THE CHRISTMAS GIFT OF … GRATITUDE

Ever have one of “those” days? You know what I mean. The kind where you are just plain out of sorts. I had one of those yesterday. No, strike that. Yesterday was a rough day on steroids. Can I get a do-over?

It started out as most challenging days do, on the wrong side of the metaphorical bed. My husband gave me a cheery “good morning.” I did my best not to respond because I was feeling exhausted and knew better than to say anything. Unfortunately, he didn’t catch my vibe. Why, oh why, does it so often end up that way? We try to hide when we know we’re not good company, but company insists on being there, anyway.

Of course, that meant he doubled down on his greeting. “Aren’t you speaking this morning? Good morning.” Once he’s awake, he’s one of the most chipper people I know in the morning. You know what happened next. That’s right. I snapped at him. Now I don’t even know what I said, but it wasn’t nice. Afterward, I dragged my sorry self into the shower to begin the waking process.

The day tumbled downhill from there.

Now that I’m facing a brand-new day, I don’t feel as overwhelmed. Partly because a lot of the lines on my to-do list got checked off, partly because I got some sleep, and partly because I realize how blessed I am.

The holidays are a rough time for many of us. Life can be hard to keep up with, even when we don’t have extra items added to our daily chores. The holidays pile those to-do’s on with gusto. Cards to write, gifts to buy, parties to attend, family to visit, and company coming over, which means the house needs to shine.

I’m a Christian and yet sometimes I forget my roots. When all the daily push and pull overwhelms me, I know what I need to do—pause, take some deep breaths, and reflect. The Bible says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17, NIV) If I take the time to count the many blessings that I have, life gets easier.

I have received so many wonderful gifts. The greatest of which is the true Christmas gift of God’s presence with us. A child born, experiencing the difficulties of life as he grew. Fully man and fully God. He gave the most precious gift of all… His life.

For me today, this gift allows access to One who calms, One who loves without conditions, One who drowns me in blessings every day. I have much to be grateful for. Sitting and counting those blessings reminds me of what is important and what is not. Dogs fed, but the dining room still needs to be dusted. The best part, though, is that I’m happy once more because I know to whom I belong. Imagine how much better my day would have gone if I’d started it by unwrapping the Christmas gift of gratitude before I crawled out of bed. I think I’ll try that out the next time I feel out of sorts. Maybe you can too.

By Angela Shelton

www.chainlinkstory.com

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23 Replies to “THE CHRISTMAS GIFT OF … GRATITUDE”

    1. Amen, it is difficult but God sends us wonderful reminders to begin each day with Him — Angela’s post is one of those excellent reminders!!! Merry Christmas, Sherry! 🙂

    1. And thank you, Angela, for sharing your story with us!! Though I may be bias, this faithful group of readers are the best – and they’re so encouraging too!!!

  1. HI Angela and eMarie. I’m starting to feel frustrated this Christmas season as Facebook brings up those memories. Seems in past years I already had cards sent, gifts purchased, some wrapping done, the house decorated…. I’m so far behind this year with all those tasks, but I remember how blessed I am to have been able to connect with friends and family these past few days. Most of all, grateful that I can spend a few minutes with Jesus each morning and know that He is always there to listen.

    Thank you for your message, Angela. Thank you, eMarie, for hosting Angela today.

    A Blessed Merry Christmas to both of you.

    1. Amen, Patti! We can get so frustrated and defeated with all things on our to-do list. Good thing God’s arms and ears are open 24/7, and we can call on Him always!! Enjoy your day, Patti, and Merry Christmas!!! 🙂

  2. Agreed!! How much better would the day go if I set my alarm for ten minutes BEFORE the alarm is supposed to go off, and spend those ten minutes with the Lord? If I engage Him before my feet hit the floor, I would be in a much better position to engage the remainder of His creations…including those of Proverbs 27: 14 (“The one that greets his neighbor in a loud voice early in the morning…it will be counted as cursing!”) (My transliteration…)

    1. Haha, I love it, Colleen!! There once was a commercial that talked about how things go better with that product. Well, as Christians we know that everything goes better with Christ. In fact, nothing is impossible with Him!! Merry Christmas, my friend! 🙂

  3. This was a GREAT article – I’m SO glad I read it this morning!
    My days are getting fuller than I have strength and energy to fulfill. My To-Do List has been getting carried over to the next day and next day into the very day deadlines are due. THIS CALM – STRENGTH – ENERGY that I’m missing is because I’m not tapped into the POWER OF CHRIST like I usually am – THANK YOU FOR REMINDING ME I NEED TO START EACH DAY IN HIM BEFORE I HIT THE FLOOR RUNNING!

    1. Amen!! My crit group talked about this yesterday!!! When we don’t start the day with Jesus, we’re disconnected from our power source!! God bless you, Joy, as you walk with Him today!! 🙂

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