Grateful Heart

This post is one of true gratitude.  So many things have happened this week that have stirred my soul to its very core.  The most memorable one occured on Friday.  TCA had its annual Thanksgiving Feast and we all went to watch Ella perform.  Her class dressed as Pilgrims and sang the song "Give Thanks With a Grateful Heart."  It was the most moving and amazing moment of my life.  It really was. 

When we arrived at the school, I parked and started getting Lucy, her walker, Jack and his stroller out of the car.  Along with the diaper bag, the movie camera and my still camera.  I got Lucy's walker out first and told her to start getting herself out of the van while I got Jack settled.  By the time I got back around to her side, she was gone.  Seriously, gone.  I panicked.  I quickly gathered my things and ran inside, only to find that she had made it to the front of the cafetorium with the rest of the kids.  She was putting on the pilgrim costume and finding her spot in the performance.  Now, mind you, she had no previous knowledge of what was going on.  She didn't even know why we were going to school in the first place that day.

The program started before I even had time to get my camera or video camera out.  I was totally unprepared for what was about to happen.  My sweet Lucy stood up, steady and strong, and sang.  She sang with all her heart.  Did she know the words?  Of course not.  But that didn't stop her.  She sang along and tried to copy the motions.  I sobbed like a baby, my mom was crying and Erik was doing his best not to loose it, too.

It was amazing.  As they sang the words "Give thanks with a grateful heart for what the Lord has done for us," I was moved beyond giving thanks.  I honestly think I experienced a mountain-top moment that cameras or video could never do justice.  I will have this image of a 5 year old embracing life with all she has forever.   For that moment, Lucy was not hindered by any obstacles that have been placed in her life.  She had no idea that she was different from the other children.  And with the innocence of a child, she sang with a grateful heart to God because she didn't even realize that she had anything to be mad at Him about.  She was truly grateful to be there, and so was I. 

Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the Holy One
Give Thanks because He has given
Jesus Christ His son.

And now let the weak say I am strong
Let the poor say I am rich
Because of what the Lord
Has done for us.

Give Thanks.

My heart sang out with gratitude for that moment.  I am still crying about it even now.  I am also grateful for today.  For the first time since Easter, all 5 of us were at church.  Together as a family.  We almost made it all the way through Sunday School before Lucy's teacher called to say she was getting tired.  It was a wonderful start and I was so thankful to be there today.  Lucy was so excited about going that she was dressed and sitting on go long before it was time to leave.  I am so thankful my children enjoy going to church and learning about God.  What a blessing.

As I think about this week and Thanksgiving, I am more aware today than ever before of how very much I have to be grateful for.  Yes, I was dealt a bad hand this year and justifiably have some things to be upset about.  Amazingly, instead of having a bitter heart I feel more grateful than ever.  This week I am going to write about some of these things and spend some time reflecting on the lessons I have learned in 2011. 

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