Gratitude and Graciousness

I’m a member of a bloggers group in Central Pennsylvania that once a month offers us an opportunity to go somewhere or do something for free (or discounted) if we’ll blog about it. December’s deal was free Hershey Christmas Candylane tickets for Les and me.

We had a date planned for after we got back from Williamsburg, but then I got sick. For over a week. By the time we would have been able to go and to blog about it, my readers would have only had a few days to go visit if my blog inspired them to do so.

And so I wrote an apologetic e-mail to the person from Hershey. I explained what had happened and told her that as grateful as I was for the tickets, I didn’t feel right using them. They gave me the tickets so I could promote Hershey Christmas Candylane, and I wouldn’t be able to. I thanked them for the offer.

I got back a gracious e-mail, encouraging me to use the tickets anyway. “Maybe you can blog about it next November,” she said.

So we went. We enjoyed the lights, especially since we managed to time the Skyride just right. The synchronized light-and-music show began just as we started out. We were disappointed the monorail was temporarily closed, but enjoyed the Kissing Tower.

But our trip is really beside the point.

The process reminded me of the importance of both gratitude and graciousness. And of how often they are intertwined. Because I was grateful for the opportunity and offered to give up the tickets, the Hershey rep was gracious to me. And that caused me to respond with more gratitude.

So why don’t I practice both more often? I struggle more with being gracious, particularly when I don’t get my way. Maybe grace needs to be the word I focus on for 2014.

“Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.” Colossians 4:6

Gratitude or graciousness—which do you have more trouble showing?

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