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The After Party: What was missing in your gratitude...

We’re just coming out of an exciting Challenge here at MOLV!

For the past ten days, we have had the privilege of reading hundreds of messages of gratitude and love, reflected by many of you, towards your family, friends, colleagues and neighbors. It has been uplifting and encouraging to see so many of you not only express your gratefulness, but to read that your messages included words of encouragement and support for each other too. I must admit, I’m a little sad it’s over.

While it’s been an absolute blast having a front-row seat to the lovefest, I can’t help but write about what I did not see during our Gratitude Challenge.

But first… let’s look at the gratefulness highlight reel from the past ten days.

There are more messages than I can repeat in this one small blog, so for the sake of space, let’s just skim the themes.

During our Ten-Day Challenge, there were messages of gratitude for support; for shoulders to cry on; for just being there when they were needed most. We read messages of gratitude for advice; thankfulness for those who ‘have our backs’; for lifting spirits. Gratefulness for sharing meals, sharing loss and sharing victories. There was gratitude expressed for family, friends that are like family and for neighbors who really “see” each other and lend a hand when someone is in need. There were powerful messages of thankfulness for friends and family who helped others through the toughest times, when they didn’t think they were going to make it. I saw gratitude for people willing to pray. For a God who saves; and Who loves us as we are but loves us too much to leave us that way.

But as for what I didn’t see? I did not see anyone express gratitude for material gifts; big or small. I didn’t see anyone sharing gratefulness for what can be bought; not for what someone purchased for them, nor for material things related to any of the relationships. And because of what I did not see, my soul is encouraged.

The heart-felt messages you’ve shared these past ten days confirm the truth about what’s really important in this world: Being seen, being known and being loved.

What really fills our hearts with gratitude are the some ‘ones’. Not the some ‘things’.

Of course, we should always be grateful for the blessings we have, materialistically speaking as well as relationally speaking. But when I asked you to share messages of gratitude about people in your lives, none of you expressed messages that began with “because he/she buys me things; gives me money; picks the best gifts.”

NO! It was all about how your people make you feel. And because of that, my heart is full.

Which brings me to my next challenge for you. One that we can focus on in this Holiday Season and carry on into the New Year.

Think back on the things that you are most grateful for when it comes to the people in your life. Really think about it.

Go ahead, I’ll wait.........

Ok, now your next challenge, should you choose to accept it. Go out into this needing and waiting world and be the someone that others are grateful for. Pass it on, pay it forward, pay it back. Pay it where it can never be repaid. Just go out there and be the person someone else is hoping for today.

As for me?

I’ll just borrow the words of the Apostle Paul; a Guru of Gratitude himself, if you will.

“Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God.” Philippians 1:3 (The Message)

Thank you all for being a part of my world. I’m so grateful for each of you. I promise to go out into this world and help others feel the way you all make me feel. I can’t wait to see the difference we can make together, this Holiday Season and beyond.

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