Thankful Thursday: Shift

Shelly Modes - Start with the Heart

Sometimes it doesn't take much.

You drive a new route. You read a new book. You wake early, or sleep late.

Sometimes it takes more to shift your perspective — a vacation, an illness, something that jars and alarms, something that disrupts the flow.

My head has been deep in a list of plans and tasks, gifts to buy, people to see, places to go. This week I am thankful for the small shift out of myself.

The other day I was Santa's helper, greeting children and taking photos at a community center bustling with holiday cheer. Piles of cookies and candies lined the room, while a choir sang off-key but earnest as families chatted and children squealed. In this delightful chaos, children lined up dozens deep to meet Santa Claus.

These were not tots with trendy clothes and savvy parents, but children with bare necessities and struggling households. With reverence the youngsters walked toward the big bearded man. Child after child quietly whispered their wants. Legos, dolls, Easy Bake ovens. The desires were not fancy or large. There were no lists, no demands, just tender awe and adoration.

In the background a rise of voices joined together in Silent Night, and my own voice quaked with realization. My to-do list felt distant, my own desires petty. In the immediate clamor of need and love and trust, all this was Christmas.

Sometimes it takes so wonderfully little to change our world, to shift our perspective.


Gratitude. Appreciation. Praise. Please join me for Thankful Thursday, a weekly pause to give thanks for people, places, and things in our lives. What are you thankful for today?