When I was a single mom, this time of year often caught me off guard. In the midst of juggling an overload of responsibilities, fostering an attitude of thankfulness didn’t make it on my “to do” list. If that sounds all too familiar, then here’s my ABC’s of how to cultivate a thankful heart. Gentle reminders are always good for the soul.
A = Accept what is. When we focus on what “was” and allow ourselves to remain attached to the past, we blind ourselves to seeing what God is doing in the present. Only when we open our clinched fist to the Lord and trust Him with what “is” (knowing that He is working everything together for a higher profit), are we able to put ourselves in a position that enhances a heart that’s pliable to God’s inner workings.
B = Be proactive. Even if we don’t feel like it, we do ourselves a favor when we verbally thank God for our blessings. The more we thank Him, the more we begin to trust Him, and the more we trust Him, the more our efforts of “thanks-giving” transform into a life of “thanks-living.” The Bible says that faith comes by hearing. We need to hear ourselves say thank you.
C = Celebrate the 85%. Why is it that we have a natural tendency to see what’s going wrong instead of what’s going right? While 85% of our lives often consist of bountiful blessings that we overlook or even take for granted, it’s the 15% that gets our attention and determines the height of our gratitude meter. A recent survey showed that people who intentionally focused on the 85% lived with more joy and purpose.
Our hearts we created by God to be thankful – a condition not based on our circumstances but based on our belief that God is good, and that no matter what, He is in control and working on our behalf. I hope that tucked inside your Thanksgiving holidays will be a host of hidden nuggets that bring into fruition a grateful heart.
1 Chronicles 16:34 – Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.