The Attitude of Gratitude

The attitude of gratitude is a great slogan. Having an eye for the blessings one has received is a necessary element, not only in pleasing God, but surviving the hardships that this valley of tears delivers at the most inopportune moments.

Have you ever said the following? Why now? If only this happened last week. Why in heaven’s name is it always me?

Are those the words of gratitude? Not quite. But the reason I’ve been guilty as charged is most often due to lack of perspective. How can we be truly grateful when we’re clueless about what we should be grateful for?

Life itself, the ability to think and reason, the joys of family, the beauty of nature, the ability to laugh so hard that you cry. Those are a few gifts. Running water, hot water at that, indoor toilets, antibiotics, skilled surgeons, poets, warm houses, garbage men, and plumbers to keep those taps in working order are a few more treats. The list is endless if any of us attempts to grasp in total what we should be grateful for.

I’m particularly grateful for books. I’ve always been a history buff. A lazy one, but I do enjoy picking up the random history to learn about other times and places. These one-off ventures are often fruitful. It’s as if I’m getting a kick in the pants, to learn about something I’m otherwise lacking. And I’m not talking about the history itself. Attitudes is what I’m talking about. Gratitude and perspective in specific.

Most recently I’ve been combing through the NARRATIVE OF THE CAPTIVITY AND RESTORATION OF MRS. MARY ROWLANDSON. If you need a jolt in the gratitude department, this is it. (Project Gutenberg is a fantastic treasure if you haven’t visited there. Do check it out for classic reading at its finest.)

Click => REALITY CHECK to get a gander at what Mrs. Rowlandson endured back in the 1600’s. The seventeenth century was such a wonderful era with all those modern conveniences. Butter churns. Lye soap making parties. Candle dipping. And who can forget rug beating?? A woman had such leisure. Men too. A team of oxen or mules practically plowed the fields by themselves. Right? Not quite.

Life in the colonies or any frontier was seriously hard business, harder still with the prospect of unexpected company 24/7. Our Mrs. Rowlandson had just such a visit on the tenth of February, 1675. Life as she knew it shattered in a hellish reversal she’d probably prayed would never happen. The clash of cultures, European vs Native American was often brutal. Shocking beyond our comprehension. At least mine anyway. But there were many kindnesses to be seen as well when reading these stories.

The point is, this woman, through her immense soul wrenching trials clung to her faith. She thanked God and submitted to his will with an amazingly open heart that lacked nothing in the confidence department. That alone astounds me. Mary held fast to the belief that God would come to her aid. She was a grateful servant, cleaving to Him in and out of season:

But now, the next morning, I must turn my back upon the town, and travel with them into the vast and desolate wilderness, I knew not whither. It is not my tongue, or pen, can express the sorrows of my heart, and bitterness of my spirit that I had at this departure: but God was with me in a wonderful manner, carrying me along, and bearing up my spirit, that it did not quite fail. One of the Indians carried my poor wounded babe upon a horse; it went moaning all along, “I shall die, I shall die.” I went on foot after it, with sorrow that cannot be expressed. At length I took it off the horse, and carried it in my arms till my strength failed, and I fell down with it. Then they set me upon a horse with my wounded child in my lap, and there being no furniture upon the horse’s back, as we were going down a steep hill we both fell over the horse’s head, at which they, like inhumane creatures, laughed, and rejoiced to see it, though I thought we should there have ended our days, as overcome with so many difficulties. But the Lord renewed my strength still, and carried me along, that I might see more of His power; yea, so much that I could never have thought of, had I not experienced it.

After this it quickly began to snow, and when night came on, they stopped, and now down I must sit in the snow, by a little fire, and a few boughs behind me, with my sick child in my lap; and calling much for water, being now (through the wound) fallen into a violent fever. My own wound also growing so stiff that I could scarce sit down or rise up; yet so it must be, that I must sit all this cold winter night upon the cold snowy ground, with my sick child in my arms, looking that every hour would be the last of its life; and having no Christian friend near me, either to comfort or help me. Oh, I may see the wonderful power of God, that my Spirit did not utterly sink under my affliction: still the Lord upheld me with His gracious and merciful spirit, and we were both alive to see the light of the next morning.

This is the attitude of gratitude that I hope one day to have. No, I’m not asking to be abducted and dragged through the wilderness. I’d have gotten killed for sure. Too much trouble. But I am very thankful that Mrs. Rowlandson, despite having a justifiable reason to close in on herself due to PTSD, was able to endure and write down her trials for the benefit of us all. Her example is a bona fide testament of faith in action!

About Ann Malley

Ann writes clean romantic action suspense, featuring real women battling for their happily-ever-after. Look in a mirror if you're unfamiliar with such women. But the dark side can take its toll. Writing short, clean romantic comedy is the perfect palate cleanser. Contemporary western romance and Christmas romances provide an equally pleasant distraction that I hope you'll enjoy! I'd enjoy hearing what you'd like to read. Write me at Join my newsletter at:
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.