Thankful: Rhythms of Gratitude
Driving in South Florida means you will be honked at. Oh, you didn’t punch the gas right when the light turned green? BEEEEEEEEP. If you know, you know.
While this is a lighthearted example, I think it is a minor symptom of a larger issue in our society: hurry. The allure of hurry is more. But when is more enough? Hurry actually runs in the opposite direction of gratitude because it keeps us from slowing down to recognize that which we do have. Hurry focuses on what I don’t have, while thankfulness focuses on what I do have.
That is why we must create rhythms of gratitude. If we desire to be a thankful people group, we must establish habits that keep gratitude in the forefront of our minds. If we don’t do this, hurry can quickly take over our lives.
Rhythms of gratitude can keep us grounded in the present moment, help us to reflect on all that we are thankful for in the past, and help us to look to the future with optimism!
Here is a look at some of the rhythms of gratitude that I have established in my life. I’m not perfect, but I strive to stay true to these. I hope that these help to encourage and inspire you to embrace some of your own!
- Reading God’s Word
For me, thankfulness starts in the morning. I start each day with prayer and time with God by reading the Bible. I also try to write down 5 things I am thankful for each day. Something as simple as taking the time to open up my notebook, grab a pen, and write down 5+ things I’m thankful for sets the right tone for the day. When I win the morning, it helps me to carry a thankful mindset for the rest of the day!
- Thankful Thursday
- Celebrating wins from the week
To break up the hurry of the week, I created my own midweek day of thankfulness that I call “Thankful Thursday”. It is a great way for me to ramp up my thankfulness in an international way by going on a gratitude walk and reaching out to people to tell them that I am thankful for them. In addition, I find that resting on the Sabbath is one of the most powerful blessings in my life. A good Sabbath always brings me closer to Jesus. And when I am closer to Jesus, I am always reminded of all that I have to be thankful for. Finally, it is crucial to celebrate wins from the week. Too often, we spend so much time working hard on projects and quickly move on when they are complete. The end of the week is an opportunity to look back at all that we accomplished, and celebrate!
If you are able to, I encourage you to go on a vacation or a retreat once a year. To be in a different context and to step outside of the busyness of day-to-day life is a beautiful opportunity. This grants us the time to be away from the rush and hurry of everyday life and gain a renewed perspective on just how beautiful and precious life is. I live in Florida, so when I have the opportunity to go to the mountains, I love it! My time in the mountains is always filled with awe and wonder. It reminds me of how great and powerful God is, and how much He loves me and provides for me.
Challenge: Establish a daily habit of gratitude. Whether it be a prayer of thanksgiving, writing down 5 things you are thankful for, or taking a gratitude walk, choose one daily habit that you will do for the next 21 days.