Maintaining An Attitude of Gratitude

Maintaining An Attitude of Gratitude

WRITTEN BY: Jennifer Newman

Gratitude:  The quality of being grateful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness (Oxford Languages via Google).

While most of us mark 2020 as the year Covid stopped the world, I got a double whammy – December 2020 I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.  Over a period of seven months, I experienced three hospitalizations, seven rounds of chemotherapy with four of those rounds resulting in anaphylactic reactions, eight liters of fluid being removed from my peritoneum, major surgery and the loss of all of my hair.  Most days I felt so sick that you would think gratitude would have been the last thing on my mind, but you would be wrong.  I found myself grateful for the little things that would have been beyond my notice before.

I was grateful for…

  • Quarantine; which meant I could work from home instead of going on short-term disability, which would have resulted in a significant reduction in pay.
  • Zoom; as it allowed me to see my friends when my blood work made it unsafe to be around people.
  • People who commented on my smile when looking at my bald head and eyebrow-less face.
  • Home deliveries of yarn so I could crochet beanies both to distract myself from the constant nausea caused by the medicines I was taking and to keep my head warm after I lost all my hair.
  • My parents who dropped everything to drive up to Delaware from North Carolina every two weeks to help during the rough days after chemo treatments and went home when I was feeling better so I could maintain a sense of independence.
  • Online gatherings saved to YouTube so I could attend The Journey when I was healthy enough to watch.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 tells us, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 

We are called by God to have an attitude of gratitude, giving thanks when life is great and when it is not.  Today, I’m grateful that my hair is growing back and that when I look at pictures taken during the past year, my smile, and more importantly, my joy, has never wavered.

Next time you find yourself dwelling on all that is wrong in your life, try finding something you can be grateful for and let God know how much you appreciate that he’s got your back in all things.

Jennifer Newman, Communications J-Teamer

Jennifer has been attending The Journey since February 2020.  A Sourcing Analyst in the purchasing department of an international juice manufacturer, Jennifer builds Excel spreadsheets by day and sings in a competitive barbershop quartet by night.  She also enjoys reading, cooking, and traveling with other single friends.


For further inspiration, check out The Journey’s latest series, “Gratitude Adjustment“!

8 Comments
  • Wendi Rader
    Posted at 16:04h, 14 March Reply

    Jen what a beautiful devotional and a testament to your faith. You never cease to amaze me. I am so glad that I have gotten to know you through Our J group 💕

  • Karen Williams
    Posted at 16:17h, 14 March Reply

    God Bless you Jennifer! I’m grateful for stories like yours and of course our God!

  • Zaniah Cammile-Davis
    Posted at 16:31h, 14 March Reply

    Amen! Thank you for sharing your Journey with everyone. You have blessed my mind set today!! God is good 🙏🏾

  • Penny McKenney
    Posted at 19:28h, 14 March Reply

    Love you Jen! ❤️

  • Tina Ruszala
    Posted at 20:06h, 14 March Reply

    Thank you for sharing! Yes you did have an amazing smile! Gorgeous!!

  • Court Neil
    Posted at 22:21h, 14 March Reply

    What an amazing attitude you have. God bless you!

  • Joy Diggs-Preston
    Posted at 10:50h, 15 March Reply

    Jenn, Thank You So Much for writing this BEAUTIFUL devotional! I feel truly blessed by it and you this morning. I’m SO HAPPY to be in a J Group with you and I have been reminded through you sharing your journey of what’s most important in life. God Bless You Always!! Also, you are doing an AMAZING job co-leading our group this semester!

  • Kay klement
    Posted at 11:49h, 17 March Reply

    Such an encouragement to my heart

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