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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Did You Say Thank You Today?

Gratitude: what a wonderful virtue for Advent. 

I was particularly reminded to be grateful this morning when I got up and my husband told me the furnace was out. What a wonderful thing to have central heating. You appreciate it most when it's on the fritz. Thank you, Lord, for all those who developed the wonderful gift of central heating. What a gift not to stoke a fireplace in every room and deal with coal dust and ashes every day. Thank you, Lord!

I'm also increasingly grateful for my joints, particularly since I injured my right shoulder a few weeks ago. I'm right handed so the impact of not being able to raise my arm is significant. Oh, how grateful I am now for all those years when motion wasn't restricted. What a blessing to be able to comb my hair, raise my arm to put on a shirt, and lift dishes into the cupboard - to pick up a little granddaughter and swing her in an arc saying, "Tick-tock, tick-tock." Thank you, Lord.

Will I ever be able to do those things again? The therapist isn't sure and pain is a real tyrant. But think of all those years when movement was fluid and easy and I never gave a thought to the miracle of a ball and joint. Thank you, Lord.

And even pain is a gift, a continuous reminder of all the people in my life who suffer either physically or mentally. Use the sacrifice of my pain, Lord, to help them. Make me grateful to have a small splinter from Your cross to offer for others. Thank you, Lord!

Yes, today and every day I want to give thanks - not just for the big things, but the little things, to breathe thanksgiving all day long with every pulse of my heart. Chesterton said it well:
“You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.”
Everything is a grace and a blessing. May we remember that as we wait in anticipation for the greatest blessing of all -- the coming of our Savior.

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