1. Out of the corner of my eye I notice the blue & yellow tablecloth, a gift made by me for my mother. A gift returned after her home going. I see it as a tangible representation of so many gifts she gave to me. As I recall my mother’s life, there is one word that stands above the rest-contentment.
I remember a sentence from “one thousand gifts” “I can’t be receptive to God unless I receive what He gives. And take the pain that is given, give thanks for it, and transform it into a joy that fulfills all emptiness”
How have I been so blind all these years?
I. never. heard. my. mother. complain. EVER .in 81 years
She was living a life of gratitude before my eyes-one cannot complain & give thanks at the same time. For I see now complaining=ingratitude.
My mother took WHATEVER God gave, both the good & the hard and gave thanks.
Upon receiving the news of her son’s death,with her heart shattered, she penned a note to dad:
Dave killed in Nairobi. Meet me at Ruanguba. Love, Mary. Romans 8:28
31 years later, in a phone call informing me of Dad’s cardiac arrest and subsequent 20 min seizure (& probable demise), I asked how she was doing. “well, honey, Romans 8:28 STILL has to be true”
Thank you Lord for a mother who showed me how to live a life of gratitude, thank you that it’s not too late for me.
2. hmm fabric… I go to the chest that holds pieces of fabric from home-Africa. As I finger the fabric & enjoy the bright colors-one stands out-it’s green, black & some orange. It reminds me of Mama Willi who was an exuberant, joy-filled, larger than life woman. She truly got “if I have Jesus, I have everything” She continually brought us gifts tho we had far more than she did. They were gifts of gratitude “for leaving your family & home to come & share with me the best gift of all-Jesus”
Upon hearing of my impending marriage, she gave me the most expensive & sacrificial gift I will ever receive=a male & female goat, to start my herd.
How does one say thank-you for such a gift?
I thank God for this most precious gift, knowing that someday I will see Mama Willi in heaven and I will run to hug her neck, hear her booming laugh, and dance for joy with her…
3. Amongst all the fabric, I spy one more-another sacrificial gift-from a Deaf Church congregation in Kenya… A gesture of thanks for us coming to help them write their constitution. Again those having so little, giving so much. As I recall that trip, on which our Deaf son accompanied us, I am struck with the question, “have I ever thanked God for giving me a Deaf son?”
I have indeed repeatedly thanked Him for Daniel-but have I thanked Him for a DEAF SON? A son who introduced me to a whole other world, culture & people. A son thru whom I have gained cherished friends, had the privilege of meeting & working with -briefly- Joni Eareckson Tada, learned a different way of seeing things, a different language.
Ahh, I’m getting this-in everything give thanks-it’s a new way of seeing, a change in perspective….
By: Kathy Lute