Sunday, March 23, 2014


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

Today we take the time out of our busy schedules to gather the moments of our lives and family together to give 'thanks'. To give thanks for our blessings, of which, we have many. Though today, for one day, we stop to 'smell the roses' of our lives and slow down enough to 'see' how blessed we really are and how much we take we for granted. I looked up the definition of gratitude and gratitude was defined as a 'feeling' of thankfulness and appreciation. Although I agree with the definition, and maybe if I pulled the definition from another source, I may find a different interpretation, but when I saw the word being defined as a feeling, it opened up, what I think, is an answer to another door of understanding in this journey we call life. If being thankful or grateful is just a feeling, then maybe herein lies the root to many of our problems associated with the dilemmas of our lives. Today we will pause to stop and think on all the good things and blessings in our lives. From being grateful for a warm house and a roof over our heads to each and every family member we embrace, all of us will take a moment to reflect on the good. We will temporarily let go of the 'bad' and only focus on the many things we are thankful for. How many times have we taken a day like today and looked back at all the 'little' things in life and then realized those 'little' things were actually big things? The crazy thing about all of this thankfulness is the fact that all of these things we are thankful for don't just seem to materialize on this day, but they are in our lives every day of the year. From the faithfulness of the rising sun to all the precious relationships we overlook on a daily basis, they are not there on just one day a year, but they have and will always be there. Because of the 'rat race' this life seems to spin by us so fast that the turmoil of each day sometimes leaves us wandering and wondering. So I understand the necessity of a day like today. A day to stop and 'smell the roses' and take one day, out of three hundred sixty-five days, and focus on the blessings of our lives. And herein is the key, today we will spend some time focusing on what we are either not able or refuse to focus on during the other three hundred sixty-four days out of the year. Every year, we take this day and dwell for the moment on our blessings and we are able to make an adjustment on our lives. We refresh ourselves with the positive and in reality, we make an 'attitude' adjustment that reevaluates our perspective. We take a deep breath and say to ourselves, we really isn't as bad as I thought it was and we become thankful. When we actually stop and take this time to focus on the blessings in our lives, it changes our perspective. The question then is why don't we do it more often? If being thankful changes our perspective and brings a refreshing in our lives, then why do we wait so long to be thankful? Why do we not start our day counting our blessings rather than being continually consumed by our doubts and fears? Overwhelmed by getting what we want and not having what we may or may not need?  In Philippians 4:8 the scripture says, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." There are also countless other scriptures that admonish us to be thankful and in everything to give thanks, and yet we seem to stay there for too long. Is it possible this and other scriptures tells us to think on these things because we are so prone to think on the opposite and it is in our nature to dwell more on the negative aspects of our lives than on the positives? God gave us a gift of 86,400 seconds today, and not just today, but every day we have opportunity to 'stop and smell the roses'. The flowers of gratfulness and thanksgiving are always in our midst as we walk through the garden of our lives but its up to us to stop and smell them. If every day brings us 86,400 seconds can we not stop and take one second to be thankful? If thankfulness changes our perspective and brings about a more quality of life, is it not worth a second or two to do so? What if you and I woke every morning and before we planted our feet on the carpet of a new day, we took a deep breath and thanked God for the breath we just took. I believe it to be true that gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. Gratitude is a key that unlocks a door of living life to its fullest. It turns what we have into enough, and more. Gratitude is the energy of faith. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. Being grateful for the tiny details of your lives will help make room for unexpected and beautiful blessings because as there is no doubt if you are not thankful for what you have, it isn't likely you will be thankful for you are going to get.

Today, I am in agreement with with William Arthur Ward who said, "Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it." Gratitude is MORE than a feeling, but gratitude is an action. If you are thankful and it is not expressed in your life, then you have missed the power of it's hidden blessing and the blessing of gratitude can only be enjoyed when it is expressed in an action! So Happy Thanksgiving to all who have taken the time to read this today. May today be more than just another day, but let today be the beginning of a new day of expressing gratitude and not just on this one day but let it be on a continual basis of giving thanks for all you have and all the gifts you have to give your fellow man. And always remember, if you want to turn your life around, that on any day of the year, try thankfulness, because it is the one thought you can put in action that will change your life in a mighty way!

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