... Living inspired by the beauty of life, one post at a time.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Journey of Gratitude

'Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.' - Sarah Ban Breathnach 

As the school bell echoed its shrill morning call, I contemplated the day ahead. The chatter of little people filled the air, noisy banter spreading across the classroom. The contents of school bags were deposited and sorted, greetings extended, show and tell displayed ... and then they sat, legs crossed and arms folded, waiting. I looked out at the sea of faces before me, their bodies still and expectant. For the rest of the day these little bodies would become restless, fidgety, so very busy, but for now they were still. We opened the day with prayer, simple and encompassing. Cries of 'Amen' rang out signalling its end. I looked up, inquiring who would like to contribute a prayer for the day? A hand shoots up, an eager face imploring me to allow them to be the one chosen today. Again we bow our heads, a simple prayer is offered heavenward. 'Thank you Father for this beautiful world and everything in it, Amen." 
My heart catches, is snagged by the simplicity and sincerity. The words flutter within me, a simple prayer of thankfulness. The thankfulness resonated deep, something about those words, the way they were whispered and extended left me in awe. 

For this is the journey I am on right now ... 
my learning place, learning the lessons of a thankful heart - true, real and honest thanksgiving. 
Because I want to discover the mystery of raw, genuine and authentic gratitude, I sit and wait and smile at the sea of faces. 

     Because I want to understand Ann Voskamps Eucharisteo - the thanksgiving she writes about, the thanksgiving that always precedes the miracle, I linger in that child's prayer
... because I really want the miracle.
Need the miracle!
     Because I want to fully understand the secret of living content in every situation, whether full or empty. Because I want to grasp how to see the gifts of heaven even in the hard places of my life, I pause and roll the thoughts around in my heart. I let them sift and settle within my soul

I hear the 'God whisper', quiet within me and am surprised with the simplicity of its sound. Surprised how he used these words to arrest my attention, the prayer of a child to awaken something within me. (I don't know why I am surprised, isn't this how we should come?, come to him like a child ... come to him with arms open wide, come to him open and thankful!) The whisper from heaven opens the way,  I tell the little people before me that this is how we come to God, with thanksgiving in our hearts ... thanking him for all things, even the little and seemingly insignificant because there truly is so much to be thankful for. I lead these little ones on a journey of thankfulness and we list some things ...

- For this beautiful world,
- For our Mums and Dads,
- For the pretty children in this world
(because God made us all pretty!)
- For no war in this country,
- For lego to build things

... and I sit, there on my teacher chair watching the gifts of heaven begin to open up.

'And when I give thanks for the seemingly microscopic, I make a place for God to grow within me.' - Ann Voskamp.

Thankful for the majestic and the microscopic ... I stand in awe of it all.
Thankful for this breathtakingly beautiful world!
Linking up with Ann Voskamp

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