Dear Covenant Village Residents and Staff,
Over the past four years, you have heard me talk about the benefits of cultivating an appreciative lifestyle—how even the simple practice of saying, “Thank you!” can change our outlook and generate positivity. Just as there are spiritual health benefits to a grateful, grace-filled relationship with God, we also can experience profound mental and physical health benefits from being in a mindful state of gratitude.
People who adopt grateful living say they experience greater happiness in life. While they may still feel sadness, anxiety, disappointments, or depression, gratitude seems to help with one’s larger perspective. Positive psychology asserts that gratitude can:
-Improve energy and health
-Make us happier and more optimistic
-Help us to be more resilient and deal with adversity better
-Generate empathy, generosity, and forgiveness
-Lower stress, anxiety, and negative thoughts
-Keep us in the present moment
Harvard Health reinforces this idea in “Giving Thanks Can Make You Happier” (2021):
“With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives. … Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. … As a result, being grateful also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals — whether to other people, nature, or a higher power.”
What if the gratitude gene skipped some of us? Fear not; thankfulness can be cultivated!
Mindful gratitude can take many forms. We can recall loving memories, cherished moments, or past blessings. We can stop to recognize goodness in the present, not taking it for granted. We can respond to the future with hopefulness and optimism. We can reach out to someone and simply tell her/him we are grateful for their place in our life.
At Covenant Village, we are enthusiastic about giving thanks, individually and collectively. In fact, the celebration of our 40th anniversary is a year-long cultivation of gratefulness for how God has guided — and continues to bless — our mission to provide exceptional service, leadership, and care in helping seniors live longer better … together.
In September, we initiated our anniversary celebrations with a Fireside Chat that featured members of the original Board of Directors and Planning Committee who worked to bring the vision for Covenant Village to reality. The panel recounted how God’s hand was evident in the courage, shared determination, and community collaboration that enabled them to create a place where people could age confidently and with peace of mind — then, today, and into the future.
Two weeks ago, it was standing room only in the Covenant Village Assembly Room for our inaugural Evening of Thanksgiving & Gratitude. You know attendance is outstanding when Staff have to break out the “white wedding” chairs and stand in the hallway to make space for Residents and guests! On this special occasion, we honored Residents and Staff for the breadth of their residency and service, and we presented the inaugural Brenda Harris Award to nominated Staff, who embody the CV CARES Core Values through their work.
The Evening of Thanksgiving & Gratitude honored:
• Twelve Residents who have lived at Covenant Village 20 years or more, including
Mrs. Ann Cain, who has made Covenant Village her home for 27 years.
• Four Staff who have provided great service and care for 38 years or more, including Kelly Rushing, a member of our Food & Nutrition Department, who joined the original staff on September 3, 1982. . . over 40 years ago!
• Four Staff whose dedication to Covenant Village was recognized with the Brenda Harris Award, which honors a beloved colleague and friend who died earlier in 2022.
In all, this special event celebrated 482 remarkable years! That is not funny math. It is simply the remarkable sum of dedicated and hope-filled years these individuals have contributed to our Village over the past four decades. I invite you to read more about these Residents and Staff on our website (www.covenantvillagenc.com/news) and Wellzesta. Your heart will overflow with gratitude!
In our Village, each day offers new opportunities for gratitude. We have only begun to express appreciation for the past 40 years. It is my sincere hope that you will help enrich the coming year of thanksgiving with your presence, your stories, and your prayers. Let us joyfully give thanks for all that has been and for all the possibilities that lie before us — as we strive to make Covenant Village the place Where Life Is Filled With Promise!
And, on this Thanksgiving Day, my prayer is that you will know what a blessing you are, especially to our Village … and to Michelle and me!
Gratefully yours, Dale