March 19, 2010

Gracious Essential Two: Gratitude

Gratitude: The state of being grateful; Thankfulness.

Living a life of gratitude... what does that really look like?  My first thoughts are being content, even in the mundane; saying "thank you" often (and meaning it), especially to those closest to you and those serving you (yes, even those waitresses that give you attitude and that you are paying to bring you water - you still need to thank them!); to count your blessings, out loud - in front of your children (or family); smile - the countenance of your face shows the posture of your heart (Proverbs 15:13, 27:19).

Those are all great ways to show gratitude in our actions, behavior, words and life!  I'm still working on the simple, every day, showing gratitude in the mundane acts of life and before my children so they will learn by watching me.  Those times are the hardest for me.  Saying "thank you" when someone is serving me or blessing me is the easy part ... it's thanking God for my blessings even when it's raining and dreary and I'm not feeling good or I'm exhausted.  That's what I am working towards.  I don't believe we can become gracious women all on our own though.  We need the power of God's Word, His Truth to stand on.  So here are some truths we can apply, let soak into our spirits and stand on when it gets tough:

Colossians 3:15 (Message) - "Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other.  None of this going off and doing your own thing.  And cultivate thankfulness.  Let the Word of Christ - the Message - have the run of the house.  Give it plenty of room in your lives.  Instruct and direct one another using good common sense.  And sing, sing your hearts out to God!  Let every detail in your lives - words, actions, whatever - be done in the Name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way."
Philippians 2:14 (NLT) - "Do everything without complaining or arguing."
Philippians 4:4-7 (NLT) - "Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, 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."

"To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven."  -  Johannes A Gaertner

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