Thursday, November 28, 2013

"Thankful for me"..a child's perspective on gratitude

My oldest granddaughter Annabelle has been learning to pray for a few months now. Teaching a child to pray is both an adventure in humor and journey into the profound wisdom of one still so new from heaven, so joyful in her sense of self.

Our favorite prayer to date begins this way...
"Heavenly Father, Thankful for me, thankful for Annabelle, thankful for me!"
At first glance one may feel that another obnoxious diva is in the making, something the world does not need! After a good laugh at her exuberant declaration, I came to find a deeper meaning in her words. 

Annabelle talks to her Creator as a friend without hesitation and thanks Him for her very existence. She knows instinctively that she is His child and therefore of infinite worth. 
She then mentions her name Annabelle. A name carefully and thoughtfully chosen by her parents long before she made her earthly debut. A name which means "God has favored me; grace."
And then the final "thank you for me"....At this lovely and tender age Annabelle has no misgivings about her personality or physical features. She doesn't compare herself to others, or silently berate herself for failures. Annabelle is glad to be herself! As we say in the south, "Bless her heart!" for reminding us to be thankful for our very existence, our origins, and our unique set of personality traits, physical features, abilities and talents. 

Today I am grateful for me.... with a deep gratitude that I have been granted life by a loving Heavenly Father. 
Today I am thankful for Kimberly... even though my sister Mitzi was named after a movie star and my name came from the Kimberly-Clark paper company;-/ My name means "from the royal fortress meadow"...sounds important:) I am very glad my mother won with Kimberly Kay and not my dad who thought it would be fun to name me Jana Anna Mahana!

Today I am going to be thankful for me a third time without looking in the mirror with disdain, listening to the critical comparative voice in my head, or dwelling on my failures. 

Today I want the feeling that true gratitude brings, one of contentment. The desire that flows from such peace is to love more fully, to give all that I am to the world around me. This feeling of gratitude helps inspire me to a greater desire for improvement of self in a positive way... instead of being utterly overwhelmed at my deficiencies. Oh, to be an Annabelle again, blissfully unaware of the challenge of mortal failings!

Today I will put aside feelings of doubt and fear.
Today I bask in the love of my family.
Today with bended knee I will, like a child, be thankful for me.

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