Gratitude Regardless of Circumstances

Gratitude Regardless of Circumstances

“When we focus on our gratitude, the tide of disappointment goes out and the tide of love rushes in.” Kristin Armstrong

As holidays approach we hear a lot about gratitude. Gratitude becomes a platitude. (See what I did there?)

How about taking an honest look at gratitude for a minute instead of reading sappy sentiments about “there’s always something to be thankful for” and blah, blah blah.

Have you had an easy, wonderful year? I hope you remember to incorporate gratitude into your consciousness and not just accept this as a given. “Easy” and “wonderful” aren’t the ways most people will describe their year. Most people are struggling – in one area or multiple ways.

This year I was drafted into a battle with breast cancer. I didn’t volunteer. Yet, without hesitation, when people ask how I’m feeling, my honest and overwhelming response is grateful.

Unexpected challenges, crises and loss aren’t often lumped together with being thankful. At first glance, nobody appreciates the awfulness of those things landing in their lap.

But God hasn’t been hiding from me during my roller coaster ride. He’s sitting next to me, shouting encouragement and reminders above the chaos. If I wasn’t looking for Him in that seat, I might miss all the insights and inspiration He’s got for me. When you’re going through a hard time, life can be a blur.

The biggest reveal has been that I’m a lucky, blessed lady.

Truth that makes me grateful:

  • I’ve already had a pretty fantastic life.
  • There are people who love me.
  • Those same people do nice things to help or just make me smile.
  • I’m upright. Today.
  • God has a massive track record of faithfulness – through history and in my life.

Gratitude is such a fluid thing, and intensely relative for most of us. Circumstances rule. The bummer about that is that when bad stuff happens and we lose a portion of gratitude, our joy drains away with it. Being thankful isn’t always our default setting. Regardless of the ever-changing onslaught of living, we can decide to think and say things that reflect gratitude. Gratitude regardless of circumstances.

I believe contentment and gratitude are inseparable and almost two sides of the same coin. When you are contented, you’re grateful. When you feel grateful, you experience contentment.

Whatever your life looks like at this very moment, set your intention on the many things you can be thankful for. The result will be a changed heart which will give you something else to appreciate.

  • Elaine W. Miller

    Amen! On my cancer journey I have experienced God, peace, contentment, joy, appreciation, love, and so much more than I have ever known in my life. I wish I had cancer earlier so I would have lived life fuller. There’s no ho hum anymore. Every day a treasured gift. Praying for you my friend. Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

  • Joni Corby

    Really tough circumstances bring us to that point of decision about how to respond. It certainly is a test of what we TRULY believe. Is our belief strong enough to actually act on it or do we just say things? I was never more aware of how blessed I was (in many, many ways) than when I was in the throes of my cancer adventure. I felt that I was reaping the fruit of all that the Holy Spirit had planted in my life over the years. It sprung up as hope and gratefulness. I pray we continue in such a grateful attitude even on easy days!