I remember when things were bad- really bad, and the world outside my window seemed black and white, how I would say to myself things to try to add color…

“I have beautiful children.” 

“I have a loving husband.” 

“I have faithful friends.” 

“You matter to people.” 

And while I would say those things to myself,  they were like a foreign words that didn’t belong together. And my heart couldn’t really see or feel the colors, but everything hurt- with sharp edges and words, in black and white. 

I would say those things but what I would hear…

“You don’t deserve those beautiful children.” 

“Your loving husband is pretending for the kids sake.” 

“Your friends liked the old you better.” 

“You don’t really matter.”  

But Now.

Now…I see so much color. 

Vibrant bright colors, and memories, I am trying to lock in tight. Soft curves of light, and bold morning reflections…and even on the occasional low days…when I look out the window and the grey and black and white seem to be creeping in- I look for one piece of color. One small beautiful little ray of color…usually in the form of gratefulness. 

Gratefulness is so incredibly beautiful, and so easily taken for granted.

Critiquing, complaining, pessimism, negativity…are all in black and white. 

So is depression, anxiety, worry, envy, and despair…it take color out of the sky, out of life. 

Until we stand in blackness. In fog. In the dark. 

But, but gratefulness gives color. Gratefulness gives color back and glows light.

And I am grateful. 

Yesterday I started to feel low…a bit overwhelmed, with too many thoughts, and very unappreciated. 

I still cling to certain places where I am not really valued, and yet I go back, always thinking it will be different. 

But the better I get, the more color I see, the more I also see the ways I haven’t been valued. In fact I haven’t even been on the radar. 

So I thought. And I grew sad. 

And I realized had a choice.

I could sit in that dark moment, relationship, and feel all the inadequacies and second guess all the ways I am failing at it…or…or…

I can be grateful, for all the places in life that I have that bring me color. 

All the people that paint me into their lives. Not just today, but always, even when I was a shadow of myself. 

Today I was overcome with hues of gratefulness as I saw the bright brilliant colors of happy thoughts…and found I am really looking forward to the future. Trips filled with big blue skies, and green hills. Crystal blue water, and sunsets of orange and purple and pink. 

I am looking forward to bright starry nights and the colors of spring. The sounds of spring. 

I love the sound of my children. Their laughter is bright and bold, and filled with joy. I have beautiful children. I am grateful to watch them grow and bloom- all different shades and colors. 

I have a loving husband. I love the sound of his voice, the way he stands, the person he is. I love his faithfulness, and the solid color of our love. It is remarkable to be loved so well, and burns bright still. I am grateful for his constant faith in us. 

I am grateful for faithful friends and family. People who will pray with me any time I ask, who check in, who love me in fearless waves of support. They shade, and offer hope, and laughter and make me feel worthwhile. I also am incredibly protective of their colors- I will fight to keep them bright. They brought sunlight and depth to me in my darkest moments and I will never ever forget that. 

And I matter. 

I mattered when the world was in black and white, and the print was filled with gloom. I matter now in the beautiful colors of life. And I am grateful for every luminous gift and stain that fills this world given by the artist who created color. Who created me. 

Created My world. Our world. 

Who sacrificed it all so our Colors can be bright, and you can live. 

So you’ve had a bad day, or days, and the world looks black and white…a color of gratefulness or two or three can make the day completely different. 

Giving yourself permission to see life in color again is a brave thing. Even if everything feels sharp and dark, find your courage and look for one piece of color. 

Even if it’s the smallest sliver of real color that’s a reason to be grateful…

Because you matter. You were painted into existence beautiful and bold…and matter. And I am grateful for the giftof your color in this life. You matter.