“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
“Those who sacrifice thank offerings honor me, and to the blameless I will show my salvation.” Psalm 50:23
An Attitude of Gratitude
Many of the studies I’ve read over this summer have been amazing exhortations to us as women to not compare ourselves with others or degrade our abilities as mothers. I completely agree! Moms, our work as mothers is unique to our individual children and circumstances, and is so important! The enemy of our soul truly uses these pits of comparison, doubt, and fatigue to make us feel inferior and, quite frankly, like failures. Don’t listen to Satan’s lies! Even if we’ve made mistakes, Jesus wants to wash us with grace and equip us with what we need daily to parent our crew well!
Don’t get me wrong, life can be hard. It is so easy to be ungrateful in our situations and to be under the illusion that we can’t find joy amidst trials and heartache! Struggles are real, but when we give thanks to the Lover of our souls, Jesus replaces those thoughts and feeling with hope and joy.
The action of giving thanks changes our perspective. Daily household duties, debt, and the drama of life can be overwhelming and leave us in despair. However, going about our days with a purpose to find something to be thankful for will cause transformation in our lives! Perhaps our burden won’t disappear, but our approach to those burdens will change. When you give thanks to God, you will receive the peace of God!
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
New York Times Best Seller author Ann Voskamp counts her blessings in a very poetic book called 1,000 Gifts. Challenged to find 1,000 ways of being thankful, she composed a daily journal, and encourages us to do the same. I’ve read this book, and this concept of gratitude has changed my life. Finding something grand, like the sunset, or something minute like shade on a hot summer day, and having a heart of gratitude, will deepen our relationship with the Lord. The benefit of writing down what you are grateful for re-emphasizes God’s goodness. It also allows you to look back on days past with an appreciation of God’s faithfulness.
We need to get into a habit of being thankful in both good times and bad (Colossians 3:17). Whispering a prayer of gratitude invites God to work in our lives and gives us fresh insight into our circumstances. You can easily say, “Thank you Holy Spirit for filling me with peace when I feel so unraveled. Show me how to be content with what you give me and help me to see your hand at work.” Simply being appreciative of a dishwasher or a washing machine has helped me go about my chores of doing laundry for a family of seven with a better approach. When we start to count all things as joy, and praise the Lord for big and little things, our attitude will be one of gratitude.
Blessings and Love,
Have you taken time in your day to list the things you are grateful for? Why not read Ann Voskamp’s 1,000 Gifts and start your own journal of thanksgiving? It might be a challenge to you at first, but the more you look around you for things to appreciate and value, your list will grow. You might even need more than one journal!
You can take Gratitude a step further by teaching your kids to be thankful too. Encourage them to keep a journal as well. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude in your family will help them be more altruistic and positive. Studies show they will be more attentive, get better grades, and have more determination if they practice this attitude. This lesson is better caught than taught; so let your kids see you being thankful by praising the Lord not only with your words but also with your deeds.