Hey all –
Reposting an old blog this week. Seems appropriate for where I’m at – hopefully it speaks to you too.
And can I just say: expressing gratitude takes on a whole ‘nother form when you live in sub-arctic temps.
Feel sorry for me people – living in Minnesota ain’t easy.
A lone child thrashes on the shiny white floor, screaming, “I WANT THAT TOY!!!!!!!! The easy melodies of soft rock playing over store speakers are drowned out. The sounds of something resembling a dying animal are all that remain now.
Meanwhile a frazzled parent stands helplessly by.
You know you shouldn’t look but you can’t help it, you linger just long enough to take in the parental car wreck.
Life moves into slow motion as you stare, unable to tear your eyes away.
You silently vow that your child will never act like that, you know, that is if you ever decide to have any.
Your head cocks to the side, perhaps a different view will help you to make sense of it all.
Nope. That doesn’t help. But it did remind you that on aisle 11 they are having a sale on neck massagers. You know the kind that have 15 different settings, a built in coffee maker, and a mini gym to boot.
You shake your head as the noise piercing your eardrums hurls you from your reverie.
Life resumes normal speed as the helpless parent locks eyes with you in an unspoken plea of desperation.
You duck your head and turn your cart around in the same direction you came from.
You don’t need toilet paper that bad after all.
Here’s what separates the rookie parents from the veterans, the rookies give in to spare themselves the scene. The veterans know this is a battle they can’t afford to lose so they hold their ground never giving in.
God is no rookie parent. He knows that thankfulness goes a long way, not only with him but with one another. Gratitude causes us to take a step back and savor life instead of inhaling it like a bag of Doritos.
Not that I’ve ever inhaled a bag of Doritos, I mean, I’ve just heard of other. . . people. . . inhaling Doritos.
Don’t look at me like that.
Okay fine, I had 3 bags the other day but they were the little ones. You know, the ones that have like 5 chips each and maybe a few crumbs if you’re lucky. Sheesh, who made you the human lie detector?
Gratitude moves the heart of God. He expects that his kids will have the manners to say thank-you from a sincere heart. As many a mama would say, “I raised you better than that.” And just like every loving parent he wants to give good things to his kids.
But nothing and I do mean nothing will shut down the pipeline of gift-giving like a whiny, unappreciative child (trust me, I’ve been on both sides of this cookie). And so God as a veteran parent, helps us to realize that we need to learn the art of grattitude more than we need stuff, or even relationships at times.
Sometimes the hardships we face aren’t tests of our faith, sometimes they are lessons in gratitude.
Sometimes, it’s trudging through a season of going without that really causes us to take a step back and appreciate the things we’ve always had.
Sometimes, we need our veteran parent to step in and tell us what’s up.
I want to be a grateful person, but it doesn’t come naturally to me. Debbie Downer by default right here. I have to really stop myself and take time to smell the flowers, so to speak.
So I’m trying this new thing. I’m incorporating habits of thankfulness into my life. Little things to remind me to allow God to change my perspective. For example, we have a bulletin board in our dining room and every week when the hubster and I sit down to pay bills we each write down something we are grateful for.
I tell the husband that he should write me down as the thing he is most grateful for.
Apparently, we are still working on our communication skills.
No, not why doesn’t he write me as the thing he is the most grateful for every week. Although, I’m glad you asked. Really, why doesn’t he?
Why am I trying to go from a Debbie Downer to a Positive Patti?
Because perspective changes everything.
It’s the difference of seeing life as empty or full.
Opportunities as lacking or promising.
People as disappointing or surprising.
And here’s the best part. As any parent melts when their children say a sincere thank you, God does too. He becomes a puddle for you. He’s proud that you used your manners, but more than that he’s really proud of the character that you show when you stop to say thank you. He is so moved by a thankful heart that it is one of the easiest ways to actually feel the presence of God. Which is why we sing together in church. And why you feel the presence of God during times of worship.
Come, let’s shout praises to God,
raise the roof for the Rock who saved us!
Let’s march into his presence singing praises,
lifting the rafters with our hymns!
Psalm 95:1-2 (The Message)
How do you incorporate gratitude into your life? I’d love to hear!
Photo Credit: “Looking” by Republica permission through C.C. by 2.0