A few years ago all the adults in my family met up in Bali.

Some day I will post my thousands of pictures, it was a trip I will never forget.  But for right now I just wanted to post that one up there because I think about it (or what it depicts) all the time.

Because, you see, in Bali they make these beautiful little offerings to their ancestors every single day.  They are beautifully ornate hand-crafted beauties people leave everywhere in gratitude to the ancestors for what they had been given, and also to ward off evil spirits.  You would see them outside storefronts, on random city benches, surrounding statues, placed with love in front of homes.  We happened to be there for the “blessing of the metals” day where everyone was expressing gratitude for everything metal.  We were riding bikes through miles of rice paddies and towns that day and we were able to observe this “blessing” most as everyone washed their cars and motorcycles all sparkly clean and left “gratitude offerings” on them as well.  (Lots more about those offerings over HERE or google it elsewhere…it’s a fascinating practice and I’m only just touching on it with that description).

Not only were the actual offerings beautiful, but I’ve carried that thought of gratitude with me ever since.  The people we met in Bali were so beautifully happy and kind (at least the ones we met)…could it have something to do with all that continual gratitude?

So fast forward to last fall when I finally got busy putting some things up in the hallway by our bedroom.  I was hanging things that mean something special to us (as I always like to do).

A piece of artwork from each child, some pictures of our favorite places, things that evoke the best memories.

And right at the end of the hallway in a spot I see every single time I leave my bedroom heading to the “outer world” of my home, I hung a picture of one of those Balinese offerings I loved so much.

I figured it would help me remember that gratitude is key to happiness.

And most of the time, it does.

Gratitude is powerful.

It makes me happy to think of the little things that are good, even when bigger things are dark and sad and hard.  And even when bigger things are good…being grateful for those big things create some pretty big swells in my heart, which makes a ripple-effect into the rest of life, I believe.

So, I’m grateful for those gratitude offerings and what they taught me.

And I’m grateful for that wall too 🙂

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