A Little About Gratitude

Hi people!!! How are you doing???

Well, I can tell you for free that I’m excited and overflowing with thanks. I’m thankful to God for the numerous testimonies he’s given me in this year; I’m grateful for life, health, sound mind, my family, friends, support system, my husband, my son, my salvation, protection, provision, the person of the Holy Spirit, sound counsel, firebrand friendships, loving communities, new expressions (this blog, the podcast, etc.), new opportunities for service, and so much more. My heart is literally overflowing with thanksgiving. God has been amazing to me and mine this year! I know it’s been a tough year for most of us but hey, irrespective of what may have happened, we have at least one thing to be thankful for. If in doubt, please take a few minutes to reflect and I do hope you’ll find one thing to say thank you for.

I want to believe that you’ve listened to at least one episode of my new podcast. If you haven’t, don’t  say it out loud; just head on over to Anchor FM (https://anchor.fm/growingtogetherwithci) or Spotify (https://open.spotify.com/show/3O9TFhwKz5IQWQovkIugau) to listen. Be sure to subscribe and pass these links on to a friend, or two or five! Thank you in advance! We’ll be on Apple and Google podcasts soon. Once those are up, we’ll be sure to mention so keep your eyes glued to our Instagram page – @gro.wingtogether.

Let’s talk a bit about gratitude, shall we?

The Dictionary defines it as the quality of being thankful. We all know what the word means, so let’s go right into the conversation. Now I know that thanksgiving/gratitude have become buzz words over the last couple weeks with the euphoria of the recent Thanksgiving holiday and fast-approaching Christmas. You must have heard over and over the need to be thankful and perhaps posted on social media a few things which you’re thankful for. That’s great but after the season, what next?

What happens when you are met with the stark realities of unaccomplished goals as you get ready to set the new year’s goals; what happens when asked about things you had said you would do; what happens when you’re alone with your thoughts without the interference of high-pitched shrieks of excitement, encouraging words and fancy IG posts? What happens when faced with the stark realities of losing your job, a relationship, or a family member? When thoughts of unaccomplishment, loss, anxiety come knocking; what happens?

My response: be thankful!

I know you may have read that line and wondered if I typed correctly. Yes, I did, I said, “be thankful”. Thanksgiving is beyond a seasonal buzzword where we make lists and proclaim our thanks. It is way deeper than that.

Thanksgiving is an expression of your conditioning.

It is a soul affair. It is a state of being, a mind & heart condition where you understand that God has done both the things you can recount and things your mind cannot even start to comprehend, talk more of recount. Thanksgiving is borne from the recognition that you are simply a benefactor of God’s grace – that all you are and will ever be is grace, that all you have and will ever have is grace, and that all you do and will ever do is grace (1 Corinthians 4:7). Think on that for a second. I pray that the Holy Spirit expands these words in your heart.

Thanksgiving is a choice.

You see, feelings and emotions are fleeting so if we leave gratitude and being thankful at the mercy of our feelings; we run a huge risk of being truly grateful on a few days when miracles happen around us every second. That would be such a loss.

Thanksgiving is a choice. It is a conscious decision to see and focus on God’s goodness irrespective of the storms raging, the many shortcomings of our world, and plans that may have fallen through. It is choosing to see God’s goodness, lasting faithfulness, and love irrespective of pain, loss, and deep sorrow. It is a choice to judge Him faithful above ALL else. I know this sounds fancy but, it is tough! I can write these words today not because I haven’t experienced pain and loss; but because beyond all the pain, I have experienced the reckless love and mercy of God; far beyond any words can describe and far beyond I could ever deserve.

Thanksgiving is a lifestyle.

It is a lifestyle of consistent appreciation irrespective of what happens. Like other lifestyle choices, it is borne out of the lenses with which we view the world and issues. With the lens of gratitude, you see God’s faithfulness over the world’s shortcomings, you see your blessings over insufficiencies, etc. This makes you truly humble knowing you brought nothing into this world and everything you have or will ever have is truly a gift from a magnanimous Father. A lens of gratitude prioritizes God over all else. With that lens in place, thanksgiving becomes a lifestyle.

It lavishly flows out in your speech, in your actions, in your people engagements, your service, your giving, your work, etc. You become a vessel poured out in thanksgiving to your Father.

Thanksgiving is pleasing to the Father.

Like every other person with emotions, He delights in our praises. The Scriptures say so explicitly in Psalm 147: 1 (TPT), “Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! How beautiful it is when we sing our praises to the beautiful God, for praise makes you lovely before him and brings him great delight”! If thanksgiving brings Him great delight and makes you lovely; why not lavish it on Him. He is beyond deserving of our thanksgiving.

In conclusion, I learnt recently that thanksgiving, worship, gratitude, appreciation, etc. follows revelation. When you come into a revelation of who God is, beyond the things He has done; thanksgiving follows as a natural by-product. Today, ask the Holy Spirit to help you come into a new revelation of God.

As we round up the year, take some time out to think and list out things God has done in the last twelve months and you’ll see that one day, week, month can’t be enough to give Him all the thanks He deserves. Stay thankful!

Don’t ever doubt it;

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