In Gratitude

Happy Post Thanksgiving Everyone!

I pray your Thanksgiving was filled with good food, relaxation, family, friends, and gratitude!

What a blessing it was for my family to host Thanksgiving this year and celebrate with family that we love and cherish so deeply!

After all our guests went home, my husband and I reflected upon our day and decided that Thanksgiving felt different this year.

Unlike years past, this Thanksgiving was not so much about the actual day. It was about the days leading up to Thanksgiving. 

You see, this year, our family set out to intentionally put gratitude on the forefront of our thoughts for the month of November.

We did this by talking through our gratitudes at dinner and then put these blessing on our gratitude wreath.

Each day, for 25 days, we paused long enough to remember the blessings in our lives. And most importantly, we gave thanks to God, the One who provides us with these blessings.

This intentional act of gratitude changed us. It slowed us down and helped us to see all of our blessings – the big and the small.

It helped us to remember that everything we have and are given, is a gift from above.

 

For me personally, this simple act on intentionality helped me see that there are blessings in all circumstances. The circumstances of life don’t always seem like a blessing. This month has reminded me that there is always – yes, always – a blessing to be found. It is this blessing that we are to give thanks.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 

Now that November is coming to a close, I can’t help but ponder how I can keep this intentional act of gratitude alive all year long?

Making Gratitude Last

Giving thanks and remembering where our blessings come from should not just occur one day a year. Each day is a blessing and thus an opportunity to gives thanks. 

But, how can we remember to make this a priority?

I have several suggestions:

  1. Continue making gratitude a regular part of your day by keeping a journal or notebook by your bed each day. As you wake and before you go to bed, stop and remember all that you are so grateful for.
  2. Throughout your day, verbally tell someone how grateful you are of their service. Consider the store clerk who is frazzled from the stress of the holidays. Give him or her a smile and thanks for their dedicated work. Wish the bagger at your grocery store a special thanks. After all, are you not appreciative of their service? Can you imagine how this one little act of giving thanks could change the communities in which we live? 
  3. Change your negative thoughts to ones of gratitude. For example, when you walk into your house and you find coats, shoes, hats, and mittens sprawled all over the floor, rather than losing your cool, give thanks for having these items as they help you and your family stay warm and dry. When you look in your pantry and wished you had something sweet to eat, give thanks for the food that is already there.
  4. Each week, do a prayer walk through your place of employment. There is no doubt things that are happening that do not sit well with you. When we focus your energy on only the negative, we often lose sight of the positive. As 1 Thessalonians 5:18 reminds us, we are to give thanks in all circumstances. Rather than wasting our energy on the negative, say a prayer to God, giving Him control of the situation, and then say thanks for all that is already done.

How about it? Will you join me and making the rest of 2017 and all of 2018 a year where you make gratitude your priority? If you are going to join me, hit reply and let me know! Let’s do this together and hold each other accountable! We are, after all, better together!

Praying you through,

Angie xoxo

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