Proverbs 16:3 – Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.

Gratitude Day 790

Every day, we have so many things that can occupy our time. Thoughts. Energy. Good things that can allow us to feel fulfilled and contentment. Equally, there are other things that can distract us, pull us away with the urgent rather than the important.

So, how can we keep the big things at the center of our lives? How might we ensure that we are committed to the valuable things of life rather than acquiring more stuff to deal with? If we had to narrow down to the essentials of where we commit our time, energy, gifts and talents, what would show up on the short list?

Not another shopping trip.

Or another item that will give us mere seconds of happiness.

Nor the aspirations that sound great but only increase the shallowness of every-day-life?

If I could inspire you to keep the “big” things, the “big” things, what nine things would I encourage you to keep on that short list? Here they are.

  • Gratitude

Personally, I feel an attitude of gratitude can so much in our lives. When we intentionally seek out ways to be filled with gratitude and express gratitude, we have a lot less time to think negatively or focus on what we think is missing from our lives.

When gratitude becomes the core of our beliefs, then we already have the essentials of life. So often, we think of gratitude as being thankful for what we have. True gratitude goes farther. It allows you to believe what you have is enough. You don’t really need anything else.

  • Generosity

Generosity is so much more than simply the money we donate towards good causes. It’s freeing ourselves to use our money, talents, time and possessions in such a way that if we aren’t not fully using something, someone else can be blessed when we share it.

Generosity is so much more than filling up a box of unused or unloved possessions and donating them to a thrift shop. A generous heart and soul creates space to offer our house, time, meals, service and gifts for the benefit of others. Sharing our abundance with others so they can feel love and mercy.

Often, people will mention to me that they are not comfortable giving to another person because they aren’t sure they will appreciate it or treat it with respect. Believe me. I have struggled with this as well. True generosity does not focus on how the other person will accept, treat and use the gifted item. The heart of generosity is always in the soul of the person who does the giving. Many times, Hubby Rick and I have extended something to another person believing that the item will not be appreciate or treated as we would prefer. When this happens, we need an attitude adjustment that reminds us generosity really is about our heart in the giving. The rest, we just have to let go.

  • Relationships

Some people might start with relationships and this is perfectly OK. All of us were designed with the need to be in touch with other people. Whether it is family or friends, having meaningful interactions with other people keeps us grounded. Allows us to know that others care. Provides opportunities to support those who need encouragement.

Too often, it is easy to get caught up in having the “right” possessions. A beautiful car. A lovely boat. A cabin or camper. The list goes on and on. All of these things can be really great things. Even opportunities to share with other people. I caution us to be careful in allowing “things” to become more important or wrestle for more time and energy than our relationships. The switch over can happen very easily.

  • Community

This can happen in many ways. When we invest in those outside of our immediate family, we discover the opportunity interact with others. Whether community is because of geographical neighbors, school, work, church or some other group, community allows us to feel special and needed.

Yes, we can take on too many things outside of our homes. We need to be aware of this, especially if we have a history of taking on too much. Yet, looking beyond who is in our household allows us to help those in need. Support others who have something in common. Allows us to look beyond our noses and help someone else, which is a very good thing.

  • Compassion

We will always remember the person who took time to be with us and be kind to us when something difficult happened in our lives. Likewise, we can recall the people who were unpleasant and difficult when we went through a challenging time. The person who expressed compassion will always have a soft spot in our hearts.


Compassion is one of those gifts that we often do not enlist enough. We are so dang busy that we fail to see opportunities to extend compassion. Or we want to keep on task which convinces others that we lack compassion. Giving and receiving compassion is a wonderful way to keep our heart in the right spot. Chose to do so.

  • Forgiveness

Too often, we withhold forgiveness because we are not sure the person has changed their ways or realizes the pain her or she has caused others. The real truth? Withholding forgiveness affects us personally a lot more than who we have the beef with. Forgiveness is really more about forgiving ourselves than it is about getting right with the other person. Holding onto the pain and hurt is only more destructive for us than anyone else.

  • Life-long Learning

A higher education is not a requirement to remain a life-long learner. Instead, it’s a choice we all make.  

Continuing to learn provides us with multitude of opportunities to learn, grow and understand the world around us more. Learning can be fun and exciting. It is much more than sitting in a classroom or on a Zoom call. It’s engaging in the world around us and challenging ourselves to become more in-tune to what is going on. Then, sharing this information with others.

  • Our Dreams and Passions

I pray that towards the end of our lives, we can look back and feel like we challenged ourselves to pursue a majority of our dreams and passions. When we find ourselves with too much in our lives, our dreams and passions get put on the back burner and forgot about. If we can focus on those things that give us life, then we can release ourselves from unhelpful patterns.

  • Faith

I get it. Faith feels very different for everyone. For some, you have a connection with God or your Higher Power. For others, they look at religious people and think to themselves, “If that is how faith people live, well, then, I’m not so sure.”

Yep, you are right. There are lots of hypocritical people inside of faith traditions, just as there are people outside of the church who can be incredibly hurtful. For me, faith provides a place that I can always turn for compassion. Guidance and wisdom. Mercy and grace. A place to go when awful things happen as well as a place to celebrate something fantastic.

For me, faith is the glue that holds all the rest together. What would you say holds everything together for you? Why this?

There maybe some things that you would switch out on this list. This is perfectly acceptable. What would you add? Determine what you would eliminate. I’d LOVE to hear what you think! Identifying what our core values are helps us know where to draw the line on something and focus on what we feel is most important. I pray that you will clearly identify what is at your core. The, embrace these ideas daily.

For attitudes that keep me grounded, I am very grateful.

Blessings –


Loving God – We often get caught up in life and what is going on around us. I pray that we will reflect today and this week about those things that we consider necessary at the core of our very being. May we embrace these in our daily lives, in how we live and act. Amen.

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