Friday, June 8, 2012


This morning J commented that heaven is in the clouds. "Hmm," I replied.
"I don't see Jesus in the clouds," he said.
I explained that heaven is actually farther than the clouds [where, I have no idea], and no, we can't see Jesus. I added that Jesus is with us whenever two or more are gathered in his name, although we can't see him.
I asked J if we should invite Jesus to join us.
"Yes," he said. "Hi Jesus."
I suggested that we tell Jesus what we are thankful for.
J thought briefly and said, "Thank you for my friend..." and named one of his best friends.
After we talked about gratitude some more, I told J that he could ask Jesus for help with something if he wanted. J said, "Jesus, will you help me make my cereal by myself?" I was surprised, and grateful to know that he wants to do this, because we can definitely make it happen.

I didn't grow up with much religion, but I married a spiritual man. He is too wise to ever push me, but he has inspired me.

Studies show that, on average, religious people are happier than others. There are a multitude of possible explanations, of course. I suspect that gratitude has a little bit to do with it. When I began to pray (when you really need help, you might be surprised by what you're willing to try!) I immediately found that I couldn't ask for help without first expressing gratitude. Sometimes it's tempting to jump straight into the requests, but my conscience reminds me to pause and say thank you. I suspect that, on average, religious people may be prompted to recognize their gratitude more frequently than others.

Of course, gratitude does not require religion whatsoever!

This week NorCal Katie wrote a post about a great new email service called The beauty of this service is that it prompts us to recognize gratitude at various times and places (assuming mobile email) throughout each day. The website records each user's expressions of gratitude in a private journal. I have been using it all week and loving it. For example, the service emailed me while I walked past a long hedge of blooming lilacs, prompting me to express gratitude for one of my favourite scents. I don't need a service to tell me that I love lilacs, but it will be nice to have a reminder on a dark, cold day, particularly compiled with all of the many other things and people for whom I am grateful. Thanks for the tip Katie. I am paying it forward!

1 comment:

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