Saturday, June 21, 2008

Lessons Learned From Grandchildren - Gratitude

There are three particular little people in my life who have been visiting me recently. It is interesting what I learn from them. It is easy to see things they still need to learn about life, but what surprises me is what I learn about life from them.

My grandson had a birthday party Thursday. I think he had about 20 friends who joined him for minature golf, cake and fun. Each child invited was a special someone to Matthew. The most interesting thing to me was watching Matthew open his gifts. It started with singing "Happy Birthday." All those kids and a number of adults sang, and I watched Matthew's face. From where I was standing I had a ringside seat. He grinned. He rolled his eyes. He was totally estatic! It was so fun to watch!

Then when he started opening the gifts, I was amazed. Matthew has enough toys to stock a good toy store so even finding something he doesn't already have is challenging. However, every single gift was received with such absolute and obvious joy and gratitude!

That's the part I am holding in my heart to keep - those "pictures" to remember. We should all have such appreciation and joy and gratitude. LIke Matthew, our gratitude should just bust out all over our faces from our hearts! It is a beautiful thing!

Gratitude has to come from deep in the heart. To prepare one's heart for gratitude, perhaps it's a little like what happened to Matthew. First his heart bloomed with the joy of feeling very loved as everyone sang "Happy Birthday." It was love that brought him to gratitude. His gratitude was a beautiful gift to my heart. I want to walk through this day with the same kind of gleeful abandon and joyous gratitude!

When the ancient poet wrote "This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it." (Ps. 118:24), he wasn't speaking about a particular (or special) day. He was talking about any and every day - living with the attitude of gratitude! This attitude of gratitude can only come from a heart in the process of restoration. Only the Great Restorer of hearts can do that! And God's heart restoration process starts with His love: "... God has poured out His love into our hearts ... " (Romans 5:5)

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