Two weeks ago, at a craft fair, I saw a beautiful, hand-painted sign that read, “Gratitude turns what we have into enough.” I gazed at it, walked away, then returned to gaze some more. I was drawn by the words, the message, yet something set me back. Something about that last word: enough.
Enough for what?
Enough to make us content with what we have? Enough that we aren’t constantly yearning for more?
Count Your Blessings, Name Them One by One
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, rivaled only by Christmas. I love that our nation sets a day aside for gratitude (although it’s easy to forget that’s what “Turkey Day” is supposed to be about, what with the shopping, football, and tryptophan).
While my kids might rattle off “blessings” like Legos, Tinkerbell underpants, and the Rainbow Loom, my thankfulness flows toward the precious relationships in my life – God, Tim, my family and friends – and the ability to care for those I love.
Unlike so many children, mine will sleep in warm beds tonight, surrounded by strong walls and a solid roof to protect them from cold and rain. They’ll sleep soundly because their bellies will be full instead of gnawing from hunger. Their sleep won’t be disturbed by bedbugs, gunfire, or predators. And when they awake tomorrow, they’ll eat yet another nutritious meal before heading to school – with lunch and snacks in hand – to learn skills that will enable them to one day provide and care for their own families.
So yes, I am thankful. And gratitude is a wonderful thing.
Is Gratitude Enough?
“Gratitude turns what we have into enough.”
I didn’t buy the sign, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it, either. Have we cheapened thankfulness, defining it by a culture of excess? Isn’t gratitude meant to be more than a suppressant for greed?
Today I’m thankful for a hand-painted sign that made me rethink the meaning of thankfulness. Because now I realize gratitude isn’t really gratitude until it overflows in a stream of generosity.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. May gratitude turn what you have into more than enough.
We’re rivers, not reservoirs.