My goal for November involves cultivating a mindful approach to gratitude, rather than the casual lip service the month of Thanksgiving generally receives. While throwing out a quick “thanks” to someone, or my habitual “thanks, Lord” is easy and points me in the general direction of gratitude, it falls short of cultivating true heart gratitude. This week join me in exploring the grace of gratitude.
Welcome to Mindfulness Monday! Where we learn some easy ways to be more present “in the moment” at our jobs, in our homes, with our families and friends.
Learning to recognize God and what He has for us in each divine moment He offers. We acknowledge the belief that God is with us always.
We confess His presence is available to us, lifting our spirit and helping us with power and grace. Learning the art of “stillness” so we can hear His voice and view ourselves, others and our surroundings through His eyes.
weekly mindful gratitude challenge
Each Monday throughout November, return for Mindfulness Monday and find your weekly mindful gratitude challenges. Share your progress, thoughts and results on social media using the #mindfulgratitudechallenge, or leave a comment on the post!
Last week we focused on the benefits of mindful gratitude through the intentionality of slowing down, seeking and savoring God. Hopefully you enjoyed the guided exercises and setting aside time for the mindful gratitude challenge. If not, catch up HERE.
At the end of the post, you can sign up for my FREE Serenity in Gratitude devotional if you want even more ideas.
the grace of gratitude
Exploring and cultivating the grace of gratitude increases our knowledge of and intimacy with God. We serve a loving, beneficent God who desires our spiritual growth and maturity; not an egotistical tyrant feeding off of the gratuitous compliments of his bondslaves.
Seeking a mindful approach in expressing gratitude to God for His blessings, for others and most importantly for HIM, we enter into the JOY of the Lord. The grace of gratitude ushers us not into a place of favor, but into so much more. Mindfully pursuing gratitude before God transforms our souls.
ingratitude hinders grace
Oddly enough, many people I encounter consider themselves “grateful”; however, the majority of their conversation emcompasses complaining, gossip, and unkind words, all tied up with a judgmental attitude about everything.
Sadly, society accepts ingratitude as justifiable, after all, you deserve better, at least that’s what the commercials say. Our sassy entitlement attitude parades around deceiving us into believing God owes us a better house, job, wardrobe, and even (so I’ve heard) a better spouse.
Ashamedly, I can testify to a more insidious side of entitlement; one that dares reproach God for suffering, inconvenience and misfortune. Ingratitude, rooted in self-focus, self-sufficiency and self-righteousness, makes us willing participants in satan’s campaign against the goodness of God.
For though they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God or show gratitude. Instead, their thinking became nonsense, and their senseless minds were darkened.Romans 1:21
As with any adverse behavior or habit in need of change, the first step becomes the acknowledgement of the problem. Once you recognize the presence or tendency to ingratitude, take immediate action.
Satan’s most effective weapon for distancing you from God presents in the form of ingratitude. Though we deceive ourselves by calling it by other names, complaining, gossip and judmental statements all wreak of ingratitude.
Start today with the following journal exercise:
From Ingratitude to Gratitude
Prayerfully spend time with God asking that He reveal areas where ingratitude lives in your heart. Avoid hurrying past this, face the uncomfortable conviction and listen carefully to the Holy Spirit’s voice.
- List in your journal the things you resent, struggle accepting or for which you have not offered thanksgiving to God.
- Go back and under each item, list three things about that situation or person for which you are grateful.
- List the things you expect or expected from God that did not happen. Meditate on how you can still thank Him in each of those instances.
Close your time in a prayer of repentance, and gratitude.
exploring our gratitude for god
Exploring our gratitude for God provides another avenue for developing the grace of gratitude in our lives. So often the gratitude I express takes the form of thanking God for His work in my life, His blessings, answered prayer; in short, gratitude for the things He does.
Praising and offering thanksgiving to God for His wonderful works (Psalm 107:21-22) glorifies God and exalts Him before others. But mindfully sitting with Him and reveling in His attributes, exalts Him for who He is, and increases our intimacy with Him.
When your heart overflows with gratitude for the person of God, intimacy forges a union which no longer questions His actions, but embraces them all as good.
developing the grace of gratitude for god
If you keep a gratitude journal, notice or highlight all of your expressions of gratitude pertaining to God’s blessings. Then notice how many expressions of gratitude you recorded for the person of God as listed through His attributes.
If you do not keep a gratitude journal, spend a few moments considering the things you thanked God for over the past several days, and notice the same elements as above.
Gratitude For God Through His Attributes
After completing the exercise above, whether you already express gratitude for the person of God, or find you need improvement, try this mindful gratitude exercise this week:
- As you spend time in Bible reading this week, jot down all of the attributes of God you notice in each passage you read.
- As you close your quiet time after reading, spend extra time meditating and thanking God for the attributes you found.
- Ask God to reveal Himself to you through a particlar attribute this week. Journal about how you saw God through this attribute.
- If you struggle with a particular attribute of God, ( for example, wrathful, jealous, righteous) ask Him for help in seeing Him through that attribute.
- Consider and journal about how the knowledge of His attributes affects how you see and relate to Him.
- For example, use the phrase: “Knowing that God is _________, I am grateful for _______.”
Be sure to check out my FREE Serenity in Gratitude booklet for a comprehensive list of God’s attributes for help with this exercise.
A Personal Thank-You Note
As you spend time his week knowing God more deeply through His attributes, write a personal prayer of love and gratitude in your journal for the person of God. Do not include the “things He does or material blessings”, but instead express your love and gratitude for who He is regardless of those things.
Have fun and craft a special “Thank-you” note to God and post it on social media! Be sure to include the hashtag #mindfulgratitudechallenge and tag me @serenityinsuffering so I can enjoy it with you!
Exploring the grace of gratitude
The true grace of gratitude enriches our everyday lives and relationships by instilling a deeper level of gratitude reaching past the superficial to the meaningful embrace of God’s goodness in our lives and relationships.
Exploring the grace of gratitude through encountering God within His attributes, escorts you into a more genuine relationship with God. Through which the beauty of His Presence permeates every area of your life and heart, overflowing with Joy, Hope and Gratitude transforming your relationship with Him.
If you enjoyed reading this post, there’s more! Sign up for my weekly newsletters; a little slice of serenity delivered right to your inbox! As my “Thank-you” you will receive my FREE “Serenity in Gratitude Quiet Time Guide” for signing up!