Give thanks

A Captiva sunset, January 2013 --  no digital alteration; it really is this beautiful.

A Captiva sunset, January 2013 — no digital alteration; it really is this beautiful.

“When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.” Tecumseh

Long before we had any idea Jeff was sick, we planned a quick January getaway to Captiva Island, Florida.  I had never been there, and always wanted to go.  When we began to re-structure our lives in the wake of Jeff’s diagnosis and the intensive treatments planned for the coming year, he wisely refused to cancel the trip, insisting that he wanted to go unless he was absolutely unable.  So his chemotherapy schedule was altered to allow us this respite.

What a blessing!  Our three days in Captiva underscored the immutable truth of Tecumseh’s words; there are always reasons to give thanks.  Even when we know this truth in our minds, it can be difficult to feel it in our hearts during times of great pain.  But like all truth, it is eternal and remains despite our temporary inability to grasp it…so even when we do not feel it, we can have faith that it’s still there, waiting for our awareness to return.

Related Posts:

Gratitude Made Easy  (from The Presents of Presence)

When each day is a blessing  (from Sydney Fong)

Unknown blessings (one of my posts)

…and read about the 365 Grateful Project here.

27 Comments

  1. God Blessed us with the ‘Beauty of Captiva’ for a reason He will never give up trying to Captivate our Hearts. When we say YES although all reason wants to say NO we have allowed Him to capture our Hearts away from messy earth. Thank You for reminding me in the mist of the ‘waiting room’; of Captiva, fond memories that nothing can steal. Ps. 89: 15-16 Love & Prayers up to you & yours

    • Thanks Kate! We need and appreciate the prayers. Thanks for visiting here.

  2. What a beautiful photo ~ I am so glad you were able to get away for a few days and just be together! Thanks for including my post. xo

    • You’re welcome! There are so many talented people out in the blogosphere, posting beautiful photos and helpful thoughts. I’m glad you didn’t mind me linking to one of yours. We all need to encourage each other to stay positive. Thanks for visiting here.

  3. singleseatfighterpilot

    Seeing your quote, I think: Wow, no wonder Judge Charles Robert Sherman and his wife, Mary Hoyt Sherman decided to give the middle name, Tecumseh, to their baby boy. (As he got older, his friends called him “Cump”.) My point is, people of the nineteenth century may have seen wisdom in the words of people who had no letters after their names (e.g. PhD, MA, MD, etc.)

    • Eric, I had the same thought about Sherman’s middle name. What impresses me most about it is that he was born so soon after the War of 1812, when most U.S. citizens probably considered Tecumseh an enemy. I don’t know how reliable this info from Wikipedia might be, but it certainly is interesting with respect to the father who died when Sherman was a child, and the implication that Tecumseh was Sherman’s original given name: “Sherman’s unusual given name has always attracted considerable attention. Sherman reported that his middle name came from his father having “caught a fancy for the great chief of the Shawnees, ‘Tecumseh.'” Since an account in a 1932 biography about Sherman, it has often been reported that, as an infant, Sherman was named simply Tecumseh. According to these accounts, Sherman only acquired the name “William” at age nine or ten, after being taken into the Ewing household…” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Tecumseh_Sherman

  4. Thanks for the reminder of giving thanks. I needed that this morning.

    • Marjorie, I’m glad it was helpful. My mother taught me to give thanks for life each and every day, but some days it’s easy to forget. Thanks for visiting here and for your comment!

  5. Beautiful thoughts. Thank you.

    Sent from my iPhone

    • Karen, you’re welcome! Nice to hear from you. Hope you are doing well.

  6. Julia, thanks for the beautiful article and the pingback!
    Sydney will not forget the blessings of each day although I’m in low tide still….. 😦
    Seashells and crabs always appear in low tide, I believe!
    Sydney wish you well and your hubby getting well soon!
    With love! 🙂

    • Sydney, it’s a joy to link to your wonderful post. Thanks so much for your visits and good wishes! I hope you will soon have many more blessings to count, and thank you for reminding us how fortunate we are even in the tough times!

      • Sydney will talk about more things when I have more free time!
        I promise will get back to you! You promise must take care yourself too…

        • Thanks Sydney, I will look forward to reading more from you!

  7. singleseatfighterpilot

    I know this is light-years away from beautiful seascapes giving us reasons to give thanks; but I thank you for seeing, with me, fascinating thoughts from history. As relates to “spending time with” Cump Sherman. being a Southerner (as distinctive from being a Virginian), I practice the dictum: “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.”
    If nothing else, the Shawnee chief was an accomplished warrior. Doesn’t the choice made by Charles R. Sherman of a name for his son seem prescient? This is especially remarkable when you consider brother’s names: Charles Taylor Sherman (eldest son not being a “Junior”); Hoyt Sherman (obviously from his mother’s middle maiden name); and plain ole John Sherman (only the name is plain – he was a U.S. Senator, from Ohio). Not beautiful, but cool stuff!

    • Eric, it is definitely interesting and yes, the choice seems prescient. Perhaps baby W.T. Sherman was feisty and strong-willed from the very beginning. As one who will always think of Atlanta as my hometown, I still have a bit of a grudge against Sherman, but must admit he’s a fascinating guy.

  8. terry miller

    So glad you were able to make the trip. I know how it felt whenI was giving the okay to travel to see Jennifer and family. God bless you all and give Jeff a hug for me and tell him to give you one for me. Keep in touch prayers are always going up. Carolyn and family

    • Thanks Carolyn. We enjoyed your beautiful card. We are praying for you too and will be anxious to hear how you are doing. I keep thinking how 24 years ago (has it really been that long since we were together? WOW!) none of us could have forseen that you and Jeff would both be facing such a menacing challenge – but I know you both to be STRONG, FAITHFUL people and I truly believe you will both beat cancer! Thanks for visiting us here. Love to you and Terry.

  9. Wow, what a restful place. It was nice that you were able to get there together. We always feel lucky to have our health and each other, for today anyways. Sending hugs your way.

    • Thanks, I love cyber hugs!

  10. A beautiful photo. Now all you need to do is look at the photo and you are transported there again. Also a lovely quote too. Thank you for the reminder to give thanks. 🙂

    • Thank you! You are right, when I see this photo I can almost feel the wind in my face and hear the sound of the surf and gulls flying overhead. I appreciate your visiting us here.

  11. That photo has potential. If you’d like to see it processed to its fullest let me know. I’m now following your blog. – Bob

    • I appreciate the compliment; after seeing your photos, I am quite honored to have you following my blog. No expertise here, but it’s definitely a labor of love. Thanks for visiting!

  12. Mary Ng shwu ling

    Yes Julia, life is great when we count our blessings daily. I have the habit of counting my blessings daily and have also published: Life is Great! – a gratitude journal available at amazon.com

    May you have the joy of counting your blessings daily!

    • Thanks Mary, I will have to look your book up sometime. I love the title! Life is great for us and even when I complain, I always realize how lucky we are. We will be counting blessings together. 🙂

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