Sunday, November 26, 2017

Cultivating a Grateful Heart

"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever." (Psalm 136:1)

James and I celebrated Thanksgiving with his mom and extended family. I was both happy and a bit sad, wishing our son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren were there too.  Thank God that we could Skype with them the next morning!

Recently, we spent one week in the Greater Toronto area for ministries and visiting friends. We participated in an one-day pre-discipleship-training conference, James preached on Sunday and led small group Bible study on Tuesday night. We also counseled/coached couples in different cities. I'm grateful for the trip, especially a chance to see some dear friends from Hong Kong.

We stayed with my elderly Kai-ma 契媽 (in Cantonese or Gan-ma 乾媽 in Mandarin) for a few days. We were neighbors living in the same 4-story building in Hong Kong. Kai-ma and my mom were good friends. She liked me and took me under her wing. I still remember spending time in her place after school, doing homework or playing with her children. Kai-ma taught me how to draw! I'm forever grateful for the time and energy she invested in me. Thank God that Kai-ma still recognized James and me. One morning, I thought about my mother (who passed away in 1975) and felt sad.  How I wish Mom was still on earth visiting Kai-ma with me!

I was happy just sitting with Kai-ma, listening to her stories. Her children joined us for dinner and lunch and I was treated with my favorite food, like the egg custard, through out the day. How I wish I could visit her more often. It's the same yearning I had a few years ago to spend more time with my birth sister and brother. I prayed and God has made a way. I'm grateful for our annual family reunion ever since.

Counting Your Blessings and Sharing Thanks
I have learned to be grateful for people in my lives. How about you? Would you join me in counting blessings and sharing thanks? Try these questions:

1. What one biggest gift (tangible or intangible) have you received this year?
2. What two things changed your life this year?
3. What three incidents help you grow in your faith this year?
4. What four blessings in your home should you thank God for?
5. What five happy experiences have you had?
6. What six things created by God are things that we cannot live without even though we sometimes take them for granted?
7. Who are seven people, inside and/or outside of your home, for whom you are most thankful?

Enjoying Simple Pleasure of Life

My biggest gift in 2017 is our 4th grandchild.  Sometimes we Skype during mealtime, when they are having lunch and we are having breakfast. It is a joy to sit with someone you love, and eat and drink whatever you enjoy the most. James and I take walks whenever we can. We love reading and discussing the Bible, and applying God's truth and grace in our lives.

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

How have you been in 2017?  I'd love to hear your blessings, joy and sorrow, and pray for you.

Happy Thanksgiving!  May God bless you!