Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Gratitude and Remembrance

I have a friend who used to call me her "Gratitude Girl". Apparently, that was the lesson I was teaching her at the time.

It was a lesson that was taught to me by someone I am - no surprise - very grateful to have known!

She crossed my path quite unexpectedly. Or perhaps, I crossed hers. It WAS her listserv I joined....

We had quite a few adventures into my hurts and grievances, and slowly, but surely, she helped my perspective shift. It wasn't always easy.

At first, she had to ask me, "What are you grateful for today?" To which, I'd reply, "Not a thing." "Find five..."

Since I wanted what she had (peace, joy, hope, love) and was willing to go to any lengths to get it, I would find five....somehow. (Sometimes it was a stretch i.e. "#5 - I am grateful this is the last thing I have to write.")

When that became easier, she'd say, "Find ten". I'd roll my eyes, and start writing. Soon, I found myself writing the list before I sent her my email of complaints, because I knew that was what she was going to tell me to d0. Ultimately, I had book I would write them in, every night. My Gratitude Journal: "Ten things I am grateful for today."

And then, I started to notice it spontaneously. Gratitude. Here and There. Suddenly appearing in my life, without me having to search for it. I even found it in the difficult things - for I learned that there were always gifts in the pain. She promised me there would be. And she was right. There always have been - perhaps not immediately, but they do arrive...eventually.

Next week would be her 68th birthday. I sometimes forget that it's been so long since we've shared an email - just over eight years. I miss that. There have been so many things through the years - and now even! - that I would love to be able to run past her for a reality check. She just had a way with speaking truth into the midst of the chaos of my mind.

You are dearly missed, Karen, but I am ever grateful for the impact you have made on my heart, my perspective, and on my life. I am trusting you are right again - there will be a gift in this pain as well.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

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