MINISTER’S BLOG — Expressing Gratitude: I am gratefully and wonderfully blessed.
Gratitude is the heart’s memory. — French Proverb
Thanksgiving is fast approaching and some of us may be wondering how we can be grateful when life has been filled with challenge upon challenge this past year. Some have moved from one crisis to another. Some have experienced major health issues or had family members who were ill. Some have had financial setbacks, job losses and related changes in lifestyle. Some have gone through a divorce or the breakdown of other intimate relationships. Some have dealt with crises within their families. Others have been deeply saddened by the death of loved ones. Our church has been challenged too with multiple facility repairs and several months of expenses being greater than income. Our nation has been split over differing political views. The facts are in. We all faced challenges this year, but how we remember the facts of our challenges will bring us either stress or gratitude.
Remembering the facts through our intellectual filter, we may see look back and see only a year of great trouble, unwanted life-altering change, and stress, with little reason to give thanks. However, remembering the facts through our heart filter will reveal many reasons to be grateful, regardless of where life has taken us this year. Stress may be the mind’s memory, but gratitude is the heart’s memory.
The heart remembers not the pain of our challenges, but the love present in the midst of them, and the natural response to love is gratitude. When I remember the past year with my heart, I don’t remember the stress of challenges or the sadness of Al’s passing. Instead, I remember seeing your smiling faces and feeling your warm hugs. I remember hearing your prayers, assurances, and offers of help. I remember witnessing your faith and love in action. I remember you being there and giving of your time, talent and treasure. I remember experiencing God shining through you week after week. Each time I think of you, I remember the past year with my heart and I am grateful. Gratitude is the heart’s memory.
If you have been stressed by significant challenges this past year, I invite you to look back at them with your heart’s memory. You will find that love was there, too, and you will be grateful. Gratitude is the heart’s memory.
Thank you, dear heart, for walking the walk with me individually and as an active participant in our spiritual community. Thank you for adding your love and light to my life and to the ministry being accomplished though Unity of Daytona Beach. You bring gifts that can be given by no one else.
My heart’s memory assures me that wherever life is taking us individually, and collectively as a spiritual community, we can count on God, and we can count on each other. I am grateful.
May your Thanksgiving season be touched by many heart memories.
In love and gratitude,
Rev. Carmen Zappi