Not Your Typical Church Lady
A Grateful Heart
November 27, 2019
The season of Advent is on its way. During Advent, as traditionally taught, we focus on peace, hope, joy, and Love. It only makes sense that gratitude and thanksgiving should precede that time. Much like John the Baptist preparing the way for Jesus, we need to have this time of counting our blessings so that we can truly prepare to enter the time of celebration that is about to come. A grateful heart is open to joy and blessings. You know the saying "The rich get richer?" Well, the blessed get blessed-er. Why is that?
A grateful heart seems to be an uncluttered heart, one that is not hanging on to things that don't need to be there. Bitterness, hate, jealousy, greed – those are things not generally found in a grateful heart. A grateful heart will take what it is given, however small and find a way to multiply it and share with others. If Christmas is coming and joy is around the bend, what better time to red* out our hearts than now?
"I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 18:3, NIV).
In preparation for writing this, I asked the Sunday school kids what they liked most about Thanksgiving. Their answers were: no school, eating turkey and a shoulder shrug. I asked our 6-year-old daughter what I should write about for Thanksgiving. She said I should write about her. I told her it was a faith article and the focus was on God. She said, "Then tell them that God is the Spirit of Thanksgiving." Boom. There you have it. Sometimes if you want to know the truth, its best to just ask a kid. Part of me wants to go deeper into the psychology behind the wisdom of that answer. The other part of me is saying, "Keep it simple stupid."
Keep it simple I shall. In my little family there is so much we are thankful for. God has provided us both with jobs we love. We are thankful for our daily bread. Some days we receive it and some days we give it and both are a blessing. We are grateful to have a roof over our heads. We are doubly blessed to be in this particular house which was built by my husband's great-great-great grandfather. Only God could have worked out the circumstances that brought us here.
The eccentric pets and people living here are by far my personal biggest blessing. Of all the humans on the face of this earth, I am thankful that God matched me with my husband. It's a perfect fit. I could wax poetic on all of his fine qualities, but I don't want to get too mushy. It's only natural that when we finally decided to be fruitful and multiply that God would send us an equally original child. She's an odd little lady, but she fits in just right with our odd little family. And let's not forget about Gladys. Gladys the Cat spends every morning reading the Bible with me. Some day she'll be gone, but her hair will be all through the Gospels and the Old Testament for years to come. I'm so thankful for her company. She's the purrrfect sSee what I did there?) companion for me. The jury is still out on the love bird. She's moody and bites.
I'm thankful for the Cove and this community. I'm thankful that we still have this nice little newspaper that allows us to reach out in various ways to one another. Yes, the internet is nice, but let's be practical. When the power goes out and you need to light a fire, you can't start one with your old internets. If the power is out, you won't even have internet. That being said, I'm also thankful for our various heating sources.
I'm thankful that God tends to gravitate toward those at the bottom of the heap, the small, the insignificant. We see examples of it throughout the Bible in both the old and new testaments. "Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things-and the things that are not – to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him" (1 Corinthians 1:26-29, NIV). If you feel insignificant then praise God because he's got plans for you! "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:3 NIV). The kingdom of heaven! How can you not be grateful about inheriting that? Get excited! I know I am!
These are just a few of the things I'm thankful for. There are so many that it would take a book, or two, to contain all of them. What about you? What are you thankful for? Are there things you need to de-clutter from your heart? Have you said thank you to our Heavenly Father for the things you've received? Now is the perfect time. Thank you for reading, Dear Friends. I hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving.
*Red is a colloquial term used in the Cove meaning "to clean up." Possibly derived from the word rid, (get rid of.) Official spelling unknown.