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Posts Tagged ‘#gratitude’

An oldie but a goodie image 😉

Here in Canada, turkeys are a-roasting this weekend as we pause to give thanks for all that makes up life and living.

For me, Thanksgiving is always connected to our youngest, our son.

At 10:10am, on Thanksgiving Sunday, October 10, he breathed in the air of life and I inhaled gratitude … for life is tender, fragile, not guaranteed.

Our very own Ben 10 is one I have immense thanks for, so today, gratitude is great, celebration is due.

As I feel and know gratitude for him, I pray that he always live a life of gratitude.

For gratitude is our exhale, and it is in the breathing out of thanks that gratitude is inhaled.

When we sit around a table, as we bow our heads in thanks for our food, his grace is always one of thanks.

I was reminded of this a few weeks ago, when he offered thanks for the food, for his sisters, for his parents. This is not odd for him to do, for he knows where who is the Giver. Yet, on this particular day, I was not feeling particularly worthy of such appreciation.

Since that day I have thought numerous times about his offering of thanks … for one who had not been graceful to him just hours earlier. His gratitude, despite imperfection from the one he expressed thankfulness for, has been a new lesson for me.

It is easy to be thankful

for food … when it tastes appealing
for work … when we are enjoying it
for education … when we are succeeding
for people … when we are in good relationship with them
for the new day … when it is sunny

Yet, gratitude is not simply for the things that feel good at the time, for our thanks does not come after, but before the blessing. Thanks is the attitude of faith in the One who gives, not an acceptance for what has already been received.

Gratitude is the attitude that preexists the reality of what we are given … whatever it may be.

In being PRE-thankful … in ALL things, we are preparing for the good, bad and ugly that comes to us in life. We are being cognizant that gratitude is due, even though our mortal self may suffer. This is a great mystery, yet, for those who practise gratitude in all things … a peace that passes human understanding is the gifted result.

Ben knows this. He lives this life of gratitude in all things. He is not perfect, for his closest teachers (that would be his parents) have not modelled this consistently, his humanness fights against such illogical practise. Yet, as I hear him give thanks, for those who have let him down, I am encouraged that his life is heading in the right direction.

Happy birthday Ben. My encouragement to you today, are from the words of Paul,

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

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This week’s random thoughts was at the top of a friends post on Facebook.

As I read the list of ten … let’s call them the week’s learnings during this time of self isolation in the shadows of Covid19, I heard a song from childhood …

count your blessings

Now, at the end of that week, feeling rather depleted from a week that had a fair number of downs that seem to overshadow the the ups, I am revisiting my friend’s post.

As I look back over the week, this post and two other memories pop out for me.

There is a family that I follow on Instagram. Their beautiful daughter (and their whole family) have been fighting cancer for almost fifteen years (she is about twenty now) … through one diagnosis and three relapses. After over a month of self isolation, they are naming something each day that they are each thankful for.

A sweet teen, who carpooled with me to school (and whose heart and soul I adore), dropped off a belated birthday gift. Part of it was “The One-Minute Gratitude Journal” with spaces to write what I am grateful for each day.

Hum …
Coincidence?
I think NOT!

Saint Augustine (of the late 300s-early 400s) said,

“we are an Easter people
and
alleluia is our song.”

What he was saying is that as people (all people) who have been given the gift of Easter, the gift of the sacrifice of Christ, our song, or message (maybe even to ourselves) need always be praise to the Lord.

To offer thanks is to recognize from where our blessings come. To offer gratitude is to see what we have … even when we are in a place of many have-nots, of depletion, of lack.

And so, I wrote my list, of this week’s random thoughts … thanks. And, you know what, I have much to be thankful for … much for which to sing praises to my Lord … alleluia!

I encourage you to try this too … I’d love to hear from you … what are your random thoughts and thanks this week?

  1. Zoom visit with a dear friend
  2. Daily after work walks with our son
  3. A delivery of a belated birthday gift from the sweetest teenager I know
  4. Able to help my mom accomplish a level of technology
  5. A charcuterie board that looked and tasted wonderfully
  6. Discovering a great new TV series to enjoy with hubby
  7. Conferences with students who have the most amazing work ethics
  8. Sunny days
  9. A bunny hopping leisurely ahead of me while walking on a trail
  10. A church small group who is like oxygen

Count Your Blessings
When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.

Who couldn’t use a little
Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney
singing Irving Belin’s
Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep?

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