I am grateful my family has a tradition of saying grace for dinner. We don't manage it for lunch or breakfast, which we don't often eat together. But we do nearly always eat dinner together. We join hands and have a few seconds of silence. Into this silence I have learned to pour out intense and efficient thanks, because neither my husband or daughter are as reverent as I, and often the silence is much too quick for my liking. So I very quickly thank God for the food, my health, the wealth that brings us food whenver we want it, the wealth to eat off china in a beautiful room with hardwood furniture and a gorgeous rug, and to buy the lovely light fixture that the empty china plate reflects. In fact I look for that reflection as a visual cue of what I can be thankful for.
Then I think about the incredible love and life the meal represents--all the workers who added value to the food, the families they love and support, the energy of the sun, the force of life....well I can't usually get all that into the few moments of grace, but I try.
Gratitude is a great practice. It's hard to be unhappy when you are feeling active gratitude. The habit of giving thanks is very wonderful. The idea of pausing before plunging into the joy of dinner makes the dinner a little better.
And I love that our grace tradition is solid enough that our guests know it and expect it, and even practice grace our way when we are guests with them!
Grace is good.
2 days ago