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If you are on Facebook you know that each day there are “memories” that pop up to be shared again with friends.

One of those pictures popped up this morning reminding me that little things can make such a difference in our happiness if we have gratitude.

The memory was one of my wife and me, with three other couples (cycling friends) and my parents at a little restaurant in East Prairie, Missouri.

We were there for a fundraiser bike ride aptly named Tour-de-Corn, as the bootheel region is known for its sweet corn. In fact, at a couple of the ride’s rest stops they serve sweet corn, and at another they serve fresh watermelon, also locally grown.

We all stayed at mom and dads’ place that weekend. Mom had survived a brutal regimen of chemo a year or so before and she was well enough to host friends and family at her home, which she loved to do.

When we sat down for a light breakfast before our ride for that day, one of our cycling friends spread some peanut butter on a piece of toast, and with eyes closed as if she were experiencing something spiritual, said, “mmmm, is there anything better than melty peanut butter on a piece of toast.”

We laughed, but in truth, she practiced and expressed gratitude like no one I have ever known.

She was genuinely enjoying that simple breakfast, just as she genuinely enjoyed time with friends, riding a bike, and serving others as a busy volunteer for many community organizations.

More great memories were made after the 65-mile ride in temperatures nearing 100 degrees when we cooled off in my brother’s pool and enjoyed barbecue.

That picture, that Facebook memory, reminded me what fun we had, and I enjoyed it all over again. And again I was reminded that, like Julia, I must be more intentional in expressing gratitude.

We have little to no control over the bad things that bombard us every day, but we have complete control over our response. When that response is gratitude for the little pleasures in life it makes a difference in not only our own life, but in the lives of those around us, just as we were impacted with Julia’s gratitude that morning.

Author Melody Beattie said this about gratitude, “It turns what we have into enough, and more ... it can turn a meal into a feast…”

I have a deeper enjoyment of life because I saw gratitude turn a peanut butter sandwich into a feast.

Show gratitude today. Our world needs to see it.

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