This morning I find gratitude hidden among the purple grapes, fuji apples, and a half rotten cucumber in the produce drawer of my refrigerator.
I hesitated to take out the thin plastic package. I bought this container of raspberries for my kids to eat, cringing at the price as I plunked them among the canned goods, milk, and ground turkey. I know they’ll turn soft and fuzzy if we don’t eat them soon, but then there’s the matter of rinsing them clean. They’re not always the easiest fruit to snack on either. Somehow my kids always find a way to spread the pink juice on their fingers and around the corners of their mouth. My grown up toddler usually smashes them on her tray and then runs her sleeves in it.
Raspberries. They’re even spelled differently to emphasize their explosive nature. They look like innocent pink clumps, but under a bit of pressure they burst. Eating them is a sensory overload of texture and taste. Tart, sweet, crunchy, juicy, messy…yes…raspberries.
This morning as my kids popped them in their mouths, pleasure spreads like gratitude, all over their hands and faces.
I watch my girls relish each bite and I know this is gratitude. Life lived one grateful bite at a time. Yes, gratitude awakens my senses and unpacks the moment before me– the giggles, the joy, the warmth, the messy house, unruly curls and small barefeet.
Often, I want a clean existence. Sterile, straight, and simple like the perfect kitchens I see in a Lowe’s catalog, complete with a stainless steel fridge, crisp white cabinets and shiny marble countertops– no fingerprints, no stickiness, no mess, and no signs of life. But then, life is more like chasing jello across a plate with a fork. Its soft, and bright, changing, and moveable…
My fifteen month started saying, “thank you.” Or rather its more like “tank to.” She doesn’t yet understand thankfulness as an abstract, rather as the magical two words that unlock the door to everything she wants. She hands me a cheese stick to open and says “tank to,” her arms stretch up for the crayon her big sister is holding and she shouts, “tank to, tank to, TANK TO!” I know she has a lot to learn about being grateful, but so do I. One thing I do know, is that “thank you,” doesn’t unlock the door to what I want, but it sure does help me to see what I already have.
So I get out that plastic container and rinse them off by the handful. I give them each a bowl- and I watch life spread across their smiling faces. And gratitude bursts in my heart.
“Oh taste and see the Lord is good, blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.” Psalm 34:8