“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.”—Colossians 3:16
Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend a “Gratitude Tea” with my Bible study group at a local senior/nursing home. As I nestled into a beautifully decorated table with shiny plates, festive napkins, and a plate of beautiful appetizers and sweets, I knew the experience would be a treat. Three ladies greeted me and introduced themselves. I learned that one of the ladies, a 93-year old with pearl earrings, had a great-grandfather who had been the founder of our city. As we nibbled on cucumber sandwiches, other sweet and savory treats, and sipped our tea from white cups, we shared our lives with one another.
Despite 40+ years separating us, I learned a lot about life from these wise women. As the treats disappeared and the tea cups got re-filled, I learned that as women, we are quite similar in many ways. These ladies had lived in the senior home for 9 or more years, and found great contentment. One described the joy of looking out her apartment window each fall and watching a tree in the arbor turn a brilliant red. She described her job as record-keeper for the 4-H program and shared her concerns for her great-grandchildren growing up in this day and age. Despite stories of cancer, other medical problems, and dead husbands, their eyes lit up with memories, and their laughter melted my heart.
They were truly full of gratitude for their lot in life. They had a place to live they enjoyed, family to check on them, and an inner sense of peace and joy. It was infectious.
Gratitude means so much. And it is often in short supply in our society. We dig it out around Thanksgiving, but throughout the rest of the year we often slog through our days and often don’t reflect on it.
I left the Gratitude Tea with joy in my heart. I am grateful that I had this experience, this chance to see and hear and learn from wise women. I notice on Facebook people sharing experiences for “30 Days of Gratitude”. I think that is wonderful, and I hope the challenge of thinking daily about it will instill a new habit.
Let’s develop a habit of gratitude. Imagine the change it could bring to our relationships, our families, our communities, and our country!
Prayer—“Lord God, I often forget gratitude in my daily life. I have so much to be thankful for, yet I often focus on what I don’t have. Instill the habit of gratitude in my heart, so that I may have a peaceful and thankful spirit. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”