Gratitude is a choice. This is one of those universal truths everyone knows, but many struggle to live. My heart isn’t naturally thankful, and I must work to combat a spirit of complacency. I carry around a gratitude journal so I can jot down blessings as I encounter them.

7086) Grace for imperfections
7087) Picnic for Mama’s birthday
7088) Old Navy clearance

Sometimes the words flow freely from my pen. In other instances, I force myself to consider the grace and beauty of my life. Compulsory praise to God isn’t praise at all, so this seems counter intuitive. The actual result however, is a shift in my perspective.


Instead of seeing money for groceries as a result of my hard work, I drill deeper and find the hand of God.  Think back far enough, and I remember it was my parents who saw the advertisement in the paper and thought I might be interested. Little things fell into place, leading me to where I am today. This is not to mention my health, intelligence, and education, which all facilitate my employment.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
Psalm 118:1

Then there are those times when life is hard. When the Holy Spirit gives me the umph I need to bite my tongue, rather than speaking the truth in anger. When “not hating” a certain obligation is the best I can muster.

7058) Doctor’s note for missed work
7059) Daddy driving me to the doc because I didn’t feel like it
7060) Cheap RX


7071) Feeling 75%!!

At the time, some of those thanks are hard. Sitting on this side of the events I can more fully appreciate them. I can see what might have happened differently: getting fired for taking too many sick days, getting in a car accident driving under the weather, not being able to treat my illness due to expensive copays.


While no one’s life is without struggle of some sort, I’ve never experienced a major loss or hardship in my life. The time is now, to pray and focus my mind. The apostle Paul uses the athlete in training analogy in the New Testament, and I think it fits in this situation. Train those gratitude muscles hard. For one day, I will truly need them to stand firm in the faith.

…giving thanks always for everything
to God the Father
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…
Ephesians 5:20

Happy thanksgiving!! What have you been grateful for this past year?

linking up with Kelly and her #FridayFive Thanksgiving round-up