The idea of giving thanks or being grateful usually becomes a hot topic in the fall as we approach Thanksgiving both here in the States and Canada. But what about the other months of the year? Shouldn’t we also be cultivating an attitude of gratitude all the time?
Admittedly, there are seasons of life when we ask, “what in the world is there to be grateful for right now?”
In a season like that, gratitude becomes a discipline and not something we naturally do or want to do.
It’s in the tough seasons when gratitude becomes essential
To walk in gratitude is a way of living that is inclusive, attentive, contagious, and theocentric.Brennan Manning, Ruthless Trust
Gratitude is Contagious
If we let it, it can infuse every area of our lives, even on the bad days. As we develop a habit of looking for events, people, and small moments to be grateful for, they become easier to find. We can train ourselves to be attentive.
If you’ve met someone who lives a life of gratitude, you notice them. You like to spend time with them and be more like them.
Why not be that person for someone else?
Gratitude is a Gift
Learning to be grateful, no matter the circumstances is a gift we can give to God as a form of worship.
It is a gift we can give to others when we tell someone special what we are grateful for about them.
Gratitude is a gift we can give ourselves as we notice small moments, events, and special people in our lives.
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.I Thessalonians 5:18
Gratitude is a Journey
I am nowhere near, “Give thanks in all circumstances,” it’s part of my journey to keep learning. Part of my morning quiet time is to keep a daily gratitude list, which helps me be on the lookout for things I can write down each day.
When I review my daily lists, more often than not it’s a list of little things for which I’m grateful. It’s a list of moments I would have missed along the way if I weren’t paying attention.
A Gratitude Challenge
Step 1: Over the next week, make a daily list of 3-5 things you are grateful for. There are some days the list will be easy and others it will be difficult, but make a commitment to write out your list each day.
Step 2: Send a friend a note telling them how grateful you are for them. You never know how much your words might be needed as you speak encouragement and truth into their day. Besides, who doesn’t like getting fun mail!
Today I am grateful for:
- Bailey: He is so patient with me, even on the days I don’t feel up to going for a long walk. He is such a gift.
- My Porch: I LOVE sitting on my front porch in the mornings for my quiet time. The wind gently blowing and the birds talking in the background.
- My Business: While there are days it can run me ragged, I’m grateful for the opportunity to work from home and have the flexible work schedule I need.
What are you grateful for today?
Marta Goertzen is an entrepreneur, writer and nature photographer. She daily explores the trails and beaches of the South Central Oregon Coast with her buddy Bailey. You can follow along on their adventures on Instagram. She is also the author of several books including her newest, “Choosing Gratitude: A Daily Quiet Time Journal”.