Gratitude II

Let us think about this for a minute. What is the very first thing we do in the morning? Hit the snooze button? Check email? Head straight for the coffee? Take a shower?  What is it? Personally, the first thing I do is snooze my phone alarm. Indeed, getting out of that warm bed can be a real challenge unless you are a natural morning person. Getting out of the comfort of our homes and staying all day at work or doing all the things that need our attention can sometimes be challenging. Indeed, having a place to call home and a place to call a job, also having things to do for someone we call family or friends are blessings. Sleep in the comfort of a clean bed and be able to be awake in the morning; it is an act of grace to us that comes from the Lord alone. The Jews recite a precious mourning prayer at the very moment they wake up before they do or even say anything else; this prayer is named “Modeh Ani.”

מוֹדֶה אֲנִי לְפָנֶיךָ מלך חַי וְקַיָּם שֶהֶחֱזַרְתָּ בִּי נִשְׁמָתִי בְחֶמְלָה, רַבָּה אֱמוּנָתֶךָ

Transliteration: Modeh ani lefanecha, melech chai vekayam, shehechezarta bi nishmati, b’chemla raba emunatecha.

Translation: I thank You, living and enduring King, for You have graciously returned my soul within me. Great is Your faithfulness.

The Psalmist said: “I lie down and sleep; I wake again because the Lord sustains me (Psalm 3:5)”. I think that this is an Interesting custom that all of us should imitate. 

Personal testimony

Around eight years ago, on an “after snow” Saturday morning, I needed to go downstairs to buy some stuff that I forgot to bring from the supermarket the night before. I have four kids, and at that time they were little, my husband was at work so for me to go outside I had to take the kids with me which makes things even more difficult. Besides the fact that I was really miserable that morning, I did not have the proper shoes to go outside in that weather. My youngest child, Nathalia, was really excited that she was getting dressed to go outside in the snow. She was running around all morning with a pillowcase that her older brother Emmanuel tied to her neck, thinking that she was some sort of superhero. So everybody got dressed ASAP- which by the way, I never saw that crew get ready that quickly! So all of them were ready and we went outside, all the way to the supermarket. I was complaining like crazy. Oh boy, I said so many things on my way that thank God I cannot even remember. My kids, on the other hand, were enjoying the snow and all the mess with it. Once we reached our destination the kids went into the supermarket while I stayed outside in a clear struggle with a shopping cart that did not want to detach from the other ones! Oh, I was mad. At that moment I had the opportunity to hear a very interesting conversation between two men that were outside of the store. One of the men, who I am going to refer to as “man A”, was like my twin complaining brother and the other one (man B) was just listening to his complaints about how bad it is to deal with the snow. I wanted to participate in the conversation so I could also express my feelings of how tremendously bad that day was, but before I was able to jump into the conversation I heard man B said to man A the following: “ I don’t care if it is rainy, snowy, windy or hot, all I know is that I am here to see it and enjoy it and I am grateful for that”, and he closed his brief but a great statement with a loud laugh! Oh boy. I was impressed; man A remained just as disarmed as I was and he just said: “Okay, see you later” and walked away as I did. I was feeling so bad, like what is going on with me? Why was I in such a state of unhappiness that day ? I wasn’t even able to provide a good reason to myself, so my whole perspective changed and I was able to keep moving but with a completely different attitude!  

Man B found a rabble (see first part). Thankfully, he did not allow man A’s discomfort to affect his attitude at all. Unquestionably,  man B was attentive to what he was listening to, however, that negative conversation did not influence him. He was clear that being there was a true blessing in spite of the circumstances. Sadly, man, A and I were not on the same page as man B was, we were grumbling. Even though the day was not exactly as beautiful as we may have wanted, it was another day that the Lord had made! On the massive tragedy of September 11, 2001, many people that were interviewed agreed that that fateful day was beautiful, bright, and clear, however, look what happened, a horrible terrorist attack that this country is still recovering from. Unfortunately, we take many blessings for granted.

Surely, we can have hard days, weeks, years, and maybe an entire lifetime, that is a fact, but one more day on this earth with our loved ones is a precious gift from God, especially with all that is going on right now. Sorrowfully, we don’t have control of the things that are happening around us, but what we can definitely control is our attitude toward them. If something is not going the way we expected even though we did all we were supposed to do, we can choose how we are going to respond. We can elect to be grateful which will always be a good alternative even amid undesirable situations. Always remember that things could be worse- no doubt about it. 

We can have difficult kids but we still have kids. Someone may have a demanding job but still have a job, maybe not the best parents but still we have them, maybe have a challenging wife or husband but still someone to share our life with. Unequivocally, even for the things that are not exactly as we want we must say thank you, Lord!

Let us try to see difficult circumstances with a totally different perspective whatever the case might be. There are so many histories of people who were literally forced out of their comfort/safety zone and found their greatest blessing. Let us make it a custom in our walk with the Lord to give thanks first thing in the morning and the last thing before going to bed. May the Lord bless our lives abundantly.

“35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[a]

       37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-39)”

Happy Journey 🙂 

God Bless You

Roxanna Guzman

Published by Roxanna Guzman

Hi there! Thank you for visiting my blog :)

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