The grass is always greener. It's a familiar saying, but oh so true! We want what we think we should have, only to find out that what we use to have definitely had it's advantages. Like when we were in college - we couldn't wait to graduate and make our mark in our professional field. But once we got into the "real" world, what we wouldn't give for our little dorm cots; where gas money and text book prices were the biggest concern! Ha!
I remember when I couldn't wait be done with a certain season in my life. I thought I'd be so much happier once I could move on to the next phase. I thought I'd find freedom and new opportunities . And though there was much to gain, I quickly relalized how much I had taken for granted ... how much I had overlooked and could never access again.
The Bible tells us that all perfect gifts come from God and that every season of our lives is planned by Him. I think our response to that truth should be thankfulness and gratitude. It's easy to wish things were different or try to change our present situation, but what if the lemons we think we are dealing with are really just lovely opportunities to refresh our impatient hearts and seek God's good gifts in uncomfortable seasons and circumstances?
Gratitude is a pretty word, but it's not always easily done. It takes intentional prayer and spiritual eyes to recognize that there are gifts in our discontentment and that there are lovely moments amongst the lemons in our lives.
Gratitude doesn't mean that we won't feel dissatisfied sometimes, but it does mean that we are active joy seekers in the midst of our dissatisfaction. This is the making of a grateful heart: Joy. And joy is the antidote of complaining, dissatisfaction and any other lemons in our lives.
Gratitude is quite appealing!
You know that girl that's always smiling? Yeah, you know her. Maybe you've seen her cry once or twice, but then that smile slides right back on her face. She always seems so put together, confident, kind ... I bet you a million bucks her secret is simply gratitude. She's no superhero, celebrity or millionaire. She's just grateful and it shows! It will show on you, too. When we take the time to count our blessings rather than complain about our problems, we'll have more reasons to smile and uplift others and shine our brightest and people will notice. They will see the increased joy you have in your life becau
se of the continuous gratitude you reflect. No amount of makeup can duplicate the beauty of a grateful heart. It's astonishing and undeniable and it's absolutely lovely!
Gratitude points to Jesus!
When we reflect on our blessings even in the midst of uncomfortable seasons, we are keeping our eyes on Jesus and positioning our hearts to trust Him and believe. The Bible tells us that our Savior has good plans for us, that He will not give us anything contrary to His will for us and that He wants to bless us (Jeremiah 29:11; Luke 11:11; Philippians 4:19).
So, how do we practice out or gratitude, even when we find ourselves in cloudy seasons? How can we reverse the lemons into something more lovely? What I do is write things down. I make notes in my Bible or on post-it-notes or even scribble things down on my bathroom mirror. I do this to remind myself, because sometimes it's hard to remember. Sometimes, we are just so ready for what's next, it's hard to appreciate what's now. But it's so necessary to be grateful in all seasons because every season has it's trials. Every season has it's mountains an valleys and so we must put to practice gratefulness and appreciation for the blessings that we have the good things God has done. It will give you joy, beauty and assurance that God is at work and that your life does matter!
I hope this will be an encouragement to us all. No matter where you are, what's ahead for you or what you may be leaving behind, you my friend are blessed! You are purposed and you have promise and that is definitely something to be grateful for!
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