In Praise of Gratitude


In Praise of Gratitude
Reader Julia Frisbie (also known as the Imagine No Malaria Coordinator for the Greater Northwest Episcopal Area of the United Methodist Church, and-I-am-out-of-breath) recently sent me a link to a wonderful blog post: “Give Me Gratitude or Give Me Debt” by Glennon Doyle Melton.  For you Anne Lamott fans, Melton has a similar writing style and life story.  Nuff said.

In her blog piece, Melton writes about her kitchen.  After posting a picture of it, she received well-meaning responses offering to help her update her kitchen’s supposedly tired look.  Rather than becoming defensive, Doyle was inspired to go through her kitchen and marvel about it.  Here’s a taste:
“You guys. I have a REFRIGERATOR.
This thing MAGICALLY MAKES FOOD COLD. I’m pretty sure in the olden days, frontierswomen had to drink warm Diet Coke. Sweet Jesus. Thank you, precious kitchen.

Inside my refrigerator is FOOD. Healthy food that so many parents would give anything to be able to feed their children. Almost 16,000 mama’s babies die every day from malnutrition. Not mine. When this food runs out, I’ll just jump in my car to get more. It’s ludicrous, really. It’s like my family hits the lottery every freaking morning.”
You get the idea.  So now what you have really been waiting for: my vacation and to my praise of national parks.  In a word, Yellowstone is a gift.  As I wrote in a Facebook post, “Four days ago I knew nothing about Yellowstone. Now I am a total CONVERT. I didn't know it was on my Bucket List, but it was. If you haven't been there it should be on your BL too. It's a beautiful unwrapped gift sitting there for everyone. And (this is sacrilegious to some of you) it's better than Disneyland.” 
Yeah, yeah, I know that there is no comparison to Disneyland, but really – if you are choosing between the two, please, please, please go to Yellowstone.  Both of my plugged in, device driven kids (age 20 and 16) thought it was the bomb and my daughter declared that this was the “best family vacation ever.”  Wow.  Miracles do happen.
So thank you President Grant and Congress for declaring two million acres as sacred land (what Native Americans knew all along) in 1872.  Thank you to the National Park Service for keeping this jewel available for everyone.  And mostly, as Gerard Manley Hopkins so eloquently said in 1877,
Glory be to God for dappled things –
   For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
      For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
   Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;
      And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
   Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
      With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
                                Praise him.
Praise Him indeed – for bison, prong-horned, mountain goats, geysers, hot springs, for a memorable family vacation, and a heart filled with gratitude for the wonderment of everything we are so lucky to have.

Cesie Delve Scheuermann is a consultant in stewardship, development, and grant writing. Over the past decade, while working as a volunteer and part-time consultant, she helped raise over $2 million dollars for numerous non-profit organizations. She served as the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference Lay Leader from 2008-2012.  For the next six months, she will pay the park entrance fee to anyone who has never been to Yellowstone. Really. Her position with the Conference is funded through a generous grant from the Collins Foundation. You can reach her at inspiringgenerosity@gmail.com.

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Cesie Delve Scheuermann
Cesie Delve Scheuermann is consultant in grant writing and stewardship/development working with the Conference. From 2008-12 she was the Conference Lay Leader for the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference.