Last night I saw this picture sitting on the kitchen counter at my mom’s house.

It was the happiness that first caught my eye.

It was the message that caught my heart.

Not just the words, although those are important… “gratitude surrounds her”

The lesson came as I paused to wonder what the gratitude was that surrounded her. It dawned on me that perhaps the gratitude was captured in the two birds.

Do you see the two birds there?

The one on her shoulder…white, tangible, real. In my imagination it represents her gratitude for the blessings she can see, the blessings she can touch, the physical blessings that surround her.

It is the bird sitting on top of her head that intrigues me.

The outline of a bird that is barely visible, a simple sketch, the one you might not have noticed with a quick glance. In my imagination it represents her gratitude for the blessings that can’t be seen or touched. Sacred blessings.

It’s the gratitude she feels for what she believes.

The hope in her heart.

The faith that sustains her.

I realize that the gratitude that surrounds her comes from blessings that are tangible …and blessings that are not.

I have counted blessings.

I have named them one by one.

Often the blessings that fill the lines of my gratitude journal are things that I can see or touch. My home. My children. My husband who works, and serves, and strengthens.

It is not often that the lines fill with blessings that are sacred. Blessings that words cannot describe. The blessings that thoughts cannot express. Knowledge that is too wonderful…the kind that fills my heart with gratitude overflowing.

The blessings I might not have noticed with a quick glance.

Do you know the type of blessing I am talking about?

Have you felt the gratitude that surrounds when you are reminded of the sacred blessings in your life?

It was as I read these verses in the book of Psalms that I experienced one of those moments. The gratitude surrounded my heart as I was reminded of this sacred blessing. And in that moment my heart was filled to overflowing…

O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.
Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising,
Thou understandest my thought afar off.
Thou compassest my path…and art acquainted with all my ways.
O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
thou art there…
thou art there…
If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

(Psalm 139:1-10)

Sacred thoughts.

The blessing of His love. Believing that He really knows me.

My heart, surrounded by gratitude.

Emily Freeman
Emily Freeman took her first creative writing class in high school and has loved writing ever since. She finds great joy in studying the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Her deep love of the scriptures comes from a desire to find their application in everyday life. She is the author of several books, including The Peter Potential: Discover the Life you Were Meant to Live; 21 Days Closer to Christ; and Written On Our Hearts. There is nothing Emily enjoys more for breakfast than a bowl of coconut ice cream, strawberries, and toasted coconut. Other favorites include parades, vacations, firework displays, and going for a long walk with a good friend. Emily and her husband, Greg, live in Lehi, Utah, with their four children, whom she adores.
Emily Freeman
Emily Freeman

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