Grateful for the Vessel and the Stand

November 25, 2009 at 4:08 pm | Posted in art, blogging, country life, faith, family, food, gifts, health, Holidays, knitting, Life, love, marriage, photography, relationships, romance, Thanksgiving | 12 Comments
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I have written often on the subject of gratitude. There is good reason for doing so, as I have experienced–and continue to experience–a journey of growth and enlightenment in my life based on my own feelings of gratitude, or lack thereof.

One of the most beautiful things I have learned along the way is that, to be grateful is to love, and that without love an understanding of gratitude cannot be enveloped within myself.

I am not referring of love for a person or thing, but rather love as a feeling and concept within myself . It is said that God is love. I have found that to be true for me, from my own personal experience.

From my experience, to the degree that I am filled up with or low on the feeling of love within myself I feel more or less connected to God, more or less a part of God. There is knowing this intellectually, and then there is living it. There is experiencing this feeling of love as an effect that has been caused from somewhere other than myself, and there is noticing that I am falling short on it then purposely straightening myself out to bring all or parts of it back.

This is what I have found to be true, and this is how I can manage to describe and explain my experiences and thoughts.

God is love. I know this to be true from my own personal experience.

When I explore and discover a depth of gratitude, I discover and experience a greater sense of love and thereby a deeper sense of God, a deeper connection with God.

My favorite realization about gratitude is that if I am thirsty and I have I have a drink of water in my hand, it is easy to be grateful for the water … but, there is so much more to be grateful for.

I am grateful for the vessel and the stand. The cup that holds the drink of water, I am grateful for that cup. I am grateful for whoever or whatever saw fit to design and create that cup, the vessel, that holds my drink of water. The cup has a stem and stand, and for these I am grateful too, for the support they afford the cup. Considering the vessel and the stand leads me to gratitude for the faucet I was able to turn that allowed my drink of water to flow into the cup.

I am grateful for the fact of the flowing water itself, and the pipes that lead it to my cup. Someone laid those pipes; in our case I even watched a few years ago as my husband dug the trench through our yard with this tractor that the pipes were laid in on an approach to our house. Prior to that, some workers came through the area and did the digging and the laying of the pipes that allow city water to come to our home so that we no longer have to use well and cistern water.

I am grateful for the all of the decisions and planning and funding and meetings and preparations that led to the workers who dug the trenches and laid the pipes that made it possible for us to have “city water” at our farm.

I am grateful for the abundant supply of water in our local streams, rivers, and lakes that makes it possible for a super abundance of water to be available for the city water, the wells, and the cisterns all around us. Grateful for the rain, grateful for the earth the rain falls on, the contours of the land that allow these waters to flow and move and arrive where they are needed.

I grateful for the weather that has allowed the rain and the snow to fall that supplies our rich water resources. Grateful even for the foul storms that have contributed to the motion. Grateful for the sunny days in between that have allowed some water to submerge into the earth and reroute itself in other ways so that our land is not flooded over with water unabated. I am grateful to my husband for bringing me here to this land, this farm, this river … this city water, and this drink of water I hold in my hands.

I am grateful for any man I knew or met before my husband whose behavior, attitude, and demeanor–good or bad–led to my ability to correctly perceive that this man is abundantly good and that we would be well suited to each other.

I am grateful for every seeming misstep I made in my life, those things I thought of in earlier times as missteps, that led me to this place I now call home. Each of those steps, no matter how painful, joyous, or uncomfortable, were correctly placed footsteps leading me inexorably in the right direction to a happiness I now cherish.

A simple drink of water, I am thirsty and this simple drink of water quenches my thirst.

My thirst is quenched and deeply, not only from the water making its way down my throat and into my belly but also quenched because of the myriad elements that led me to this drink of water at this particular time in this special place.

Tomorrow we will break bread and have a small feast of Thanksgiving foods and pumpkin pie. I will be grateful for the food, but I will look deeper and wider to find as much depth and breadth as I can for my gratitude. And in so doing, I will experience a fullness of love and a that for which I am most grateful … a closer connection with God.

I am grateful to you, whoever and wherever you are. Thank you for taking the time to read my entry and consider my thoughts today. If you have written to me, whether by comment or by email, I appreciate your words of encouragement and faith in what I offer here. I do this because of the love I feel within myself for you and for my brothers and sisters throughout this tiny world who are my fellow man.

Now, a toast for the good stuff … I raise my cup of water, and drink to love. Have a happy and loving Thanksgiving.



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  1. Thank you.

  2. Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. You are so right! I wrote about a heart of gratitude in our church’s newsletter today. If we can just have that kind of heart every day not just this time of year what a difference we could make in this world. Thank you Firefly for your message today. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
    Ann in Indy!

  4. I just returned from the Thanksgiving Eve service, and your post is a perfect summary of the sermon. It was good to hear the same message. Have a blessed Thanksgiving with your family.

  5. Your good words and lovely pictures (and patterns) are always a generous gift to us. Thanks.

  6. Such beautiful thoughts and words.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

  7. Firefly: what graciousness to share that with us. I hope today finds you all well. I agree that the path is part of the journey…

  8. A thoughtful message that is so appropriate for today. Thank you for sharing these thoughts with us.

  9. I can agree with you 100% on this: There is knowing this intellectually, and then there is living it. Every day is an attempt to get this knowing into the living…

  10. It’s been awhile since I visited. I somehow lost my favorites and am only just now getting back, but I first visited your blog a couple of years ago (I was looking for a knitting pattern for a small gift bag, and you had a very cute one posted, one I felt I could tackle). That is, I came for the pattern and immediately fell in love with your stories.

    There aren’t too many blogs that I read that inspire me in the same way your “the story of a life” line does. Chickens in the Road by Suzanne McMinn and Ree Drummond’s The Pioneer Woman come to mind. It’s that giving of yourself spirit that I love so much about your messages. Thank you for sharing. A visit here is always very calming.

  11. HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO YOU.. Blessings of love , peace, and joy not just for today , but for your future and the future of your dear ones. Am thinking of you especially today and hope all went well. Love to you, Dot

  12. Thank you from Ireland what a pleasure to read your beautiful web site
    god bless

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