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Thoughts on life by Teri McCarthy

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The Power of Gratitude

Posted by admin in September 16th, 2009
Published in Blessings, gratitude

Is it possible to be grateful for gratitude? I think maybe I am. I was talking about this with Big D the other day and I just kept thinking, “Gratitude is a gift from God!” Thankfulness is one thing, but gratitude is a whole ‘nother country. Being grateful means recognizing the importance of the source of the good deed, the kindness, or whatever it is you’re thankful for. It’s recognizing the source—their sacrifice, their thoughtfulness, their kindness. It’s deep and sometimes humbling. When a server brings me a glass of water at a restaurant, I’m thankful. “Hey thanks, man.” It’s his job and he’s doing it well. But gratitude goes deeper than that. Gratitude is when you realize someone has done something for you that you didn’t deserve. It’s overwhelming. It comes from somewhere deep inside you and taps into the very core of who you are and what you believe. Gratitude is that powerful emotion where one says, “Hey dude! You’re awesome. You didn’t have to do that and I’m really, really, well, uh…grateful.”

A Mom making her son’s favorite dish when he’s home from college, a husband buying his wife those gangsta gold hoops she’s been wanting (shout out Big D, Queen Latifah can’t touch this), a daughter spontaneously giving her Dad a hug and saying I love you, a stranger letting you in the line of traffic during morning rush hour, a doctor’s test result coming back clear and clean and no sign of cancer—all of this should provoke a sense of gratitude in our lives. Gratitude is a gift that allows us to see the beauty in what others and even God have done for us. There is no sense of entitlement in gratitude. There is no “deservedness” in gratitude. There is an awe in gratitude. Simply, there is joy in gratitude.

Today I’m grateful for sight. For the ability to walk. I’m grateful for the gift of smell (except sometimes when Lance is rude). I’m grateful for kids who owe me nothing and yet allow me to participate in their lives. I’m grateful for health, and strength, and hope, and friends and air conditioning and running water and the ability to read. I’m grateful for a husband who shares my vision for the world. I’m grateful for highways that are free of land mines and grocery stores that have enough milk and bread and fruit (okay, not as grateful for the fruit as I should be). Gratefulness is saying thank you, I didn’t deserve this, it was unexpected, I recognize your sacrifice in giving this to me, I’m deeply moved by what you did. Gratitude is grace lived out in our lives.

AP (that’s Apostle Paul) writes “They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them” (Romans 16). Yeah, if someone risks their life for me, I’m more than thankful, I’m grateful.

AP goes on to say, “I am grateful to Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because he judged me faithful and appointed me to his service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a man of violence” (I Timothy 1). Took my trash and made me whole. Yeah, that deserves gratefulness.

Hey, today, this very day, seriously…sit down and write out ten things you’re grateful for. They don’t have to be all God-centered and spiritual, like mine so obviously are, but do it! And no, you can’t take any of the ones I’ve already listed. But do take some time and think about ten things you are deeply and truly grateful for. Give thanks with a grateful heart. (Wow. That’d make a great song). And those that involve people you know, send ‘em a quick email or write them an old-fashioned note and say thanks, I’m grateful. Gratitude. It does a body good. Peace.

6 users Responded In This Post

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216. big sister said,
September 17th, 2009 at 2:24 pm

what about sisters? i, myself, am most grateful for mine.:)

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217. jalling1 said,
September 17th, 2009 at 6:01 pm

What about daughters, sons, sisters, husbands, nieces, grandchildren, and cousins. Family!!! Family!!!

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218. admin said,
September 18th, 2009 at 5:03 pm

Amen sister! Uh, I mean cousin! Family is definetly a thing to be grateful for. 🙂

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219. Pauline G said,
September 21st, 2009 at 8:19 pm

You’re SO on target, Teri, and I’m truly very thankful for you. But just to add on to that, I think gratitude does go beyond thankfulness, even for the big things. Gratitude is an attitude, a perspective, a way of life that is rather independent of the gift or service or circumstances, though of course it leans the person towards being thankful for those, big and small. “Neither were they grateful..” (Romans 1:21) is an indictment that indicates ingratitude is a significant step towards futile thinking, foolishness and a darkened heart. Surely the habit of gratitude is one of the most important lessons we need to teach our children, and learn ourselves.

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220. admin said,
September 21st, 2009 at 9:17 pm

Beautifully said Pauline. Your comment on Romans 1:21 is exactly the insight I was trying to touch on. Even the ability to be grateful comes from God–it is a gift from Him allowing us to express something I can’t quite explain. But you know Pauline. You know what I’m trying to get at. Thank you. You are a dear sister and I love you very much. 🙂

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231. texas sister said,
September 30th, 2009 at 1:13 pm

10 things: cars that work, washing machines, dishwashers, good doctors, honest police, wheelchairs, authors, domesticated dogs and cats, America, the internet.

Family, Bibles as in plural and things like that go without saying. I tried to come up with things that I couldn’t do without on a daily basis.

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