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November's Attitude of Gratitude

Updated: Apr 11, 2023

"Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever."

~Psalm 107:1 NKJV

If there is one lesson that the Lord has tried exhaustively to teach me, it is that of thankfulness. This month, He made it very clear to me that this is a fruit of His spirit that I MUST develop in order to truly grow in His word. I saw Psalm 107 in numerous places throughout the month; in emails, devotionals, newsletters, mass handouts, even Instagram posts. My final confirmation came from this Thanksgiving decoration my daughter Mia made for us. God was really, truly speaking to me, and praise His Holy name, I think I'm finally starting to get it.

Please don't get me wrong; my heart bursts with gratitude for the countless blessings that God has so graciously bestowed upon me in this life. I've got the love of the Father, the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the anointing of His Holy Spirit, a tremendous loving family, my beautiful children, a career that I am passionate about, a beautiful place to call home, a community I feel safe to live in, and praise God, my health. I truly do have so much - even more than this - to be thankful for, and I fully know it.

My heart knows it, that is.

My head, on the other hand, can really struggle with practicing a daily attitude of gratitude.

I sometimes - okay, fine, oftentimes - become so wrapped up in my to-do list, focused on my work and goals, that I tend to feel overwhelmed, stressed, and constantly falling short. This overburdened attitude toward my responsibilities and circumstances can make me seem unappreciative, pulling me completely out of my character, and a far cry away from who I know I am in Christ.

I believe that God is teaching me that true gratitude starts with our perspective. We are all undoubtedly being affected by the chain of events surrounding this global pandemic and political division in our country. The days spent in quarantine and working from home can feel long, exhausting and uncertain.

God recognizes that. What he wants is for us to give Him these human emotions - to literally lay them at His feet - so that we can more readily move in His Spirit, and shift our perspective from one that eyes the difficulties surrounding our circumstances, to one that looks to Him. Colossians 3:1 tells us to set our minds on things above, not on earthly things.

Instead of listing everything that we dislike about the current situation, we can list everything that God has done for us, by His grace and mercy. We can go right ahead and list the promises of blessings that are yet to come!

The passage from Luke 1:46-55, also called Mary's Song, is just such a beautiful example of the list that we are all supposed to be continuously forming, to thank God for the many good things He has done for us.

“Oh, how my soul praises the Lord.

How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!

For he took notice of his lowly servant girl,

and from now on all generations will call me blessed.

For the Mighty One is holy,

and he has done great things for me.

He shows mercy from generation to generation

to all who fear him.

His mighty arm has done tremendous things!

He has scattered the proud and haughty ones.

He has brought down princes from their thrones

and exalted the humble.

He has filled the hungry with good things

and sent the rich away with empty hands.

He has helped his servant Israel

and remembered to be merciful.

For he made this promise to our ancestors,

to Abraham and his children forever.” (NLT)

I'm certain that this young mother-to-be was facing fear, uncertainty, and doubt, just as we are today. Her praises are proof that she chose, instead, to focus on the goodness of God.

This makes me think of a particular time in my life, other than now, where I was truly afraid. I was pregnant with my second child, my sweet, beautiful Mia, and my father needed heart surgery. While much more commonplace today than it was ten years ago, at the time, it was a newly designed robotics heart surgery. The science person in me was fascinated. The daughter in me was terrified.

After prepping my dad, the Head Surgeon came out and assured us that everything was going to be just fine - that my father was in good hands. After giving my mom and I a big hug, he turned and walked toward the operating room. Watching him walk away, I felt a sense of peace come over me; and I just knew that my father was going to be alright.

You see, I knew wholeheartedly that day, that my father wasn't just in the hands of the surgeon, the robot, or the nurses tending to him. He was in the hands of an Almighty God, and His legion of angels, who were in total control of the situation, every step of the way.

Thinking back on this experience reminded me of the importance of recalling the good things that God has done every single day. While we will undoubtedly face trials and tribulations in this world, we can rest assured that God will work all things together for our good. (see John 16:33 and Romans 8:28). He truly is a merciful God.

Romans 12:2 tells us not to be "conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." If we get into the practice of continuously renewing our minds, and bring them into daily alignment with our hearts, we will surely develop that fabulous Attitude of Gratitude.

Our Heavenly Father wants to abide in our hearts from the second we wake up in the morning, until the moment we fall asleep at night. As soon as I open my eyes, I start proclaiming the word of God. I usually start with Psalm 118:24 ~ "This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it," no matter what I'm feeling. Throughout the day, when I start to get overwhelmed, I meditate on Isaiah 40:31 ~"But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint." (NLT) Finally, I close my days with Psalm 4:8 ~"I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you, Oh Lord, make me dwell in safety."

These promises, I think, give me something to be thankful about. 💕

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

~Philippians 4:6-7

I pray this month's post was a blessing to you, and if you haven't done so already, I invite you to join me on this journey, One Year through the Bible. Just start where you are and dive right in. I'm confident that God will meet you exactly where you are. His promise, not mine.

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