*Special thanks to guest writer Debra Dickey-Liang for sharing with us!*
A person that you are extremely grateful for . . . .
As I read that sentence, my initial reaction was: “How in the world could you pick just one person?!?”, because immediately, a score of people, and the reasons that I am grateful for them, just overflowed into my consciousness. Thus, this lengthy narrative became an expression of enormous personal gratitude and acknowledgement of the personification of God’s perfect love through His chosen people, revealing a whole litany of worthy recipients of great honor and acclaim.
First and foremost, I am grateful for my parents. My mom and dad were always the most grounded, genuine people that I have ever known; honest, upstanding, hard-working individuals who taught me well — full of integrity. A close second are my siblings. Each of my brothers and my sister have added their own unique layers of individualism and goodness to my life, and I cannot imagine how I would have grown into the person that I am without all of them.
Then there’s my Grandpa Short. I was the first grandchild, and boy was I spoiled!! He loved me without reservation, and I loved him back just the same! He treated me like gold, and let me have the run of his house — no child could have asked for a better grandpa . . . Hey, I said I was spoiled!
I am grateful for teachers who saw more in me than I saw in myself. I am grateful for aunts who extended generous invitations into their homes and day-to-day worlds, not only looking out for me, but granting me new situations and interesting places.
I am grateful for people who have treated me kindly. Kindly, while I was learning, and who exercised patience and understanding to help me navigate new systems, processes, and protocols in order to perform at the highest level of efficiency in whatever I do; for people who have gone out of their way, above and beyond normal expectations, to show me kindness, lend extra assistance, or, unannounced, to drive back to Little Rock to quietly check on me as I slept in Mom’s waiting room, concerned because I was by myself.
I am grateful for special friends. People who have come into my life for a time, a reason, or a season. Each specially given just at the right time . . . . when I needed them most! Friends who gave me a purpose, but who gave back much more than they received; friends who saw my need and surreptitiously took me under their wings and cared about me and watched over me without expecting anything in return; friends whom I have always known that just continue to become more important in the niche that they fill; friends who remain friends even if I don’t get to see them as often as I would like; friends who are just nice people to exchange a laugh and joke with; friends from a lifetime ago that still break into a smile and give me a huge hug when we meet; friends who have opened their homes, shared their resources, and invited me to engage in their cultures and customs with amenity; people whose lives I entered by way of marriage, embraced me without hesitation, then loved and cared for me as if I had always belonged there; friends who are my children; friends who I know because of my children — some who have it rough, yet never complain. So many, many people to be grateful for! Each and all, supplying their own unique and wonderful blend of character and spice of diversity that so richly enhance my life. A veritable bevy of mortal souls sent with Divine Purpose, that infuse every chapter of my being with an essence of grace and love unequaled, by whom I have been extremely privileged to be touched along this road that is mine to walk.
I am grateful for people who are good to my children; I am grateful for generous and caring neighbors; I’m grateful for people who began as mentors, and quickly earned my admiration and respect because of their authentic spirit, attitude, and strength of character; I am grateful for the person who generously shares her ‘blog’ space, graciously allowing me a writing opportunity that only now do I realize I had been longing for; I am grateful for ‘little’ people who come my way, in the form of nieces and nephews, who are way cool, fun, and all without an ounce of insincerity, each and every one making a contribution of value that adds great dimension to my existence, a variegated and multicolored tapestry of extraordinary facets that glimmer and sparkle in everything that I do.
And a bit surprisingly, this ‘life review’ turned into a tearful and emotional journey of commemoration and remembrance . . . . \
As I thought back over a lifetime of people, I was deeply and profoundly humbled to recount the indescribable number of wondrous and diverse ministering spirits that God, through His Bountiful Grace and Omnipotence, has placed upon my path, to know, love, and be loved by, throughout the years – rare and priceless jewels of great and lasting beauty; innumerable and immeasurable, with blessings beyond compare.
And so any endeavor on my part to denote the gift of one Divinely inspired ‘pearl of great value’ as more cherished than another ‘precious gem’ perfectly given, would nowhere begin to Glorify the Giver of All Gifts, from Whom all Blessings flow, and in Which we Believe, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.“ (James1:17) Amen and Praise God, I am extremely grateful for them ALL.
*And I am grateful for my friend Debra who shared her life review of gratitude with all of us. Who makes it into your life review of gratitude?*