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The week has flown!  It’s Friday already.  Time for Five Minute Friday, the dream child of Gypsy Mama.

The rules?

  • Write for 5 minutes and stop (unless you really get into something important…then reveal).
  • We aren’t supposed to backtrack, but I do read mine over to be sure it makes sense and I didn’t make any typos.
  • I add my links and photo(s) and send it on its way.
  • But that isn’t the end.  This is the most important part!  We must stop at the person before us and write her an encouraging note.  We can write others too, but we must stop there for sure.  I’ve met some great blogger friends this way:)
  • Feel free to join us at Gypsy Mama and read some of the other articles.  You will be blessed.

GRATEFUL

photo: 272411xfh6fooj.jpg

Wow!  I feel I have written about this topic a lot lately!  Thankful seems so overused, grateful seems a little more meaingful…to me.  But is it really?  Yes, I talk about it a lot.  There is a song about heaven that says, “Everybody talkin’ ’bout heaven ain’t goin’ there.”  It can apply to gratefulness.  “Everybody talkin’ ’bout gratefulness ain’t grateful.”  It’s much easier to talk about than to do.

Attitudes start in the heart.  They come from the inside out.  We can’t legislate them.  Any of us who have children have observed that already.

You can’t MAKE a child, or anyone else for that matter, love if he/she doesn’t want to.  You can make them do the outwardly “loving” things, but you can’t MAKE them love.

You can’t make them “respect” if they don’t.  They can say all the “respect” words according to your culture.  It doesn’t mean they do.

The same goes for gratefulness.  We can say thank you.  We can talk about being thankful.  We can even write thank you notes.

But if our hearts feel entitled, there will be an attitude in us that is bitter, unhappy, greedy, and cynical.

Think about the times you have written thank you notes.  Certainly you must have had to write them for gifts you really didn’t feel grateful for…that you didn’t even like.  Either you went on and on and lied about how much you liked the gift…or you tried to be honest and find something about it you could say a positive word about…and it was difficult.

That is what we need to think about when we think about our gratefulness.

Is my heart truly grateful…for God’s provision of

  • shelter
  • food
  • clothing
  • family
  • friends
  • a job?

Or with each item I thank Him for, am I silently saying to myself,

  • but I wish it were bigger, or in better repair
  • more plentiful.
  • more stylish, up-to-date
  • I wish they were kinder, more loving,
  • more influential, less _____.
  • I wish it paid more/was more interesting/more challenging, etc. I wish the people I worked with were not so difficult.  I wish the working conditions were better.

For all these conditions I put on my “gratefulness”, I take away from any gratefulness I have.  It is like the “but” after a kind word, that removes all the kindness that was there.  “I like you but you certainly can be sarcastic!”

I’m not saying this because I no longer have this struggle; I have my gratefulness “act” all together.

Sadly, I say this because I know all too well how convicting my words I write today are to ME!  I am too much like the children of Israel in the desert.  In the presences of God’s protection and provision, all they could see was what they lacked!  What a miserable existence.

Will you join me in asking God to make you grateful from the inside out?

To be grateful for the gifts He has given, instead of the ones you think you want?

<>Whoops!  Once again, I went a bit over.  I had to finish my thought.

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