Why Gratitude Should Be A Gift In Every Season Of Your Life
By Lisa Murray
Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul. –Henry Ward Beecher
The fact that we had made it meant so much.
Our first Thanksgiving together was a miracle of sorts. This fragile, blended family had endured so much in such a short amount of time, many could have fairly reckoned we might not make it.
In the first few months of our marriage, we had experienced one crisis after another, not to mention all of the normal struggles of blending a family —learning how to live with each other, respect one another and forge an identity, a small piece of “we-ness” amidst the fractured parts and pieces of our collective histories. We entered Thanksgiving week holding our breath, praying for relief, waiting to exhale.
By the time Thanksgiving Day arrived and our extended family was gathered with us in our new home, we were barely hanging on. We said grace as usual before our meal. We were chatting casually together while we savored all of our family’s traditional recipes.
At the end of the meal, when the ladies were about to clear the table, my stepson suddenly interrupted the various conversations and asked if we could go around the table and share something for which we were thankful. He looked toward my husband to start, and before my husband could open his mouth to share, tears began to flow.
One by one, we circled the table offering thanks, expressing gratitude for what God had done or was doing in our lives. Tears flowed easily, graciously. It was authentic. Beautiful. What surprised me the most in that moment was the reality that everyone had their struggles, their heartbreaks, their trials. No one was exempt. Yet what a treasure to see everyone giving thanks in the midst of their struggles.
I had grappled with gratitude for so long. It seemed I was always waiting to get to the other side of life’s trials to acknowledge His provision and His blessing in my life. I was holding my breath for this season of striving to pass to see the miracle, to give thanks, to offer appreciation.
How can we be appreciative when we are standing at the end of ourselves, struggling to put one cold foot in front of the other for yet another day? How can we give thanks, when it seems everywhere we look, there is scarce for which to be thankful?