Approaching the end November, the month we most associate with gratitude, this year more than previous years challenges me a step further. My soul refreshed from a month of mindful gratitude, my heart thrills with holding another lesson; gratitude and the glory of God.
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, I shared weekly mindful gratitude challenges for Mindfulness Monday. Inviting you to share your progress, thoughts and results on social media using the #mindfulgratitudechallenge, or leave a comment on the post!
Last week we focused on exploring gratitude in the hard places, 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.
my journey with gratitude
Ironically, as with so many words tucked into my mind as “understood”, pursuing an in depth relationship with them reveals nuances often overlooked. Not surprisingly, journeying with gratitude throughout November transformed my previous notions. While simultaneously revealing heart attitudes in need of attention.
Until sitting down in preparation for writing this post, I missed the pattern contained in the gratitude lessons of encouragement I shared with you throughout the month.
Lingering over a handwritten review, I noticed an intriguing closing lesson, pulling everything together. On the one hand my heart struggled with conviction, but on the other hand, rejoiced at receiving a truth previously missed..
gratitude in change
Noticing the evolution of my gratitude journal moved me from counting my blessings to exploring a fuller grasp of gratitude in my life.
While spending time in my garden, gratitude initially spoke of the loveliness of beauty once experienced, but now gone. But upon reflection, gratitude drew me into the exquisteness of change. The longer I kept my gaze upon autumn’s work in my garden, the more I saw new beauty.
gratitude with intention
The lesson learned in the garden opened my eyes to the benefits of slowing down, and lingering with God. Instead of a brief visit merely surveying the remains of summer beauty, my pause allowed gratitude a moment to speak a granduer almost missed.
Embracing the beauty of autumn’s change in my garden required intentionality, a deliberate search for what hope promised.
gratitude of Grace
Cultivating a mindful, intentional gratitude beckoned me further from the superficial to the genuine grace of gratitude. Truly tarrying with my beneficent God, compelled me into deeper intimacy with the Source of my grace-filled life.
Intimate moments with my Savior shifted my gratitude from His blessings to the beauty of His being.
Adorning my gratitude with words of praise for innumerable attributes revealed in all His perfect ways.
gratitude in hard places
Lingering in intimate fellowship with the Lover of my Soul, strengthened my timid heart; wooing me into deeper trust of His choices for my life. The times of refreshing, resting and sweet fellowship revealed His good heart and purposes for me.
Forging a greater trust, which birthed gratitude even in the hard places, through gratitude cultivated over time simply sitting with Him. Resulting in a desire for inviting Him into those hard places embracing His goodness even there.
Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.Psalm 50:23
gratitude and the glory of god
The fact that gratitude glorifies, or “honors” the giver escaped me initially. One thing my month of mindful gratitude spoke into my heart was my view of thankfulness tended towards the fulfillment of a duty.
From a young age, saying “thank-you” became a part of receiving any gift, form of help or kindness of any sort. I expressed gratitude to others and God because it was a good, and right obligation.
But the more time I spent with God intimately exploring the mindful gifts of gratitude described above, the more I realized the depth of gratitude expressed gave God glory.
gratitude honors the giver
Pursuing gratitude from a place of duty left me feeling continually inadequate; always afraid I “forgot” to say thank -you for something. Slowly moving through gratitude in change, to intentionality in gratitude, into gratitude for the person of the Giver and finally to a place of gratitude even in suffering, revealed a deeper purpose for a grateful heart in my life.
Glorifying God through expressions of gratefulness exposed a powerful truth: “gratitude displays joy towards God for His manifold goodness.”
While offering thanksgiving to God certainly is the fulfillment of a good and right obligation, doing so from a heart of joy truly honors God. When I seek doing so before others, His great name is glorified in all the earth.
When my meditations of Him are sweet, joy in Him follows. (Psalm 104:34) A grateful heart then becomes unrestrained in offering thanksgiving and praise in every circumstance.
Embracing gratitude in the midst of change, with intention leads me to intimate fellowship with and for the Giver. In brave trust thanking Him in the hard places culminates in honoring Him.
Which I believe ultimately transforms a sacrifice of thanksgiving into the gift of gratitude.
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