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Delighting in my God, I desire to dwell in His pleasure and to help others experience true delight.

"Delight Yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
And He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your judgment as the noonday.  
Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him;..." Ps 37:4-7a

Monday, April 8, 2013

A to Z Challenge: G is for Gratitude




The power of gratitude cannot be understated.  It promotes well-being in all areas of one's personal life:  physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual.  It will help one face those most difficult of circumstances, and it makes the joys of life all the more joyous.  The positive effects of a thankful heart permeate to the very depths of who we are reaching out to impact our sleep, our health, our grades, and our approach to life in general.  

Our relationships will be stronger if we learn to appreciate as a way of life.  Forgiveness comes easier and grace flows in both directions more fluidly when gratitude is the river on which we sail.  Though slumps do come, they are overcome more quickly and with greater success when one is cultivating gratefulness. The sun shines brighter and life is just downright better with an attitude of gratitude. 

There are a number of studies which investigated the power of gratitude, all objectively verifying measurable positive reverberations from taking positive steps toward changing ones thinking and developing a more grateful attitude.  Here are a few of the suggestions.

1.  Count your blessings.  Don’t just think about or even just speak about what you have to be grateful for.  Write down 5 things a day and watch your attitude change and your health improve.  

2.  When you catch yourself complaining, stop.  Examine where that complaint is coming from.  Pull out the weed of complaining and find the flower of what you can be thankful for to plant in its place.  (Remember the old saying:  For every cloud, there is a silver lining. Be aware of your thinking and learn how to put off the destructive and put on the healthful.

3.  Find someone to help.  No I don’t mean to help you; I mean find someone you can help.  The act of giving of oneself has the added benefit of growing gratefulness for what you have.

In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  
                                     1 Thessalonians 5:18

Here is an anonymous poem on gratitude found in many places:

Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire.

If you did, what would there be to look forward to?


Be thankful when you don’t know something,

for it gives you the opportunity to learn.


Be thankful for the difficult times.

During those times you grow.


Be thankful for your limitations,

because they give you opportunities for improvement.


Be thankful for each new challenge,

because it will build your strength and character.


Be thankful for your mistakes.

They will teach you valuable lessons.


Be thankful when you’re tired and weary,

because it means you’ve made a difference.


It’s easy to be thankful for the good things.

A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who
are also thankful for the setbacks.


Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.

Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,
and they can become your blessings.


~Author Unknown 

I wish you, today, a day filled with many things for which you are thankful.  

24 comments:

  1. Most enjoyable poem and write, I have a special quotation about gratitude it's "Todays gratitude buys you tomorrows happiness. I very often think of this when things are going down hill.

    Yvonne.

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  2. As always, Yvonne, you bless me. Great quote. Thanks for all your support. God bless, Maria

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  3. So good. Thanks, Maria. Hit a low point yesterday and had to do the 'Count your Blessings' game (remember that old hymn?). I stopped what I was doing and started painting the bedroom. Works every time even if I have to shed a tear first.

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    1. Ah Sharon. I am sorry you had a bad day with tears. I know those times. We have had such lovely sunshine like we have not had in awhile that it is hard to feel anything but bright, but I know I have had my times when I had to work hard to endure those difficult downhearted emotions waiting on the turn around that gratitude and 'counting your blessings' will bring. Thank you for sharing your journey with me. May the Lord continue to lift you up and wash away the lows. God bless, Maria

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  4. Thanks so much for this thoughtful post. Loved the poem with so many things to be grateful for in this life of trying to make the right choices and follow the paths of faith, hope and charity.
    Thanks for stopping by.
    Sue CollectInTexasGal
    AtoZ LoneStar Quilting Bee

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    1. Thanks Sue. I appreciate you stopping by as well. I do love that poem too and agree that we have much to be grateful for. God bless, Maria

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    1. Thanks much for stopping by. God bless, Maria

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  6. I love that poem it is awesome!

    Maria, I try everyday to have a grateful and positive attitude. After my past losses (which you're well aware) I've learned a bit of perspective on what's important and what's not. I really am so grateful for my life, health, my family and friends. I'm ashamed to say before it wasn't quite so deeply. My heart has change it is more open now.

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    1. Hi Jen, It always amazes me how God uses the tough things in our life to give us perspective and help us grow. Someone has said our hardships will make us better or bitter. Sounds like you are choosing the right side of that coin. Thanks for being here. God bless, Maria

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  7. First of all I love the name of your blog site..."Delight" was my word for 2012! I totally agree with having an attitude of gratitude, and especially like how you connected it to forgiveness. Excellent thoughts. God bless.

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    1. Thanks so much Merrie. Great word, "Delight." I'd love to know what your word is this year. Thank you for your kind comments. God bless, Maria

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  8. I've been reading a book called Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, and in it she mentions that gratitude is what brings joy into your life. You just can't have joy without it. She encourages everyone to make gratitude a practice. Keeping a gratitude list is what I do... almost everyday.. 5 simple things. Good post!

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    1. Thanks so much. Sound like a good book. I'll check it out. Thanks. God bless, Maria

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  9. I try to be grateful every day, as well. It really helps me feel grounded in the present. And I love what Yvonne wrote about today's gratutude...

    Have fun with A to Z!

    Jenny at Choice City Native

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    1. Hi Jenny, I agree. Yvonne added a great quote. I am so glad you have found the power of gratitude working in your life. God bless, Maria

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  10. I agree that it's so important to be grateful.

    Julie

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    1. Yes, Julie, you are so right. God bless, Maria

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  11. Gratitude is the perfect G word!!! Good for you for picking it! I agree with you completely on the benefits of thankfulness, and loved your suggestions for cultivating it, as well! I list my five things as I fall asleep at night, and I sleep sweetly because of it! And I start the morning doing the same as I drink my cup of coffee. I liked the second half of your #2 especially, because while I do stop myself in the midst of complaining, I don't always go the extra step of finding something in that situation to be thankful for, as I should. Thanks for the reminder, and I will work on doing so!

    Mostly I wanted to tell you that I am so glad to have met you and then to have found your blog! Our hearts beat to the same drum; you have a new follower! Bless you, and I know I'll be talking to you again soon!

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    1. Hi Elaine. You are such an encouragement. I am blessed to know I have a kindred spirit in you and felt that as well when I visited your blog. I am glad we have met. God bless, Maria

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  12. Enjoyed this post. Gratitude is a great attitude to have.

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  13. Amen to that, Jinky. Thanks for stopping by. God bless, Maria

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  14. Hey Sis, I take it to heart. A frequent sermon I share with my own kids. As a family we have a tremendous list of things we can be thankful for.Pete

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    1. Hey Pete. Yes. We are certainly a blessed family, blessed with lots of love. I am touched you stopped by. Now you know what I am doing with my spare time this month. I know you have shared my passion for teaching our kids to have an "Attitude of Gratitude." Love you. God bless, Maria

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