In wrapping up this series on gratitude, I’d like to highlight a few practical ways to infuse our daily lives with thanksgiving and share some of my own reasons for thanksgiving that have come out of reflection on this year’s thorns.
Opportunities to integrate acts and an attitude of gratitude:
- Find a time each day (or week) that you can regularly spend recounting what has happened that you can give thanks for
- Expand your view of gratitude beyond immediate things in ‘your world’…what about nature? what about things in the lives of neighbors, friends, family? what finer details of your life are just a given? anything you’ve been overlooking that is worth thanks?
- Pray for a heart of thanksgiving
- Partner with someone to encourage accountability. Check in once a week…send a text, email, or call them to see how it’s going
- Look for opportunities to write a note of thanks or express verbal appreciation for people around you (friends, family, co-workers, roommates, professors, etc.)
- Branch out…even to some folks you might not know as well…i.e. sending a letter or email of thanks to one of your church’s mission partners for the work they are doing
- When you have a situation that would tempt you to complain, examine if there might be some aspect of God’s provision in it…even if you cannot see anything, entrust it to the Lord, letting Him know you are confident He is able to use even that for good.
- Spend some time reading through scriptures expressing gratitude.
- Set aside time each week or month to sing some hymns of thanks to God.
- Journal about your history with God…the ways He’s acted on your behalf and through your life up until this point.
If you have an idea…please add it to the comments section! 🙂
Here are some things I’m thankful for this year:
- A more comprehensive knowledge of Scripture
- A deeper sense of God’s sovereignty and His goodness…even when I don’t understand
- The rich blessing of working in women’s ministry and seeing the harmony of very different ladies coming together for a common goal
- A spirit of partnership among colleagues at the library
- My parents and my younger brother…for their quiet moments of support
- A ‘yes’ from the Lord this semester about attending a class. I missed school.
- Believers who have been faithful before our generation and recount their stories in books and in music, so we can hold fast to them today
- People who I might not even realize who have prayed for me this year. I felt their prayers and truly can’t imagine where I would have been without them.
- A stirring desire to take up ballet again these last few days…it usually brings me joy, but while I’ve been very sad this year, it felt like a weighty burden instead and so I’d let it go
- His presence in places no one else could enter; His persistence when I wanted Him to go away; His love as I saw so much in me that was unlovely; His confidence that this chapter will not be the end of the story He has written for me
Thanks for reflecting on these things with me. God’s grace to you!