Today, at church, a gentleman shared a story of two sisters. They were arrested during the holocaust for helping Jews escape. One of the sisters is the author of "The Hiding Place". He talked about a time when they were together in a concentration camp and how they found ways to be grateful for even the fleas that lived with them in their small space. It was a moving story and was just what I needed to hear as this month draws to a close.
I have learned so much about myself, this month as I have worked hard to apply gratitude to my daily life. I thought that being thankful was something that just came natural and that this would be a fun and easy task. I was so wrong. I have learned that I have very far to go. I am far too selfish, far too self-absorbed and well, I know now what I need to change and improve.
At the first of the month, I posted a quote about how spending one month in focusing on gratitude could be life changing. I didn't really understand how, but I was willing to try. I can honestly say that my life has been changed by taking on this challenge. There is still so much I want to learn and improve on, but it has been a great starting point.
I would love to reach a point, where I could be as gracious as women like Corrie and Betsie where I could even be thankful for the fleas that infested my surroundings. I would love to be that type of person. I may never face the dark pit that they each did and the daily hell of a concentration camp, but I hope that I can follow their example.
As I did further research on them tonight, I was incredibly touched by a story that Corrie told. She was the only one to make it out of the camp. Her sister died there. She came face to face later, with one of the guards from that camp. He had since converted to Christianity and he came to ask her forgiveness. In her words, here is what she wrote:
And I stood there — I whose sins had every day to be forgiven — and could not. Betsie had died in that place — could he erase her slow terrible death simply for the asking?
It could not have been many seconds that he stood there, hand held out, but to me it seemed hours as I wrestled with the most difficult thing I had ever had to do.
For I had to do it — I knew that. The message that God forgives has a prior condition: that we forgive those who have injured us. "If you do not forgive men their trespasses," Jesus says, "neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses." ...
And still I stood there with the coldness clutching my heart. But forgiveness is not an emotion — I knew that too. Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart. "Jesus, help me!" I prayed silently. "I can lift my hand, I can do that much. You supply the feeling."
And so woodenly, mechanically, I thrust my hand into the one stretched out to me. And as I did, an incredible thing took place. The current started in my shoulder, raced down my arm, sprang into our joined hands. And then this healing warmth seemed to flood my whole being, bringing tears to my eyes.
"I forgive you, brother!" I cried. "With all my heart!"
For a long moment we grasped each other's hands, the former guard and the former prisoner. I had never known God's love so intensely as I did then.
That type of faith and love does not come naturally. I believe that it was born in a heart that was filled with gratitude. It came from a life of being thankful for the smallest things.
Thank you for letting me share this today and thank you for letting me share this month with all of you! I have enjoyed blogging each day and I look forward to continuing. I hope I have not bored anyone too much!
Here is today's template:
And the prompt for today: Think of one way to go the extra mile in my life and write about how that affects me
I'll be back in a few hours with another template and another prompt! Also, I have some fabulous things planned for December. I will be giving away some tools for scrapping your December Daily albums, as well as tools for holiday gifts and things! As for my blogging, I will be sharing lots of Christmas memories, so get ready for some fun reading! I hope you will share with me, as well! I absolutely LOVE reading all of your comments!