Real Gratitude

Exquisite, Clumsy Figurines and Rich’s Kids:
Sean, Grandson Ayden, Rebecca, Ryan, 2005
Worst Blog Post Ever!
Not long ago I wrote a post about how I sometimes forget to give thanks for the “small” blessings. You can read it here. It’s problematic because I only discuss my gratitude for good stuff.
Decorating for Christmas this week brought the post to mind and provided me with an opportunity to complete the discussion. In 1987, Rich’s two oldest children, Sean and Rebecca, made the clay trees and candle holder in today’s blog photo. They were six and five years old that Christmas.
Like many families, our Christmas decor includes crafts made by our children at some tender age, when their enthusiasm outstripped their expertise. And like many families, we reminisce as we remove the tissue from our treasures, recalling how they made their way into our Christmas box.
At Christmas in 2005, Rich’s children gave him the portrait you see here. It proved to be Sean’s last Christmas on earth, as he was killed in a motorcycle accident in September of 2006.
When I unwrapped the clay figures the other night, Rich winced and blinked. Then he smiled and we speculated together as to whether the blue piece was a candle holder, or something else. We talked about past Christmases and our plans for the coming holiday. We shared a hug.
As we prayed before bed that night, I thought about the incomplete blog post. And I thought about my husband, who continued praising God from the abyss of grief.
That’s gratitude.

20 Job stood up and tore his robe in grief. Then he shaved his head and fell to the ground to worship.

21 He said,
“I came naked from my mother’s womb,
and I will be naked when I leave.
The Lord gave me what I had,
and the Lord has taken it away.
Praise the name of the Lord!”
Job 1:20-21 (NLT)

18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NLT)