So, this morning I actually came across a podcast, on practicing the art of being grateful. And in the spirit of thanksgiving, I decided to write a little more on the highlights I took from it + my own little insights on how to be more grateful!
“The Lord is my Shepard, there is nothing I shall want” PSALM 23:1
In a world where we are so used to getting what we want, when we want, and how we want it; almost always having things working perfectly, it can be very hard to be grateful. There lies a true lack of Thanksgiving in this consumeristic world of ours. Isn’t it kind of ironic that we have Thanksgiving followed by a day where we are encouraged to go out and buy and want things we don’t have…
Lol ^ sorry, I had to…anyways, we often expect good things to always be happening to us, just because we think “deserve” them? So when we receive these blessings we feel so entitled to them that we often forget to stop & think of thanking God for all that he is already blessing us with. The roof over our heads, our families, our friends, the food we eat, our beds… the list goes on. What is interesting is that those who have less are actually more grateful because they don’t feel as entitled to those blessings. Instead, we must learn to seek for more simplicity in our lives; rather than filling it with more & more.
“All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more & more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Though outwardly we are wasting away; inwardly we are being renewed day by day”
2 Corinthians 4:15
Take the time to recognize just how truly blessed you are. We must become AWARE of the blessings around us. And honestly, sometimes, we may have to CHOOSE to be grateful, even through those darkness/little ruts we may encounter in order to bring us to the light. Find a special time in your prayer where you can just be thankful. Think about what He is doing in your life. Before we can ask God for things we must be thankful to him first. We must first acknowledge our blessings, contemplate on how blessed you are, thank Him, & then ask Him for what you heart desires.
Take delight in the LORD and He will give you the desires of you heart” PSALM 37:4
“Where God guides, He provides”
Now-a-days we are often living and thinking of the “now”, however sometimes we must look back & think. How has God shaped my life to what it is today? How has he continually worked through the people around me & even through me throughout the years? Since birth or childhood? How have the experiences (hard/rough) led me to where I am today? Soon, you will soon realize that He has been there all along.
Remember God will and always does get us a to a point where we can finally think “Wow, all that heart ache, all that struggle, etc.- has led me to here.” Take the time to remember just how faithful God has been.
- JOURNALING is a great way to practice remembering. It allows us to look back at a time in our lives, maybe a year or several years from now & see what God did that changed our lives. Recently, I read back to my journal writings when I was in graduate school (almost 2 years ago), thinking I was never gonna get through, asking for friends, asking for guidance –and when I read it now, I see just how much the Lord was guiding me all along. Because it was then that I found some of my best friends. It was then that I made some of the biggest/life changing decisions in my life. It was then that God sent me little angels along the way to get me through & where I am today.
“Accept everything with praise, thanksgiving, and a smile.” – Mother Teresa
Reframing: the sometimes difficult, but beautiful art of turning your negatives into positives. Ever had one of those bad days? Kind of days that when it rains…it pours? And the harder you try sometimes things just don’t go right? Everybody has those days. But it is in those time (where it’s the hardest) that we must practice gratitude. I attempt to practice this daily. There is so much beauty that surrounds us, it’s almost impossible to not find something to be grateful for, if you just tune yourself into it. The mind is a strong thing. If you allow yourself to wallow in negativity, you will stay there. It takes reframing to get yourself out of your mind, and CHOOSE gratefulness.
- For example, I could obsess over the fact that I wasn’t as productive at work as I wanted to be, but if I continued to obsess over that fact, I will never get to thank God for all the beautiful moments I had with each one of my patients. The experiences I encountered to learn something new, opportunity to treat my patients with dignity. (I am a Speech Therapist at a Skilled Nursing Facility, btw – love my little angels!👴🏼💘👵🏼).
- When we are grateful, our positivity (or art of reframing) is contagious. Just the way negativity can be. In practicing reframing we make ourselves available to the greatness God surrounds us with and allows us to share positivity and joy with those around us.
“We are living magnets; we attract the energy we give off. Focus only on what you want to attract more of.”
Relay your gratefulness to one another. Expressing to your family and friends just how thankful you really are for them. How often do you take the time to tell a special someone in your life something as simple & beautiful as “Thank you for being my friend/boyfriend/mother/sister/etc.” Relaying our gratitude brings about a spirit of gratefulness and positivity. Especially during this time of thanksgiving, take the time to truly practice loving & caring for your friends, significant others, and most importantly your family.
Love your parents and grandparents. We are so busy growing up, we often forget that they are also growingold.
So, to conclude I leave you with a CHALLENGE: (of course, how could I not!?!)
Find one person in your life that you are thankful for. Take the time to recognize, remember, reframe, and relay just how thankful you truly are for them. Tell this person. Whether it be a phone call, a text, a letter – or most preferably, in person. Hug them, thank them, whatever you gotta do! Show them just how much you love them through you actions. Take some time to tell them just how thankful you are for them & tell them WHY.
Happy Thanksgiving Week, my dear friends.
May God bless you with lots of good food & turkey – but most improtatnly some beautiful family memories.
Love & Blessings,