When I come to November in a year, something happens in my spirit. I’m ready to cozy down into warm sweaters and soft blankets. I love scented candles burning and soups simmering on the stovetop. It’s a time to slow down and reflect over the year. When my spirit is in a good place, my heart finds much to be grateful for. One thing that fills me with gratitude is the gift of friends—real life and blogging friends.
For the next few weeks, I have invited five friends I respect deeply to share stories and thoughts on gratitude in their lives. I hope you will join with me for all five weeks and share your responses to their words. If you miss a week, you can click Choosing Gratitude series to catch up with the other posts in this series. Will you settle in with me, with a mug of something warm in your hands and think on those things and happenings in the year for which you are grateful?
I first met Meghan Weyerbacher online a few years back, I believe through the amazing Five Minute Friday linkup. We’ve followed each other on social media. In the summer of 2017, I had the privilege of meeting Meghan in person. She’s real and delightful and has a heart to encourage others. It’s been fun watching God take Meghan and use her to encourage and minister to writers through her blog, and recently, through her book. Please help me welcome Meghan Weyerbacher to this little corner of the blog-o-sphere today!
Gratitude. It’s something I want to have, something I want my children to understand. It can be frustrating when I’ve done my utmost best in something and it doesn’t seem to matter. I become agitated. I begin to worry “why” did I even bother?
See where I am going with this?
This cycle wears my mama heart right out onto the sticky floor and I find myself more focused on what I did wrong, or what my kids did wrong—than the right that happened.
And this cycle touches more than just parenting. It tries to stick its prickly tentacles where they don’t belong. Soon, I am trapped in a wrong mindset. A “preparing for the worst,” mindset.
This is no way to live my friend.
A Fun & Simple Way to Implement Gratitude, Daily
In her book, Think Learn Succeed: Understanding and Using Your Mind to Thrive at School, the Workplace, and Life, Dr. Caroline Leaf asks us a question. “Is the way we’re working, working?”
How I’d been functioning and responding was not working, let me tell you.
I crafted a jar and began faithfully slipping my bright colored notes inside the glass each evening. Little by little, my thought process began to change. When yuck hit the fan—I’d breathe deep and try to fish for the good. This did, I repeat, did not come naturally.
Over time, this new mindset took root, all because I knew I needed to have something for that jar.
It’s the simple things, right? Now digging for the good isn’t so much work as it is habit. A fun one at that.
Practicing Gratitude Helps Our Mental Health
Those small annoyances snowball when we mull over them, right? Most of us realize the power of rumination. We can use the power we’ve been given, for good instead.
We have to capture those annoyances mentally, and hand them over to God. Using our minds to remind ourselves Who is holding the world, is a sometimes moment by moment practice.
- Maybe it seems no one notices all the hard work you put in.
- Maybe you try your best but continually get rejected.
- Maybe those around you seem to have it all under control, but not you.
These things can turn into lies entangling us if we ruminate in the wrong way.
Dr. Leaf says this:
“Thoughts create your mood and influence how you feel physically.”
What we think about leads us into the next, and into the next—creating our future minutes.
Life can be tough at times but dwelling on the negative will for sure not help us out.
When we refocus our thoughts on “what is good, lovely, and true,” we are building a (faith) muscle up by using our brain muscle in the right way.
Our brain helps determine where we will spend mental energy. When we train our brain to do what it was meant to—look for the good—we train it to steer our minds the correct and healthy way.
We’re not in denial when we want to take power out of dread’s hands and put hope to good use. That hope blasts into the dark spaces and lights it up like a firecracker, allowing us to be grateful for what we previously could not see with the naked eye.
- Practicing gratitude leads to hope.
- Hope leads to faith.
- Faith leads us on a path of healing.
What about you? How do you practice gratitude? What ways have helped you make this a lifestyle?
Meghan Weyerbacher is a poet, essayist and storyteller. She writes clean romance novels with a hint of suspense & humor while her Cabin Fever scented candle burns into nothing. Connect with her more on the blog, Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. Get a copy of her debut novel, Organic Love today!
Click to Tweet: Using our minds to remind ourselves Who is holding the world, is a sometimes moment by moment practice
I’m linking up with #RaRaLinkup, #TellHisStory, and Holley Gerth