This morning, while returning from fetching the mail, I stopped on the walkway and sat on the front lawn with my dog.
Cleo and I looked at a sculpture that’s been in my front yard for the last couple of years for a good long while. My creative husband Wolf made it using various media, even casting his own hands and using my feet for the figure. I was there when it was installed and even had the plaque made at its base, yet often I just don’t see it. But today, it really caught my attention. I actually stopped and sat on the grass for a little while, contemplating what it was all about.
I remember how it all started. Wolf had gone to a class where he learned more about this media and when the project was being birthed, he wanted it to be an important figure we’d once read about.
Brother Lawrence was a 17th Century monk whose job in French Carmelite monastery was to repair sandals and engage in the tedium of running the kitchen. He began to notice how easy it was for him to get lost in the tedium of his tasks that he would reach the end of the day and realize he had been too busy to think about God all day. This bothered him, and so he began to “practice the presence of God” in big and small things. As he would peel potatoes, he would thank God for making a vegetable that grows in the hard ground of winter. As he would clean the plates of the other brothers, he would thank God that they had just eaten a meal that filled their bellies. He practiced looking for and thanking God in the minutia of life so much so that after awhile, he couldn’t think of a time throughout the day when he HADN’T thought of God.
Wolf was so struck with this perspective shift that this dear, inspirational lowly man became the inspiration for the sculpture.
Who of us couldn’t use this kind of reminder? When we’re bored, unsatisfied, discontent… I wonder what would happen if we practiced ascribing everything we have and all that we experience to God, acknowledging our thanks out loud to Him? When stuck in traffic, we could thank God for having wheels to get us from here to there. When bored at our desk at work, we could thank Him that we will be rewarded with a paycheck that compensates us more than the majority of the earth enjoys. When transferring yet another load of laundry to the dryer, we can thank Him for shelter, food, and clothing.
If we can practice thanking Him here, who knows what we’ll be capable of when the big stuff hits?
Read more on the life of Brother Lawrence here.
40 thoughts on “Common thankfulness”
I do accept as true with all of the ideas you have presented to your post.
They are really convincing and can certainly work. Still, the posts are too quick for novices.
Could you please prolong them a little from next time?
Thank you for the post.
Thanks for all your work on this site. My mom takes pleasure in making time for internet research and it’s really easy to understand why. A lot of people notice all concerning the compelling ways you offer valuable solutions by means of this web blog and as well as strongly encourage contribution from other ones on that topic plus my daughter is truly understanding a lot. Take pleasure in the remaining portion of the year. You have been carrying out a really good job.
I precisely had to appreciate you yet again. I am not sure the things I would’ve done without these information documented by you about such industry. This has been an absolute frightful scenario for me personally, nevertheless witnessing the very expert strategy you handled that took me to leap for happiness. I am thankful for your work and hope you find out what a powerful job that you are undertaking teaching men and women by way of a blog. Most probably you haven’t met all of us.
Nice post. I be taught something more difficult on completely different blogs everyday. It should always be stimulating to learn content material from different writers and practice a bit of one thing from their store. I抎 prefer to make use of some with the content material on my blog whether or not you don抰 mind. Natually I抣l provide you with a hyperlink in your web blog. Thanks for sharing.
I must express my thanks to the writer for bailing me out of such a crisis. Just after checking through the internet and finding things which were not powerful, I assumed my entire life was gone. Existing minus the answers to the issues you have sorted out by means of your guideline is a serious case, as well as the kind that could have in a negative way affected my entire career if I hadn’t encountered the website. The capability and kindness in touching all things was helpful. I don’t know what I would’ve done if I had not come across such a solution like this. I can also at this time look ahead to my future. Thanks for your time very much for the reliable and result oriented guide. I will not think twice to propose your site to any person who should have direction about this situation.
My wife and i have been quite peaceful when Emmanuel managed to do his research through the precious recommendations he had from your very own blog. It is now and again perplexing just to choose to be offering information and facts that many other people may have been selling. We know we need the website owner to be grateful to for this. The specific explanations you’ve made, the straightforward website menu, the friendships you can give support to create – it is all amazing, and it’s helping our son and our family recognize that the subject matter is cool, which is unbelievably serious. Thanks for all the pieces!
I wish to show my gratitude for your kind-heartedness supporting those individuals that really need help with in this concern. Your personal dedication to getting the solution all-around was definitely useful and has all the time permitted others much like me to reach their objectives. Your valuable guideline indicates a whole lot a person like me and even further to my peers. Thank you; from everyone of us.
I wish to convey my appreciation for your generosity in support of those people who must have help on the area. Your special commitment to passing the message along had become extremely interesting and has all the time permitted regular people much like me to realize their ambitions. Your entire interesting publication can mean much a person like me and especially to my fellow workers. Thank you; from all of us.
I simply had to say thanks again. I am not sure what I might have implemented in the absence of the actual concepts documented by you regarding such a topic. It had been a very traumatic setting in my opinion, however , witnessing the very specialized mode you resolved it made me to jump over joy. I will be thankful for your service and as well , sincerely hope you comprehend what a great job your are accomplishing teaching the rest using your blog post. Probably you haven’t come across all of us.
I would like to get across my affection for your kindness in support of persons who really need help with this one theme. Your real dedication to passing the solution across came to be extraordinarily interesting and have really enabled regular people just like me to reach their ambitions. Your amazing insightful help and advice means this much to me and somewhat more to my peers. Many thanks; from all of us.
I wanted to write down a simple comment to be able to appreciate you for those magnificent guidelines you are posting here. My time consuming internet lookup has at the end of the day been recognized with awesome ideas to share with my best friends. I would declare that many of us visitors are very endowed to be in a remarkable network with very many brilliant individuals with insightful techniques. I feel extremely blessed to have encountered your web site and look forward to really more amazing moments reading here. Thanks a lot once more for a lot of things.
I as well as my guys came checking the great tips and tricks found on your site then all of the sudden I got a horrible suspicion I never expressed respect to you for those secrets. My young boys ended up glad to see them and have now surely been having fun with them. Thank you for actually being so thoughtful and then for settling on variety of high-quality guides most people are really desirous to understand about. Our sincere regret for not expressing gratitude to earlier.
I in addition to my buddies appeared to be checking the great suggestions located on your web blog while unexpectedly I got a terrible suspicion I had not thanked the web site owner for those secrets. All the young boys were as a consequence passionate to see them and already have really been using these things. We appreciate you simply being quite accommodating and also for having variety of notable useful guides most people are really desirous to know about. Our honest regret for not expressing appreciation to sooner.
I definitely wanted to write down a brief message to be able to thank you for all the lovely instructions you are writing at this website. My time intensive internet search has finally been honored with good quality ideas to go over with my contacts. I ‘d assert that most of us readers actually are quite lucky to dwell in a superb network with so many brilliant professionals with very helpful ideas. I feel somewhat fortunate to have seen your entire web pages and look forward to tons of more brilliant moments reading here. Thanks a lot once more for a lot of things.
I not to mention my pals were found to be going through the nice tricks from your site and suddenly developed a terrible feeling I never thanked you for those tips. My ladies are already as a result excited to read all of them and have in effect certainly been taking advantage of those things. Thanks for turning out to be very helpful and also for having certain terrific things most people are really wanting to be informed on. Our own honest regret for not expressing appreciation to earlier.
I simply desired to thank you very much all over again. I’m not certain the things I might have created without those aspects discussed by you on my area of interest. It had become a real terrifying scenario in my view, nevertheless taking a look at the expert approach you treated it made me to jump with happiness. Now i’m happy for this advice and as well , wish you realize what a powerful job you are putting in educating the mediocre ones all through a blog. Probably you haven’t got to know all of us.
I not to mention my buddies came analyzing the good procedures located on your web page then suddenly got an awful feeling I never expressed respect to the website owner for those techniques. These guys ended up totally very interested to learn them and have in effect truly been enjoying these things. Thank you for genuinely simply helpful and also for considering these kinds of incredible subject areas most people are really needing to be aware of. Our own sincere apologies for not expressing gratitude to sooner.
I wanted to create you this bit of word to give many thanks again considering the lovely concepts you’ve featured in this case. It’s extremely generous with people like you in giving openly exactly what many people could have advertised as an e book in making some profit for their own end, notably given that you could possibly have done it if you ever decided. Those thoughts as well worked to be the easy way to be certain that the rest have the same passion really like my own to figure out more and more regarding this issue. I know there are a lot more pleasant sessions ahead for those who look over your site.
I intended to create you the very little note to say thanks as before for your personal fantastic ideas you’ve provided here. It’s quite tremendously open-handed of you to make unhampered what some people would have supplied as an electronic book to help make some dough on their own, notably seeing that you might well have done it in the event you desired. Those pointers likewise worked as the fantastic way to comprehend most people have similar dreams the same as my own to know way more in terms of this problem. I’m certain there are numerous more fun periods in the future for folks who looked over your website.
I simply wanted to jot down a quick remark to thank you for all of the fantastic guidelines you are sharing at this website. My considerable internet investigation has now been recognized with really good knowledge to exchange with my colleagues. I would tell you that most of us site visitors actually are quite endowed to dwell in a magnificent community with very many marvellous individuals with valuable strategies. I feel very happy to have come across your site and look forward to tons of more brilliant moments reading here. Thanks once more for everything.
Spot on with this write-up, I actually suppose this web site wants much more consideration. I抣l probably be again to learn far more, thanks for that info.
Needed to put you that little bit of word in order to say thank you as before relating to the beautiful pointers you have provided in this article. This has been so generous of people like you to offer without restraint exactly what most people might have offered as an electronic book in order to make some dough on their own, chiefly considering that you could possibly have done it if you ever desired. The tricks also served like the fantastic way to be sure that someone else have the same zeal similar to my personal own to know the truth much more when considering this matter. I am certain there are millions of more pleasurable periods ahead for those who check out your website.
I intended to draft you this little bit of note just to say thanks a lot once again over the extraordinary tactics you’ve documented in this case. This is certainly tremendously open-handed with you in giving without restraint just what many people could have supplied for an e-book in making some profit for their own end, primarily since you might have tried it if you wanted. Those pointers in addition acted to be the great way to fully grasp that other individuals have the same zeal much like mine to figure out very much more related to this condition. Certainly there are lots of more enjoyable occasions ahead for individuals who discover your site.
I intended to send you this tiny remark to be able to thank you very much over again with the pleasant methods you have featured on this page. It was simply wonderfully open-handed with you to present unhampered precisely what a number of us would’ve marketed as an e-book to get some dough for their own end, most notably given that you could possibly have tried it if you ever decided. The thoughts as well acted to be the fantastic way to recognize that other people online have similar keenness like mine to grasp much more when considering this problem. I know there are some more pleasant situations in the future for people who look into your blog post.
I must show my thanks to this writer for rescuing me from this type of incident. As a result of scouting through the world-wide-web and seeing proposals which are not productive, I assumed my life was over. Being alive minus the approaches to the difficulties you’ve fixed by way of your entire website is a critical case, and the kind which may have in a negative way damaged my career if I had not noticed your web page. Your own personal knowledge and kindness in controlling every aspect was useful. I’m not sure what I would’ve done if I had not encountered such a subject like this. I can at this time look forward to my future. Thank you so much for this professional and amazing help. I will not be reluctant to endorse the blog to any person who needs to have guidance about this subject matter.
I intended to compose you the little bit of note to finally give thanks over again on your awesome solutions you have documented above. It’s really seriously open-handed with people like you in giving easily precisely what many people might have made available as an e book to make some dough for themselves, particularly seeing that you could have tried it in case you wanted. Those principles additionally served to be a good way to fully grasp that other people online have a similar eagerness just as my very own to know the truth much more with reference to this matter. I believe there are millions of more fun instances up front for people who scan through your site.
I am just writing to make you be aware of of the helpful experience my cousin’s daughter experienced visiting yuor web blog. She learned many issues, most notably what it is like to possess an excellent giving style to make many others without hassle know just exactly a variety of complicated issues. You truly exceeded visitors’ expectations. Many thanks for giving these essential, trustworthy, educational as well as cool thoughts on your topic to Mary.
I enjoy you because of your own effort on this web page. My mom really loves managing research and it is easy to understand why. I notice all of the powerful ways you render powerful tips and tricks via your website and even improve participation from other people about this topic so our favorite child is now being taught a lot. Enjoy the remaining portion of the new year. You’re the one performing a pretty cool job.
I simply desired to say thanks again. I do not know the things that I could possibly have carried out without these creative ideas documented by you relating to my subject. It truly was the frustrating matter in my position, however , looking at this expert technique you dealt with it made me to weep for contentment. I am happier for this support and in addition have high hopes you find out what a great job you are always accomplishing educating men and women by way of your site. More than likely you’ve never come across any of us.
Thanks, Sylvia, for pointing out the importance of gratitude. My dad’s favorite prayer was thank God, despite many hardships for our family as refugees in WW2.
23 references in the Bible for “Give thanks to the Lord” per Bible Gateway.
Wolf sure is a talented sculptor.
A pretty remarkable desire on Wolf’s part to sculpt Brother Lawrence…I mean…who does that? But you are remarkable people, that is why you are together; far from ordinary and always looking for the beauty in life. Thanks for sharing another sweet moment out of your amazing life. I love the little book….reminds me to “do all things in love.”
I just saw a Facebook post of this and did you know you have over 100 likes and nearly 60 comments?You struck a chord!
Sylvia: I have been thinking of you and have wanted to let you know how very thankful I am for the CDs you gave to me that bring you to mind. Each time I climb into the car your beautiful voice lifts my spirit.
Thank you for sharing the gift that our Lord gave you with me.
I truly believe that an attitude of gratitude is the greatest gift we can give to God, ourselves and others. Thanks again for sharing this beautiful message, to Wolf for conceiving and creating the sculpture and also for the extra information link to learn more about Brother Lawrence!
God is in ALL things, great and small, rain and shine. Look for the Blessings. Jer 29.11 “I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for good and not evil, plans for hope and a future”. We are always in His plan, look for how He is working in us.
Dear Sylvia…thanks SO much for sharing these thoughts and your sculpture with us. VERY inspiring and special for Wolf to take his talents and produce such a meaningful piece. GLAD that you took the time to meditate on it. Because of that, we have been blessed today. 🙂 I often utilize the thought/truth that “God dwells in the praises of His people.” When I am feeling low, detached, away from the presence of God…I go looking for ways to praise God (much like you described) so that I may once again “practice His presence.” Thanking God for this reminder!
Amen, my friend.
You know me from Women at the Well. Thanks for putting pen to paper re Wolf’s art project. What a beautiful statement and inspiration. How fortunate you are to have this lovely piece to remind you every day how loved you are by our Creator.
Growing up my mother often threw the phrase “Take what you get and say thanks.” She meant it in a negative sense. What I mean is we didn’t get much. Thinking about this a lot lately I have been reminded of all I have now. Do I still want more out of life and relationships or am I satisfied what I do have and am I thankful for what I have. Am I thankful for who and what the Lord has given me? Am I content in where I am? Do I say “Thanks” to God and to those who have given to me whether it be small or great? I am learning to say Thank You each day. I love the statue made by Wolf. I am learning to hold my hands up to God and friends in thankfulness rather than holding them out for more.
You spoke at our women’s retreat a few weeks ago and I fell in love with you. I was just reading all your old blogs and then boom, this one came in. So pure and beautiful, and a great reminder to me of something I take for granted!