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Last week was a journey though some valleys and trips to the mountain top.  I listened to some heart wrenching stories and shared some of my own.  I could and did take a lot away from the trip about how to see life but one that is circulating in my head is gratefulness.  But, it wasn’t until after the week was over that it clicked.

On the way home Friday night, I got a call about a job opportunity I was really, really excited about.  I thought it was a great position to use many of my skills and gifts I haven’t been able to use in a previous job and would incorporate my training in conflict resolution nicely.  The call was to say no.  It was very nice and very affirming in the message was conveyed but it was still no.  And, it was at the end of that call, while contemplating driving off a bridge (yes, I said that for dramatic effect) that I realized how grateful I should be.

During the week, I received 3 calls from people wanting me to talk to them about some potential consulting work.  Consulting work doesn’t offer security.  It doesn’t offer benefits.  The calls don’t even mean I’ll get any money out of the conversation.  And while I wrestled with these calls and how they will affect to be child support and tuition and the house payment and fuel and food and bills, I thought it was funny that I have wanted to be a consultant since I was 25 years old.  Now that I’m older, the idea is still great as long as I have the security of a job?

I need to be grateful that I have the security of God providing for me.  Yes, I had made the connections that landed me all of these opportunities but I believe without a doubt that God is opening the door for these things to happen.  I didn’t call a single company, they called me because people I know have told them about me.

I call it the art of gratefulness because being grateful isn’t an intellectual exercise but an act of the heart.  It’s something I am working on because my heart is so often overcome with my fears.  I hope today is a new day for me in being grateful for what I am blessed with and that my gratefulness will begin to overcome my fears.

I like the story in 1 Kings 17 and would sure like to know when the Lord is communicating with me more clearly.  Sometimes I wonder who’s voice I am hearing, God’s or my own or the voice of another who seeks to bring me down.  In the end, I simply want to do God’s will, accept what He gives me and learn to be grateful in all that I say and do.  I want to be a “grateful artist”, someone painting a beautiful picture or making touching music so that others will see God through me.

Grace and peace.