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It is so easy in our busy lives to get caught up in the negative. To let the hard rule our thoughts. With our never ending “to-do” lists in our faces and our phones pinging as constant reminders of things we need to get done, we can very quickly spiral into a place of feeling completely ungrateful, to put it bluntly.
God has really been speaking to my heart in this area and convicting me. We have all seen the quote floating around: “What if the only things you had tomorrow were the things you thanked God for today?” But how much truth is there to that? How humbling is it when you really sit back and let that sink in? Do we sit down and thank Him enough or do we go through our day and take all of the good things for granted?
I have been challenged in my quiet times to begin each day with gratitude. And if at any point in the day I begin to feel overwhelmed by my “burdens,” to stop and refocus with gratitude. So what does this look like in practice? I have a prayer journal that I use each morning and it has a section in it for things I am thankful for. I commit each day to filling that section in. To be honest, sometimes its hard and sometimes I feel like the things that I am thanking Him for are trivial things (like coffee). Other times they are big things, like an area that He has provided for in a major way. It doesn’t matter what you are thankful for. The important part is to start each day with gratitude.
On the other side of that, and the biggest conviction for me, is to be thankful in the hard stuff. When I am feeling grouchy because my list is long, I stop and thank Him for providing ways for me to care for my family. When I am overwhelmed by laundry, I thank Him for a family to love that creates the need for all of this laundry. When I don’t feel like fixing dinner, I thank Him that we have food to eat and that I have my people to cook for and clean up after. Rather than being mad about messes, I focus on gratitude for the maker of the messes. When my spouse makes me so angry that I am shaking, I am thankful that I have him to do life (and argue) with! Do you see the perspective shift there?
Putting gratitude journaling into practice has been such a game changer for me and my attitude! Do you keep a gratitude journal? If not, I want to challenge you to focus on being intentionally grateful for the next 30 days and come back and let me know how it went! I am going to be doing it right alongside you!