08 March 2015

Six Ways to Seek a Spirit of Gratitude - By Bonnie Roof


What does it mean to be grateful?? Webster's dictionary defines the word "gratitude" as: the state of being grateful, thankfulness. Sounds simple, right?? But do we fully appreciate the extent of gratefulness when it comes to God's gifts to us??

Most of us would agree that we have a lot to be thankful for. Many of us live a lifestyle full of conveniences- we wear nice clothes, have no shortage of clean water or healthy food, live in comfortable homes, have reliable transportation, access to quality healthcare and education, and basically live a good life with security, safety and a lot of freedom. It's easy to take these blessings for granted and even get into the bad habit of focusing on what we "don't" have - while millions of people around the world live without the necessities of life. A homeowner may complain about cleaning her home while those without a place to live would love to have a house to clean. Someone who owns a car may complain about the cost of regular maintenance and unexpected repairs while a person without transportation dreams of having a car to drive.

You've probably read or heard the story of the lady who, one day, asked God why He let so much happen to her that day - she woke up late, her car took forever to start, at lunch - her sandwich was made wrong and she had to wait, on the way home - her phone went dead just as a call came through, when she got home - she just wanted to soak her feet in her new foot massager and it wouldn't work. God responds by commenting: the death angel was at her bed that morning and He had to send one of His Angels to battle him for her life - He let her sleep through that, He didn't let her car start because there was a drunk driver on her route that would have hit her if she was on the road, the first person who made her sandwich that day was sick and He didn't want her to catch the illness as He knew she couldn't afford to miss work, her phone went bad because the person calling was going to give false witness about what she would say during that call, and that foot massager had a short that was going to throw out all of the power in her house. Probably just a story - yet our God intercedes on behalf of His children so often, similar situations of which they are often never aware. These are simple inconveniences but isn't it often the little inconveniences that frustrate us and tend to set our mood for the day?

How do we obtain a spirit of gratitude?? Some suggestions:
(1) Say to yourself, several times a day: God loves me.
(2) Keep a Gratefulness Journal and record answered prayers, things received, and favor shown, etc..
(3) Learn to enjoy seemingly insignificant blessings we often overlook: going to the grocery, getting dressed, sending e-mails, driving to work, and hundreds of other routine activities. So much of our time is spent in these activities - why not learn to enjoy and appreciate them??
(4) Realize that each moment we're given is a gift from God - He owns us, everything we own, and everything created.
(5) Praise God throughout the day - while we work. No matter what we're doing, we can praise God.
(6) Appreciate our trials because they're what make us grow, mature in godly character, experience more of His power and learn more about Him. 


Please leave a comment for an entry in this week's GIVEAWAY!! We are giving away two copies of Jen Turano's new novel. 


52 comments:

  1. Great Post, Bonnie! This is something I try to live but my spaziness gets in the way a lot! Many blessings to you!

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    1. Thank you, Carrie!! It's not always easy, but does increase happiness - I've found. Blessings to you, also, Carrie - prayers for your healing and hugs!!

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  2. This is one virtue that we can all benefit from, for I believe tht gratitude leads to true Happiness and that is what God wants us to enjoy in this life. I love the suggestions in the review above and need to enact them in my life.
    flowersmarylou85(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. I so agree, Mary Lou!! Thank you for your inspiring comments!!

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  3. God loves me - If I can truly grasp the meaning of those 3 words, gratitude will be a natural response that flows out of my life.

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    1. So true, Sherry!! It is mind-boggling to try to fathom just how much God must love each of us - to give His only Son for us; that love continues as He protects, provides, and guides each of us - 24/7, every day.

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  4. This post is a good one today, I try to keep a gratitude journal or at least think of one thing I am grateful for each day. griperang at embarqmail dot com

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    1. Thank you, Angela!! That's a wonderful idea, concentrating on one thing for which you are grateful - each day. Gratitude journals are great for numerous purposes - not just those material "things" we desire and receive - but also those things we tend to take for granted on a daily basis, those things not tangible such as health, freedom to worship, etc. - and answered prayers.

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  5. Thank you for this wonderful and enlightening post. We all should learn from it.

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

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    1. I so appreciate your comments and your stopping by, Melanie - thank you!!

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  6. Great post, Bonnie. It is in our trials where we need to be grateful, if not we give Satan more power in our lives. For me, I want more of God's power flowing in my life. No matter it is always better to be grateful for the miniscule things in our daily lives.

    Please don't enter me in the giveaway, I have her book.

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    1. Amen, Regina!! Praising God for those trials makes us more resistant to satan's attacks. And isn't it some of those minuscule things that so often bring great joy?? Thank you for your insightful comments!!

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  7. Thanks for the reminder, Bonnie! Everything in life goes so much better if we are grateful.

    bettimace at gmail dot com

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    1. You're so welcome, Betti - a spirit of gratefulness brings added joy and blessings, doesn't it?? Thanks for your comments!!

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  8. BONNIE!!!!

    LOVE this as always, and maybe even a little more than usual because this is a message that resonates with me SO MUCH today especially. I actually misted up several times and even smiled when I read point #5. Praising God and thanking Him throughout the day came naturally to me today because this is the FIRST DAY of 2015 that I am sitting outside on my lower deck writing in a balmy 61 degrees with birds chirping. SOOOO grateful!!

    Your statement that a "homeowner may complain about cleaning her home while those without a place to live would love to have a house to clean" really hit home for me sooooo much, so thank you for the gentle reminder. Especially since I've been a wee bit testy lately over all the cleaning I've had to do. :)

    And, LOL, Carrie if your "spaziness" gets in the way, just imagine that of a much older spaz queen who's a CDQ to boot -- not pretty! ;)

    Love you guys and GREAT JOB, Bonnie, for the post and to Carrie too, for bringing you onboard!

    Hugs and more hugs,
    Julie

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    1. LOL, wish I was sitting out on that lower deck with you, in 60 degree temps - watching the masterful "Queen of Romance" at work, my sweet friend!! However, I'm grateful for the beauty of the 18" of snow I received and joyfully anticipate the predicted 60 degree temps we're to receive this week. We are all blessed more often than we realize, aren't we?? The gift of salvation is so much more than any of us deserve, yet - He keeps on blessing us!!

      I hate to admit that housecleaning isn't a priority with me (one of the few areas my OCD personality doesn't inhabit) unless I'm having guests, but that's a luxury I can afford, living alone and being retired, LOL!! However, I'm very grateful for my beautiful home, be it spotless or not.

      Thank you for your sweet comments, you always bring joy, Julie. We, at OWG, love you back, and your CDQ "spaziness" only makes me love you more, LOL!!

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  9. Thanks for the reminder. My special word is Thankful so this was wonderful food for my soul! I start my day
    being thankful for this day the Lord has given me & I will be thankful in it.. Grateful . . I AM ! !
    Blessings!
    I have Jen's book After A Fashion :)

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  10. Thanks for the reminder. My special word is Thankful so this was wonderful food for my soul! I start my day
    being thankful for this day the Lord has given me & I will be thankful in it.. Grateful . . I AM ! !
    Blessings!
    I have Jen's book After A Fashion :)

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    1. Welcome, Deanna!! So happy to see "you" here (the blog is also, apparently, as your comments are posted twice, LOL) - your enthusiasm for gratefulness brings me joy and makes me smile!! Blessings to you as well, and thanks for your beautiful comments!!

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  11. God must want me to hear this today, for some reason! The preacher this morning preached on having the grateful heart. I think it's very easy for me to be grateful because I remember clearly the 'before'. But apparently God needed me to hear this so I shall commence being 'grateful'!!!! And I am. My God is so good to me. Plus I went outside today and the snow is melting and the sun is shining and we don't have a flood blocking us in anymore. God is GOOD!!!!!!

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    1. Yes, "God is good and all the time - God is good", to all of us!! I've heard this so many times and it is so true, isn't it, Heidi!! As with you, I remember the "before" also, and feel so blessed that it is no more.

      Where do you live?? The sun was out in Ky. today, also, and our 18+ inches of snow is melting, as well. I'm looking forward to those 60+ temps predicted for us this week, yet enjoyed viewing the beautiful snow, also, and feel blessed that I am retired and no longer have to fight hazardous roads to go to work.

      Thank you for your joyful comments and for stopping by!!

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  12. Bonnie, thank you for this encouraging post. May we all learn to have an attitude of gratitude. We can ALWAYS find something to be grateful for. I'm grateful that Jesus LOVES me and for the precious friends He has placed in my life.

    Have a wonderful day!

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    1. Always happy to see your encouraging comments, Caryl!! It's so true that there is always something to be grateful for - even during the worst trials of life - if we only look for it. His love is the greatest gift of all, isn't it- friends are very near the top of the list, also. Thank you for your friendship and your comments!! Blessings on your day, as well.

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  13. Thanks for the reminder to be grateful for all of Gods blessings, Bonnie. When my mom was alive, she would thank God for the little things and it really made an impact on me. To this day I thank God for parking spaces close to the stores because she always did!

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    1. Happy to "see" you here, Loraine!! I'm smiling as I read your comments - I thank God for close parking spaces, also, as well as a safe trip to the store and back, a vacant electric cart, short lines if I have to stand, etc.. The "little" things are God's blessings to us as well as the larger ones - bring happiness, and we should be grateful for them too. Thanks for your sweet comments!!

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    2. Congrats, Loraine! You will be grateful to hear you've been blessed with a copy of Jen Turano's new book!!!

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  14. BONNIE, just like Julie, my eyes misted up at several things I read in this beautifully anointed post. I'm not going to spill the beans as to why, but let's just say I need to be more thankful for some things more than I am! Thank you, Bonnie!

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    1. Thanks for your touching comments, Diana, and now my eyes are misty, also - because I know how beautiful your heart is!! We're just a bunch of "weepy" women, aren't we, LOL?? But that's OK - God loves those tears. I'm grateful that this post was meaningful!!

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  15. These are good suggestions. Like most attitudes, being grateful is a choice. I know I need to be more purposeful about choosing gratitude. Thanks for the reminder.

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    1. Thank you, Pam!! You're so right - gratefulness IS a choice, God gives us the freedom to make choices, His Word and the Holy Spirit are our guides in making those choices - one of those choices is indeed, being grateful. There is no way our gratefulness could ever repay all He has done for us, however, it is the least we can do to show our love for Him. I feel it is something that becomes more natural the more "purposeful" one is, as you said, and the more we cultivate it. Thank you for wonderful comments.

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  16. Our Pastor's sermon was about gratitude, today. The thing I learned most from the message was how much we take for granted. Clean water, the air we breathe, our warm homes, nourishing food, etc.


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    1. Hi, Cindi!! Did you attend church with Heidi, today, LOL?? All kidding aside, I'm sure there were numerous sermons on gratefulness being spoken today - it is an important subject to God and should be to us, as well.

      As you said, there are times when we all take our blessings for granted, especially the basic ones - it probably becomes even easier if we've never had to do without them. Keeping a gratefulness journal is one of the ways to become accustomed to being grateful - it can truly foster gratefulness when one keeps a list of blessings, adding to and meditating on it daily. Thank you for your comments.

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  17. Thank you for the beautiful and inspiring post Bonnie. It's so easy to feel sorry for ourselves at times or just be down in the dumps. If we think about it though we are so richly blessed by his love that we can't help but praise him all day long !

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    1. Thank you, Deanne!! How true that is - his love, alone, should be reason enough to continually praise Him, how blessed are we that He protects, provides, and guides - also!! However, we're not perfect and I know He also understands those times when we have "pity parties".

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  18. I have to remember that. Thank you for everything.

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    1. My pleasure, Tammy!! Thank you so much for reading and commenting!!

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  19. I always look forward to your posts, Bonnie, as they are filled with encouraging words of wisdom! Hugs and blessings to you, my friend!

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    1. Oh, Britney - thank you, your words warm my heart!! My goal is always to use God's leading with words to encourage and shine His light. Hugs and blessings to you, also - dear Britney!!

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  20. Thanks Bonnie for this post. I am always saying how I thank GOD for each day HE allows me to wake up. I'm thankful that I have a roof over my head , altho it needs lots of improvements, like me, but then we are both old. But I'm thankful for each day HE gives me. At least i this trailer is mine and so sorry for those who have nowhere to call home..and my old car to get out when I need to instead of having to ask for a ride, it needs a lot of work, but is old like me and is runs..So many don't even that as you said. I also tell HIM how thankful I have food to eat, and clothes to wear. I am thankful for each day HE gives me. I have a nice church where I am able to worship HIM with other Christian friens. For the scenery HE gives, us and the list goes on and on. Thanks, Maxie >mac262(at)me(dot)com < Oh yes, even my catankerous old computer to get to visit with you dear friends. You are such a blessing. GOD bless each of my OWG girls.

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    1. Thank you, and you are always a blessing to us, too - Maxie!! Your comments made me smile and shed a tear at the same time, I always enjoy your comments. I can so relate to being old and being thankful for each day God gives me, we realize - even more - what a blessing that is as we age and encounter life's problems associated with it , don't we, Maxie?? Often - our little blessings speak the loudest!! Hugs!!

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  21. In the wonderful little things each day, God abundant blessings surround us... How awesome is our God! Lovely thoughts today, thank you for sending my thoughts heavenward!
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

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    1. Hi, Merry!! Your beautiful thought and comment bless me - I'm grateful to God for using me to send your thoughts "heavenward" to Him. Yes, we truly are "surrounded" 24/7 by many blessings from His creation and loving, mighty Hands!! Thank you so much for your comments - love your e-mail address!!

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  22. Would love to win After A Fashion!

    Ephesians 5:19b, 20 ~ Sing and make music to the Lord with your hearts. Always thank God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    A friend is coming to visit us for three days before going on to visit with her family in two far apart states. So thankful for friends! Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

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  23. Thank you so much for that beautiful scripture, Kathleen!! Have fun with your friend - friends are one of God's greatest blessings to us, especially our sisters-in-Christ, aren't they?? My online friends are some of my very dearest - they have laughed with me, read with me, cried with me, socialized with me, and prayed with me. As with you, I am so grateful for my friends!!

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  24. I'm always so thankful to The Lord for His many blessings, but you've reminded me there's always sooo much more to be thankful for as well! Great post Bonnie!!

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    1. Thank you, Noela!! Studying and writing these posts always blesses me in the process as I'm always reminded of God's gifts to me - they are vast - and drawn closer to Him. Thanks for your comments, hugs!!

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  25. I am Grateful for God walking with me every step of the way. Through all the up's and down's that life has to offer.
    Janet E.
    von1janet(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Amen, Janet!! What would we do without Him to share with, and comfort, us in all our joys and trials, Janet?? Trusting Him always lightens one's load!! I'm grateful you stopped by to read and comment!!

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  26. Lovely post, Bonnie. I always find that when I focus others, I am most grateful for what the Lord has done for me. Today I had the privilege of spending a few hours with a dear friend. We both came away uplifted, encouraged, and thankful for our friendship in Christ.

    Don't enter me for a book, as I already have a copy of After a Fashion.

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    1. I wholeheartedly agree, Anne - concentrating on others takes the focus off one's own problems and allows one to more clearly see her own blessings. One's problems often seem small when compared to those of others. Christian friendships are such a blessing, aren't they - so glad you and your friend were able to encourage and uplift each other, bringing added joy to your day!! Thank you so much for your wonderful comments!!

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  27. Sweet Bonnie, awesome points on gratitude!

    It is so true that we a) tend to focus on what we don't have and b) not be appreciative and thankful for the "everyday things."

    This has been like a mini wake-up call to get me jump-started back into living a life of joyful gratefulness. I used to see blessings EVERYWHERE and exuberantly give thanks to God for the special little blessings but now, though I don't believe they've diminished, I don't see them or focus on them enough anymore. Therefor, I'm less exuberantly thankful...not as quick to give a thank You to God even for the bigger things. It "slips my mind" and I just don't think to do it unless reminded.

    I really like points:
    (1) (Say to yourself, several times a day: God loves me. - I would add to that I love You God, You are so mighty, powerful, great and awesome),
    (5) Praise God throughout the day - while we work. No matter what we're doing, we can praise God, and
    (6) Appreciate our trials because they're what make us grow, mature in godly character, experience more of His power and learn more about Him. I am facing number six head-on right at this moment and it's going to be a long road but I look forward to getting deeper into and more intimate with God through it.

    Do you have any suggestions as to how to praise God (#5)?

    I try to keep track of what I'm grateful for by writing it in my journal with a purple pen so that, as I flip back through, I know that every time my eye catches purple, there's something I'm thankful for written there.

    You rock, beautiful Bonnie! Thank you for this post. I am now off to begin re-cultivating an attitude of joy-filled gratitude!

    Love your lil' sis,
    MJOYB
    (Meggie JOY Burdzy)

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  28. Oh, Megan, I always love hearing from you - your middle name fits you so well, you are the embodiment of joy, even in the midst of such serious chronic heath issues!! Thank you for your sweet comments and taking the time to stop by and read my post, I'm honored to be your "big" sis-in-Christ, and pray that I'm always an encouragement and spiritual helpmate (with His guidance) to you. I appreciate your many prayers for me and continually pray for you, as well.

    I'm grateful my post spoke to you - your journal-keeping, high-lighting blessings, and daily reviewing them is a wonderful way to help maintain a continual mindset of gratefulness. As you said - gratefulness for the small things helps insure gratefulness for the larger things, as well.

    In answer to your question: gratefulness (even for our trials) is a wonderful way to praise God, however, I personally feel that any, and all, things we do to honor Him, shine His light, and draw others to Him - is a form of praise. Whether it be through prayer, bible study, singing and listening to praise and worship songs, giving of our time and money to help and show love to others, witnessing about Him to others, etc. - they all honor Him, touch my heart and soul, and lead me to praise Him. You mentioned telling oneself that she loves God and He is powerful, mighty, great and awesome - amen!! We constantly need to remind ourselves of this and constantly tell Him these things also - He loves to be worshipped and praised, whether it be through prayer, song, other of the ways I mentioned, and numerous others.

    I hope you'll stop by the OWG blog again soon, your comments bring "joy" and could help win you some of those beautiful books you love to read!! Love and hugs!!

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