I can't think of a better way to start the day than with a grateful heart! In a world filled with mopey Monday memes - God has called you to be the light! Be someone's sunshine as they manage their Monday blues.
Let's begin this day with prayer.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for this beautiful day and forgive us for our oftentimes ungrateful hearts. Remind us to be thankful for each and every blessing you have poured upon us.
When we struggle to sing your praise, change our tune.
Help us to take responsibility for our attitude. It is ours alone to control. We may not be able to change every circumstance in our life, but we are able to choose how we respond.
Use us to reach others for your kingdom. Help us to have a reason for anyone who asks about our joy. Let us lead others to you through the way we live, the words we speak, our actions, and how we love. When they see us, we pray that they truly see you!
If anything is preventing us from loving the way that you love - Lord, we ask that you remove it. Break down our barriers. Stretch us outside of our comfort zone. Mold us to be more and more like you.
Less of me. More of you.
In Jesus name,
Riddle me this:
What would your life look like if you woke up each day with only the things you had thanked God for the day prior?
Yikes! That one hits a little close to home. I don't know if you had the same reaction as I did, but I instantly started looking around my room. Would I even have this very roof over my head?
Not just possessions. What about my health? Did I thank God for my health today??
My family? My freedom? My abilities and talents? My job? Transportation? Man oh, man. How long has it been since I thanked God for the cliché "electricity and clean water?"
But truthfully. Oh, how we take those huge conveniences for granted. We know we do because the minute the power goes out or your city is on a boil order - our eyes bulge. And if it takes more than a few minutes for the lights to flicker back on panic ensues.
It seems that in a society that is constantly enthralled with busyness, we have forgotten to sincerely practice gratitude. Gratitude is not only a beautiful characteristic to obtain, but it is also a learned skill. We can develop and cultivate a grateful spirit.
So if like me, you started feeling a little convicted at the beginning of this article, no worries.
It's not too late. We can start practicing gratitude right here, right now. That's one of the many reasons I love this topic! You can literally do it anywhere and I've seen it change attitudes and lives (mine included).
In therapy, there is an article by Michael Graubart that I frequently read with my clients. It is about how gratitude has helped so many to achieve and succeed in their sobriety. One of the lines states, "A grateful heart does not drink" The story is about a man that was challenged to write 10 things he was grateful for and then add 3 new things each day. He stopped his list when he reached 5,000. He discovered that indeed, a grateful heart does not drink.
Check out the article in its entirety here.
Whether you are in active addiction, recovery, the loved one of a person with an addiction, or have zero experience with addiction whatsoever, gratitude is a universal skill.
You can utilize gratitude in your everyday life, no matter who you are. The next time you are at a doctor's appointment or a traffic jam - I challenge you to pass the time by listing everything you are grateful for.
Praise God for any and everything that you can think of. See if you continue to gripe and moan, while actively thanking God for your blessings. I'd bet it's nearly impossible to remain agitated and grateful at the same time. Go ahead and try it! And let us know how it turns out!
If you are in active addiction or recovery then it is that much more important that you grab hold of gratitude and don't let go! Gratitude can help you get sober and stay sober!
In this article from The Recovery Village, they outline five positive effects that gratitude has on your mental and physical health as well as how it aids in your recovery journey.
A grateful heart will help you cope, heal, and help others.
Remember the guy from the article? The one who started his long list. My second challenge is that you do the same. Each day write down at least 3 things you are grateful for and as you do, make sure to involve God in your list. Praise him. Thank him. Watch him move in your heart and your life.
If you're into getting creative, make a gratitude journal. Decorate the cover. Date the top of each page and get your dose of gratitude each day. This is a great activity to do with your kids and is perfect for any age.
What does the Bible say about being grateful?
Here is a list of 100 Bible verses about gratitude.
If you're feeling extra creative, try adding one of these verses to your gratitude journal each day or weekly. There are tons of free bible verse coloring pages on the web. I've linked some here. If you are doing this with your kids (or frankly, even if you're not) print off the verses that remind you to be grateful. Simply color, cut, and glue them into your journal. Now you have a fun way to incorporate God's word into your book of thanksgiving.
If you prefer to just write in the verses you can always do that, too. This is your journal. Your rules. However you choose to do it, just make sure you come back and tell us about it!
Let's close in prayer.
Thank you Jesus that you do not leave us how we are. On our bad days, we can strive to be better. On our good days we can strive to be our best.
In all situations and circumstances help us to have an attitude of gratitude.
We may be hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; Perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not abandoned; Stuck down, but not destroyed.
You are the reason for our faith.
You are worthy to be praised!
We will shout for joy for in our weakest moments we are not without hope.
We will cling to you today, tomorrow, and always.
It's in your precious name we pray.
As always - if there is anything we can pray with you about please submit a prayer request.
Until next time,
Your Praying Friend
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Substance Abuse Counselor