A New View of Gratitude

I frequently see mantras as I’m exploring Pinterest or Instagram illustrating things that, in one way or another, relate to gratitude. These reminders tend to frustrate me, because as much as I desire to pursue gratitude, I find it a difficult concept to relate to everyday life. I understand that we are to thank God continuously for the great gifts of which he has blessed us. However, the total mind shift that some people talk about from that of complaining to gratitude is mind-boggling to me. I would love to do it, and I’m sure (like anything) it can be mastered with practice. Nevertheless, I have yet to fully understand how to apply this concept to my life.

Even so, this week I came across another quote that I know I’ve heard before, but it struck me more than it ever has in the past: “Look around and see that the things you have are those you once prayed for.” This small statement has altered my thinking more than any of the others. I started to process how many of the big things in my life are those that I once only prayed for:

Being married to a wonderful, sweet, servant-hearted, Christian man.

Being the mom of a spunky, hilarious, sweet, smart little boy.

Living in our own home with tons of old, cute charm…and tons of storage space.

Being able to be home more with Trippe, watching him grow and missing very little.

But yet, despite these incredible answers to prayer that the Lord has brought me (and these are only the big things), I still find myself focusing on the countless ways that I can complain about each one of them.

This man I’m married to leaves his dirty laundry and dishes all over the house.

This crazy two-year-old has tried my patience approximately 2,138,795 times today.

Yeah, this house is great, but we don’t have any money in the budget to decorate it like I want to.

I’m home more with Trippe and work less, but I constantly fight fear of not trusting in the Lord to provide for us financially.

I want so badly to change. I want to wake up every morning rejoicing in the fact that the Lord has provided so many things in my life that I used to only pray for. I want to live my life in expectant joy that, just like he answered these others prayers, he will be faithful to provide for all present and future needs.

Sometimes, I do live the first 30 or so minutes of my day like that. However, skip ahead to the hour before nap time and I’ve already probably disciplined my son out of anger more than 5 times.

Just like the Lord has been faithful to answer prayer about so much, it is now my daily prayer that he will show me how to live my life out of gratitude for the incredible graces he’s already shown. I pray that this will be a season that I grow more in faithfulness than I ever have before. I pray that I would not fear the future, but rather would see the answered prayer around me, and know that the same God who was there for me in those moments also holds my present and my future. What a good and faithful God we serve; let us answer that with the utmost of gratitude.

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