Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Danke Schön

As the holidays slip by and I reflect on the challenges, trials, victories and blessings that the year has brought, I find myself overwhelmed with gratitude. I'm grateful for my incredible family that loves, supports, and encourages me. I'm grateful for the kindest and most generous friends a girl could ever hope for. I'm grateful for the most incredible and fulfilling job in the world and that I get to serve with my best friends—really, my second family. I'm grateful for God's love, and that it's only by his grace that I am able to have a relationship with him. There is so much to be thankful for.

With all the busyness, frivolity, and fun that the season brings, it’s important to me to note the sacrifice, sharing, and service of the amazingly generous and thoughtful people I know. I love writing thank-you notes and love-notes, and my goal is to write 365 of them in 2011. What a simple note has the capacity to mean to someone—who feels unappreciated, undervalued, unloved, forgotten—is ridiculous in comparison to the time and effort it takes to write one. (And, I get to use all my pretty stationary, stamps, and stickers...bonus!)

Plus, writing a note every day will also foster a heart of gratitude in me and keep my eyes open and my mind aware of the people I am thankful for. I have learned that gratitude is the antidote to many things—greed, jealously, cynicism, selfishness, thoughtlessness, entitlement, discouragement. The enemy so easily gets a foothold into our hearts through these often subtle shifts in our attitudes.

My challenge to you is to express your gratitude to others in 2011. Have you ever thought about how much someone meant to you, but didn't bless that person by letting them know? I know I have let opportunities slip away. Maybe notes aren't your thing...what is? A phone call? A random text? A facebook wall post? Maybe you really want to mess with someone and buy them a coffee or a gift card or flowers...
"...let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds." Hebrews 10:24
"Let everything you say be good and helpful so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them." Ephesians 4:29
There shall be Eternal summer in the grateful heart. --Celia Thaxter

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