Alphatudes: The Alphabet of Gratitude
by Michele Wahlder
Dallas, TX: Life Possibilities Publishing, 2010
Gratitude is indeed the secret of happiness. Appreciating what one has makes the whole world seem brighter. In "Alphatudes: The Alphabet of Gratitude" Michele Wahlder offers a unique way to count one's blessings. Suffering from insomnia night after night, she decided to try something other than counting sheep. She began to count her blessings, using the alphabet as a guide. Sleep was the much-appreciated reward. Wahlder began to integrate this in her life on a regular basis and found that it allowed her to "clear her mind and process the events of the day in a positive way." She then began to share this idea with others and discovered benefits for them as well. Thus, "Alphatudes" was born.
This book is a delight to both look at and read. The design is beautiful. Each letter and its corresponding "Alphatude" are illustrated in an inviting two-page spread. Gifts such as acceptance, beauty, dreams, hope, kindness, laughter, quiet, relationships, touch, and work are explored and praised. Wahlder has incorporated quotes from wise individuals from various faith traditions and walks of life to help inspire those who turn these pages. One of my favorite sections was the one on "Hope." Wahlder writes, "All great accomplishments begin as a tiny seed of hope. . . Hope is reduced to wishful thinking only when not accompanied by intentional action. We need to remember that prayer is one such intentional action."
Wahlder has also included some things one might not consider being grateful for. Take "Obstacles," for example: "Obstacles energize us to stretch beyond our routine way of thinking and encourage us to try on an unfamiliar behavior or skill. During the process, we improve upon our perceived weaknesses and turn them into unanticipated strengths. By expressing gratitude for the obstacles in our lives, we uncover our hidden treasures and the wealth of support available to us."
"Alphatudes" is one of those books you will want to sit and reflect upon again and again. It offers an important reminder to be thankful for all that comes our way. It would make a beautiful gift.