It wasn't that before our car accident I was an ungrateful sot, and it certainly wasn't that I didn't believe in God before then, it's just that something changed that day, and I am better because of it. My husband read a quote a few years back, I think it was by Chuck Swindoll, and while I don't remember the exact wordage, the gist of it was that you can measure a person's maturity in general (and particularly maturity in Christ) by how grateful they are, i.e. gratitude is the surest sign of a true relationship with God. Wow. I am so not there yet. I fail everyday...but like the great apostle Paul, I am learning to be content, and it is best learned in times of adversity. But we do have to learn this gratitude thing. Day by day. Hour by hour. Moment by moment. Because everything in us leans to selfishness.
And so, I really thought I was on to something fresh and new. I've been pondering the whole subject quite often these last few months (and years). This fall, just when I thought I'd have time, energy and enough thoughts to start really blogging about it, my husband gives me Ann Voskamp's New York Time's Best Seller, One Thousand Gifts, for my birthday this summer. He meant it to be a validation of what I was doing; he thought it was the perfect gift--but oh no, poor guy, it made me mad. I picked it up and read a page or two...and doggone if Miss Ann wasn't saying everything I wanted to say, and rather than feel validated, I felt dejected. I still haven't read it, isn't that crazy?? Ungrateful for someone elses gratefulness. The irony. Moment by moment.
So today, I'm thankful.
I'm thankful for not having to turn the furnace on...yet.
Thankful for a bag of bruised and shriveled apples that I turned into a delightful apple crisp.
Thankful for my cousin--90 years young. Today I went to his house to bandage his dog-bitten hands. We talked about the Sutherlands of Maine, in the area where we grew up. My great-great grandfather was a Sutherland. It's my dad's middle name, my son's also. So he tells me that this Sutherland crew came from Scotland. In fact, they are from Clan Sutherland, who happen to own this: Dunrobin Castle:
Yep, that's right. One of the most visited castles in Scotland today and it belongs to my kin. OK, so my cousin also told me that the Sutherlands had a rather sordid reputation; they ran off some of their own clan, burned their homes, and put them on ships to...you guessed it...New England. And my NE branch was dirt poor. But it's still a pretty nice thing to know.
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