The Grace of Gratitude
December 26, 2021

      It is December 26th 2021. This was not one of my favorite Christmases. For a variety of reasons, my husband and I found ourselves not a little disillusioned over the holidays. We talked about it and decided that it had its roots primarily in the fact that it had been a year of drastic change for both of us.

     But I came into a pivotal moment when my daughter-in-law gave me a treasured book as a Christmas gift. It was entitled, “Gratitude Diaries” and was authored by Janice Kaplan. After our holiday guests had departed, Eric had me read a few pages of it to him. And then this morning, during my early morning quiet time I read a few more pages on my own. I decided that I would respond by beginning to journal regularly on my own record of gratitude throughout the year. 

     My son and his family have a meeting every morning where they each recount at least one thing they are grateful for. One morning they included me in their meeting. It was a refreshing experience. Well, as a result of receiving this book for Christmas, I am determining to begin keeping score of what I am grateful for each day. Just this morning, I have been feeling energized by reflecting on my list of thankfulnesses. At first, I was aware of how negatively I had viewed this year’s holiday. I was pretty convicted by my downfall. But as I refocused my gaze onto the list of my positives, I felt new energy surge into my spirit. It was then that I determined to rise to the challenge of praising God for the gifts life has to offer, rather than bemoaning my losses. So, I will begin right here, right now, to practice giving thanks for the gifts life has brought my way. I will name a few here: 

  1. I am so grateful for the songs the children’s choir sang at the Christmas Eve service at my son’s church.
  2. I am grateful for my husband, Eric, and for the excellence with which he provides for me.
  3. I am so grateful for my children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
  4. I am grateful for the tasks and projects my hands find to do each day, for my skills, my gifts, and my talents.
  5. And… I am grateful that I am a Christian and for the security God provides. 

     I am praying this new focus on my blessings will revolutionize my life and transform me.