Friday, June 22, 2012

A Bouquet of Gratitude

"Though in itself it is normal for us to ask for something in prayer, it should not exclusively be so. There is also reason to give thanks, and if we are attentive we see that we receive so many good things from God: He is so good to us that it is fitting, indeed necessary, to say thank you. And it should also be a prayer of praise: if our heart is open, despite all problems, we see the beauty of His creation, the goodness shown forth in His creation. Therefore, we must not only ask; we must also praise and give thanks: only in this way is our prayer complete." ~ Pope Benedict XVI

My son Justin has always had a very interesting sense of humor.  Recently he was sharing a story about some of his classmates and the very difficult lives they lead, filled with problems like dysfunctional families, teen pregnancy and drug use.  He said, "I have a lot of problems, too.  My mom is too religious, my dad is bald and my brother and sister fight all the time."   Everyone should have Justin's type of problems, shouldn't they?  But seriously, my family and I truly are greatly blessed in so many wonderful ways and we are far too often ungrateful for God's goodness.

Realizing that life is so often fraught with difficulty and stress for so many, I want to strive to be more grateful for the many and varied blessings that God has bestowed upon me, both those that are obviously wonderful as well as those blessings that are hidden within sorrows.

So, I give thanks to God with a bouquet of gratitude for these blessings:

~Daily Mass, especially when I have the opportunity to pray in small and intimate settings with close friends

~Religious freedom- I had the opportunity to see For Greater Glory and was struck by the suffering that the Cristeros were willing to undergo to defend and protect their religious freedom.  Would I be brave enough to go to war for my religious freedom if need be?  If you haven't seen the movie, please do make plans to go.  You really should see it.  And I'd love to hear how you plan to celebrate The Fortnight for Freedom in your neck of the woods!  Would you be so kind as to leave a comment in this regard?

~Time spent with my dear friend Anne L.   Truly some of the greatest blessings with which God has abundantly filled my life are many deep friendships.  What a blessing it is to know that my friends are loving me and praying for me and then loving and praying for them in return.  Friends, especially spiritual friends, add such a heavenly fragrance to life, don't they?

~The blessed opportunity to learn to serve God in all things, the challenges, the disappointments, the sorrows and the joys, and to discern His will for me and then do my best to act upon it.  Far too often in my life I have tried to push my will upon God instead of opening my heart to His desires for me.  This quote from the lovely book Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset says it so well:  "You must strive to bear the cross God lays upon you.  In all your praying and fasting, you have thought only to force your will upon God.  Can you wonder that it has helped but little?"

~A difficult work week is over!  It's cliche, I know, but I do thank God it's Friday!

~Discovering new sources of inspiration such as the lovely blog Mad-Eyed Monk and this breathtaking poem, The Breeze Again, which begins like this...


                 The breeze again, lifting the boundaries
                 Of the trees along the fields

          
...and ends when you visit Cynthia Scodova's blog to read the rest! 

~Family time at the dentist's office.  Our fabulous dentist, Dr. William Baggott and his son, Dr. Timothy Baggott, share an office which is managed by Mrs. Marion Baggott.  I love that family!  And, their office is brand-new with the latest state-of-the art equipment like this machine that scans my entire head looking for jawline abnormalities.  While I sit in the comfy chair and look out the window at the puffy clouds and darting dragonflies, I barely notice Dr. William cleaning my teeth.  Just on the other side of the divider I can hear Dr. Timothy singing as he cleans my son Jack's teeth.  In one Friday afternoon, our entire family has their bi-annual dental care completed in back to back and side by side appointments that are as pleasant as a dental appointment can possibly be.   I love how accomodating they are in letting us all come to their office at once, as Dr. Timothy teased, "You can't expect a family of TWENTY to keep running back and forth to the dentist!"  And they always have such peaceful music playing, like this lovely song by Lorie Line.  Would you like to listen to it here while you arrange your own bouquet of gratitude?

4 comments:

  1. You are truly blessed Anne...how sweet, those words from your son!

    Beautiful list of gratefulness...thank you for sharing...and reminding ; )

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    1. Thanks Theresa! Justin really is a sweetheart and he never fails to make me smile. Maybe I should have just added his name to my gratitude list! :)

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  2. Thank you for the beautiful sea glass... and your blessed heart giving thanks "nestled amid the gritty sand and hard rocks of life..." What beautiful writing and generosity. Such a refuge in our struggles and our joy too.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words Cynthia! Coming from a poet such as yourself they are high praise!

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