31 Days:: Miraculous Gratitude
Day 11: Miraculous Gratitude
Slowing down and noticing my surrounding blessings is a huge ticket to freeing me from anxiety, impatience, and general discontent. Ann Voskamp calls it “counting our gifts.” I call it miraculous.
I have an issue with anxiety. From time to time, I start to feel like my brain is on fast-forward and everything else is in slow motion. Everything feels urgent and important and horribly necessary. I have a hard time snapping out of this when it comes on.
But I have found that gratitude often helps provide an avenue out of that downward spiral. Writing down or saying out loud the things in the moment that bring me joy or pleasure helps slow me down and brings me back to the present. I start breathing deeper and scanning the room for things that bring me delight. I start noticing how the evening light filters through the window slats and creates sharp rays in the dusty air. I start smiling as I notice my dog twitching in his sleep, dreaming of chasing a ball, no doubt. I become aware of the fact that I’m wearing the most comfortable t-shirt in existence. I start thanking God for my thick, puffy socks that keep my ever-freezing toes at a manageable temperature. I start remembering verses that bless and inspire me.
“This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength… Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” ~ Isaiah 30:15, 21
“The Lord will fight for you: you need only to be still.” ~Exodus 14:14
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” ~James 1:17
I list my gifts; I put myself on a scavenger hunt for grace; I breathe deep and tune into the now… and I find I am able to slow down again and remember Truth.
Gratitude helps me find way back into the peaceful, loving, generous, ever-comforting, always willing, arms of Jesus.
I find joy again. I find contentment. But most wonderfully: I find God again. He is there in my gratitude. He is with me even when it aches. Even when my mind feels out of control. Even when I’m overwhelmed with my To Do List or burdened by the cares of this world.
Gratitude helps me find my way back to Him. And when I find Him again, I thank Him. I thank Him for the
- Twisty vines growing up an oak trunk
- Tiny, twittering birds reminding me that God even cares and provides for them
- Hair ties
- Shaded hikes
- Nice long swigs of water
- A (shockingly!) tidy home
- New friendships
- The smell of my friend’s new puppy
- The sound of gravel crunching under my tennis shoes as I walk
- The untamed weeds on the hills, tossing in the evening breeze, glowing gold as the sun sets behind them
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What about you?