I wrote this post on Thanksgiving in 2014. Our family has grown since then. Nora now has a sister Quinn. Nora also has cousins Cole and Evan. Our family just went through a terrible and frightening season with little one year old Evan being diagnosed with neuroblastoma in July. On October 31 at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, Evan had surgery which removed all of the cancer. God showered great mercy on Evan and all of us. This Thanksgiving we are joyful beyond belief and words–Grateful. GK Chesterton wrote that Gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder. That is our state this Thanksgiving.
So here is the post from 2014–it still holds true. And now for this grandfather four times over….It is more than just true-It is incredible. “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good! His love endures forever!” (Psalm 136).
“Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement. ….get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed” (Abraham Joshua Heschel)
My granddaughter Nora is now 17 months old. Thanksgiving with her today taught me something about wonder and amazement. I saw the world in a different perspective today–a brighter, lighter, joyful perspective. It was a great day. Maybe a part of Jesus’ words about becoming like a child to enter the kingdom of heaven has to do with the sense of amazement when seeing the world through their eyes. Here are some things I observed today:
Greetings and love–everything deserves a hello and a hug: dolls, the dogs, mom and dad, and uncle and aunt, and grandpa and grandma. And it is good to say hi to–the moon, the sun, the sky, and birds
Everything is a wonder–the chimes sounding in the wind; sometimes it is just good to lay on the grass in the park and look at the sky. Flying back and forth in a swing, or going down a slide all by yourself is full of delight.
It is good to say please and thank you all the time.
It is okay to ask for help and to trust: every time she came upon a step, Nora, without slowing her stride, would just reach up her arm. She know someone would grab her hand, keep her steady as she stepped. I wish I had that amount of trust.
With a toddler (what some call more appropriately, a wobbler!), the world slows down. She sets the agenda and the pace. Slowing down forces me to relax and find joy in the most routine and ordinary moments. Nora makes me smile; she reminds me of the wonder everywhere.
This Thanksgiving I am so aware of the goodness and the faithfulness of God. Nora has helped me to pause and soak in the blessings, so much more than ever deserved. It is amazing; it is is phenomenal; it is incredible!
Thank you sweet Nora for helping me see what too often I miss because I just move too fast. And getting her arms around my neck in a big hug…and hearing her say Papa–I am getting pretty close to the wonder of the kingdom.