Not a new concept. Not even a new writing topic of mine.
Yet here I am, pondering its importance again.
Not because everything is going perfectly and beyond my wildest dreams…
Not because I’m gushing.
But because I’m tempted.
Tempted to be stressed by the 40+ boxes in my basement… filled with things that need a place to belong.
Tempted to be frustrated with the daily rigor and drain of training up my children in the way that they should go… especially when they don’t want to go.
Tempted to cry over mangled boxes and broken glass.
Tempted to be discouraged that we don’t have a vehicle.
Tempted to run far far from the laundry pile.
Tempted to grumble and complain.
Then I look out my window and the day is beautiful. Birds flit from tree to flower to post. Rays of sun warm cold skin. Creations lifts its arms and stretches with such vibrancy I can’t help but pause, breathe deeply, and smile.
And everything else fades away.
The boxes, the glass, the laundry.
And I’m grateful. I’m grateful because all of these things are purposed… unsuspected gifts that enter our lives disguised as inconvenience.
But each circumstance, no matter how it draws us in to its negativity, is really an opportunity.
An opportunity to choose our attitude. To decide that we are the masters of our emotions… not the situations around us. I can begrudge the clothes to wash… or be deeply grateful for the little bodies who dirty those clothes… who live life fully, albeit in the dirt. 🙂
Gratitude doesn’t only flow on a good day.
It’s abundant on the hard ones too.
Confession: You’ll be surprised perhaps 🙂 but all of this gratitude-inspired living I learned from my dad.
He taught me about choice. Free will. That I can blame-shift… but that doesn’t lift the spirit.
Imagine living a life free of frustration, negativity, and stress.
All because you chose to be grateful for something. Anything. Everything.
This is not often easy. Remembering that it’s an option is the first challenge. Choosing it is the next. But once the choice is made… there is not regret. Only a heart filled with pleasure and joy of recalling all things good… naming them, receiving them again, as gifts, and letting all else pale in comparison.
This is the hope I choose.
Because my dad taught me to give thanks in all circumstances.
Try it and see how your life is transformed… without a single altered circumstance.
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18