A Lesson in Gratitude

Psalm 9:1 “I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders.”

Sorry I didn’t write last week, I decided to take a break while away on a holiday with my family.

We finally decided to go to Mildura. I say finally because It was so difficult to choose with five different opinions (my older brother didn’t join us this time) of what would be an awesome summer holiday. When it was finally decided, where we were headed, I still wasn’t happy with the decision. At first I went with a majorly ungrateful attitude.

Some of the ungrateful thoughts I had were:

Why can’t we go where I want to go?

My Dad works so hard. Every. Single. Day. Why can’t our holidays reflect that?

Everyone else gets to have flashy holidays. Why can’t we?

Why didn’t my parents just stop at two children instead of having four?

Not very pretty is it? That day I was acting like a spoilt brat and I am very disappointed in my thoughts and actions. I was not raised to behave like a diva but rather to be grateful for the small things in life.

Jesus was not pleased with my sour attitude either and was quick to give my conscience a much needed reality check. I learned a lesson in gratitude the hard way. This is what I learned:

Life is not all about me and what I want. My opinions were thoroughly considered because my family loves me and because I love them I should want their happiness. I am happy when they are happy (generally speaking).

It is true my Dad works really hard, it is also true that he provides for us. Every. Single. Day. Not only our needs but many of our wants (think Christmas presents and much, much more). Dad loves us so much he wants to give us nice things but Dad also needs to ensure his business remains profitable and thus continues to be realistic in his generosity.

Not everyone has flashy holidays; I need to be grateful we can even go on a holiday and have the opportunity to make new memories together.

I love my older brother, my younger sister and my younger brother; life without them would not only break my heart but would be unimaginable.

My Mum pointed out something “it is not where you go that makes the holiday but who you are with” and she is right. I wanted to go to the beach, I love the beach especially standing in the waves. But if I went by myself to a place I personally love, I wouldn’t like it because I would quickly become lonely and bored and want someone to share my joy, my experiences with me.

My fondest childhood memories are going to the beach practically every summer from Inverloch to Port Macquarie even Hamilton Island. Dad would carry me (wounded soldier style) over the dunes and I would play in the water that lapped the shore for hours until I was so sandy you could have mistaken me for a washed up mermaid! One year we went to Port Macquarie, Dad and my older brother thought it would be fun to see who could get closest to me riding into shore using boogie boards (I didn’t know of this game). Dad went first and came up short. My older brother went next, not only did he come close to me he ran straight into me, knocking me over with the element of surprise, speed and force. Another time (funnily enough on the same trip) my sister and I were digging a tunnel to each other. My younger brother wanted to help so I let him have a go from my end of the tunnel. It was getting quite deep so half his body was down the hole. Intent on his task my younger brother failed to notice the incoming wave. The salty water quickly filled the tunnel with my younger brother inside and all you could see were two little legs kicking furiously. He got himself out seconds later.

You see in those two memories, it was not the place that took centre stage it was the people I went with that stole the show giving me joy, humour, and sweet memories that we still reminisce and laugh about today.

I am pleased to report my attitude did improve and guess what? We all had a great time.

Sightseeing. Check.

Road trip to Broken Hill. Check.

Shopping. Check.

Movies. Check.

Eating at different restaurants. Check.

Making memories with my family. Check.

Seemingly simple experiences can have beautiful meaning based on who you share them with and your attitude. A holiday to Mildura taught me I need to consciously choose to have gratitude in every moment.

Happy Australia Day!



1 Comment
  • Suzanne Keath
    Posted at 05:11h, 02 February Reply

    Cathy, I can relate to that I do not always appreciate things done or chosen by family and the Lord has to deal with me and create in me a thankful heart, I am blessed and have far more than many in this world and need to thank the Lord every day for His blessings and recognise the small things as well as the large He sends my way each and every day.
    Philippians 4 :19, 6-7 He always meets my needs and not my wants and they always fill me with gratitude when I fix my eyes on Him.

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