Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Gratitude

There's an old saying, "If you've forgotten the language of gratitude, you'll never be on speaking terms with happiness." I think that the holidays opens our eyes every year to the many blessings in our lives. We have a roof over our heads, food in the pantry and good health. Those are the Big Ones... or are they? Could you be happy if you didn't have a home, or you had to worry about where you next meal was coming from? What if you faced serious health issues, could you find gratitude anywhere in that?


On my way to town, I pass by Sunshine Road. Sounds like the perfect "Christmas Card Address," the kind that invokes memories of cozy homes with smoke curling out of the chimneys. In reality, it's one of the poorest parts of Benton County with small, ramshackle trailers. Many are without heat  and running water. How could that be? Well, it just is. One of the residents of Sunshine Road rides with me to and from town occasionally. She walks, in the rain, in the cold, in the heat of summer to work at Wendy's. I'd say Mary is my age, she has a grandson the same age as mine that lives with her. She's always cheerful, carrying her backpack and sometimes loaded down with sacks of groceries. A smile on her face, she told me once with pride that she owns her trailer.

It's in our hearts where gratitude lives and grows. We either feed it daily or we let it die a slow, horrible death. Look around you this holiday season and you will see many opportunities to feed the gratitude in your heart and in the heart of others.

11 comments:

  1. I just read this on another blog, "Gratitude turns what we have into enough." Blessings to you and Mary.

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  2. This touched me deeply. Yesterday on the local news a woman in Texas County killed her son and took her own life because of financial trouble.
    I can't believe that in this country it could get that bad for someone that they would take that road! There may have been other issues but I thought about how many people this year don't have shelter, food or work of any kind....shouldn't happen in this country! Yes, we should be thankful for what we have and fight for reform that will help those less fortunate.

    I hope I didn't bring anyone down but I feel so deeply for our poor.

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  3. Well said. In this country, land of abundance, that should not be. Happy Thanksgiving to you and those you love. Its the small things, and the things money can't buy that make us grateful.

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  4. I agree completely, I know this post is disturbing, this is where Mary lives. Her home is what she can afford and she does the best she can. It's not from sitting on her behind, that woman works non stop to keep her head above water. It makes me very sad to know this exists for so many right in the community where we live.

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  5. Wonderful post and a stark reminder to indeed be grateful.

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  6. God bless you for this message. :)

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  7. Thank you for this reminder...we sometimes forget if we don't see it.

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  8. Blessings to Mary, for getting out there and working hard! So many expect others to do it for them.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

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  9. I'm glad for people like Mary who keep on going with a smile and have pride in what they have no how little it is.
    We should never forget or look down on those less fortunate than us.

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  10. I so wish there was a way for everyone to have decent living conditions and food aplenty...Very thought provoking post. . .Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Friend.

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  11. Y'know, Joycee, you just hit the nail right on the head. One of the hardest parts of Christmas is watching the wealthy of our city roll around in their plenty, and though I have what is sufficient for my needs and maybe a little more, I find myself feeling jealous of them for their expensive gift-giving, their opulently decorated homes, their bragging about what sunny spot they will run to when winter really hits here. One of the most sensible thing Joyce Myers ever said was that God wants us to be grateful and joyful about every good thing. When we aren't, He isn't inclined to bless us with anything else, since we never seem to be satisfied with what we already have. It's something I need to be reminded of from time to time. Really good post. Hugs, Ilene

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