Choosing a heart of gratitude.
I am always amazed at how choosing to be grateful changes my perspective. A simple example. Yesterday it was cold. Very cold. I had to walk miles in the cold. I walked with my students. I walked to the T station. I waited in the cold for the bus. I could have been very miserable. I could have focused on the fact that the schools in the county that I taught at in Virginia were closed for cold temperature. I confess I have been ungrateful in the past about the cold. Yet, yesterday I choose to be grateful. I was grateful for the new winter jacket that kept me warm. I was grateful for the tall wool socks and snow boats that kept my feet warm. Instead of grumbling about why I live in Boston, where it’s cold and winter is long, I instead was grateful that I now have the appropriate winter gear to keep me warm. One more way that I’m adjusting, getting settled, and becoming at home in Boston.
When I choose to praise God for who He is and for His promises, it drives out worry, doubt, and fear. When I remember God’s provision in the past, it gives me confidence to trust Him with my future.
I am learning in my day to day how to trust God. I don’t have to have it all together. I can simply trust that my Abba Father has a plan for my day and He is in the details.
I am grateful for a dear friend. She took the initiative to follow God’s leading. A few months ago, she contacted me and another friend with the idea of sending daily praises through email. It has been such a powerful activity. Some days the praises come easily. Other days I have to look beyond my feeling and choose to be grateful. I look to God and am grateful for who He is and for the simple things around me. Even on days that I do not actually write out my email of praises, my eyes are still open. I am on the lookout for praises.
It’s really a matter of what you are looking for. Often times the problems of life are very obvious. What is wrong with the day. What you wish were different. However, when you train your eyes to look for the moments of gratitude, they are all around you. It can be the simple things of life. A smile. A thank you. A hot cup of tea. An email from a friend. The sun shining in the midst of the cold.
Are you on the lookout for moments of gratitude? What are you grateful for today?