Monday, December 19, 2011

Grateful (yes, in December)

Ok, I'm dreadfully least as far as blog posts go. :) When it comes to being ready for Christmas, I'm pretty much good with it, but I've been thinking a lot lately about gratitude, and since Thanksgiving was last month...see, that's why I'm behind.

So I've been thinking about gratitude. A lot. And not just lately, but for the last few months or so. I could go into some long explanation about it, but...let's just say I've really come to understand how incredibly important gratitude is for our souls, for our spiritual selves, and to give to others. Way back at the beginning of December, I was walking in to a store when I noticed the Bell Ringer Person (you know, Salvation Army bell ringers?). I thought to myself about how last year there was a big uproar about stores not allowing the Bell Ringers to be outside, so I thought that it was neat that this store had one. I went inside, all the time wondering if I actually had any cash to put in the bucket. I don't carry cash much, and I didn't buy anything inside, so when I came out, all the cash I had was six quarters and three pennies. I dropped it in the bucket, feeling almost silly, but the girl smiled and said, "Thank you! Merry Christmas!" Oh right...CHRISTmas. Wow. It made me smile...I felt good and then it spread..... I felt Joy! I thought about it all day and felt Joy all day, over just a little thing...over $1.53 to be exact. I thought about how her gratitude was part of the Joy I felt all day. It made me think about all the THINGS I have...and all the blessings (you know, the ones that aren't things), and that dropping my little coins in the bucket was part of showing the Lord how thankful I really am for all those, um, things that aren't things. I have SO much! There's the Good News of the Gospel to start, my Savior. There are so many wonderful people in my life! So much that brings me Joy, so very much to be thankful for.

A few weeks ago, my sweetheart started a new treatment for the cancer that has plagued him since just a few weeks after we were married. Before that happened, he had to undergo the usual tests to see exactly what was happening. And the results of those tests were pretty much amazing. The largest cancer spot that was there is shrinking...the smaller ones are now no longer visible on a scan. It was too was everything we hoped and prayed for, and now the Dr. says it and...I'm numb. It took days for it to register....and then I could hardly contain myself once it did. Shrinking!! SO much to be grateful for, and I almost missed it. How many other little things...little teeny, non-life-and-death kinds of things, do I miss being grateful for?

I love this song...and every line is a lesson, so I can't even just quote one or two. Read the lyric for yourself:

(by John Bucchino, as sung by Brian Stokes Mitchell)

I’ve got a roof over my head
I’ve got a warm place to sleep
Some nights I lie awake counting gifts
Instead of counting sheep

I’ve got a heart that can hold love
I’ve got a mind that can think
There may be times when I lose the light
And let my spirits sink
But I can’t stay depressed
When I remember how I’m blessed

Grateful, grateful
Truly grateful I am
Grateful, grateful
Truly blessed, And duly grateful

In a city of strangers
I"ve got a family of friends
No matter what rocks and brambles fill the way
I know that they will stay until the end

I feel a Hand holding my hand
It’s not a Hand you can see
But on the road to the Promised Land
This Hand will shepherd me
Through delight and despair
Holding tight and always there

Grateful, grateful
Truly grateful I am
Grateful, grateful
Truly blessed And duly grateful

It’s not that I don’t want a lot
Or hope for more, or dream of more
But giving thanks for what I’ve got
Makes me so much happier than keeping score

In a world that can bring pain
I will still take each chance
For I believe that whatever the terrain
Our feet can learn to dance
Whatever stone life may sling
We can moan or we can sing

Grateful, grateful
Truly grateful, I am
Grateful, grateful
Truly blessed And duly grateful
Truly blessed And duly grateful
So here's my Pre-Christmas promise (ahhh, maybe I'll say I'm ahead of the game and call it an early New Year's goal?), to remember, every day, to count my gifts, for I do believe that whatever life brings us, our feet can learn to dance. We can feel JOY, we can be thankful, even in our trials. And for that, I am truly grateful.


  1. I can't tell you how much your post meant to me. I have a bad habit of taking things for granted or feeling sorry for myself when I hve so much to be grqteful for, I am glad to hear Robert is doing well. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Have a Merry Christmas!

  2. Thank you, Carl. I am trying to practice a 'thought pattern' shift of being grateful rather than 'Hoping for more and dreaming of more'. Ahhh...the mortal life!
    Merry Christmas to you and your family as well!

  3. Kathleen, what a delightful post! And what wonderful news on the home front!