“Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for humankind.” -Psalm 107:21

My grandpa and grandma had wild raspberry plants that grew along an old shed. It was always an adventure to pick them, because you needed to be extra careful to avoid the nettles that grew alongside the plants. It was not an easy task. In addition to the nettles, there were bees that swarmed around the plants too.

It is often difficult to find joy and gratitude in a situation where you are being poked by nettles and swarmed by bees. But once these wild raspberries were brought inside and washed there was joy and happiness as they made the perfect addition to a cold bowl of ice cream on a hot summer day.

In our lives we may find ourselves navigating the nettles and swarms of bees and it can be difficult in those occurrences to have a grateful heart. Practicing gratitude is not easy, especially when we are focused on the nettles and the bees. It is not until we are enjoying the raspberries and ice cream that we remember to give thanks for all the blessings we have been given.

As we make our way through the month of November (the National Gratitude Month) let us thank God for everything. Today, I am grateful for the laughter of small children, the raspberries I enjoyed for breakfast, and the washing machine.