Reluctant Gratitude (Revisited)

May the name of God be praised forever and ever, for wisdom and power belong to Him. He changes the times and seasons. Daniel 2:20-21 HCSB

(Today’s post was originally published on November 27, 2013. )

Basking in the company of old friends getting together for a long overdue Girls’ Night out, we laughed as we all simultaneously donned our reading glasses to view our menus. I was surprised by the twinge of sorrow that gripped me. How dare it show itself now, here in the midst of the laughter, the catching up of life’s little details and the radiant connectedness. It reminded me of an earlier time when we didn’t need bespectacled assistance to read our menus, have to ask the waiter to repeat the specials so much, or concern ourselves with the caloric content of the menu offerings. Back to a time when there were no discussions of medication regimens or dilapidating body parts.

I have felt this familiar twinge so many times before. On Mother’s and Father’s Days as I knelt by my parents’ grave at Desert Lawn. Climbing the stairway of our home where frames display all sorts of photos from toothless smiles to graduation garb. Visiting places we have lived or combing greying hair.

Suddenly it occurs to me–when I am resisting change–it is then that this painful twinge accosts me. This powerless resistance always dead ends at sorrow’s doorstep.

Some have said, we grieve because we loved. Could this twinging sorrow be because I have been grateful in the past? Is it a reluctant gratitude that resists letting go of the thanksgivings of yester year and will not embrace thankfulness for today?

Wasn’t it Change that brought the grandchildren to which my dining companions so glowingly refer and could not imagine living without? Wasn’t it the changing years that have deepened my appreciation of these treasured friendships?

Dear Lord, during this holiday of Thanksgiving, help me to look back on the blessings of my past with gratitude while not overlooking the blessings that change has brought today. Like Daniel, though his life was drastically changed when he was carried off into captivity, (Daniel 2:20-21) may I trust you and give praises of thankfulness and gratitude to the God who sovereignly changes times and seasons yet Himself remains unchanging. (Malachi 3:6) LH

UPDATE 11/25/15 : My husband and I still like to reminisce about when our children were little–the sound of their little voices calling Mommy or Daddy, the smell of their fragrant baby-lotioned hairless heads and the feel of their small cuddly arms hugging our necks! But things change and we continue to embrace the changes with gratitude. Since this post was originally written, Change did what it does and we gratefully welcomed our first grandbaby, Gabriel. Here he is pinching MY cheeks for a change. We, Italians like to do that! Thanksgiving Blessings! LH

Italian Cheek Pinching

PHOTO SOURCE: Katherine Hempel

Feature Photo Source: LH

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is an aspiring Bounty Hunter who is always looking for God's Bounty-- His grace and goodness-- in the mundane and melancholy as well as in the miraculous. She is also a wife, mother of four adult children--two with Cerebral Palsy, grandmother and minister of the Gospel. "You crown the year with a bountiful harvest; even the hard pathways overflow with abundance." Psalm 65:11 NLT

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4 thoughts on “Reluctant Gratitude (Revisited)”

  1. Another well-written piece, Lisa. And I could totally relate to it, This Thanksgiving turned out to be one of my best–time with family and our precious youngest grandchild (Hana). So glad you have Gabe! So thankful for YoU–your wisdom, guidance, inspiration, compassion, laughter, your friendship!

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