“For each new morning with its light, for rest and shelter of the night, for health and food, for love and friends, for everything Thy goodness sends.”-Ralph Waldo Emerson
I know, I know that it’s Christmas time and I should be writing about the hustle and bustle or sweet baby Jesus’ birth, but this week, I’m still stuck on the feeling of gratefulness. And, honestly, isn’t that a Christmas quality, too??
Yes, when I think of gratefulness, I seem to always go to the generic things like my health and my family. But, the more and more I started thinking about gratefulness I started seeing it in different ways. I started thinking about those who don’t have their health and don’t have family. The good Lord doesn’t guarantee life with those gifts, you know? What would I do without those things? Would I be less grateful? It made me really start to think about what I was truly…I mean TRULY thankful for.
And, when I dare imagined myself without my health and family, I started thinking about what parts of life, what parts of the big picture, filled my heart. Of course, my first thought was my eternal salvation through Jesus. That is a gift that I cannot buy, but just receive with open hands. And, knowing that my Heavenly Father has a place for me when my days are done has me swimming in gratitude. But, what about life in the here and now? The everyday things? And, I started thinking about the gifts that the Lord gives us all…all humankind. My mind took me to scenes that I find such comfort. One of the first images that I had is on a summer day when a storm is slowly coming in. I love going outside and watching the purple clouds move with every gust of wind. The smell of the approaching rain fills my nose, and the warm air moves all around me and I stand there and just…. feel. I hear the chimes hanging from the tree, and the rise and fall of the leaves blow. It is one of the very REAL things that I am grateful for. I also find myself thankful for the emotion of laughter. You know, the kind of laughter that hurts your belly, and for those of us who have delivered babies, makes us wet our pants! I love how laughter just makes things better. It has the power to totally change a person’s attitude, or bring people together when they have had experiences that they laugh over. Then, you can bring up those memories and laugh again and again! It’s the gift that keeps giving!! Or, walking barefoot with the grass underneath my feet, hugging an old friend, listening to a beautiful piece of music, or seeing individual snowflakes. I feel like I should be Julie Andrews singing “Favorite Things” from the Sound of Music! But, really, these are things that the Lord gives us all. These little “snapshots of the eternal” give us a glimpse of what is to come in Heaven. I think of these things…and because I am blessed to have children and a family, I want to share these things with them. Life is so good. Sometimes, we just need to open our eyes and see.
I hope and pray that during this Christmas time, that we don’t overlook the simple things. We get so caught up in the season, that we miss the fact that everyday really should be Christmas when we see what the Lord has done.
“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.”
Colossians 3:15 ESV