Proverbs 4:25 – Focus your eyes straight ahead; keep your gaze on what is in front of you.
Gratitude Day 754
I looked at my calendar today … and realized that soon, half of June will be gone.
Summer … can you PLEASE slow down? The days just seem to slip away, one right after another.
While it is easy to get caught up in days slipping away, we also get to choose how we live these days. Every. Single. One. These days, I try to celebrate the many good things about every day … because there are so many things to celebrate. No matter what is going on in our lives, good or bad, I pray that we simply smile and thank the good Lord for the blessings that we have. Today. Yesterday. And all those little things that we tend to gloss over rather than celebrate.
So today, I am sharing five little things that I try to do every day. Ways that help keep me grounded, in the moment and provide me a way to celebrate. Honestly, you probably have some things already a part of your day that may sound very similar to the things that help ground me. Your five do not have to be the same as my five. Just pick the ones that fill your heart and allow you to celebrate all the goodness in your life.
Begin the day with some quiet time. I do this almost every day. Before I get out of bed, I say a little prayer to God, asking for guidance throughout the day. Then, I make coffee and then go sit in a special chair and spend some time with myself and God. The length varies from day to day. But these minutes really help ground me for the day. I journal a little. I read a little scripture. Most days, I read a chapter or two out of a book that I am ready for other things that I am dedicating my time to. I close by writing a prayer to God. It is not long; just a couple sentences. But it gets me rooted in what I think is important. I try to have this written prayer reflect something I thought about or read on that particular day.
This is how I start my day. There are lots of resources that you can find to help guide a morning time. These are the things that I feel are helpful for me. And I make time to do them.
Do you know that I send out a free daily text prayer message? It’s short and sweet and just a quick little way to begin your day. If you would like to receive this daily text prayer, simply text simplewordsoffaith to 33222.
Express gratitude every day. Just before I write those couple sentences of prayer at the end of my morning quiet time, I do one other thing. I write down three things I am grateful for. Three things that have happened or I have observed in the last 24 hours that touched my heart and soul. This. Is. So. Important. Too often, we focus on what we wish was different rather than fully appreciating all the great things in our lives. A little gratitude list encourages me to be more aware of exactly all those good things. It literally takes one minute for me to write these down. For me, writing them is another way that I honor these things, rather than just listing them in my head.
Move my body. As I get older (!), I think this is so important. Every time I go for a run, I now celebrate that this Clydesdale can still clop down the road, no matter how unpretty it looks! I do not run every day, as I have discovered the importance of recovery days. On the days I do not run, I walk or lift weights or stretch or do something that helps me appreciate what my body can still do. I really focus on this, rather than what I might not be able to do.
There is a boatload of research that says moving your body releases all these wonderful endorphins that make you feel good. Well, this may happen for many people, but it does not for me. So why do I still move my body? Because I want to treasure this temple that God has granted me. I want to honor it and have it in as good as condition as possible so I can do the good things God calls me to do. Is having a physically fit body necessary for this? No. It is more about appreciating the creation of my body and how I am called to serve God in using my body, mind and soul. If you have physical limitations, appreciate them. Yet, you can still find tiny ways to move your body through stretching and using your body weight to strength yourself.
My morning quiet time engages my brain and heart and soul. Physically moving engages my physical body. I want to treat both well every day.
Have contact with one person outside of my household. When the pandemic began and we all stayed home all the time, we lost connection with other people. Sometimes we had ZOOM get togethers or actually picked up the phone and called each other. But what about now? Don’t we still need connection with others?
I work from home most days of the week. The person I see most consistently and regularly is Hubby Rick, which I adore. However, sometimes, it is lovely to have a conversation with someone else. Maybe it is a phone call. Or a series of text messages. A quick visit or an email. Just an opportunity to express more of myself with someone else. I find this so live-giving.
I realize that some people have more than enough stimulation during your work. Yes, introverts find constant interaction overwhelming. I’m talking about contact with one person in a way that you prefer. I think this is especially important for people who live alone or feel isolated. It does not need to be a long, detailed conversation or interaction. Just a few minutes where you can connect and support each other, which we all desperately need.
Do the most important thing for today first. Actually, I’m not very good at this. Too often, I pick the low-hanging fruit, the easy thing that I think I can do quickly and cross off my list, because, you know, there is so much gratification in getting something crossed off the list right away. But then, I get sidetracked, and five minutes turns into a rabbit hole.
I am TRYING to do this: pick the three most important things and do them first. Personally, I try to tackle too much rather than just taking one small step in getting something done. My brain knows this; I just do not always have great implementation. I think it is important to not be too hard on ourselves all the time. We are works in progress, going towards living more in God’s love every single day.
So, what works for you? What helps keep you focused throughout the day? Any suggestions you have on this topic, I would LOVE to hear! How do you keep yourself focused when your brain is going so many different ways? What allows you to find goodness in every day?
For the opportunity to see goodness in every single day, I am grateful.
Dear God – Thank you for blessing every day with goodness. Too often, I quickly overlook it rather than fully appreciating it. Encourage me to find these daily blessings every day. Amen.
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