Daughters of Promise November/December 2014 - Page 17

or Gratitude stress give me give me “Corinne, don’t touch that! A dog probably peed there,” I reprimanded my six year old daughter as we walked down a dirty sidewalk in our neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY. “My eyes watch for beauty!” she exclaimed to me. She would spot a tiny patch of green grass and stop to literally stroke it, while I usually saw concrete, garbage, or dog litter. How can two people in the same surroundings see two completely different things? It is all in what you purpose to look for. And this, my friend, is a glimpse into the core of what we call gratitude. No matter what the circumstance you or I face, we are given a choice to be grateful or to be stressed. Whatever we are up against, we can choose to thank God for it. Five years ago, I was intrigued when a friend from church told me about a book in which the author chose to heed the words in Ephesians 5:20 and thank God for everything. In the weeks that followed, the Holy Spirit kept impressing on me that I was to do this. That was the beginning of a journey of God peeling off layers of unredeemed junk in my life. It was also what God used to keep me from going into a full blown depression. Little did I know that in asking me to thank Him for everything, God was actually giving me the tools to face some of the hardest challenges of my life. “Still I will trust” was what came to me on January 1, 2010. I sensed that that was the theme God had for me that new year. Just nine days later, in a sterile hospital room, I gave birth to our lifeless, 24 week old daughter, Elizabeth Charis. While in the fresh grief of that stillbirth, we were pulled into a very delicate, -17-