I ran my finger over the inscription of the silver heart.Those words—I swear I could hear them mocking me—even laughing as my soulwrestled with its meaning.

G r a t i t u d e    i n   a l l   t h a t   i s

What is thatsupposed to mean?

On a better day it would have been a sweet sentiment—one quicklyforgotten. But that day wasn’t good. I suppose a “good” Christian would acceptthe seemingly kind cliché and take it as a sign to praise the Lord through thevalleys of life. But I don’t want to bea good Christian—just a real one.

I sneered at the words in disgust and abandoned the pendantto the sales clerk. But those words, already impressed on my soul, would neverleave me.

Gratitude in ALLthat IS?

As the days followed the He urged me to find the gift ineach day—everyday. Tell me—how am I to find the gift in dark moments and seasonsof life?

How does anyone?

I wrestle for the gift as the First Boy defiantly ignores mydirection. He says nothing, but his eyes tell me ‘no, never, and I will always hateyou.’

Gratitude in ALL that IS?

Even this?

The Blonde Boy hurls a pinecone at me. He is angry for mythoughtlessness of putting both open and closed pinecones into one single bag.Seriously.

Gratitude in ALL that IS?

Even this?

Even when…

            a car slams into mine?

When my child is sick?

When there is a water leak?

When my son gets picked on atschool?

When the ledger shows more red thanblack?

When a friend rejects me?

When there is no hot water fordays?

When business is molasses slow?

When the child can’t keep any fooddown?

When I boil pots of water to washthe dishes

and wash soiledsheets in cold?

When ants greet me in the foodpantry

and when theysurprise me in the loft?

When my boys won’t get out of bedin the morning,

and when theywon’t get into bed at night?

When the plumber gives the bill?

When my mother-in-law’s health is threatened,

and I hear myhusband holding back the tears?

When the car bumper is cracked?

When my neck and back begin to ache?

When no one takes the trash out?

When the bank account is drained?

When shame wants to reside withinme?

When expectations hound me?

When the smallest one runs awayfrom me—

                        down the street

                                    and around the corner?

Even in this?

Gratitude in ALL that IS?

God I don’t like what ISright now. Just saying.
Thank you for the grace to be real and not have it all figuredout.
On the journey with you… lk
How do you embrace gratitude in all thatis in your life? Here or somewhere…be real. Share your journey.