Last night, I was talking to my sister while I was walking across the street to pick up a couple of things to make gumbo for my Fat Tuesday celebration. I had borrowed some change from my son’s ZIPLOCK bag because my bank account was empty, and I was recounting to my sister how I was counting out quarters in the checkout line to make my purchase and how the gentleman behind me had his wallet at the ready in case I was short (truly!) Robin was horrified, and I told her, “That’s the whole point, though, Rob. I am walking across the street from my beautiful little condo in Dana Point, California; I just bought chicken and parsley and green onions and a red bell pepper and okra to make gumbo so that I can celebrate Mardi Gras; and I am talking to you on my cell phone with my Bluetooth … and I think I am poor??? In what world does that equal ‘poor’?” Where is my GRATEFULNESS for the things I have in life????
When considering gratitude – or, sadly, in my case, obviously, the lack of gratitude – I decided to begin a list of some of the things with which I have been blessed and to start recognizing that I do have things for which I need to be grateful (and that I really will be fine if I don’t eat three squares today on Ash Wednesday!!!)
1. I woke up! I woke up healthy; I woke up warm and after a good night’s rest while sleeping in a comfortable bed in a lovely home a mile from the beach. If I added not one more thing to my list, I already have more than the greatest share of the world’s population.
2. I had some great coffee and petted my kitty, Don Cheadle. (Yup, you read it right. You can thank Cody for that!)
3. I went to church. I picked the church I wanted to attend and I celebrated the faith in which I chose to believe. (If I am not mistaken, I believe that is called “freedom???”) Again, how many throughout the world are not even free to attend church at all or to choose which church they will attend or how they will worship?
I haven’t even begun to consider the many, many blessings of my life, and I already have more than most. For me, this Lenten season is about recognizing how blessed I am. If there is any sacrifice or suffering involved (remember my $5.30 per day food budget???), the point of the “sacrifice” or “suffering” will be to remind me to be grateful: to be grateful for the things with which God has blessed me and to be grateful for who God is in my life and what He has done for me.