The gift of gratitude

Categories: From the Home Front,Visitor Columnist

In 2014, I want to be a woman of thanks

Dec. 20, 2013, edition
By Rita Meyer

I’ve read some good books lately. If you’d like to fully embrace where you are in life right now — not when the kids are through with school or when you retire or when you get a different job — and be more aware of all the blessings the Lord has given you, I’d recommend:

• “One Thousand Gifts — A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are” by Ann Voskamp

• “Praying for My Life” by Marion Bond West

• “The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother’s Memoir” by Katrina Kenison


Such great writers. Such inspiration. Such wisdom.

All three books are about gratefulness, being content with what we have, basically, “getting our ‘wanter’ fixed” and not always yearning for more, more, more. I learned that the Greek word, “Eucharisteo,” means to be grateful, feel thankful and to give thanks. “Eucharisteo” always precedes the miracle. Giving thanks always comes before the gift.

Jesus’ greatest gift to us is himself. Christmas. Simplify Christmas. Celebrate Christ. Minimize the shopping trips.

Some needs don’t differ

Personally, if I could give a loaf of freshly baked bread and a jar of my homemade pear jam to everyone on my list, I’d be so happy. I think others would too. The problem is, that idea just doesn’t cut it when it comes to kids. Hence, I unfortunately still have to brave Target and Wal-Mart at this time of year.

Our greatest need is a relationship with the Lord. Nothing else is going to do it.

Family, friends, health — all good and to be cherished — but, if we don’t have things right with the Lord, life can get difficult and ugly.

Paying attention pays tribute to God. He showers me with gifts and miracles all day long. When I’m in too big of a hurry or am running on my own agenda, I miss those gifts.

For example, just this week, he painted a sunset of blue, purple and pink with three very distinct layers until they all melted together the closer it got to darkness.

He put sundogs on either side of the sun on a below zero morning.

He sent three deer leaping across my gravel road when I went out for an evening walk.

He decorates “my” rock with snow or “plants” a bunny next to it just to see if I notice as I walk past.

I know my neighbors think I’m crazy when they see me out there on these cold winter days. But the thing of it is, I can talk and listen to him best when I’m outside moving.

Just do it

Wherever you are, be fully there. Don’t miss the moment. Do what it takes to feel the peace of Christ and the joy of Christmas in your heart all year long.

“Peace” was my word for 2013. I think I made some progress in that department but I’ve still got a ways to go.

2014’s word?


I want to be of woman of thanks.

“Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

Merry Christmas from our farmhouse outside of Meire Grove to yours.


Rita Meyer is married and the mother of four children ages 14 and under. She and her family are members ofSt. John the Baptist Parish in Meire Grove. Email her at