Stewardship Message – The Gratitude Path – December 8, 2020

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.–James 1:24

Dr. Darian said to write about what I am grateful for in the year 2020. I have to admit that gratitude is probably not my first or natural reaction to this year. At the beginning of the year, it became apparent that my mother’s health was becoming more fragile, and I would need to be more vigilant in my care of her. Then the pandemic hit and I became somewhat housebound, due in part to my responsibility to care for her and in part due to my own status as a member of a vulnerable group (over 65, high blood pressure, high susceptibility to respiratory infections-I’ve had the flu 37 times!). And then in March, my son’s and daughter-in-law’s social networking business in Portland, OR, collapsed, and they had to let all their employees go. Yeah, gratitude for the year 2020 could be a hard one.

And yet I find myself very grateful indeed. We celebrated Mom’s 89th birthday this year (in a limited group, of course), and I have been reflecting a lot recently on how fortunate we are-4 children with spouses, 8 grandchildren with spouses, and 13 great-grandchildren-to have her in our lives for all this time. What a blessing for all of us!
Staying at home has meant less eating out, less fast food, more time for exercise, and more time for my own cooking. The result has been an improvement in my overall health and the loss of a few pounds. I am grateful for the opportunity to focus on my physical well-being.

My son and his wife, with more time on their hands, planted a huge garden in their yard this summer. My daughter-in-law, a talented cook, created a hot sauce made from their home-grown tomatoes and baked tomato pies, quiches and other culinary delights from their multitude of vegetables. My son then sold them at a pop-up market. They both reported having great fun doing something that they would never have gotten to do otherwise, and they shared their joy in doing it with me often in pictures.

Perhaps what I am most grateful for, though, is how the people of our church worked so hard to be sure that those of us who were homebound could continue to participate in the life of the church. I am so thankful every Sunday when I turn on my computer and participate in the worship service through Facebook, even when I am visiting my mother in Clinton, MS. What a privilege it is and how appreciative I am!

So, along with James, I am counting all of 2020 joyously, learning to be steadfast in the midst of trials, working on being perfect and complete in my faith in God and my appreciation for all His many blessings and abundant mercies in my life.

Gracy Taylor

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