As a child sitting in the back seat of my parent’s Cutlass Supreme, I remember belting out the words to this song:
Are you Humbly Grateful or Grumbly Hateful?
What’s your attitude?
Do you grumble and groan,
Or let it be known
You’re grateful for all God’s done for you?
On days when the tasks of life seem overwhelming and my first, natural and selfish tendency is to moan, I still find myself singing this song softly. And there is no greater time than the holidays to reflect on the attitude of my own heart. Am I humbly grateful or am I grumbly hateful?
What’s my attitude?
As I walk across the tiles of our home, dirt crunching beneathe each step reminding me of the need for yet another sweep, vaccuum and mop, am I humbly grateful for a tile floor on which to walk?
As I make beds yet again, and strip soiled sheets off of beds just one more time adding to the never ending pile of laundry, am I humbly grateful for the simple luxury of extra bed sheets and a machine that washes the clothes for me?
As I search the refridgerator for food to prepare for dinner only to find that I need to run to the store yet again, am I humbly grateful for the convenience of a store just down the road and the money in the bank to buy more than enough food?
As the three little people gifted to me screech through the house, arguing over invisible pies and other insanity, am I humbly grateful for the gift of my children? Am I grateful that I have been given not one but three blessings to care for, nourish and guide to adulthood?
Sometimes it is so much easier to be Grumbly Hateful.
Then I read a story like this one about Jonathon. Alone. Abandoned in the jungle. No one to love him. No hugs, no promise of a next meal. No washing machine. No one. And yet, when presented with a small package of food and gifts his eyes light bright. Humbly grateful.
This Thanksgiving, as I scrub floors and wash sinks, as I prepare food and make beds, I do so with full knowledge and understanding of just how blessed I am. Life is easy, it is grand, it is full – not because of, but rather in spite of, all the “stuff.” Yes, I’m grateful for beds and a roof and a yard and…everything.
But mostly, if I boil it down, I am grateful for Him and all He’s done for me. Humbly Grateful. I read this quote by Abraham Lincoln yesterday, taken from his Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1863 when he officially declared the last Thursday in the month of November to be a holiday of Thanks.
“The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they can not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God . . . . No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy”
This often forgotten and overlooked American holiday of Thanksgiving is so full of opportunity to remember, to praise, to thank. For more information on the history of Thanksgiving, visit the website, Celebrating Holidays.
Thanksgiving is more than just remembering the
Pilgrims landing on Earth first gathering and shared meal between the Pilgrims and Indians in 1621. From our earliest history, Thanksgiving was about acknowledging with grateful hearts the One who has given us far above and beyond all that we could ever ask or imagine.
Today I am Humbly Grateful.