“Give thanks to God no matter what circumstances your find yourself in.” -1 Thessalonians 5:18
I treasure sleep. It was only after becoming a mother that I realized how important sleep is to my ability to function. Looking back, I believe it has always been true- there have always been correlations in my life when a lack of sleep had visible negative effects on my ability to focus, my level of happiness, and my energy. But in college after pulling an all nighter to study for a test or socialize with friends I could come home and sleep for hours. That has not been my reality as a parent.
As a mom with an infant I find that my email gets flooded with all sorts of studies about the effects of sleep deprivation and how you can combat those effects through dietary supplements, cat naps, or counseling. I find myself (in my sleep deprived stupor) responding to my computer that the only real fix is SLEEP! Luckily, our youngest has joined the ranks of those sleeping through the night and I am finding my sleep deprivation is not the regular reality it was just a couples months ago.
I have begun to notice though that there is another equally devastating and debilitating “deprivation” lurking… I will call it “gratitude-deprivation”. Just like there is a recommended amount of sleep suggested to help an individual function at full capacity, I would argue that there is a need to pause and be thankful regularly in order for an individual to not be overcome by the outside world. When we become gratitude-deprived we begin to focus only on the negative, we don’t recognize the value in the person standing beside us, we see the world as constant disappointment.