Saturday, January 1, 2011


Happy New Year! 2010 is already a memory and 2011 stretches before us like a blank roll of poster paper, ready to be filled in with new memories and second chances.

I'm not a "resolutions" sort of person. I never really have been. So I'm just going to add exercise to my daily to-do list and hope for the best. My health could use an overhaul and I'll start with exercise and fewer starchy foods and go from there.

Besides fitting into smaller jeans, one thing that's been on my mind a lot lately is gratitude. Such a small thing, isn't it, saying "Thank you" to someone who's been good to you? And yet it doesn't happen nearly as often as it should. I'm not being preachy here, at least no less preachy to you than to myself. My life overflows with an abundance of blessings that would take me the whole day to thank God for, only to need to start over with a new hymn of thanksgiving the next morning. I breathe clean air, I drink clean water, I have a comfortable bed to sleep in, indoor plumbing, I don't have to bang my dirty clothes on a rock in the river to get them clean and where I live has access to it by road year 'round. Being thankful for all the extras would take another whole day (my family! friends! online shopping! lots of dogs! airlines! a job!) and then I'd still need to thank each individual who's made those things happen. Being properly grateful could take the rest of my life.

On the other side of the coin, though, is ingratitude. I clearly remember, as a teenager, hearing II Timothy 3:2 and being struck by the fact that unthankfulness is a sign of the end times. Listed amongst other, seemingly more terrible, sins is basically an overdeveloped sense of entitlement.

There's one person I know who was injured during a fall, and I sent the person some chocolate as a little pick-me-up. A couple weeks passed with no word from the person, and I assumed the package was lost or delayed in the mail. Eventually I talked to the person on the phone and asked if the chocolate had arrived, and the reply was "Yes, but it was melted." Spoken in a tone that suggested I deliberately put the  chocolate in the oven and melted it myself, and if you're wondering, no, there was no thank you for the treat (which was fine after a few minutes in the freezer) or for having thought of them, just a this-wasn't-good-enough dismissal. This person has made it a pattern to respond this way to gifts, and I've resolved in the past not to bother trying it again, and yet, after a year or so, I relent - because I like giving things and I love this person. This time, though, I mean to stick to it. Not to be vengeful or rude, but because my feelings get hurt at being all but told outright that my gifts are inadequate, and because I've begun to see it as being a bad steward of my resources to continue. 

And this brings me back around to think about the abundant blessings God has brought into my life. If I can't be grateful to Him, what makes me think He won't decide to transfer those blessings to someone else who will appreciate it more? After all He's done for me, a word of thanks is literally the least I can do.

So, who's with me? Let's try to make 2011 filled with a conscious awareness of how good we have it, no matter what our circumstances are, and say thank you to someone who's made your life easier, richer, or happier each day.

Thanks for stopping by my blog and reading this post, and for being my friend. I may not see you in person but seeing your faces in my Followers makes me smile. Thank you for that.


  1. Perhaps the whole issue of gratitude hit home with me several years ago. Someone who was instrumental in my "surviving" in a new town, in a new aspect of independence, passed away. I realized just how much he did for me, if only in his large silence presence. I knew I had a safety net, someplace to say "help" and it would be there. I had always meant to thank him. Years passed, faces changed, yet his kindness still impacted my life. But I never had a chance to tell him. I never made the chance to tell him. I let years and thoughts and words slip away. It hit me hard. Two seemingly simple words, even if they held little meaning to him years later....I would know I had spoken them.
    And yet I didn't. And no longer could.
    Since then I try to say Thank you. Often gratitude is not always received as it is intended. People forget or discount. But to me, I feel less selfish, less greedy if I remember to say Thank you for being kind, thank you for caring, Thank you for understanding, thank you for being you.
    So Thank you Deanna, for this post. I am going to step outside and thank the stars for their light, cuddle my dog and say Thank you for the safety and unconditional love, even when I don't love myself...and thank the higher powers that be for the challenges, of neighbors, disappointments, self struggles..for it is through the struggle for balance that one learns to stand steady. And to be grateful.

  2. Amy, that was beautiful, and more perfectly worded than I could ever have done. Thank you for being my BFF and sister!