Cultivating the Habit of Thankfulness
Which habit is most characteristic of you on a daily basis: gratitude or grumbling? Is it hard for you to find things to be thankful for as you make your way through an average day? Maybe it’s time to develop an attitude of gratitude.
The first Sunday in November I challenged the folks in our congregation to look for something to thank the Lord for in each day leading up to Thanksgiving Day, and to write those things in a notebook. I took the challenge myself as part of my quiet time with the Lord. I found that the more I exercises thankfulness, the more I found for which to thank God.
Though I may have repeated a few things, like being thankful for my awesome husband and brightness and warmth of sunshine, I found myself thanking God for things that I usually just take for granted. I actually have about eight pages of things for which I am thankful and plan to continue writing them down until the last day of November. Here’s part of my current list:
- My husband David; what God has done in and through his life and what he is to me.
- God’s hand in my life
- The Lord Jesus – all He did on our account and that He understands perfectly my needs and desires and prays to the Father for me
- The location of our house where I can look out on fields, trees, grass and the changes of the seasons
- Birds that come to our feeder and sing their bird songs
- Friends: lifelong and recent
- Family, including our church family
- Food – so many wonderful tastes
- A warm house, a shower and a comfortable bed
- The gifts of speech and writing
- The 6 senses: Touch, taste, hearing, smell, sight and the spiritual sense of God’s presence
- Living in a free country
- A car and a garage to keep it in, especially in New England winter
- A washing machine, dishwasher, stove and refrigerator
- The covenant God made with us through the shed blood of Jesus and all the promises of that covenant
- God’s faithful to His promises
- My husband’s hugs
- Quiet solitude
- Praying friends who believe in the power of God
- Books of many kinds and topics, especially inspirational stories
- God’s created world of nature – the outdoors
- The crunch of dried leaves underfoot as I walk in the autumn woods
- Music, art, literature – reflections of our Creator – for “every good and perfect gift comes from above, from the Father of light”
- That my life is in God’s hands
- The ability to see God’s handiwork everywhere around me
- Faith, love, peace, joy – the fruit of the Holy Spirit
I could go on and on. There is so much to be thankful for in the midst of a world that gravitates toward negativity and pessimism, grumbling and complaining.
An attitude of thankfulness is important.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. Psalm 100:4
So, if you are finding yourself weighed down with negativity, try being thankful for something or someone every day between now and Christmas. And have a blessed season of reflection on all the gifts that were included in the gift of God’s Son and make this a time of gratitude for what you have, not what you may be lacking.
©2012, Marcy Alves
Posted on November 25, 2012, in Christian Growth, Follow Me, God Encounters, My Journey, Reflections and tagged being positive, being thankful, cultivating thankfulness, habit of thankfulness, right habits, thankful for what, thankfulness. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.