Ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.
A Word of Hope
Recently, I was looking at one of our children’s crafts about gratitude. The children were assigned to trace around their hand and cut out the shape, then, on each finger and thumb write one thing that they were grateful for. One child wrote cheese, mommy, daddy, baby brother, and trains. It should be obvious from the list, that the young child would not just be thankful for these specific things but that it also refers to those things that make him feel good.
To me, it’s a no-brainer that having a sense of gratitude around the familiar things in our daily lives would indeed make us feel better. It’s also interesting to think, as a spiritual discipline, that there’s some hefty science behind things that make us feel good; carry a certain vibration, make us emotionally healthy, if you will. Eating a doughnut might bring us some sense of pleasure, but I know there are people who struggle through their lives every day, carrying the burden that may cloud their judgment in wondering what truly good things they still have to be grateful for.
I’m not here to judge or to pretend that I know why it may be a difficult task for some to feel gratitude. However, I know lots of people who struggle to find the simplest things to be thankful for; things most of us take for granted. But, stop and think how often are you grateful that you are able to breathe clearly or that there is breathable air. Perhaps it’s gratitude for having 10 toes, all of them intact. I spoke to a good friend who happened to let me know he had lost a big toe. He said you never know the function of something like your big toe until it’s gone; how much balance and keeping rhythm with your walk that one toe meant.
By God’s grace, I’m sure you could think of an equally profound example; having all your teeth, your fingers, both hands, both eyes. What are the big things and little things you’re grateful for at this moment? What are the simple pleasures in life that bring you joy? What would your list look like if you were to consider things that you never realized you should be very grateful for every day?
For me as an artist and a writer, I am grateful every single day for my imagination, which also brings me an optimistic outlook. Our roof was replaced recently. I hadn’t realized how wonderful it would be to be free of the stress in knowing that the familiar leaks that had developed were part of the past. That little bit of worry every time it rained no longer brings a negative feeling. I now have a positive sense of relief and gratitude for God’s rain, and for being able to shift my awareness to other things.
Join me in taking 60 seconds to acknowledge, visualize, or list as many things as you can think of to be grateful for. The first thing I’m grateful for in this moment is someone who listens; having you in my life.
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. ~Colossians 3:15
Order of St. Francis and St. Clare