gratitude

comments from church last sunday.

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.

–William Arthur Ward-

As I thought of how to describe my feelings of gratitude, I kept thinking of gift giving.  Gifts are not always material items. We all have gifts, we should claim them, name them and share them.  Some are common, some uncommon….all significant in the eyes of God.  I am grateful to have unwrapped a few for myself this past year.

Last January,  I found myself standing in the 616, abnormal psychology, nonfiction section of the public library. I had never been there before and I felt a bit uncomfortable looking for a book that was nestled in a section that contained books on children and mental health disorders. We had just received the diagnosis of ADHD for Callan and I was determined to find out all I could. The one book in particular I was looking for was titled ADHD: How to Transform Your Child’s problems into gifts.  That book helped me put Callan’s traits into perspective and to help him use his traits as gifts. At first I was skeptical of my son’s inattentiveness and distractibility as a gift, but after weighing all my choices on how to address his diagnosis, I chose to roll up my sleeves and start unwrapping his gifts one layer of paper at a time. I found gifts that he shares with others everyday; his friendliness, his love of nature, his blunt honesty,  his love of books, his attention to small quiet tasks, his imagination and creativity. I am truly blessed that I get help him untie all those tricky bows on his gifts, you know the ones that are tied so tight you can’t even get your fingers around the knot, sometimes I even need scissors and I don’t think twice about using them.

I am thankful that I have discovered the gifts that God gives us in nature.  This gift was unwrapped for me during our week at the Lakeside Cabins at Wilderness Wind. The small, quaint structure lent itself to leaving behind your day to day activities to focus on family and God.  The songs of the loons woke us in the morning and sang us to sleep at night.  We learned to work together to the paddle a canoe both on open waters and in narrow channels.  This has helped me to recognize the times in my life that are like paddling in wide open waters where the steering doesn’t have to be exact as long as the boat stays afloat , …and paddling the narrow channels where I have to work harder to keep the boat heading in the right direction.

So now I ask you, what gifts have you been given and which ones do you have to give? Which ones are still wrapped up? maybe they have a tricky knot you can’t figure out or the paper is dull and wrinkled and  you’re just not sure what you will find inside or my favorite…maybe you were successful to get the paper off but they box is taped shut.  How are you going to unwrap those gifts?  …don’t wait, get the scissors if you have too, ask for help…whatever it takes….see , hear and touch what’s there, and when you do, share your gratitude with God and the others around you.

Happy Thanksgiving

photo by Darrin Hackney

 

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