Thursday, October 22, 2009


My very talented, wordsmith, friend Lisa wrote this good reminder regarding blessing and gratitude:

THANK GOD by Lisa Samson

I'm not one of those rabid Oprah fans. I love some of the stuff she does but I don't hang onto every word she says like it's God's or even quotes by Mother Teresa. But Oprah taught me one thing years ago that has been revolutionary in my life and honestly, she ripped off St. Paul and formulized it a little bit. Hey, the Bible is a book for all times, right?

I don't even remember what she called it, I'm sure it had a more zippy title than, "Today's List of 10 Things I'm Thankful For," but that was the concept. Each night before you fall asleep, write down ten things you're thankful for. Now, me being the rebellious underachiever that I am, I bastardized it and figured God didn't need the formality of pen and paper and neither did I. So I just say, "Okay God, here's today's list" as I lay my head on the cool side of the pillow. Then I start with the morning and go through the day. At least ten things, but some days it's, "Whoa!"

At first it's a little hard. We're not used to giving Someone else credit for the specific good things in our life . . . and . . . if you're like me, you might tend to focus on the negatives, the have nots, the she/he-so-did-not-just-do-thats. But after a while, it just rolls on out of you. In fact, and this sounds corny I admit it, when I lay down it's like, "Yeah! Let's get the list going!" Even on days that wouldn't look to be anything special, it's amazing how many things there really are.

Gratitude is a muscle. The more you exercise it the easier it comes. And you remember your blessings, you remember that God is with you, you remember that he will never leave you or forsake you, and you see him everywhere.

Gratitude is a fuel. When we're steadily thankful for the blessings God has poured out on us (and these lists usually don't include winning the lottery or a fancy car), we suddenly KNOW what we actually have, and when we are in full awareness of our gifts and resources, we know what it is we actually have been given to share with others.

Gratitude is the down comforter. When we're truly aware of God's goodness in our lives, we understand a little better his great love and care for us. We're not as apt to ask where God is in the tough times, because we know exactly where he is. He's in the fact that we slept under shelter, he's in the eyes of others he honors us to serve, he's even in that great burger.

Gratitude is also that too tight shoe on a journey we must keep traveling. Because sometimes life brings challenges and sorrows and in those times he draws us to himself, in those times we grow and change and transform into something a little gentler, hopefully a little wiser, and kinder to those who are as fragile as ourselves. We can even be grateful in the suffering because we know God will use it. He even redeems the pain if we let it. The old Catholics have a saying, "Offer it up!" when you are suffering. Our pains, when dealt with patience and love, like Christ dealt with the pain of the cross, can be offered as a sacrifice to our Father in Heaven.

So, this morning, I'm really thankful for my cup of tea here, another rainy day even though I don't feel like having one, friends for the journey, a loving family, my readers, a fuzzy black sweater that's keeping me warm, rousing conversations, my chickens, my faith community that encompasses many people and many forms, a husband that loves to cook . . . that's ten right there and I could go on.

Wanna play?

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