While I was in Atlanta for the holidays, I noticed something my mother starting doing during mealtimes. We have always asked a blessing and thanked God for our food prior to eating. I grew up with “God is great,God is good…” What my mother recently started doing after we were done eating is thanking God for the provision for our meals and praying that that would multiply as well as AGAIN thanking God for the meal.
My mother and I have different ways of looking at the world and life, in general. My initial was impulse was, “That’s too much, why we gotta…” Try as I did, I could not completely dismiss what she was doing. She has developed an attitude of gratitude, sincere gratitude. Even as I’m writing this, I am understanding that this has become a way of transforming saying grace — which can become somewhat stale — into something more life giving. That’s the beauty and the power of the Holy Spirit; to breathe new life into complacent and stale areas in our hearts.
While I might not completely adopt this practice for myself, it has certainly awakened something in me that has been dormant. Sincere, heartfelt gratitude. I’m not (I hope) one who often goes without saying thanks to the people who have blessed me in a myriad of ways. I do, however understand that I can, and will, elevate an attitude of gratitude for all the many blessings God has poured over my life…. Starting now:
Chris and Amanda – Thank you for opening your home to me and allowing me to have a place to lay my head.
Lynette – Thank you for paying my way to Nicaragua and allowing me to have the joy of seeing God’s people have a better place to call home.
Don Carlos Alemán – Thank you for pouring into my life and allowing me the opportunity to become an international minister of the gospel.
Andrea – Thank you for always asking me about my progress on the book.
Pastor Toran, Ana, Luke, T’Ana, and mother Smith – Thank you for allowing me to travel to St. Louis, the hospitality and the White Castles.
Paul (and Patience) – Thank you for being a brother, your prayers, and even relationship advice.
Vinecia – Thank you for consisitently beating the snot out of me in Scramble with Friends; Since I started playing you, no one else has beaten me.
Pastors Anthony, Holly, and Jeremy – Thank you for allowing me to serve alongside you and the encouragement to live out the call that is on my life.
Liz – Thank you for the rides to work and the delicious food from Mandarin.
Aunt Ginny, Aunt Barbara, and Vicki – Thank you for always asking about my romantic attachments (more on that in a different post). 😉
Auntie Jack and Uncle Herbert – Thank you for sharing your home and your lives with me.
Sigler Companies family – Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your lives and continuing to connect with me.
Sarah – Thank you for giving me a job when no one else would give me so much as an interview.
To the gentleman who stops by the store on frequent early mornings – I don’t know your name, but I am thankful for the ways you encourage me to continue to look toward the future and not get stuck in the temporary.
Stevie – Thank you for being more than a brother, brother.
Dad – Thank you for always believing in me and giving me the courage to believe in my dreams.
Mom – Thank you for all the ways you’ve poured out your life to give me the opportunity to have a better one.
This list is by no means exhaustive. If I were to try to thank everyone for everything that they have done for me… well there’s not enough time or space for that. I just want to open my heart and show my appreciation for those who have my life so much easier, so worthwhile, so….