Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will].
(1 Thessalonians 5:18 Amplified Bible)
Please welcome, my friend and superb life coach, Tracy Flori! She has some wonderful insights regarding the value of gratitude.
Tracy Flori is a professional coach, speaker and trainer. She is the founder of TrueWay LLC, (truewaycoaching.com) a life and leadership coaching organization. Tracy is professionally trained to administer and debrief various behavioral temperament and emotional intelligence assessments. Her passion is equipping leaders, teams and families with understanding and skills to advance their lives.
She can be reached by emailing, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please visit Tracy at her newly launched website, which is chock full of inspiration and free resources to advance your life, your family and your walk with God.
And now, here are her timely thoughts as we contemplate God’s goodness this month:
Gratitude: The Transforming Power of Being Thankful
Gratitude, if practiced consistently, can transform lives.
Gratitude may be the single strongest predictor of life satisfaction.
Gratitude turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” — Melody Beattie
I wasn’t always a grateful person myself. Years ago I could be described as a perfectionist with high expectations. I was frequently disappointed in life, always looking at how things could be different or better. I wasn’t approaching life with an attitude of gratitude. Then my world was suddenly turned upside down with a tragic family situation that changed everything. The things I used to take for granted were now a daily reminder of what I almost lost. It took years to accept living from a new normal, but God delivered, healed and redeemed the darkest period of my life. I don’t take anything for granted anymore. I don’t see life the same way. I look at everything through a lens of gratitude now.
What does gratitude look like for you?
Some may define it as…
Counting your blessings
Appreciating simple pleasures
Pausing to recognize beauty
Being aware on a continuous basis of how much you have been given
For me gratitude is a natural outflow of thanks from my heart for the astonishing daily grace and love of God in my life.
In the Bible it states, “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God…concerning you”
As children we are taught to say thank you out of respect. We seem to understand, as children, that the good things we are blessed with are because we are dependent on a gracious giver. I experienced this as a child. However, as I grew up and become more self-sufficient, I often forgot to say thank you like I did when I was kid. As adults we often miss the opportunities to express gratitude. Even our thanksgiving holiday seems to be more focused on football games and being the first at the mall than on being thankful.
A client shared with me this week about a loss of something in her life. It seemed insignificant to her, almost a burden at times, but when it was no longer there, it was clear to her how much she missed it. It is often in the loss of something that we finally realize how much it means to us.
What keeps us from seeing things from a grateful heart?
Disappointments- I can’t believe this happened
Pride- I’m pretty happy with what I did
Forgetfulness- Just not thinking about it
Entitlement mentality- I deserve more
Complaining- My life is a mess and it will never get better
Burdens – This is too heavy a load for me
How do we recover a sense of gratitude and the ability to appreciate the gifts of God in our lives? We do it by remembering the benefits of being grateful and practicing being thankful. When I intentionally focus on applying this mind set to my life I am almost always happier and more optimistic. And it seems to be almost immediate.
What are the benefits to being grateful?
It is widely known that people who live from a position of gratitude tend to be more:
Is there room in your life for more gratitude?
Don’t miss the wonder of God’s blessings and presence all around you. Observe all there is to be grateful for by pausing to journal, practice, and share gratitude.
A great place to start is with a gratitude journal. A few years ago, Ann Voskamp wrote a book, One Thousand Gifts. In it she invited her readers to embrace everyday blessings and focus on the transforming discipline of recording God’s gifts in our lives. She challenged us to write a list of 1000 things we are grateful for. Will you take the challenge? Buy a journal and start focusing on your gifts.
To experience the greatest benefits, gratitude must be a consistent part of our lives. Practice being thankful for someone, someplace or something in your life every day. Recall everyday pleasures, people you care for and places you love as a gift from God.
If you need a visual reminder for this then make one. In the bible God often encouraged his people to make visual reminders so they wouldn’t forget his blessings. It could be a picture, the background on your laptop, a piece of jewelry or just a reminder on your phones to pause and look for the good. Be creative. Live from a position of thankfulness in every situation and you will add value to your life.
Add value to others lives by cultivating a culture of gratitude. People who have supported and invested in us deserve our thanks. Speak a word of appreciation. Send a thank you note; give a hug or a smile or the gift of time. You can be creative in expressing your gratitude. Don’t hold back. Your actions can cultivate a culture of grateful people who will never be the same.
Gratitude has the transforming power to change lives, yours and the people around you. This year don’t let the Thanksgiving Holiday be your only expression of gratitude. Choose today to live a life of gratitude and watch the amazing things that will happen. Instead of waiting for something to be grateful for, ask yourself:
What’s one thing I can do today to experience and express more gratitude?
Tracy will be sharing her thoughts and insights with a group of international students tomorrow during a Thanksgiving dinner and program to help the students better understand the history of our American celebration. She hopes to challenge them to cultivate gratitude in their lives. Please pray for her talk to impact lives for the Kingdom of God. Thanks-Kel
Here is a link to a video on Gratitude that she will be sharing with the students.
After viewing the video, consider this question:
At the end of your life what will your legacy of gratitude look like?
Copyright 2013. All Rights Reserved. Tracy Flori.