Next week I will be speaking to a lovely group of ladies at the Women With Purpose Luncheon...
I’ve been asked to speak on gratitude and in preparing for the talk I not only did some deep thinking about how I define gratitude, but I also chatted with some family and friends and asked what they believe it means to have a grateful heart.
What I realized is that as women we seem to place quite a bit of pressure on ourselves to keep smiling and enjoy life, and society repeatedly tells us that finding continual happiness is the ultimate in self fulfillment.
Even as Christians we seem to have fallen into the lie that once we commit our lives to Christ our days will be perfect, WE will be perfect. We think that everyone expects us to be the woman that never messes up, never makes mistakes, always knows what God expects of her and then always follows through. And, she’s always happy.
It’s as if we’ve equated gratitude with happiness and with our own goodness.
When life is tough, when we face struggles, when our heart hurts, we sometimes tell ourselves that we're not allowed to feel that pain or let those tears fall. We convince ourselves that this would show weakness and prove that we are not capable of gratitude. So we learn to simply fake our way through it all to keep up the appearances that we think others expect from a happy and grateful woman.
This is silliness, isn’t it??? But it’s silliness that I once believed.
Let’s redefine what it means to have a grateful heart!
Today I know that it is possible to be sad and happy at the same time.
Today I know that letting the tears slide down my face is not weakness or a lack of faith that all will turn out the way that it should.
Today I know that being filled with gratitude means having a spirit filled with joy; not because life is perfect, but because I know that there is good mingled within the difficult.
Today I know that when we make the decision to be thankful for our troubles, they can become blessings for us. This does not mean that we can't strive to lessen those troubles or pray for different circumstances.
Today I know that gratitude is a choice.
When we chose to keep our eyes on God, and chose to actively seek out all of those beautiful blessings He has given to us, even the ones that show up initially looking like struggles, we find true joy and real gratitude. This is when the smile becomes real and genuine, this is when our spirits are filled with joy.
You know what I'm grateful for? Family gathered around the table for a Thanksgiving meal!
Looking for a soft and flavorful roll to serve to family for your Thanksgiving dinner? Well, I have THE recipe for you!...