Everyday Spirituality

Posts tagged ‘thanks’

Gratitude and Abundance

This week I watched an interview clip of a popular vocalist commenting on her successful life as an entertainer. Through her tears she was reflecting on the question of ‘why’? Why had God given her talent and a voice that others enjoyed so much? Within her acknowledged abundance she took a moment to give thanks to God and to show her appreciation for what he had given her.

In contrast, I recently spoke with a woman who had returned from a mission trip to a poor area in Guatemala. She was so touched by the generosity of the local villagers. They had so little by our standards but so much appreciation and gratitude for even the mere presence of the missionaries in their village.

Sometimes in our life we blindly take things for granted and in this state of mind gratitude and appreciation become diluted. They become camouflaged.  When we live in the land of ‘milk and honey’ day in and day out appreciation disappears as if obscured in a heavy fog.

Is it true that the more abundance you have in your life the less thankful you are…I wonder? Do you feel “entitled” to live where you want, have the house you want, drive the car you want?

What would you be able to appreciate if it all disappeared tomorrow morning?

Would you struggle to be grateful or would you sink into the quicksand of resentment and anger?

I pray that I would have the strength to continue to be grateful in the face of heart break and pain. I had this strength demonstrated to me when I had the blessing of meeting Mary. (Not her real name) Just six months ago she lost all of her belongs in a house fire. This devastating tragedy also claimed the life of her husband. I was so touched by the way this woman expressed her gratitude for what she had left in her life.

In my abundance of life, health, friends, family, community, faith, and love; I still miss opportunities to be more mindful.

Do not let abundance in your life disguise the many opportunities to express your gratitude and appreciation.

St. Paul tells in his first letter to the Thessalonians 5:18,

“In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.”

Together let us give thanks to God: his love is everlasting and

he is “especially fond” of you.

With Grateful Hearts…

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With Gratitude

                                    If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that  would suffice.  Meister Eckhart

I am deeply grateful for our five senses; such incredible gifts from God. Our senses connect us to everything in our environment, whether living or non-living, in a unique way.

~Sight~

I am grateful for: the smile of a child…the colors of a rainbow…leaves…cardinals in flight…goldfish in the pond…nighttime sky…the new crescent moon…brilliant sunsets…glowing embers…flickering candlelight…delicate butterfly wings…waterfalls…words to read…rising bubbles…sparkling diamonds…fireworks and sparklers…old photographs… twinkling Christmas lights… traffic lights…graceful dancing…the American flag…corrective lens…

~Hearing~

I am grateful for: children laughing…tears of joy…purring kittens…train whistles…live music…frogs croaking…corn popping…bells ringing…monks chanting…words of love…crashing waves…water fountains…Christmas songs…barking dogs…clicking seat belts…ringing phones…chiming clocks…embryonic heartbeats…gentle rain…sirens…

~Smell~

I am grateful  for: fresh linens…coffee brewing…evergreen trees…red roses…baby powder…incense burning…chicken frying…forest air…bacon…BBQ smoking…perfume…chrism oil…leather…scented candles…apple pie…fresh cut grass…

~Touch~

I am grateful for: baby’s tender skin…powder puffs…warm showers…pedicures…massages…furry pets…hugs…kisses…bath oil…cotton candy…down comforters…our waterbed…cool breezes…summer sunshine…comfortable shoes…hands, fingers, and toes…snowflakes…teddy bears…ear muffs…soft pillows…

~Taste~

I am grateful for: crunchy Cheetos…marshmallows…onions…dark chocolate…peppermint ice cream…balsamic vinegar…crisp bacon…French fries…warm chocolate chip cookies…hot coffee…cool whip…egg drop soup…juicy strawberries…grandmother’s Pound cake…salt…steaming hot chocolate…fresh water…

These are just a few of the many things I am grateful for today…

Create your personal gratitude journal or litany of thanks.

God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today.  Have you used one to say “thank you?” 

William A. Ward