Gratitude Schmatitude

When I started writing all I really wanted was to help others. Everything I’ve been through had to be worth something. My goal was to encourage others, remind them they aren’t alone, and show them that you can live an abundant life. What I didn’t quite expect was how much others are helping me.

I’ve struggled to write this week, to encourage you when I’m in my own battle. How do I find a way to encourage others when my own family is going through a tough season? I need some encouragement myself.

It reminded me of something Steven Furtick shared in one of his sermons. He talked about his gratitude journal and how he writes down five things he’s grateful for at the end of every day. Some days are harder than others, to find things be grateful for. He talked about how powerful it was, and how it changed his behavior. (I think we are all looking for ways to change some of our behaviors). It forced me to think about what I was grateful for that day. It was hard to think of anything honestly.  The roof over our heads, no fist fights, my AC is working (I live in Texas so AC is a basic need), and a fun conversation with a friend at Costco. Sometimes it’s just the little things in the every day. Because I forced myself to write these things down, it brought to my mind, something really powerful that I almost missed. Something that could’ve easily got lost in the shuffle. It was one sentence, that someone said to me. One sentence!

A friend of mine had been reading my blog and she expressed her sympathy for things that I had gone through and how you never know where someone is coming from or what they’ve been through. That one sentence brought back to my mind all the things that people have told me since I started writing. Friends at the doctor’s office, friends at my kids’ preschool, the hugs people had given me, friends who had stopped me at church with tears in their eyes, it reminded me that I am not alone in this battle. It gave me hope for the compassion that others have. Compassion I wouldn’t have known about had I kept my struggles inside. The time these women took to tell me how my writing had impacted them was powerful. How awesome would it be if we actually shared with others how they impacted our lives? One sentence could change the course of their entire day. What about the friend who always brings food when they come over, or the friend that always makes you laugh, the teacher that thinks your kid is hilarious when they are driving you crazy. We all know that is priceless!

Whether you are in a rough season like me or a season of plenty. Write it down. Write down all the wonderful things you are grateful for. You may not need them now, but when you are in a tough season you will be able to see the hand of God on your life and the life of those around you. You might be surprised what you have to be grateful for. End your day with gratitude. Find things to be thankful for. Your perspective will change even when your circumstances haven’t.

Sara

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