Sunday, February 20, 2011

My Father's Pocket Watch

A round, gold pocket watch is attached to a long gold chain. Indentions from babies’ teething dent the worn timepiece.

The man’s trousers feature a special hidden pocket below the waistband just large enough for the watch to slip inside and disappear.

The chain is hooked to a front belt loop, making the chain look like a golden capital U.

The little girl climbs up onto her daddy’s lap, pulling at the chain to extricate the watch from its hiding place.

Tiny hands hold the watch while one little finger pushes on the watch’s magic button, making the top pop up to reveal the watch’s face, bringing smiles to two other faces.

The little girl bends down to bring the watch to her ear, turning her bright eyes toward those of her father, stretching the chain tautly as she pulls.

“Tick, tick, tick, tick,” the second hand says as it travels around to each of the twelve numbers. Father and daughter share a warm hug, a melting heart, and a child’s giggle.

I loved my Daddy’s lap and his pocket watch.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Question about Giving Thanks

What if you woke up in the morning to discover that all you have or own consists only of what you gave thanks for yesterday?

This question was asked at a memorial service I attended last night for a friend who was killed in a motorcycle accident last week. This simple question struck me, absorbing through my skin, and finding its way to my heart. It really made me pause to think.

My life is filled with blessings. My dad used to remind me to count my blessings whenever I’d feel blue and down in the dumps. This simple statement last night brought all of this back to me that I need to thank God each day for all that has been given to me.

One of my practices when I have trouble sleeping at night is to list all of the things I am thankful for in a prayer. Sometimes I’ll play the children’s alphabet game as I make my mental list, finding something beginning with each letter of the alphabet for which I am thankful. Usually, I fall asleep before reaching the end, but if I'm still awake, I start all over again with “A.”

God is good, and life is rich. Even with the disappointments and failures I’ve experienced in my life, I can count them as blessings. Through every one, I have learned valuable lessons, grown spiritually, and practiced focusing on the important things in life. As I grow older, I better understand the meaning of “in all things, give thanks.”

There is so much to be thankful for. The challenge is to be thankful DAILY for it all.