Thursday, November 27, 2014

Flourishing: Giving Thanks

In thinking of gratitude, do we go big or small? Small is the daily joys, the ‘attitude’ so often spoken of, the ‘what if you only woke up with what you had thanked for in your prayer the night before’ game. (It’s a great exercise, but only up to a point-- sort of like kids playing Opposite Day.) On the other hand, big reaches into the nothingness of each of us, and at the same time, the grand mosaic of how we help one another through the inevitable ups and downs, the feeling of abundance that makes us want to share and rejoice. I mean, I suppose we can try to consciously use the small stuff to get to the big rejoicing; but often that moment of wanting to shout for joy comes spontaneously as a culmination of crises conquered, difficulties overcome, talents developed, and divine confidence gained. 

So, what have I been most grateful for this past year? What has made me shout out and rejoice that heaven is gracious, God is good, and I will continue to trust in Him because I can see the blessings that have come to me? 

Well, top would be my kids. Their kindness and compassion, the way love from me so clearly helps bring them up to another level of character, their physical growth and health, their intelligence and creativity, the good choices they’re beginning to make on their own. 

My two teenagers, my husband, and I were practicing some Christmas songs as a woodwind quartet the other day, and I realized all of a sudden that these people play music. Once, these kids were so little that they needed my hand to walk; then at some point they learned a few notes on the piano; then they chose another instrument, and dedicated time and their own mental energy to practice; and now here we were, right here, sight-reading beautiful holiday melodies -- in tune! 

The whole unfolding of it struck me with awe and gratitude: gratitude for sound and notes that exist in the first place, for a husband who also loves good instrumental music, for the fact that I didn’t keel over from exhaustion when the kids were babies, and for all of us who at some point stuck with it, who clearly have come to enjoy expressing ourselves through hymns and carols. What an embodiment of all the things that gladden my heart -- playing there with my family, my healthy grown-up family, was a real golden moment of rejoicing for me. It encompassed all the other things that I’m grateful for that got us there together.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

1 comment:

  1. I loved this, K. Wish we were next door neighbors!