Today's blog is an updated of one I wrote last year. I don't know about you, but I needed the reminder!
In our everyday life, the cares we have can overshadow the good things God has done for us. In the need of the moment, we tend to forget all the ways He has provided for us. It is in those very times, we need to be thankful for all He has done and all He will to. Thanksgiving opens a pathway for us to receive what God has for us. God is a loving Father who enjoys giving gifts to us, but we have to receive them by faith. Thanksgiving increases our faith, raises our expiation's for what God wants to do.
We know we should be more thankful, but how do we do that? Here are 5 steps you can take everyday that will raise your level of thankfulness.
Become more conscious of that you are allowing into your "eye gates and ear gates" What we see and hear goes down into our heart, and this has a huge affect on our thanksgiving level. Luke 6:45 says what you say flows from what is in your heart. So what are you putting into your heart?
Take some steps to create and atmosphere of thanksgiving. Find some upbeat music to listen to, or better yet, some praise and worship and sing along! Choose you television programs wisely and limit you news intake-news programs are very seldom filled with thanksgiving. Find ways to steer conversations around you into blessing not cursing.
We can create an atmosphere where God is welcome and He can move, in our homes, our businesses, our cities and our country.
Make it a practice to see God's blessing every day. The more you look for them, the more you see.
Every morning, I have my coffee on the porch. Recently, I've started looking for God's handiwork outside and thanking Him for it. At first, I saw the flowers that weren't thriving, a tree branch that I hadn't picked up, a shed that is falling over. But as I started to look for God's blessings, I started to see them. That tree branch was a playground for the squirrels and that shed was a home to a family of birds. The bees didn't care if the flowers were thriving, they still were fed. I noticed the sun shown down through a neighbors tree, and the leaves falling as a bit of wind blew. As I saw it and thanked the Father for it, it became a sign to me. It was the glory of God shining down and raining blessing upon the earth. If I hadn't been looking, I would have missed it and an encouraging message from Him that day.
We can't control the thoughts that cross our minds, but we can control what we allow to stay and think about.
8 So keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising him always. 9 Follow the example of all that we have imparted to you and the God of peace will be with you in all things." Philippians 4:8-9The Passion Translation
For some reason, we don't see ourselves clearly, we don't hear the words coming out of our mouth. Having people around you, who will let you know when you stray into an area of un-thankfulness, is a great help is raising your level of thankfulness. Steve, my husband, is a great help for me in this. He gently (or not) reminds me to adjust my attitude when I start down the path of "woa is me" and unthankfulness. Find people you trust and tell them you are trying to create a more thankful attitude and atmosphere around you. Give them permission to tell you when you need to adjust to a more thankful attitude.
Writing down the blessings you see and receive, is a great help on the days you get stuck and it is hard to see the blessings around you. You can go back and review what God has already done. This will produce thankfulness in us if we allow it, which opens a pathway for us to receive more of what God has for us. Another reason to keep a journal is it can help you sleep better. According to a 2011 study published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, spending 15 minutes jotting down a few grateful sentiments before bed, may help you sleep better and longer. The more rested we are, the better able we are to cope with the everyday strains and stress that come our way. Your journal also becomes a great testimony and legacy to leave for future generations.
Happy Thanksgiving from Steve and Jodee