Monday, July 9, 2012

Today Is bittersweet for me. How to maintain a Grateful Heart in the mist of trouble

Keys to a grateful heart
1Thessalonians 5:18 Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Everyone goes through hard times. Job loss, sickness & disease, financial hardship, Family difficulties and division, the loss of a loved one and so much more. We all go through something like this at some point in our life. These are called crossroads. We have the opportunity, during these heartbreaking times to really embrace these journeys. They either make us or break us. Most of our greatest victories and successes in life come during or shortly after our darkest hours. At these times in our lives we are given the amazing gift of choice. We can choose to walk through them or we can choose to run from them. We can choose to see it as a great opportunity for change and victory or we can let these times bury us. Maintaining and cultivating a grateful heart will drive us to overcome, rather than be overcome by our circumstances.
 Look for ways to help others. Helping others will always take the focus off of us and ourselves and put it on the needs of others, which in turn brings forth joy. There comes a great sense of joy when we can unselfishly give of our time, goods and finances. Look for creative ways to reach out to others whether its making a meal for a family who has just experienced loss, helping a person with their bags at the grocery store or reaching out by offering to watch an overwhelmed moms children while she gets some time alone to recoup from the madness.
Proverbs 19:17 says, “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.” Remember, helping someone else can sometimes take mere seconds, but has the potential to change a life.
Do not go into introspection. By that I mean, do not spend an insurmountable amounts of your precious time dwelling on how you can fix everything and make it better. By spending hours on end dwelling on your circumstances you can very easily be overcome by sadness and hopelessness. This familiar place is very common to most people but will not move you forward, but rather force you to stay fixed in the past. It will ultimately keep you from coming out of what you are going through. You must remind yourself over and over that you cannot change yesterday, you cannot make it better. You need to stay focused on today. You are where you are at,  and you need to make the choice to embrace today. Do what you can today and make the most out of it. Laying down what lies behind, pressing towards what lies ahead. There are so many scriptures in the bible that encourage us to do just that.  Phil 3:13 is the perfect example. Paul says, “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Don’t worry be happy. Yes, I know, in the words of the great Bobby McFerrin, “Don’t worry, be happy.” I don’t think he had a clue, when writing that song, how powerful those words were. Find something today that makes you happy. Worry can overcome you like a straight jacket. Once you entertain it, it is so hard to see anything else. Make the choice to be happy. Do something that makes you happy. In spite of your circumstance, rise above them by, perhaps going out and playing a game with your kids, sitting down and journaling about all the wonderful things in your life. Make it a story. Remember your life is a story anyways. Your book is unique and special. All the things you are going through are making it an excellent read. It would maybe even make the New York Times best sellers list if it were published. Draw a picture. Paint something. Take a walk. Start a hobby. Call a friend and go for coffee. Clean your house. There are a million things you can do to find joy, right in this moment. Not to sound cliché but Carpe diem. 
Spend time with people. When you are going through a tough time, the worst thing you can do is isolate yourself. When you are alone your thoughts can overtake you. Don’t be afraid to be real with someone. Tell them how you feel, tell them about the mistakes you made and how it made you feel. Let them minister life to you. Let them share with you, their struggles. As you talk to others, you will begin to relish in the fact that people care about you and love you. You will begin to feed the seeds of gratefulness for the people in your life. You will avoid feeling alone. How does the old saying go? People need people. As cheesy as that sounds, it’s a 100% true.
      Stop being hard on yourself
1.      Be grateful for who you are and the life God gave you. Can you even imagine how God feels when we murmur and complain about the life He so graciously granted us? The life He especially chose for us. The bible says I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. When you mess up don’t make it into a earth shattering catastrophe. Go to God and ask Him to forgive you and move on. Keep the focus off of you and on God. He made you, He knows you. Commit it back to God and thank Him for being who He is. Not for what He’s done but for who He is. Allow His mercy and grace to cover you, place those fears and worries behind you daily. Daily offer them up back to God. Watch how your heart transforms from worrisome, burdened and downtrodden to grateful and filled with unshakable joy.


  1. Such wonderful, true and practical words, Kristin. HUGS to you and prayers!

  2. thank you Joell:)) Your so sweet..


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