I am sure this comes as a shock to no one, but I am the rule enforcer and the (eh-em, sheepishly admitting this) one who yells the most in our family. Pr. Nate is the calmer and much more patient parent of the two of us. A few months ago, I was stomping around the house frustrated about the toys everywhere and the general mess of the whole world and started giving clear and direct instructions on “cleaning-and-picking-up-and-no-tv-until-this-is-done!” At one point into my tirade, Pfeifer looked up at me and said very directly “Mom, I don’t like your mad-itude right now.”
Boom, my heart dropped. With a simple made-up word my 5 year old pulled me right out of my spinning emotions and reminded me where I was and who I was talking to. Perhaps you are much more emotionally stable than I am, but maybe some of you can relate to the ways it is so easy to be spun up by the anxiety, stress, and uncertainty around us…and then bring it home to our families, work settings, or to our on-line interactions.
In this month of November, I invite each of us, all of our church community back to the ancient practice of gratitude; cultivating a grateful heart. The way to do this is simple but does require intentionality…it means being careful every single day, to speak a word of thanks to those around you, spending time each night/morning sharing what you are grateful for. Texting or calling people unexpectedly and telling them a story from the past of which you remember and are grateful. Writing letters to people in our church community who you know are in need of some encouragement. For all of us on social media, it can include posting a picture or word of gratitude for the small things around you that bring life, joy, comfort, or hope.
Each week of the month of November, we will post prompts and suggestions on our Facebook page to help you along the gratitude journey. We deeply hope that you will take part in this! It is my conviction that one of the ways we can heal as individuals, communities, neighborhoods and a country is by cultivating gratitude. Yes, even when the world seems terrible and the end is nowhere in sight…we can still, as Paul reminds us in Philippians 1, find that God who had made us God’s good work will not abandon us.
With Thanks for each of you and the gift it is to be in community with you,