Wed., Nov. 7, 2018
Colossians 2:7 – Plant your roots in Christ and let him be the foundation for your life. Be strong in your faith, just as you were taught. And be grateful.
Since April 1, 2018, I have been blogging about things for which I am grateful. In my every daily, ordinary, regular life, I’ve tried to find even the simplest of things for which I am appreciative. I know. Some of these “grateful” things may seem like a stretch. One friend said to me, “Parchment paper?” And I said, “Yes, parchment paper.”
Why something like parchment paper? Because I truly believe being grateful for the little things in life make a difference in how we view our little neck of the woods.
Let’s be honest. Most of us won’t be president or governor or the CEO or a large company. Most of us won’t have a building named after us or a Wikipedia page where people can go and learn about our background. Most of us won’t be the person who everybody knows your name.
What we will be is the someone who has made a small difference in a few people’s lives. Or a big difference in even a smaller number of people very close to us. We may be that “crazy aunt” or the “cool parent” or the “embarrassing grandparent.” Just as easily, we could be the “cranky cousin” or “weird neighbor” or “difficult spouse” that no one likes to talk about.
What is the difference between the two? Sometimes, very little. The space between being a genius and being insane can barely be a sliver. What keeps someone from crossing from one side of the spectrum to another?
Gratitude. I have no actual data or research to back this up. But I truly believe our attitude towards appreciation, humbleness and respect go a long way towards our frame of mind and how we view of our little piece of the world. I see this over and over. People who demand respect approach life in a very different way from someone who simply appreciates the opportunities in front of them. Those who live life from the “glass half full” position often find it less necessary to point out to others what great things they have done. When I focus on all that I have rather than the one thing I don’t have, life seems pretty darn good.
What I do know is this: when we include gratitude in our lives on a more regular basis, the rest of life makes more sense. Personally, I feel we struggle less, value little things more and are able to find happiness more easily.
What have I discovered after writing 150 blogs about gratitude in the last 7+ months? Let me share a few things:
- I find myself grumbling less. I have most often tried to embrace a Pollyannaish attitude; trying to find the good in any situation. Yet, it is also easy for me to grumble about something that discouraged me. I think my gossiping/grumbling are down these days. And this is a good thing.
- I spend less energy trying to “find” that something that I “think” will make me happier. Maybe what I’m looking for is already right in front of me … and I wasn’t smart enough to realize this. Rather than searching for something that may or may not be there, I try to embrace what is already a part of my life.
- I try to be content. It’s easy to focus on those things we’d like to change. I’m discovering that if I want something different, then I must be the agent of change; not someone else. Maybe it’s ME that needs to look at my life or the world differently rather than someone else. I can’t control someone else. Rather than trying to herd cats and get frustrated, maybe I am the one who needs to do something a bit different.
I never take for granted you, the folks, who read these little blogs after I write them. I appreciate having an audience and place to share where I see God in my daily life and express appreciation for this. If a blog challenges you or allows you to seek and find a little more gratitude in your daily life, thank you for the opportunity to be a part of this.
So, I’m trying to decide if a few more “gratitude” blogs would be a good thing or not. Please leave a quick comment or a response on social media about whether continued blogs on gratitude would add value to your day. Or if there is something else that would be helpful for you to read about that includes a spiritual reflection with it, I would love to hear about this as well. I’ll read every comment carefully and take to heart your responses!
For a safe place to share about where I experience gratitude in my life, I am grateful.
In this world where we can easily focus on everything that we don’t like, challenge us to keep gratitude in our daily lives, Lord God. May we be agents of gratitude in all that we say and do. Amen.
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