A small flame

A small flame

The Unexpected Beauty of Thanks

I remember once, when I was a teenager, going with my family to a marine research center near our small tropical town. The scientists took us out to the beach and we followed them down a narrow, impossibly-long dock, praying we wouldn't slip off in the dark.
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When we reached the end, our guide told us to dip our hands into the water. As the cold wet swirled around our fingers, the darkness was suddenly illuminated by hundreds - maybe thousands - of tiny glowing lights. Apparently the water at that particular spot is home to a tiny micro-organism that lights up when it is disturbed.
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I was mesmerized; moving my hand again and again through the water and watching the inky black become a fairy-land. To this day, over 15 years later, that experience is on my list of most breathtaking experiences.
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Thankfulness, I've found, is the illumination to the ocean of my life.
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When I am lulled by the ordinary or in inky depths by grief and pain, giving thanks can make all the difference.
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I come to it hesitantly, at first. A bit unwilling, stumbling through the dark, narrow places. My first thanks may be given a bit half-heartedly. After all, it seems an odd thing to do - to swirl my fingers through drudgery or dark sadness and believe that I will find beauty.
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But I do. Every time!
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It never fails that, as I reach again and again, coming up each time with some thing - some little gift for which to give thanks - that the darkness starts to give way to pinpoints of sparkling gratitude-light. One and then another - multiplying - pushing away the black, until what once was mundane or sad literally shimmers with the grace-glow.
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So, times like this week,

when I have lost 2 nights of sleep to cleaning up messes from sick kids (YUCK!),

spent the day sick myself yesterday,

and am standing in my Friday overwhelmed by all that I haven't gotten done,


I know it's time for some thanks giving. . .

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1. Extra cuddle time

2. Sharing a laugh with my boys . . . over a silly song by Larry the Cucumber


3. The absolutely most WONDERFUL husband in the world . . . you know it's true love when he helps clean up the really gross stuff without complaining!


4. The beautiful face of my toddler . . . fast asleep next to me


5. My washing machine . . . for all those extra loads of laundry!


6. Febreze . . .


7. and Lysol . . . need I say more?


8. Sunshine & fresh air . . . blowing through my, um, not-so-fresh house


9. Snow, maybe, this weekend . . . and another good giggle from this WI girl at all the Southern 'hype' over possible snow


10. An identity secure in my Abba . . . that has nothing to do with how clean my house isn't or how much home school I didn't get done this week!



Can praise transform your day today?


1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Thank you Rachel! What a good reminder...