When I started working from home in 2008, we made one huge misstep – not building our financial nest egg. I was feeling pretty confident about my income sources that I mistakenly assumed it would just be like a regular stable job. It was not. Two months into working from home, jobs became scarce and my income stream was cut in half. I was scared terrified that the situation will force me to go back working outside from home again – that was something I was more than determined not to do.

We survived, thanks to Divine Providence. Looking back, I realized that one of the things that helped us survive was our attitude. At that time, we were not ready to give up a situation we have decided to be best for our family so we changed our mindset, to that of simplicity.

if you come from a place of gratitude,
your perspective always changes
and you end up happier.

All I have is all I need.
This was my blog header for those two years of adjustment and change. Whenever I’d feel scared or panicked that there wasn’t any money coming in, I’d zen out and repeat this all throughout. I’d self-talk; “Aggie, you have food on the table.” “Aggie, you have a roof over your head.” “Aggie, you have the ability to work hard.” And 80% of the time, it helped me through. Now, I wouldn’t want you to think that this was an ideal story. It wasn’t. It isn’t. But what I have come to realize is if you come from a place of gratitude, your perspective always changes and you end up happier.


When you start with a grateful heart, everything becomes a blessing.

It all begins when you come from a place of humility. When you put yourself in a mindset that whatever comes to you is a gift, then you see things in a different light. You feel lucky – a better word is blessed – to be given things you don’t deserve.

How many times have we become bitter when things don’t go as planned, when we don’t get what we think we deserve? Probably too many times. I am guilty of that one too.

Cultivating a grateful heart means thanking Him for everything, even for the bad things.

This is hard. I admit. Too many times, I may have questioned God about the “perfect” timing of his “trials” – it always seem to come one after another. But when I shift my mindset to something that allows gratefulness to enter, trials become bearable.

2013 year was a hard one for me, personally. I lost my Dad, I felt like an empty nester and the whole cancer thing running in our families were just too much. I felt frustrated most of the times. Hurt. Scared.

After a particularly low blow after my Dad died and before my sister got married, I decided I will never be able to control everything, so I changed my mindset. Before diamonds become what they are, they are first passed continuously through fire. And it was through God’s grace that I realized that trials aren’t really “punishments” but “refinements” to my character, my attitude to be worthy of whatever reward God has prepared for me.

I still am trying to be grateful for the trials – but instead of questioning, I tell my Father to help me get through it. I may not (and probably never will) understand the why’s, but I want to pass trials by fire not burnt but polished.

Cultivating a grateful heart makes you aware how much you live a wonderful life.

When the focus became internal, gratitude bloomed.

I started scrapbooking as a creative outlet. I simply wanted to create something pretty with all those papers and pictures. But it evolved into a deeper appreciation of the craft. I began documenting the everyday – the breakfast my 7-year old boy made, the kids holding hands when they sleep, the intense concentration of my youngest when she watches Lion King when she was three – and from there bloomed a great appreciation of the kind of life I lead. I don’t live a glamorous life but I am happy with mine. When the focus became internal, gratitude bloomed. My kids are 8 and 14 now. And I feel such a sentimental tug whenever I go through their albums – I feel so grateful not only to capture those little things, I feel so blessed to be able to live life the way I want it, to be able to take care of my kids myself while trying to make a living at home.

Let’s start with a grateful heart.

What I have learned is that a grateful heart is a happy heart. And this is something you don’t magically become but something you continuously work hard on. It will always be a constant pull between fear and trust, power and control between faith – but whenever you are grateful, you will always win.


I am playing along Cathy Zielske’s 30 Days of Thankful this November. My goal is to reset my mindset towards being grateful (again). I hope you can join us.

Aggie Aviso