CROSE: Gratitude and thankfulness

Janice Crose
Janice Lynn Crose

How do we show gratitude? We need to show thankfulness and gratitude to our families, to the Lord God, to our friends and co-workers. What do we do and say that shows we don't take everything for granted. Are we grateful for what we have and receive? Do we have an attitude of thankfulness?

Gratitude is defined by Webster's 1828 Dictionary as: "An emotion of the heart, excited by a favor or benefit received; a sentiment of kindness or good will towards a benefactor; thankfulness. gratitude is an agreeable emotion." (http://webstersdictionary1828.com/Dictionary/Gratitude)

We, as Americans, have many things for which to be grateful. We have more freedoms than many countries and because of our economic system, we can work hard and achieve our goals. We can attain those things of which we dream, an education, a terrific job, a home, a new car, a fun vacation and so on. We aren't tied down to specific jobs and areas in which we must live or work, we can freely move and pursue our goals and dreams.

What do we do to show our gratitude for this type of freedom? Thank a service member the next time you see one in uniform, perhaps buy their lunch if you can. Organize cards and packages to be sent to deployed service members. The holidays can be lonely for those overseas. Check with your church to see if they will help with a project such as this.

Giving to others is one way we can tangibly show gratitude for all that we have. Samaritan's Purse has their annual Operation Christmas Child campaign going on now. People are asked to fill a provided shoe box with gifts, clothes, hygiene supplies, and other needed items. There are gift suggestions on the website as well as items not accepted. (https://www.samaritanspurse.org/operation-christmas-child/what-goes-in-my-shoebox-suggestions/) This is a fun family, church or group project. Jim, my husband, and I have had a blast filling shoe boxes.

There are Angel Tree projects through the Salvation Army to help local children get gifts for Christmas. Walmart in Crestview has a Christmas tree with Angel Tree tags on it. You choose the gifts you would like to give, purchase them and then you can take them to the Salvation Army office at 425 Mary Esther Cutoff, FWB or you can return them to the box at Wal-Mart. The Salvation Army's phone number is (850) 243-4531 should you have any questions. This is also a fun family project.

You can also check with your church office and see if there are any families that have needs for groceries, utility bills that need to be paid and so on. In most churches, there is always a need for funds to help out the community with unexpected bills and groceries.

There is a saying from Acts 20:35, "It is more blessed to give, than to receive." Most of us adults have everything we really need. We may have wants, but not true needs. Let's put others first this year.

Other ways to show gratitude and thankfulness are to use the words, "please" and "thank you." It goes a long way when we are polite to others, especially now when faces are covered and expressions aren't readily visible.

Take a couple dozen donuts to the Sheriff's office, the Crestview Fire or the Crestview Police department to show them your thankfulness. There are many ways to show gratitude, use your imagination.

Janice Lynn Crose, a former accountant, lives in Crestview with her husband, Jim; her two rescue collies, Shane and Jasmine; and two cats, Kathryn and Prince Valiant.