I didn’t manage to post anything for the days 12-14 of these last 50 days of the year, but I was taking hold of gratitude. Thanksgiving in the US was Thursday (day 13), and with many American friends I was very conscious of that day. I was asked in a writing group I’m part of to share what I was thankful for.
My list was long.
I’m thankful for another year of marriage. I’m thankful for children and family. I’m thankful for a job and work colleagues and encouragement. I’m thankful for improved health in people I care about. I’m thankful for new opportunities and challenges. I’m thankful for the growth I see in my life. I’m thankful that my kids tell me what they feel and my teens still include me in their lives. I’m thankful for friends and community. I’m thankful that I can go to church again. I’m thankful that some things in my life feel a little less painful than they used to. I’m thankful that Jesus loves me. I’m thankful that I can know God. I’m thankful that even at my worst I’m still accepted by Him. I’m thankful for light in the darkness. I’m thankful for hope. I’m thankful for books and music and art and poetry and the sky. I’m thankful for babies and laughter and dancing.
I was reminded that gratitude is the place to begin when I want to look away from myself and instead look upwards to God and out to other people. When I am thankful I express gratitude to God. When I am thankful I stop feeling sorry for myself in any way at all because I see that I have a life full of good things, even the hard things are good thing. When I realise how much I have then I start to think about how I can give more to other people – more love, more kindness, more acceptance, more materially. The verse that is my motto this year (2 Timothy 6 v 19), talks about generosity being the hallmark of someone who is living the life that is truly life. Gratitude is where generosity begins.