Monday, September 10, 2007

Woman to Woman - Attitude of Gratitude

woman to woman


Today's topic seemed simple on the first look. Then I began to think of the word "gratitude." Is it the same as being thankful? Should I recycle my Thanksgiving Thirteen from last year? Surely I can be more creative than that. Right now I am having a hard time thinking of thankfulness, because once again we are in a family crisis situation, which I will not go into today (please see Kristen's post). I am in a state of wondering "why us?" at this moment. But I know that I must think of God's blessings instead of Satan's darts. So I will.

I went to thesaurus.com for a definition - to see if there's a difference between gratitude and thankfulness. There really isn't:


Gratitude

Part of Speech:
noun

Definition:
appreciation

Synonyms:

acknowledgment, appreciativeness, grace, gratefulness, honor, indebtedness, obligation, praise, recognition, requital, response, responsiveness, thankfulness, thanks, thanksgiving

Roget's New Millennium™ Thesaurus, First Edition (v 1.3.1)Copyright © 2007 by Lexico Publishing Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

Ironically, as I was thinking of this topic this week, I ran across this quote from Henri Nouwen on Lyric's site - I hope she doesn't mind if I borrow it. But it fit my needs so well that I copied it and want to share it today:


"To be grateful for the good things that
happen in our lives is easy,
but to be grateful for all of our lives -
the good as well as the bad,
the moments of joy as well as the
moments of sorrow,
the successes as well as the failures,
the rewards as well as the rejections -
that requires hard spiritual work.
Still, we are only grateful people
when we can say thank you to all
that has brought us to the present moment.
As long as we keep dividing our lives
between events and people we would like to remember and those we would rather forget,
we cannot claim the fullness of our beings
as a gift of God to be grateful for.
Let's not be afraid to look at everything
that has brought us to where we are now
and trust that we will soon see in it
the guiding hand of a loving God."

  1. I am grateful to have been born into a Christian family (especially my sister, my best friend, whose birthday is today, now the infamous 9/11). I often have wished that I had a defining moment to point to when God changed my life dramatically. Then I realize what a blessing it is to have been spared from a dramatic life, but was privileged to be a child of the King from an early age, and He has protected me.
  2. I acknowledge God's leading in my life, as I have been sharing in my "job saga." Each of those horrible jobs that I've written about so far taught me about sticking with something, though unpleasant
  3. I appreciate God's directing my path, keeping me from wrong choices, until I found my life partner. He is such a godly man, a gentle man and a gentleman, my friend and my greatest cheerleader.
  4. I am thankful for my church, my other family. Though we have been through tough times and Satan has done his best to destroy this body, we are still a light on that corner in our town. It is housed in the building my dad built, it is where I was married, where my children were dedicated, my children were married, and my grandchildren have been dedicated.
  5. I praise God for bringing my little family through so much in the last few years. He protected my children from destruction which Satan tried to accomplish. The family I was born into, the family that I joined in marriage, and my church family have all held us up in prayer during these difficult years.
  6. I am grateful for the gift of sight. The beautiful things that God has created have come more alive to me than ever since I have been looking at everything as a potential picture to share and enjoy.
  7. I thank God for seasons. This one in particular, as we head into fall, is my favorite - the early morning crispness in the air, the geese honking overhead, the clear blue skies, the changing leaves, the relief from the heat of the summer all give me a feeling of renewal, even though it is a time of rest for God's creation.
  8. I am so grateful for all of the soul mates that I have met through this blogging adventure. Just today when I read of Amy Wilhoite's homegoing, the tears flowed as if I knew her personally. I will miss her and her spirit - she taught me much in the year that I "knew" her - such a young saint. I can only imagine how wonderful it is for her to be done with pain - but I feel for her family and the pain they are feeling.
  9. I thank God that He has given us doctors and medicine. Even though I don't like to have as much contact with them as we have lately as a family, I am glad they are there for us.
  10. I am so grateful for music, for those who have written such wonderful words and for those who have the gift of composition. So many times songs come to me as such comfort and inspiration. I don't know what I would do without music.
  11. Finally,I am grateful for my country, as flawed as it is.

24 comments:

An Ordinary Mom said...

Excellent list! I am grateful for many of the same things. I am especially excited for this new Fall season.

ellen b said...

Amen to your list and I appreciate your added thoughts, definitions, thesaurus, quote. Thank you...

Lei said...

"God's blessings instead of Satan's darts"... I like that.

Thank you for your positivity!!!

Angela said...

Dawn,
Thank you for your great post. I can relate to your list in so many ways. The poem speaks volumes to me.Your friendship is a great treasure within my life.:)

I will be praying for Kristen today at the appointed time.

Have a great day my sweet friend!
Angela

Morning Glory said...

An inspiring list! What do people do without a faith to sustain them?

Tigersue said...

I have been feeling much of Satan's Darts lately as well. He always is trying to keep us from remembering who we owe everything too.
Thank you for your sweet list. Cheer up, and chin up, my thoughts are with you.

Susie said...

Great list Dawn.
I'm keeping Kristen in my prayers.
xo

Nancy said...

Dawn, you have really put together a list that could be referred to at many different times of your life. It is an excellent prayer for times that words just will not come or times that you need reassurance of God's goodness. It touched my heart because I knew it was from your heart! May God bless you for touching my life in such a postive way and remember that you, Kristen, the twins, and Fiesty are all in my prayers as you face the coming days.

Yvonne said...

What a great list. I love the poem for it is truly easy to be grateful when our lives are going smoothly, but (as you so beautifully put) when the adversary is firing his darts at us, it is difficult to be grateful and to see God's blessings. Thank you for your reminder.

Jungle Mom said...

I also was born into a Christian family, and made a personal decision for Christ at a young age. I have no defining moment either.
I think that God has saved many out of a life of sin, but those of us saved at a young age were saved FROM a life of sin. (Not that we do not sin, but you know what I mean:)

Myrna said...

Very thoughtful list. I like that you had your country on there. I also appreciate the reserch you did to clarify that thankfulness and gratitude truly are the same.

I am waiting prayerfully for your report on Kristen and the babies.

Linda said...

I too was born into a christian family and my brother became a minister. God has always played a strong role in my life. Wonderful list.

Barb @ A Chelsea Morning said...

I've always just liked the way "attitude of gratitude" sounds. So positive.

I know this is a very tense day for all of you. You're all in my prayers.

Montserrat said...

Fall is my favorite time of year too. I like how you acknowledge God for everything.

Abby said...

I am grateful for my church and my church family. I should have put that on my list.

PEA said...

A beautiful list...even with what's going on in your life right now, you can still find things to be grateful for. It shows how strong your faith is...as I always say, God never gives you more than you can handle. Sometimes it seems He's pushing it though!! You are all in my prayers! xox

Michelle-ozark crafter said...

Very good post!

Midlife Mom said...

Really enjoyed your list Dawn and completely agree with all of it. We have so many things in life to be thankful for, just so many blessings that we take for granted.

Have been over to Kristen's site and reading about their busy weekend! Wow! I couldn't keep up with them!! I am keeping Kristen and her babies in my prayers as I know many of your blogging friends are doing. What a great byproduct of blogging to have this community of prayer warriors when we need them!

sentimentsbydenise said...

Dawn - It helps to write it all out. What a bounty you have to be grateful for! Rest in the assurance that all is in God's capable hands.
P.S. My brother's birthday is today too (9/11)- one more thing you and I have in common! Hmmm.
Denise

Sharon Lynne said...

I can relate to having such a church. About the time my brother and I were born, my grandparents were concerned that my parents didn't attend church. They invited them to their church, and that's where I grew up. My dad became a trustee and was involved in building the new parts of the church. I attended the Christian School as have my own 2 boys. But now we are attending elsewhere (long story)...but the above church will ALWAYS feel like home to me.

Hang in there...regarding present circumstances. Oh..it is so hard. May God give you a sense of peace that he is in control of all events. Praying for you...

Linds said...

Hi Dawn... I have read Sema's football post! I know what she means. And I have absolutely no idea why American football is called football either!The foot or feet seem to have little to do with it. Rugby is closer, but is much more physical, without padding, and it is very exciting! I have also read Kristen's posts, and I am waiting and praying for the results to be good.

Maine Mom said...

Great list. Sometimes we do forget to be grateful during hard times. This is a good reminder to be grateful for everything that has brought me to where I am.

Abby said...

Thanks for visiting my blog and your sweet comment.

Kathleen Marie said...

I am so praying for you and your family. That was such a nice post. I wasn't born into a Christian family but God is sure doing a work!

Hugs to you and looking forward to more of the JOB SAGA!

Hugs!