So I've been tagged on Facebook to share what I'm thankful for, blah, blah, blah. It's not that I'm against being thankful or that I'm not thankful, I am. But who needs to post it all over Facebook? (oh this makes me laugh) So then today, a friend told me it's good to focus on gratefulness, again, I agree. But as I sit here tonight I wondered, are they the same thing? So I looked it up. I believe knowledge of words and their meanings is a lost practice and I appreciate re-learning the meanings myself. I'm sometimes astounded at how far off my understanding of a word might have been. So here we go!
thank·ful - ˈTHaNGkfəl/
pleased and relieved. "they were thankful that the war was finally over"expressing gratitude and relief. "an earnest and thankful prayer", "she was thankful that the evening was over"
grate·ful - ˈgrātfəl/ adjective
feeling or showing an appreciation of kindness; thankful. "I'm very grateful to you for all your help"
Interesting! Right? Thanks Google. Do you notice the slight difference? Being thankful is being "pleased and relieved" whereas being grateful is "feeling or showing appreciation or kindness". Hmmm...
Makes me think about an article I recently read - "Why it doesn't matter how you feel about your friends". The article talks about how we think about, and even pray for our friends, but we don't necessarily reach out to them any more. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social outlets allow us to just "think" about them, but not do anything about it. We see their family updates, their new jobs, we "like" it as we scroll, but we don't really correspond. The article is a great read. It really spoke to my heart, as I'm awful about keeping in touch with friends - ask my friends! My housemate told me she didn't think it would be safe for me to live alone, as I might just go into hibernation! (Sounds amazing right now!)
My point is, (yes, I'm sure you were wondering when I would get there), after reading these definitions, I'm convinced of how thankful I am for so many things! But how I am lacking in the gratefulness department. And I know, I'm being a little rough on myself, as it says "feeling or showing appreciation or kindness". But can't you imagine how better off our world would be if instead of just being thankful we actually showed others just how grateful we were?
Isn't that what the Lord desires too? He desires our gratefulness to be shown in our worship to Him. How do we worship? Well, one way is to be grateful and love others well, by showing love to them.
Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. (Psalm 100:1-5)
So tonight I'd like to list a few things I'm thankful for and show my gratefulness by sharing this post with the people who generate this feeling in my heart! (in no particular order) - My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, my refuge, my defender - My nieces, Zoe and Emma, who make me smile and giggle a lot! - My brother Michael, who's just cool to talk to and has a cool job - train conductor (so cool!) - My Mom, who raise me and provided for me as I grew up and is always ready to help - My Dad, who is a great listener and is always available to hear me out (and you too Chris) - My sisters, brothers, sister-in-laws, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins - who are just plain lovable, fun, creative and interesting (the whole brood) - My housemates and my bible study ladies who pray for me, love me unconditionally, challenge me, make me laugh uncontrollably and support me in so many ways - My best friend Ang, who encourages me and uplifts me and is always there for me (can't wait to see you Ang) - My best friend Dani who is just plain hilarious and who I miss dearly (and is about to become a mom, so cool!) - My boyfriend, who's caring, a great communicator and points me and so many others to Jesus (and he's in a rock band!) - My coworkers and friends through Time to Revive, there's too many to name, but y'all are amazing and I'm so thankful for how you have sharpened me over the past 3 years, it's unbelievable all the things I have seen the Lord do through your prayers and your love- Amazing! - My friends Cely, Chayo, Angie, Monika, Emily and Isabel - my running buddies & cheer team. I love you each for your huge hearts, your fierce intelligence and your amazing love. I miss the West Coast ladies! - My prayer warriors - you know who you are - you are amazing, I can't thank you enough for holding me up in prayer! - My dentist, friend and travel buddy - what's up Doc? You rock and are so fun to hang with at weddings! I'm sure I've missed some people, there's just to many of you that I am thankful and grateful for, but I pray that you are blessed, not by my words, but by knowing that your love, your time, your laughter, your tears, your texts, phone calls, emails, Facebook messages mean a ton to me! I love you!
Written 9/17/14, Edited 11/23/14