Jaime Geideman – Associate Worship Pastor
I recently read a book called “The Fringe Hours” it’s a book to help busy working moms make the most of all the time they have available for themselves, their families and their work. One chapter in particular stuck out to me in the book and it was about gratitude.
What’s the definition of gratitude you may or may not have asked…I have the answer either way and it’s this:
the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
I love that definition. I love the thought that gratitude is a quality within a person to be thankful. That you would be ready at any time to show appreciation and to return kindness. What a beautiful thought. I want that quality!
The book challenged it’s readers to start a gratitude journal, to write down something everyday that they are thankful for each day and I’ve taken the challenge. No matter what I’m going through that day, good, bad, sad, exciting, disappointing it is such a gift to recognize even amongst some hard things everything I have to be truly grateful for.
If you’ve followed my blogs here at Central you will be very familiar with the surgical recovery I’m on. I’m 4 ½ months into a year-long jaw reconstruction recovery process due to a long battle with jaw joint pain. My biggest frustration is the fact that I have had NO feeling return to my bottom lip & chin due to the nerves being moved. The surgeon expected “some” feeling (sensation) to return by 3 months..and…..NOTHING! As I sat disappointed in his office, he looked at me and said..you should be grateful that you haven’t been able to feel. Grateful!?!? There was that word again. Grateful I can’t feel!?!? Because biting my own lip, drooling, spilling food down my face and not being able to put on chapstick without a mirror is fun!?!? He said no, be grateful that you haven’t had to feel the real weight of the pain of this process, being numbed has spared you from it. (OUCH!!) I felt that one, not in my face but in my spirit.
I have something to be grateful for, and so do you. Every day we can be grateful that Jesus came and gave his life for us, taking our guilt and shame upon himself and dying that we can have life. The challenge for me, as well as the challenge for you is to acknowledge that, as well as acknowledge the overwhelming amount of big and small things in our lives that we have to be grateful for and to GIVE thanks for them, to SHOW our appreciation and RETURN kindness.
I want to invite you to take this challenge with me, write down what you’re thankful for today. Make a call; send a text or a Facebook message to a loved one or a friend that you are thankful for. Show a random act of kindness and buy the coffee of the person behind you in line today or bring water bottles out to the throngs of folks walking around playing Pokemon go outside (you might found me out there playing it and… it’s hot outside, don’t judge :)) Let’s be people who have the quality of being thankful. GIVE thanks; SHOW appreciation, RETURN kindness because we really are made for more.