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Greetings dear friends & welcome to my world again this week. I have been away the last few weeks in both Auckland & Porirua & this weekend Blenheim, then Dunedin. Hence some difficulty finding time between commitments & writing, I which I prefer. However, tiz the Mako season ~ no apologies…
I am grateful for the opportunity to have some time & ability to do such touring. I am also sure you will have heard many such an address on the topic of gratitude.  I feel we should live with humble gratitude & I wonder how about you. Does gratitude flavour your life?  Are the words flowing from your lips & the thoughts racing through your mind marked by gratitude?
Over the last 30 days, if you were to give yourself a gratitude grade, what would it be? Better yet, if your spouse or close friend were to give you a grade for gratitude in your life, what do you think it would be?  Would they say your life overflows with gratitude?  Take a moment to honestly assess the last month.
In this article I want to give you a simple sentence to remember & reflect on this week. Here is the first half of the sentence…                                                                  When the grace flows in . . .

It all starts with grace.  It is a word we toss around quite freely, & probably finds its way into our minds only periodically.  But when is the last time you thought about meaning, magnitude & grace FOR YOU? Not maybe, not has been, not was, &not would be, but right now.  No matter what your current situation.  Today. At this hour. No need to wait in line or come back tomorrow.  No matter how you mess up today or tomorrow.  How are you feeling in your journey?

When the grace flows in, typically, the gratitude flows out.                                              Whenever I really understand grace, gratitude is the natural by-product.

I also know from my own experience; I can lose sight of grace. And when this happens, my gratitude can quickly turn into grumbling.  

St. Benedict considered grumbling a serious offense against community life. He says, “First & foremost, there must be no word or sign of grumbling, no manifestation of it for any reason at all.”  The most wonderful line in Benedict’s rule describes the consequences for a monk who was grumbling.  “Let Father Abbot send two STOUT monks to explain the matter to him.”  If you complain & whine in the monastery you get a visit from a couple of monk bouncers.  

Maybe we should implement such a strategy in our work & life.  Benedict & his serious approach to grumbling demonstrates how toxic it is to us personally & to those around us.

So, what tends to flow out of you these days? Grumbling or gratitude? Are your words joyful & appreciative?  I am talking about the kind of gratitude making you less petty & less critical.  

Here is the good news.  You and I get to choose gratitude.  No one else controls it.  No one else can take it away from you.  We are not victims.  Some of our greatest heroes modelled for us how to be grateful in the worst of circumstances.  

One of the lessons I am continuing to learn is my gratitude is often linked to my ability to “stay present in the moment”.  Let me explain.  Life these days moves pretty fast.  If we are not careful, we can blow right past opportunities for gratitude to fill our soul.  We need to learn to linger.  What is something you need to linger over today & will cause gratitude to bubble up in your soul? In fact, I want to invite you to make this week a “NO COMPLAINT” week.

Before you move on with all your tasks and responsibilities for today, let me encourage you to take a few moments to reflect.  And, then take a few moments to linger over this my thought for this week ~ & gratitude would OVERFLOW in your life & spill out on every person you encounter today.

I hope my comments each week are helpful dear readers; & again, provide just an opinion, from my world. Thank you for taking the time to be with me, I hope my journey may encourage you also. See you all in a couple of weeks, unless you are a Mako man also? This is Kenn Butler in Paradise, Nelson, with my best wishes.

Kenn Butler
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