Bless Their Hearts….Then What?

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Social media is covered with thankfulness quotes these days.  The whole concept is really very nice, but something about it makes me wonder.  It makes me wonder, why now?

Of course the holiday is coming.  The thankful holiday.  But shouldn’t thankfulness accompany us each and every day of the year?  Why does it take a holiday with the word thanks in it to bring out the acknowledgement of all we have to be grateful for?

This holiday is followed by the do more for others, peace on earth, happy birthday dear savior holiday.  And once again, for a few short weeks, everyone opens their wallets for those less fortunate.  People smile more, share more, give of themselves more.  For a few weeks of the year, we all try to treat others as we would like to be treated.

But what about the rest of the year?  What about the other months of the year?  What is January – the ‘I’m depressed I gained five pounds over the holidays so I won’t leave my house’ month?  And August?  Is it the ‘I hate the heat’ month?

Shouldn’t thankfulness and giving last all year long?  I have this feeling that service to others was never supposed to be boxed into two months of the year, but what would it take to open our hearts to the concept each and every day?  Or is it simply easier to only address that much giving of the soul two times a year?

I’m currently taking part in a book study, and even though the topic is difficult at times, it’s right on.  The whole concept of the study is don’t just talk the talk, walk the walk.  It’s so easy to say you’re a giver, that you worry for others.  It’s so easy to say bless their hearts and then move away.  It’s easy to talk, but what about what comes next?  Is it easy to do?

The study has pushed me each day to think about what I’m doing for others.  And honestly, most days I feel less than worthy.  The magic of the study has been that it opened my eyes to the concept.  What have I done today for somebody else?  And the kicker is…it’s way more than a monetary service.  Maybe sometimes it is a donation, but other days, it might be a kind word to a stranger, a smile for a lonely person, a card sent in the mail, or even a hug.  Parents serve their children every day by giving up their wants for the needs of their children.  Adult children give up their time and perhaps their freedom to care for aging parents.  And each of these is nothing less than showing love and giving from the heart.

It’s a daily struggle to give of myself.  Life snags me, makes me tired and irritated at times.  Other times, it makes me yearn for a leap off the merry-go-round that is the daily grind of living.  But most days, I yearn to be and to do something more than just be submersed in myself.  I don’t want to think about my own problems.  I want to help someone else with theirs.

This yearning is to serve twelve months of the year, not just two.  It demands that I be thankful for 365 days a year, not just 30.  Whether it be a small gesture or a grand blessing, I pray that each day I find a way to do both.

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