Gratititude: the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful
This fall I am taking a class called Choosing Gratitude in our ladies Bible study at church. Let me give you a little background…
Each year our church offers 2 sessions for Bible study for ladies on a Tuesday morning. I normally look each description over and make a decision, this year as I was looking them up on the church website I mentioned to my husband the options (something I have not done before). He listened thoughtfully and commented that in light of some of the things I am going through at this time maybe Choosing Gratitude would be a good choice. Now before you get defensive for me, he did not mean I was ungrateful just that it would be a great reminder and encouragement for me as I go through this season of life.
I said I would think about it a day or two. The next night something else happened with one of my sons and my husband (Wally) noted you may want to take that class with a smile. Now we were joking about it a little. I still was mulling it over and not sure about it at the time.
On that Sunday night the new Creative Memories ( I am a consultant) were released. As I sat in bed with a laptop checking out all the new stuff – what did I see? The very first item was the new series by Nancy O’Dell – Gratitude Album, papers, and stickers! Now I was starting to think that maybe God was starting to talk to me. My husband just laughed and commented that ” I think you are getting a message from above.” I kinda of hesitated a little – Wally moved away from me and when I looked at him questioning his move. He commented I’m not getting hit by lightning because you won’t listen! I laughed and said I have decided to take Choosing Gratitude.
I went into the class thinking I feel like I am a pretty thankful person. I start my prayers out with thanks to God, I say thank you, I tell people I appreciate them, what was I going to learn? Well, let me tell you God has really opened my mind and showed me areas I needed to change and be more positive and thankful for.
Week one – we were given the assignment of reading a chapter each week and doing a couple of devotions from the book. Easy I can do that I thought! Then our leader continued… you also need to record 3 things EVERY day stating why you are grateful for your husband and they cannot repeat! and … 2 other people you are grateful for that week and 3 other I am grateful for statements. Whoa! the first week was pretty easy as we are approaching the 8 week it is interesting to see how I notice things with a new insight. My husband asked about the class the first week and I explained to him the assignments – he told me he could give me a list of things I could be grateful for if I was having problems coming up with things.
A section in scripture that has really struck me is:
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Did you notice ” but in EVERY situation” in this verse? That means no matter what we are handed we need to be grateful that God is leading us through the situation and not complain and grumble about it. We need to trust and have faith God will get us through. I now have this section of verses posted on my bulletin board next to my desk as a reminder. I have always believed that God takes us through things and is in control but I have complained, murmured, and grumbled about the situation too. I was not happy about the season I am in right now but have grown to accept it and trust God even more every day. In the end there will be a blessing I know that for sure.
Follow this for a few weeks and I will share more that I am and have learned. And the word Gratitude still keeps showing up here and there - I get it and I am working on it, Lord.