I know this is Your work.” And in that moment, I gave God every ounce of my work. My future assignments, and my hand in marriage with those promises about my future work.   ( Interesting that I write this on the verge of trying to review  past projects… hmm….)

 I realized that was the second time that year I did that. I had  promised  this to myself when 2005 came in, and then again, in that airport in LaGuardia , in New York City. You have to be careful  of the  promises you make to God.   (He comes back and reminds you of them.)


This place  – LaGuardia  airport, became  a memorial to me. And it forever changed my life. So you know how in the past, prophets would make memorials to God, and name them? This right here – is what modern day altars look like. They give glory to God and help us to recall and receive blessings at the same times in our lives.

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