Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Value of "Lost"

via TAC Simply Inspired by Mischelle Smith on 10/16/10

I recently heard a story about a father who had lost something quite valuable to him.  He enlisted the help of his son and his son's friends to try and find the item that had been lost for years and he feared, forever. The added incentive of $1,000 for the person who could find it, sent those young men right to work. To everyone's surprise one of them DID find the item buried beneath the surface on the grounds of his home. Anxious to claim his reward, he took it to the man, but was baffled at his response to his found treasure.  You see, it wasn't quite as he remembered it. He had missed it for so many years and reminisced about what it meant to him, but when it was actually found, it didn't seem as valuable. Sometimes, things become more valuable to us only when they are lost.

I have been thinking a lot about that principle lately.  It is part of the reason I am such an advocate for Gratitude... why I keep Abundance lists and why Thankful Hearts in others are so attractive to me.  I don't want to wait until I lose my health to be thankful for my strength. I don't want to wait until I am out of work, to be thankful for a job. I don't want to experience the day when my girls are entangled in the consequences of bad choices to be thankful for the right ones they have made along the way. I will not wait until my house is clean to be thankful for its warmth and shelter. I will not waste my days by coveting others opportunities or good fortune. Instead, I will try to be mindful of the little things that can be so easily overlooked.

Then, this week, I read this quote by Richard Emmons.  He said, "The more I study gratitude, the more I have come to believe that an authentic, deeply held sense of gratefulness toward life may require some degree of contrast or deprivation. One truly appreciates a mild spring after a harsh winter, a gourmet meal following a fast... some blessings are not known until they are lost."

I have heard of many who have lost loved ones, and especially parents, in this last month or so. The deep grief we experience is partly because of how dear they were to us. Sometimes, we don't fully appreciate people until they are gone. My daughter mentioned this morning that if Grandma were still here, she knows she would send cards and packages to her at college. I'm happy that she knows that and sad that she didn't appreciate it as much when Grandma was here. Those "little" things that we do for one another, truly are the big things.  There is nothing like the loss of a loved one to make us all the more grateful for having had them in our lives!

October is going so quickly! I have been working on a few little projects to try to capture the Thanksgiving season in fresh ways.  {My husband has already asked when I am putting the Thanksgiving tags out, but I am not sure we are going to do the same thing we have done the last three years.} Hopefully, you will see some pictures of a couple projects in the next week or so either on my blog (I know... it's all too rare!) or the TAC website. Until then, I encourage you to exercise the discipline of gratitude. I realize that some days it takes a little detective work to find things to write down on that abundance list but with that said, when we take a look, we realize that truly "Life is Good!"

Preparing My Heart for Thanksgiving,


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