Monday, June 20, 2011

Attitude of gratitude

"More is caught than is taught." 

Sigh...sometimes when it comes to parenting that quote scares the heck out of me!

Connor and I were discussing gratitude this morning.  As we talked about how to accept disappointments in life, whether large or small, he wondered how he could be thankful when bad things happen.  How can he be thankful when his best friend moves away?  What is there to be thankful for in such a thing? 
I tried giving him examples from scripture and even my own experiences, but he just didn't seem to be buying it.  It's a tough concept.  Maybe we know it in our heads, but living it out in our hearts is a whole different story.

Then it hit me and I saw in my mind the quintessential picture of praise through unimaginable circumstances.  My sweet friend lost her baby who was less than a year old.  There was no warning.  There was no reason.  There were no answers. To our finite minds it seems cruel and senseless.  I honestly still can't wrap my mind around it. 

Was she thankful for the circumstances she found herself in?  Absolutely not.  Her arms ached to hold her little one again, to hear her cry, to feel the softness of her sweet baby skin.  But in the immeasurable depths of her pain, she recognized that her circumstances did not dictate who her God was.  Her circumstances did not change who she worshipped.  I will never forget the picture of she and her husband as they stood in front of the tiny casket, arms raised heavenward, praising their Heavenly Father.  That image is burned into my mind and honestly, it's not one I want to forget.  Though it still brings me to tears each time, it is what I need to keep my own life in be reminded to live a life of thanksgiving not affected by my circumstances.

As the tears poured down my face this morning, the light came on in Connor's eyes and I believe in his heart.  Understanding began to sink in as he grasped the kind of faith and sacrifice it takes to truly live a thankful, praise-filled life.

Lord, may my life of thanksgiving be worth catching as my children watch me walk with you each day.

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