March is a messy month in my home state. Breezes blow with the promise of spring, but they still have a bit of bite to them. The melting frostline prepares the soil but the transition creates mushy, muddy ground. The hope of spring dances on the edge of the world around me but we can’t quite grasp it.
As we grapple with this change of seasons, it may be tempting to grumble and complain, but Scripture warns us against it. Philippians 2:14 (NIV) “Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky I want to embrace it like a kid, and gleefully make mudpies instead of frowning at the gloom.
In January we examined Five Habits to Bring Balance to Your Life. This month we look at habit number two: gratitude. Thanksgiving happens all year long, not just in November. Ephesians 5:20 instructs us to live by “giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
What does a thankful heart look like on a normal or mundane day? How do we live the abundant life when we have to clean the bathroom or pay the bills? This of course is not a new idea. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 reminds us “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” Some days it is easier to be thankful than others. It is one thing to clean a bathroom as part of your routine, it is quite another when you are disinfecting after an illness. Yet, Scripture reminds us we are to be thankful in all circumstances.
A simple action we can implement is to start a gratitude journal. If you don’t like journaling, try tacking sticky notes in a place you will see them. Jot down both the simple and profound things that bring you a sense of gratitude. Find a way to let God know you see Him, and you will be reminded His goodness as well. What am I thankful for everyday?
- I’m alive.
- I know Jesus.
- Jesus loves me.
- Jesus is teaching me.
- He doesn’t leave me.
- His mercies are new every morning.
What can you add to that list? Gratitude leads us to our source of life, both our physically and spiritually. It shifts our focus from the provision to the provider.
Taking it one step further, look at the areas of your life that cause anxiety. Take a moment to write out a worry and then turn it into a gratitude statement.
For example: How am I going to make my budget work this week? Thank you, Lord, you help me find items on sale.
I asked these questions in January:
In your current daily routine, what could produce gratitude? Hunt for all the goodness present, you may be surprised at how much you find.
Life may not be as you wished it would be, but what can you find to appreciate in each day?
I’d love to hear your answers.