This Sunday, after spending an hour teaching three and four year olds in Sunday School, Sam and I went upstairs to our own Sunday School class. As is usually the case, we spent a long time at the beginning chatting and catching up with each other about the past week. When we (finally) convened for the lesson, a class member stood up to share a piece of his heart.
His squadron had lost a soldier this past week in a no-fault car accident, and it was understandably weighing heavily on him. On top of that, a friend of his wife's lost a four year old child to leukemia. She'd posted a facebook status to the effect of how she was looking around her kitchen and missing all of the little messes that she used to complain about. And how she'd give anything to have those messes back.
My heart broke for her loss, as I cannot possibly imagine what she's experiencing. And yet, I could appreciate the the gift she was giving to the rest of us in the form of a reminder - to treasure what we have.
And that little reminder caused me to pause (and brought more than a tear to my eye).
It helped me stop for a moment before automatically getting upset when I got home and still had to clear the breakfast table of a disaster left by three apparent tasmanian devils before preparing lunch - because those three tasmanian devils were still here to make that mess.
It played in my mind as my kids begged me to put on my suit and get in the kiddie pool, despite the 10,209 things I needed to do to get Ben ready for first grade the next day. Those things could wait. Hot Sunday afternoons with kids who want nothing more than some of my undivided attention might not always be available. I have no doubts that some day I will look back on afternoons in the kiddie pool as a precious commodity.
The reminder rang in my ears again as I sat fighting traffic at Ben's school...because I was able to drop him off for his first day of first grade. Who cares if it took a little longer than usual? I didn't need to worry about that.
This week, a little moment came in the form of the paraphrasing of a Facebook status of someone I didn't even know, but whose message rang clear as day.
As a result, today, I'm choosing to be thankful.
By Author Unknown
Be thankful that you don't already have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don't know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations,
because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge,
because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes.
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you're tired and weary,
because it means you've made a difference.
It's easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who
are also thankful for the setbacks.
Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,
and they can become your blessings.
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