grateful heart monday

A Grateful Heart (+ weeklong linkup!)

December 15, 2014
Happy Monday!! I love starting each week out with you guys in this way – and then spending the rest of it reading all of your posts 🙂 Today I am grateful that the packing and moving process is coming to a close. I apologize if you all are growing tired of me talking about our move but honestly, it’s a pretty big thing going on right now for us and I’m REALLY excited to be able to focus on this Christmas season rather than boxes and bubble wrap 😉 Our moving day is TOMORROW and the truth is, as much as I am grateful for this chaotic time to be ending, my heart is also grateful for the opportunity to even be in this situation in the first place. We’re excited, we’re tired, we’re ready, we’re tired, and most of all we feel incredibly blessed to be taking on this new adventure together in a place we both love so much.

In last week’s Grateful Heart post, I mentioned that I was going to challenge myself to write about one thing that’s going on in my life or something that affects ME in which I’m grateful for, but then to also find appreciation in someone else’s kindness. What I’d expected to happen upon challenging myself to this DID happen – I started to notice and see more and more people showing random and intentional acts of kindness.

My favorite moment from this past week happened when I was riding the Metra into the city. It was early morning, all of the train cars were full of people going to work, and a lot of us were forced to stand since all of the seats were taken. I was standing by the doors (the only room left) next to two Metra personnel and an older man. I was only casually listening to the man ask one of the Metra guys a slew of questions, like what track we’d be coming in on and what time it was and what side the doors would be opening. I thought it was kind of weird he was asking so many questions and as I glanced up from my phone, I noticed the man was blind.

I immediately began to silently worry for him. How was he going to get to where he needed to go in this rush hour? There would be so many people – pushing past each other and certainly past him. There would be empty train tracks, incoming trains, numerous stairwells heading downstairs… how in the world was he going to do this? It was then that one of the Metra guys told him, “Grab onto my arm. I’m going to take you all the way to the front door of the station once we pull in.” I breathed a sigh of relief, knowing this man would be well taken care of by this guy and then noticed his work partner mouth to him, “You’ll be late. You’ll miss the next train” and the guy just held up his hand and nodded as if to say, “It’s alright.”

So many people, especially in the morning and hustle and bustle of it all, only think of themselves, of their own agenda. They’re so focused on their own jobs and what they need to accomplish – they put themselves first and then if there’s time, they focus on others. I am one of these people. No, not always but sometimes I am this person, and this act of kindness was a reminder to throw out the lie that says me me me. The lie that says “worry about this and that.” It was a reminder to be aware of others, to be present in the moment, and to sometimes just say YES, even if it makes you late.

What are you grateful for?

Link up below and join the rest of us in starting each day this week with a grateful heart. Not enough time to write a Grateful Heart post today? No worries! This linkup will be open until Friday! 

1. Link up to your Grateful Heart post, not just your blog’s homepage, and please link your post back to Ember Grey (via link or GH button) so that others can link up too! *Any posts that do not have to do with this GH topic or those that do not link back up to this blog will be deleted. 

2. If you use #gratefulheart on Twitter, tag me and I will retweet! @embergreyblog

3. Carry on and be grateful! XO!
Ember Grey: Grateful Heart


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  • What a cute story!

  • What a wonderful moment of humanity to observe! I like to think that these happen all around us, and I am only too busy and too self absorbed to notice them all the time.
    Good luck with the move tomorrow !!! So far only 1 thing broke in all of our boxes and it was only something small, so thank God 🙂 Sending yout prayers for a safe journey and loads of fun on all the road trips you're making!! Xoxo
    (Also, I have no Internet until tomorrow afternoon so I will link up with you then friend!) 🙂

  • Always makes me so happy to read this kinds of posts (want to give that Metra guy a hug or something!) Such beautiful and calming shots. And hope the move goes smoothly! 🙂

  • What a wonderful moment to encounter! It is neat to see someone go above and beyond what is expected to help someone else. Having a lot on the schedule can sometime hinder people from pursuing to help others in such a way that would cause you to sacrifice something, but it is cool when it does happen, when a person becomes more important than completing a to do list. I enjoyed reading that story made me smile, it is neat to see or hear about kindness in action. 🙂

  • Lindsay

    Brought a tear to my eye. Thank you for sharing such a sweet and powerful story.

  • Liz

    I absolutely love this! What a great moment to witness, especially in such a big/busy city/morning. Beautiful story. Thank you so, so much for sharing!!

  • What an awesome reflection. It actually spoke firectly to my heart. This morning, I was one of those people you speak about. I saw this lady coming in the building with a walker and then a rolling bag up the stairs. As I walked up there was this guy just satnding there that didnt even try to help her, and I thought how much of gentleman he was not. But then in the same instance i noticed she made it up the stairs and walked around her so that i could get in the building and past security before they let the public in at 8AM. And i actually never looked back to see if she mad it through that revolving door ok or not. Man… i could have helped her. Thanks for your reflection this morning! Have a wonderful week and praying for a smooth move for you guys…

  • That story is so beautiful it literally gave me chill bumps. Love hearing stuff like that. There is so much kindness in the world if we just open our eyes (or ears) to see it. It's so easy in life to focus on the negative things, it's the easy option. But to consciously look for and appreciate the positives requires more effort, but it is so much more rewarding. And I find, once you tip the scale, and begin to focus on more positives than negatives, it only becomes easier to ignore the negatives.

    Okay, rambling done! Love this post.


  • Love this!!! This was a wonderful reminder that we need to be aware of the world around us. There are always people that we could help! 🙂 thanks for your beautiful reminder.

  • That such a touching story! I love when I witness kindness like this.

  • I need to read this on this Monday.

  • I love stories like this – makes me tear up. We all need reminders that people are good. Thinking of you during your move – SO exciting!

  • I love Chicago so much 🙂 and it's nice to hear a story of someone being a good human being on public transit…so many times I've taken the train up there and had…less than a pleasant experience…

    I'm grateful for good people and our big Midwestern city!

  • I got goosebumps reading this, Emily! What a beautiful gesture for that man to help the other man. I absolutely love hearing things like this.

  • i LOVE this story— what good kind people we have out there 🙂 Bless them!

  • Gosh, I teared up a little reading this story. I do love seeing that there are wonderful people out there, and you're right — we need to take the focus off of ourselves every now and then. Thank you so much for sharing this, it really warmed my heart.

  • Praise the Lord that there are people that truly have a kind heart. Thanks for sharing, Emily.

  • This was such a nice post to read, and a great reminder to look out for those around you. Happy Monday xoxo

  • Kelly Bonanno

    I spent a week in Chicago last Spring. LOVE that city! This is such a nice link up, gratitude is essential!

  • Jae

    Small gestures make for tremendous impact in one's life. This is soul-stirring, Emily.

  • There is so much good in the world, wonderful people out there we just have to look for it! Great thoughts this morning!

  • Faith in humanity restored. I love simple acts of kindness like that!

  • Thanks for reading, Llinos! 🙂

  • I'm the same, Rebecca. I think it DOES happen more than I see it. This challenge has already proved that for me! (hint to myself to slow down) 🙂 Glad to hear ONLY one thing was broken from your move! The next week will be very telling on our end… fingers crossed!

  • I wanted to hug him too!! It just warmed my heart. Thank you so much for reading!

  • It really is such a sweet thing to see, and encouraging to keep the kindness moving forward 🙂

  • xo 🙂 I retold it to my mom and teared up just telling her! It was so sweet.

  • Thank you, Liz! There were a lot of grumpy people that particular morning… with there being no seats (and cold!) – it made my entire day to witness this.

  • Thank you so much for this sweet note, Bijee, and for sharing your own story. We will forever be a work in progress, but I think we're all getting better when we pause and understand, and then try harder next time. I remind myself of this more and more. Thanks so much for stopping by 🙂

  • V, you know how much I love your rambling 😉 I think with social media and the news, etc – it's REALLY easy to focus on the negative. I love reading/hearing about stories of kindness. And you're right- it really does get easier. XO

  • There are *always* people to help, I am reminding myself of this often 🙂 Thanks for the sweet note, friend

  • me too. The best kind of heart warmer!

  • xo. I'm so glad, Nina. It was important to me to share it with you guys!

  • makes me tear up too! I seriously just wanted to hug the guy.

    We meet the movers on Saturday to begin the unpacking process! (aka: the fun part!) 🙂 Thanks, Meagan!!

  • Chicago really is a wonderful city 🙂 (And yes to the transit horror stories… I have a series dedicated to the crazy/hilarious experiences I've had on the CTA!) 🙂

  • Thank you, lady!! It made my week to witness it!

  • Bless them, yes!!

  • I was really looking forward to sharing it with you all 🙂 It was a special moment for me and I kept thinking, had I gotten a seat, had things not been as crowded, I would've never seen it. Blessings in the chaos sometimes 😉

  • Amen, lady!! xo

  • Thanks, Kristen 🙂 Hope you're having a great week, thanks for the sweet note!

  • It's a great city! (Especially in the non-winter months haha) Thanks so much for stopping by, Kelly!

  • It's what keeps us all together, I think. Gives us hope. xo

  • There really is!! Thanks for the note, Whitney 🙂

  • exactly!! I've been so much more aware of it this week too.

  • chall1018

    Amen!!! I absolutely love this post and the heart of that man!! What a great reminder. Thank you for sharing!