Shift Your Focus with Gratitude

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“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18, NIV

It’s easy to feel gratitude when everything is going great.  You have a new outfit.  You got a great parking spot at your favorite coffee shop where your coffee is the perfect temperature with just the right mix of sugar and creamer. Then you snap a cute selfie and get tons of likes on Instagram and Facebook.  Everyone laughs at your jokes and tells you how clever you are.  Your kid doesn’t whine about wanting to eat chicken nuggets and instead wolfs down the fancy salmon steak you slaved over and asks for seconds.

But what about those days when the just sucks? You spill your coffee on your favorite blouse.  The pickup line at school is twice as crazy.  You get a call from the mortgage company that your check was lost.  Your cell phone is dead and you have a flat tire.

With a day like that, giving thanks is hard.  But being thankful even when things suck is essential if you want to change that day from a crappy one to a happy one.  Positive mental attitude isn’t just woo woo, slap on a happy face and fake it til you make it.  A positive mental attitude will help you look at things differently.

When John was sick, people would constantly say “Amanda, I don’t know how you’re  doing it.  You are so strong.”  That’s where you’re wrong. I woke up every morning, tried to figure out where I was – I was splitting my time between houses 200 miles apart – and I would decide right then and there that I was going to have a good day and face anything that happened with hope.  I’m not strong.  I’m not any stronger than any of you and if you were in the same situation you might have done the same thing.

By shifting your focus from the negative to the positive, you change your attitude.  You can change your expectation more of the same – i.e. same crap, different day –  with more good.  Instead of grumbling about spilling your coffee, think of how good it will be to change into your jammies when you get home.  Instead of the insane car line, be thankful that you have a working vehicle and that your kids are happy and healthy.  Instead of being mad about your flat tire, think of how happy you are that you have AAA or that you know how to change it.  Take that uncomfortable moment in life and change it into gratitude and I guarantee you’ll have a better day.

Lord, thank You for giving me the ability to see the good in things.  When I’m tempted to complain and grumble, please help me to stop and change my attitude.  I want to be someone who is grateful to You and Your goodness.  Help me to never lose sight of the blessings You continually pour out on me.

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