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Be Grateful

Dear Emma:

A few years ago, I was out of town singing and you went with our neighbor Miss Julie and her daughter Kayla to an event at their school. While riding in the backseat of their car, Kayla mentioned that she had to write some thank you notes when she got home. You were only about 7 or 8 years old and your response was, “Oh, that’s your life too?” When Miss Julie told me the story, we both chuckled, but actually the more I thought about it, I couldn’t have been more proud of you as your mom because in that moment I knew that you got it! You truly understood that showing gratefulness is not a one-time thing, but rather it is what we do for a lifetime.

Lovey, we live in a world where gratefulness is sometimes hard to find. People don’t always see the importance of recognizing when others give of their time, money, and heart, and it can even come across like it’s expected rather than appreciated. Unfortunately, this is nothing new. Ungratefulness has always been around. Even the Bible shares a story of blatant ungratefulness in Luke 17. As Jesus entered a village, he was met by 10 men with a serious skin disease. In fact, their disease was so bad that these men had to live separated from their families and society. Talk about a lonely and miserable life! These desperate men stood afar off from Jesus and lifted up their voices begging Jesus to have mercy and heal them. Jesus told them to go to the priest and show themselves, and as they went they were healed. After the fact, when they each saw that they were healed, only one returned to thank Jesus and give Him the glory. Wow. I can’t imagine being healed from such a miserable disease and not thanking the One who healed me. Yet, when we get too busy and do not choose to show our thankfulness to God and to those around us, we are just as the other nine lepers whose hearts were self-absorbed rather than grateful.

Gratefulness is a choice of the heart, a choice to recognize and give thanks for acts of kindness and deeds of love by those around us. 

I want you to know that I love the way you so willingly show your gratefulness by making beautiful cards for your teachers, writing thank you notes for all your birthday and Christmas gifts (pretty sure your record is 25 thank you notes that you wrote for your Nancy Drew Birthday Party last year) and for the way you always say thank you with big hugs to those who do nice things for you. Don’t ever change that, sweet girl, for not only does it bless other people but it also creates within you a grateful heart. And I truly believe that there’s nothing sweeter or more beautiful than when we are grateful for all the good things in our lives and for all the people who have shown us kindness and love.

Love you forever, Mom

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