In the cold and dark of a winter morning in Minnesota, I sat alone on the couch in the living room saying my morning prayers. I heard a little sound from the stairs and looked to see my four-year-old daughter slowly and sleepily descending, with her quilt, handmade by Grandma, wrapped around her shoulders. She came over to where I sat on the couch, all swathed in her patchwork of purple and pink, and without a word made a little nest for herself next to me.
She snuggled under her quilt and leaned her head on my shoulder.
Then she closed her eyes and gave a contented sigh.
“Mmm,” she said. “I’m so cozy. My blanket is warm-blooded.”
I put my arm around her and smiled. We were deep in a dark and icy Minnesota winter, but instead of the cold she saw the cozy.
Maybe a little magic rubbed off from Grandma’s quilt. Grandma raised eight little ones, and over years filled with the trials and joys of family life she developed an amazing capacity to turn things around to find the good.
I remember one morning talking to Grandma on the phone when I grumbled, “Uggh, I’ve got to do a sink full of dishes. Again.” (Funny how that happens; my kids have picked up the habit of eating every single day.)
“Be grateful you have food to eat and plates to eat it on,” Grandma told me.
Another time I was griping about chores around the house and Grandma said, “I know those jobs can be frustrating that you do over and over again and they’re never done, but be glad you have a house to clean. Besides, you’re going to have to do it anyway, so you might as well be cheerful.”
There’s a great story Lou Holtz tells from the days when he took over the University of Arkansas football team in the 70’s. Arkansas had fallen on hard times, but Holtz turned the team around and earned them a berth in the Orange Bowl. When they won the game that secured their bowl appearance, fans pelted the field with oranges. Asked about the fans throwing oranges onto the field, Holtz commented, “I’m just glad we weren’t going to the Gater Bowl.”
Scripture tells us: “In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thes 5, 18.
And if you’re having a really hard time identifying your blessings, think of Lou Holtz and at least be glad you’re not showered under a rain of carnivorous reptiles.
Copyright 2018 Jake Frost