It’s almost that time of year…thankful month. Because, you know, Thanksgiving. But let’s change things up a bit. What if we quit waiting until thanksgiving to remember what we’re thankful. What if gratitude is our go to every day of the year?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been able to find the good in things. I wrestle with negativity just like the rest, but over two decades ago, maybe even three I came to realize the only person who has authority over how I feel about my life…. is me.
About twelve years ago God birthed a vision in me for #everydaypearls. I was sitting at a women’s event and I felt the Father whisper to my spirit. There’s something so beautiful and timeless about a pearl and it is worthy of display. We enjoy them and adorn ourselves with pearls without any idea what it took to cultivate and create them.
Pearls become the beauty that we see in the hidden dark place inside an oyster. What was once a simple, misplaced piece of dirt becomes an irritant that a mollusk covers over with the substance that creates beautiful pearls. Each one is unique in its color and shape, cultivated by time and harvested to be put on display whether on earrings, a necklace or in a museum. No matter where these pearls are displayed, each one holds value and represents something that wasn’t meant to be made into something everyone should see.
The things that happen to us and around us are like the grain of sand. Sometimes they irritate and create frustration but what God chooses in His sovereignty is to make something beautiful out of our misplaced dirt. He’s at work, creating beauty in the dark, hidden places EVERYDAY.
Gratitude is our expression that celebrates the beauty in all things. The good, the hard, the bad are all opportunities for us to turn to gratitude instead of resentment.
One day I wrote down every good, hard and bad thing that had happened in my life. I wrote everything I could think of. Then, in an act of faith I asked God to show me who He was in the midst of that situation or circumstance.
- Getting married at 17 = God’s provision. He knew the man Chad would be when I married that 18 year old country boy.
- Having a baby and being a young mom = God’s protection. When all my friends were out partying I was learning to be a momma and I’m confident it kept me out of a lot of trouble.
- Feeling lonely after quitting the job I had loved for 15 years = God’s presence was needed and experienced like never before.
- Letting go as my grown kids live on their own = God’s sovereign plan unfolding and inexplicable joy as I learn to be their friend and Chad and I experience new and fun adventures together.
These are just examples of how I turn the struggles into Thanksgiving. Every day we are presented with opportunities to say “why, God?” Or “thanks, God”. Sometimes the why comes before the thanks but as long as we land on the thanks we are honoring the Lord and the blessings He has put before us.
As we practice living with a heart of gratitude here’s a few easy steps you can take to cultivate a grateful heart.
1) Look for Him. The beauty of the little moments and blessings are everywhere. We just have to be looking for them. He’s showing up in our lives moment by moment we just have to acknowledge Him.
2) Assume the best. A heart of gratitude will believe the best in yourself, your situation and in others. It’s a lot easier to be thankful if we are looking for the good instead of focusing on the negative.
3) Celebrate everything. It all matters! If you love someone, tell them! If they blessed you with their words or a gift, bless them back. When you see something good, acknowledge the good and tell someone else about it.
“Give thanks to God in all circumstance for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:2
A heart of gratitude is a daily choice. What will you choose today? Even better, what’s one thing you’re grateful for TODAY? Share your answer in the comments so we can be #gratitudetrendsetters. Let’s see how many people we can get to share one thing they’re grateful for tonight before bed!
You know what I’m grateful for? YOU. The fact that you’re reading this right now means that you are someone I have been praying for and I’m believing that God is at work doing BIG THINGS in your life.