I'm a student of words. I love etymologies, root words, histories of use - kind of nerdy stuff, but what can I say other than "I enjoy it!"
So ~ I know that gratefulness actually comes from the Latin "gratus" meaning pleasing or agreeable. Italian grazia or Spanish gracias both derive from this same original root. And then there is the word gratitude. But I don't immediately hear any of that when I hear the word gratefulness... maybe because I hear that word grate... and it grates on me.
Grate, in this sense, has a totally different connotation. I think first of cheese - shredded cheese, actually. A chunk of cheese sliced and torn and slivered into tiny pieces... I grate a lot of cheese (as well as other things) by hand. Often, in that process, a knuckle or finger makes contact with the grater. That isn't pleasant. I shredded all 10 fingernails and fingertips once in the process of grating 5 kilos of potatoes.
But as I dwell on this idea a few minutes more, I recall that thanksgiving is praise, and that I am commanded to bring a sacrifice of praise. I am to give thanks, praise, rejoice always in all things... and be grateful, even when I feel like the Lord, life, people and circumstances~
...are grating the very covering right off my heart: slicing, tearing, slivering.
When I learn gratefulness in the grating, then I will know the Lord has finally begun to gentle this hard heart.
"Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise;
Give thanks to Him and praise His name.
For the Lord is good
and His love endures forever;
His faithfulness continues through all generations."
~ Psalm 100:4-5
Cheese/shredder photo @ Visual Photos.