April 24, 2017

Daily Gratitude {Guest Post}

Today I’m happy to introduce another blogging friend to you: Carrie Koens of Carrie’s Busy Nothings. One of the first things I noticed about Carrie was her emphasis on being thankful. Not only does she share a thankfulness list every Friday on her blog, she also shares something {almost} every morning on Facebook. And what an encouragement those posts are to be thankful for even the little things {like the color orange!} and even when life is difficult. And so, when I thought about having some posts on thankfulness during this season, it was only natural to ask Carrie to contribute something… I hope her post encourages you towards gratitude like it did me!

 

In the book of 1 Thessalonians, Paul instructs the Church at Thessalonica to:

“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

After two years of creating a weekly thankfulness list on my blog and, for the past 11 months, daily thankfulness updates on Facebook, I have discovered something. It took me by surprise at first, but the more I think about it, the more I understand: thankfulness breeds prayer and joyfulness.

As I have focused on being thankful, I have found it easier to be joyful – not always, but far more often. I’m still working on praying continually, but because I have a mindset of thankfulness, prayer has become a natural part of my daily life.

When I feel or experience something that causes gratitude within me, I am reminded of the One who made it possible, and I thank Him. After all, prayer is not flowery mumbo-jumbo, but a constant and continual conversation with our Heavenly Father.

Thank You, Lord, for clean water to drink.

Thank You, God, for food to eat.

Thank You, Father, for the resources to buy this coat to keep me warm, and for good eyesight that allows me to enjoy the color orange!

Nothing is too small to thank Him fordo you know why? Because He created it all! He gave us our next breath, the one that allows me to be here, typing this post in my snug little home, wrapped in a fleece blanket, purchased by my sweet husband who works hard to provide for us. Everything in that sentence is a gift from my Father.

“We pray for the big things and forget to give thanks for the ordinary, small (and yet really not small) gifts.” {Dietrich Bonhoeffer}

Two years ago, I was not thankful. Two years ago, all I could focus on was what we didn’t have. When I created my very first list, I did so because I needed blog filler. Today, I can’t imagine my life without daily gratitude. It has changed me. In fact, it has changed my husband as well. It has changed our lifestyle, our finances, our goals, and our interactions with others.

I have a picture frame in my office that says, “There is always SOMETHING to be THANKFUL for” – and in the frame (where one might expect a picture of my husband or family or favorite pet), you will find this quote:

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” {Melody Beattie}

Two years ago, it was never enough. Today, it is more than enough. Two years ago, I was always worried about finances and the future. Today, I experience peace, knowing that He is my strength for today, and my Hope for tomorrow. Making time to give thanks on a daily basis was just was the Doctor ordered for instant attitude adjustment, with a dose of perspective. I encourage you to start todaypublicly or privately, it will radically alter your outlook on life.

 

Carrie has been married to her best friend, Peter, for twelve years. After working in missionary aviation throughout Africa, southeast Asia, and Alaska, they now reside in the beautiful Appalachian mountains. Carrie works as a social media specialist and editor, while blogging about financial goals and favorite things at Carrie’s Busy Nothings, sharing book reviews at What’s On My Nightstand, and promoting the children’s book her husband wrote, at Little Brother Stories. Look for her under all three names on Facebook and Twitter as well!

 


Comments

  1. This is so true…thank you for sharing. I try to be thankful for everything, no matter how big or small! I pray that I will not forget it either.