"Thank you, Mommy, for the new book you bought for my Kindle."
Unable to contain her excitement about studying Thomas Edison (one of her heroes), she whispers the words without any prompting or reminder.
That always touches my mama's heart.
"You're welcome, sweetie. I love to bless you."
"I love to bless you" - it's a phrase I say often--because it's true. My mind always seems to hatch plans--thinking of little things they would appreciate, little surprises they would love.
But sometimes even my best "bless-you" plans are stopped, at least temporarily, by ingratitude. Like desert Israelites, my kids sometimes forget all they're surrounded by, all the good that's happened for them in the past.
Focused on one thing that hasn't gone their way, or one thing they want that they haven't received, they stop anything else good from falling into their path.
I love to bless them either way, but when they actually recognize those blessings...when thanks fills their little hearts and overflows into speech? When they model my generosity to a sibling or a parent or a friend?
Whoa--it makes me want to show them what I can really do. They could never outdo me in generosity when their blessings are acknowledged, received, counted.
Of course it hits me, always hits me. Anytime I think of a lesson for the kids, it's a lesson for me too. Because in my grown-up way and my grown-up thoughts, I do the exact same thing.
In the face of overwhelming abundance, I grumble. Maybe only inwardly, but I do it all the same.
I focus on one minor thing--like a restless night's sleep, a child with an issue, a messy house--and I stumble along, blindly unaware that I'm in the presence of greatness.
Like the most wonderful, patient parent, God loves to bless us without a doubt.
But I wonder if when we observe the blessings, when we acknowledge the goodness, especially in the face of the struggles and the unknowns--does it open us up for the even greater things we've been hoping for?
- Like the breakthrough we've been needing
- the joy we've been desperate for
- the overcoming of that issue that won't go away
A blessing unobserved is a gift, beautifully wrapped and lovingly offered, that we choose to leave unopened. May we show the example to our kids of receiving in grateful thanksgiving today.
"I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought;
and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder."
~ G.K. Chesterton