"Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse." (Henry Van Dyke) What impulses have you been acting on lately? I really dislike being anywhere close to the shopping malls during this time of the year, so that probably accounts for my frequent deliveries from the guy who works for Amazon! It isn't that I don't like people - I just don't like some of the impulses they act upon during this rushed and frenzied time of year. It seems that some of the most common acts of courtesy and kindness just fly out the window for some, while others take this season of sharing as a way to be a blessing to someone they don't even know. As we were at a local vendor a few days ago, mom wanted to purchase a small gift for one of the grandsons and something for my son-in-law. As we stood at the checkout counter, a woman of retirement age approached us and asked if she could pay for mom's purchases. Although mom reassured her that she was able to do so herself, the woman insisted. The blessing she was attempting to give was explained as, "I just want to do it for my late husband who passed seven years ago." The super-special blessing attempt was only foiled by her having taken the package right up along with hers and leaving the store with them! There mom was, holding the receipt for what she did not purchase, watching as the woman left with the two small gifts. I wonder what she will do with a matchbox car and some chili spice seasonings for grilling?
Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life. For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels. If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner. Both of these are good things, when used correctly. Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect. Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce