Gratitude is one of the most powerful spiritual practices we can do. The longer I venture on this spiritual journey called life the more I am in awe of how being thankful radically changes not only how we see life but also adds to its depth, richness, and joys. One of this blog’s main focuses is focus on spiritual disciplines that turn our hearts to God and gratitude is certainly a great example of this type of practice.
This time of year naturally turns our hearts towards gratitude yet we have to also be intentionally in its practice. I find the stress of the world, other’s expectations, and internal conflicts consume my positivity, yet when I pause, pay attention to my blessings and thank God for all his gifts, my spirit lifts.
“Gratitude is like a flashlight. If you go out into your yard at night and turn on a flashlight, you suddenly can see what’s there. It was always there, but you couldn’t see it in the dark.” Dawn Markova
My experience with intentionally practicing gratitude has been transformational. This spiritual discipline helps me focus on what I have – not the vapor wishes I think I need.
Being thankful helps me step out of the way, thanking God for all things, not relying on my own self-centered strength.
Gratitude has taught me the fun in discovering hidden blessings, treasures I may have missed if I hadn’t been paying attention. Look for the good.
Counting my blessings turns what my emotions blindly convey as a rotten day into “hey that wasn’t so bad after all” type of reflection.
Thankfulness adds meaning to life, even in difficult times.
We begin with paying attention to the blessings we have been given. We thank God for his gifts, flowing abundantly into our hearts. Then out of that precious overflow, we bless others.
God’s grace gathered inward.
God’s goodness given outward.
Living a life of gratitude helps us find the positive side of life and reminds us what is really important. Seeing the world through the lens of thankfulness gives our lives more meaning, more appreciation, and more joy. Gratitude balances life by counteracting all the negatives the world throws at our souls.
“When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.”
G. K. Chesterton
How will you practice gratitude this month? What are you most grateful for right now?
Nancy Ruegg says
AMEN, Jean–there is power in gratitude! As you no doubt remember, I keep a gratitude journal, a habit started in 2017 and which I plan to continue as long as I can write! The discipline has raised my awareness of God’s gifts, and increased my joy as I contemplate possibilities to record. I AM thankful for ALL God’s benefits–too numerous to mention in totality. But here are a few examples: 1) our five senses with which to enjoy this sensory-rich season, from Thanksgiving through Christmas, 2) God’s strength to carry us through the busy days of preparation, 3) his peace for these tumultuous times. Our God is SO good–gratitude is a small gift we can give back to Him!
Jean Wise says
You have been so consistent in keep that journal and just imagine how this has enriched your soul! Yes yes it is a gift back to God. Love that thought!
Nancy Ruegg says
Thank you, Jean!
Lisa notes says
I definitely need to work more gratitude up from my heart and out into the world. Thanks for the kick in the pants, Jean.
I am finding gratitude to be a foundational practice – more important than ever before!
Pat Forsman says
Thank you jean…..thank you God for You…
Hope you had a blessed Thanksgiving, Pat