An Attitude of Gratitude

January 2016

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As my family embarked on 2015 we had no idea what we would journey through but we were certain of one thing, we were not alone; we had each other and we had God as a constant presence with us. We have had times of joy, times of sorrow, and everything in-between. Events of last year included accepting the invitation to be the Pastor of RENEW; the serious illness of our youngest daughter who was poorly for four full months and spent the whole of April in hospital; my Ordination as a Christian Minister; our family mission leading other families to build homes for homeless Mexican families; moving from the Tees Valley to Cambridgeshire…

We have a family ‘Gratitude Jar’ in which we put notes of things we’re thankful for throughout the year (or reminders of significant times like ‘tickets’ or ‘photographs’) – it reminds us to be thankful at all times. I’ve just had a sneaky peek through some of the notes and was especially moved to see some things my children have put in throughout the year. It appears that the most painful times reminded us of what we had to be most thankful for.

Every New Year’s Eve, after our family meal, we open the Gratitude Jar and read the notes out to remind us of how blessed we have been, then we start with an empty jar on January 1st. This is a helpful family tradition that stops us forgetting the things we’ve been thankful for. I encourage you to start a ‘Gratitude Jar’ there are lots of creative suggestions online (Google, Pinterest). This year RENEW will have one, I look forward to seeing what it contains at the end of 2016.

We would love you to join us on the journey, as several people have over the past few months, and be part of our thanksgiving. You are welcome to any of our services and activities.

Alan