Gratitude

Have you come across a gratitude jar? I was recently given one for my birthday. The idea is that you have a jar set aside into which you put slips of paper or card with a brief note of something you are thankful for that day. You could do it every day, or in my case,

Glass jar with handmade wooden hearts decorations and ribbon filled with colorful pastel paper notes spilling over.

Glass jar with handmade wooden hearts decorations and ribbon filled with colorful pastel paper notes spilling over.

whenever you remember. The important thing is taking a few moments to think – what am I grateful for today? It could be anything, so have an open mind, and then jot that down on a piece of paper and pop it in the jar. As the jar fills up it is a visual reminder of all the things that you are thankful for but is also a great encouragement to go back to at different times.
It is often small changes that can yield big results in our lives and trying to live from a place of gratitude is a simple change that begins like yeast to work its way through the whole of our lives. If you are stuck in a cycle of comparing yourself negatively with others, what would giving thanks for what you do have begin to shift in you?
imagesWhilst a gratitude jar might be new, the Bible has been advocating this way of life for a long time. In fact, when Paul was writing to one of his churches he even commanded them – Be thankful! Being thankful is an overflow of remembering that we are chosen, loved and forgiven by God. Because God chooses us, loves us and forgives us, God asks those who follow God to do the same, to love as we are loved, to forgive as we have been forgiven, and then to let the peace of Christ rule our hearts. It is these things that lead us to a place of thanksgiving (Colossians 3.12-15).
Sometimes it is easier to be thankful than others. This morning I put my cup of tea on the floor as I went to get something in the other room. Needless to say, as I walked back into the room I kicked my cup with great accuracy and the tea flew everywhere! The quiet moment I had been looking forward to sitting in the sun with a book for a few minutes was lost as I tried to soak up the tea and scrub the stain. It would have been easy to be angry and frustrated. But I found myself thankful for hot water from the tap that help me rinse, for a house safe and secure with a fluffy carpet, for the fact that I could bend down and get back up without a problem. Life is often not straightforward, but thankfulness can change our perspective. Why not give it a go?

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