Giving Thanks

This morning I came across a post at a fairly new blog (to me) that challenged the readers to write about gratitude.
The first thing that came to mind when I read this was a song that I used to sing in my church-going days. It was written by Don Moen and entitled “Give Thanks”.
Although I don’t attend church these days, my love of the music that I enjoyed during my time in attendance has not diminished.
I appreciate songs for their beauty and their messages and many lines in this song still resonate as loudly with me today as they did back then.
I have often stated that music is an important part of my life. Music is emotive and can engender many things. This morning I choose to focus on gratitude and in doing so I find I recall music that corresponds with this.

Earlier I opened my emails to find one containing a link to the photos taken of our angel on the night that she left us. These were taken by a professional photographer who contributes her time through a group known as Heartfelt. This lady (who I have known personally for a number of years) contacted me through a comment on my FB post about the birth of Suzanne Joy and gave me her phone number in the heartbreaking event that I might need her. Sadly, I made a tear choked call less than two hours later. She travelled from an hour away to come and take photos at this time of sadness in our lives.
As I looked at the photos this morning the tears welled in my eyes from the naked grief shown on the faces of those in attendance at the time. I was also filled with gratitude for people such as Rachel who care enough to take time from their often busy lives to comfort others through their photography..
How often do we travel through life and take everything in our stride? Or curse our bad luck for hitting speed bumps?
How many of us stop and take the time to really think about our day and count our blessings before retiring each night?
How often do we give thanks with a grateful heart?

In his song, Don Moen ascribes all gratitude to Jesus.
Whatever (or whoever) we ascribe thanks to, we should do so with a grateful heart.
The lyrics of the song go on to say “Let the weak say ‘I am strong’ ” and “Let the poor say ‘I am rich’ “. It is in recognising just what we have to be grateful for that we grow stronger and richer. Maybe not in physical strength or material wealth but certainly in emotions and spirituality.
You don’t have to believe in God to be a spiritual person you know, and nothing precludes any person from becoming spiritually stronger or wealthier.

When we profess gratitude for whatever is going on in our life at any time, it deepens our knowledge and understanding.
Many of us are grateful when we are happy or filled with joy yet how many profess gratitude in their time of grief and sadness?
You may ask “What is there to be grateful for at this time”? But when you stop to ponder this question, the answers will astound you.
For out of suffering comes peace and a strength of character that you never believed existed.
For that I give thanks with a grateful heart.

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22 thoughts on “Giving Thanks

  1. Am very familiar with this song. Being thankful in all circumstances is not easy, particularly with what you have just been through Suzanne. To be able to recognize this and live it, shows an amazing inner strength.
    Thank you for sharing. it was an excellent writing. πŸ™‚
    ~Carl~

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  2. We have an organisation here in Ireland called Feileacain (fail a coin) which is Irish for Butterfly. An old belief is that a spirit returns as a butterfly to revisit the family. They have a list of professional photographers who are willing to come to the hospital and take photos, such as your friend took. A friend of mine was unfortunate enough to have to use them but the photos gave them great comfort.
    Giving thanks is not always easy, although I think as we get older we appreciate the little things more.
    Have a beautiful gerbera in my kitchen, thought of you and your loss the other day looking at it.

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  3. Tears came to my eyes as I read this. Beautiful, beautiful!! I too don’t go to church much but still find myself humming Beautiful chants from the Taize!! God is in us and we are in God. Grief is an expression of love too. Blessings and more Suze!!

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    1. Thank you Cybele. It is a lovely song and I believe that we are given things at times in order to help us move on. I haven’t heard this song in many, many years but it sprang to my mind this morning.

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  4. I am really having troubles with making my brain work and to say what I feel. One thing I know, I have drifted of my path of finding something beautiful each day. There is so much to be grateful for. I start off each morning stretching and telling myself it will be a good day. I have made a practice of telling myself I will have a great night’s sleep…thinking about what I have to be grateful for, should make for a wonderful night’s sleep.

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  5. My mother used to say, ‘what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger,’ and it’s a phrase that has often had meaning in my life. Mother had a tough life and a lot to moan about but she was always a happy woman. She was certainly a very strong one.

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    1. I think it is wonderful that you admire your mother so much for her great qualities. Apparently it does make you stronger but it certainly isn’t the most pleasant experience to go through.

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