Monday, May 7, 2012

Giving Thanks

I want to live a life of gratefulness. By this I mean that will give thanks in everything, not just the wonderful things that come into my life. I am intentionally working at this every day, and finding it not as easy as I thought it would be!

My Grandman Jacob, age 21 months, is in my care everyday. He is very curious and adventurous. He can get into trouble quickly. He is very good at distracting me with one of his antics and then run quickly to start another. I don't sit much during the day.

Today Jacob brought a container of Cheerios from home for his breakfast. For a while he sat quietly and ate the dry crunchy tidbits and sipping his milk. Then he decided to enjoy his breakfast as a plaything. He spilled them across the floor. It wasn't long before he stepped on a few and the crunch beneath his foot was a new game.

I admit I watched him with interest for a short time as he discovered a new way of looking at his world. The little scientist in him was learning cause and effect, though he won't understand those terms for many years. Soon, his bowl was nearly empty and the floor had become a beach with crushed cereal for sand. I pulled out the broom and dust pan and set to work. I swept and picked up while he continued to crunch whatever was left on the floor. It wasn't long before I became agitated and yet even as I did I heard a still small voice asking me to give thanks.

Give thanks? For this? For the extra work or the seemingly non stop need for me to clean up after everyone? This was one of those hard times of thanksgiving, yet I was determined to find something for which to give thanks. I did.

I gave God thanks for the gift of Cheerios, Grandmen who are learning about life through discovery, the ability to sweep a wooden floor, not one made of dirt, and oh so many other wonderful gifts in the mess before me.

I don't know where he found them, but later in the day two more Cheerios were found whole. He placed one down in front of his left shoe and the other in front of his right. He looked at me and smiled. Then stepped on one, then the other savoring the sound and the crunch beneath his feet. Then he ran to the broom closet waiting for me to sweep up his fun.

Father God, You are such a surprise! You make discovery so much fun that little children call it play! You allow discovery to be messy, but always something for which to be grateful. Forgive me when I fail to see the fun in the mess. Thank You for reminding me to give thanks outside of my perfect little box of things to be grateful. Lord, I get tired of the messes, but so many of them have begun with me! Open my eyes to see all the messes You have cleaned up for me. I want You to be the example I follow. Teach me to serve with thanksgiving as I clean those dirty messes.
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