Gratitude as a Lifestyle

“Drew, why are you up so early?” I said in an irritated tone.  Couldn’t he see that I wasn’t ready for him to get up yet?

You see, I have a pretty structured morning routine. 

5:15: Coffee, Bible Study, & Prayer
5:45: Shower and get dressed and all the other things that goes along with a female getting ready for the day
6:15: Get the kids’ things ready for the day, empty the dish washer, put a load of laundry in the washing machine, and if I have time, blog.
7:00: Get the kids up and ready
7:10 or 7:25, depending on the day: Leave the house

Clearly, Drew getting up at 5:30 doesn’t fit into my schedule! Doesn’t he realize this is my time to get things done?  Grumble.

This is just one example of the way I often look at things in life.  Instead of looking at what I have to be grateful for, I focus on what doesn’t quite fit into what I had in mind.

I’ve been convicted of this of late.  If you read my previous blog, you see that I first realized my need for gratefulness out of unfulfilled desires.  But as I started really praying about it (and reading Nancy Leigh Demoss’s book Choosing Gratitude), I realized that a lifestyle of gratitude is needed in all areas of my life, not just the “big” ones.

Instead of getting irritated at Drew being up so early, I am thankful that I get to spend a little extra time with him.

Instead of getting angry with my husband for having a meticulous eye regarding housework, I am thankful that he throws his energies at home into making our home a better place.

Instead of being sad that I have to leave my children day after day, I thank God that I have a job that I enjoy and work with people who are like family to me.

Instead of getting down seeing the empty pews in our church after a deep hurt, I am thankful for the ones still there, and the strong relationships that have been forged and strengthened in the midst of suffering.

Instead of being frustrated that I don’t get to spend as much time with a friend as I would like, I am thankful that God has provided this friend in my life altogether.   

This type of thinking definitely requires a mind adjustment, especially for this melancholy personality.  But I can tell you, although this new perspective is still in its honeymoon and hasn’t been tested yet by the raging waters of life, it does make a difference.  Its product is pure joy, unmoved by the hiccups of life.  How many of us wouldn’t want that joy?

Last night before bed I told my husband how grateful I am to have him and how wonderful of a husband he is.  He asked what had gotten into me.

Clearly this is a big change. 🙂

My prayer is that what has “gotten into me” won’t get out.  That gratefulness will make its home in my heart, and joy of the Lord can’t help but overflow.

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