Gratitude. Thankfulness. Give Thanks. Grateful.
However you say it, for a few days in November we are flooded with it, aren't we!? There are the 30 days of Thanksgiving on Facebook, home decorations with the words on it, and sermons on the subject.
Have I told you that I love our church? I grew up in a Methodist church, Dan and I went to a non-denomination with a Baptist lean church while in Albuquerque, and when we moved here we were wide open to where we might attend. We shopped, tried lots of different ones...and it was hard. It was hard, because there wasn't anything BAD about any of them. When we visited New Covenant UMC though, it happened to be a week where they discussed/mentioned Canyon Camp. I went to Canyon Camp three times, over three years about 20 years ago...but I had an emotional reaction. 'Our babies HAVE to go to Canyon Camp, Dan-o. This is our church.' And, as easy as that, it became our church.
One of the things I love/am amazed by sermons is how different things jump out to/speak to different people. Dan grabbed on to a different topic than me this morning. He was researching on his phone and studying and very interested in something I vaguely remember being mentioned. And when I repeated to him the phrase that sparked this blog, he said "Oh, that's good!" as though it was the first time he'd heard it. Weird.
Any feeling of entitlement will completely take the place of any feeling of gratefulness. (My paraphrasing from A.C.'s sermon.)
Entitlement robs Gratefulness
Pride is easier than Humility
This slapped me upside the head like I haven't been in a while. Ouch. You can't feel entitled and grateful at the same time. It's EITHER/OR.
In reflection, I realized that entitlement has become my camouflage. It has become my justification for the purchase.
We are in contract on a house! I am so excited! But, in an attempt to justify the purchase, I add a story to the announcement. "We *finally* bought a house!" "We've been moving or in rent houses for 3 years, you know?" "I haven't done a home project in so long, I'm so anxious to get started."
All of these statements are true. And every single one of them is unnecessary. Every statement attempts to remind that we have, in some way, EARNED this house. We DESERVE it! And, as I learned today, you can't have EARNED and DESERVE something and still be truly GRATEFUL.
We really don't get sick very often...we make good food choices, and get adjusted, and use essential oils and whole food supplements, therefore, we are entitled to good health.
All of those things are helpful to healthy lifestyle, but I believe (yet forget to be GRATEFUL) that health is a gift.
Our business is growing and doing great! "Well, we did live off our savings for a few months." "Dan works so hard, I'm glad there is *finally* fruit."
True, again, and silly.
Yes, the Lord has blessed us.
Why do I feel the need to justify our blessings? Just so you will reck-a-nize how hard we work, how long we've waited, how smart we are? How exhausting.
We have way more than we have earned or deserve...in fact, we are the richest people I know.
And I am grateful.
Photo Cred: Kristin Cook Photography
Acknowledgement: when your babies are little pictures are no longer current after one year. But you get the point...