Several months ago God aligned the opportunity for a blogging friend and I to meet in person. You see, she’s an island girl and I’m a desert girl. Our homes are a long way apart!
But there we were. Lunch on an island and an instantaneous heart connection. Only God!
This month, that precious island girl and I are collaborating to bring you the #GratefulHeart Series. We believe gratitude is a powerful weapon against the difficult of life. We also realize gratitude doesn’t always come easy. So, as we come alongside you this month, we pray God fills your heart with a holy craving for gratitude. That together we become noticers of good and cultivate a #GratefulHeart!
Today, that island girl, Marva of Sun Sparkle Shine, is opening our series with wisdom and heart. Friends, I’m so excited for you to experience her passionate and purposeful words of encouragement!
Joy, Junk and Jesus.
Every week in our little group we took turns giving updates from our lives from these three perspectives. Joy: the things that lit us up. Junk: the things we’d really rather avoid. Jesus: how he showed up for us that week.
This one particular week however, there was no junk – at least not from me.
No junk. None.
All the weeks that came before were riddled with complaints of all sizes and shapes, not the least of which included my overwhelming schedule. It seemed like there was always something or the other that was overwhelming me.
So why no junk that week?
Had I stumbled upon some magic formula?
Well yes, and no.
You see a week prior, my family and I were involved in a car accident. Don’t worry we’re OK. Even though it was a major accident with both cars ‘written off’, we were very fortunate to suffer only minor injuries.
As you might have guessed, my Joy, Junk and Jesus update just after the accident had everything to do with how grateful I was (joy) that we were spared from any serious injury (Jesus). And as for the junk – I could not think of a single thing.
No junk, really?
Let me tell you, that doesn’t happen very often.
Instead, I remember very clearly saying to my friends, “It’s really hard to find junk when you’re focused on gratitude”.
It was as if a light bulb had gone off in my head.
That was the magic formula which really was no magic at all. It turned out that gratitude was the secret to real joy.
So as Lori and I embark on this #GratefulHeart series, I’m honoured to share with you a few things that I’ve learned about gratitude and why it’s so important.
Gratitude is the key that opens doors
- Gratitude opens the door to joy
Read: Psalm 100
The picture that Psalm 100 paints is so attractive. It is a scene filled with joy, joy and more joy. The Message version ushers the invitation saying, “Enter with the password: ‘Thank you!’” This is what I discovered in my post-accident state. My joy was overflowing because I focused on thankfulness. And whenthankfulness takes over there’s very little room for junk. Literally.
- Gratitude opens the door to peace
Read: Philippians 4:6-7
The reality is that there are times when life will feel burdensome. For those times, we have this hope: God’s peace. And the way we access it is really quite simple and has everything to do with thanksgiving. Rather than being filled with anxiety, we are called to pray with thanksgiving. The Bible promises that when we do, we will experience peace beyond measure.[bctt tweet=”Be filled with anxiety or pray with thanksgiving. You choose. #GratefulHeart #gratitude #hope #series @SunSparkleShine” username=”lori_schumaker”]
- Gratitude opens the door to purpose
Read: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Regardless of what circumstance we find ourselves in, we are called to give thanks. Too often we underestimate the power of gratitude, but in this scripture we see that gratitude goes hand in hand with the spiritual discipline of prayer. When we rejoice, pray and give thanks in every circumstance, we are led straight into the will of God. His way becomes clear.
In those moments when we question what God is doing, we can experience His joy and peace and rest knowing that His will for us is perfect.
Giving thanks opens the door to incredible joy, peace and purpose.
And that’s not all, friend. I’ll be the first to admit that this only scratches the surface. I’d love to hear from you about the doors that gratitude has opened in your life. Where have you sensed God showing up when you chose to focus on thanks?
The #GratefulHeart series continues on Tuesday when Lori will visit me over on SunSparkleShine. There she’ll share some practical ways that we can foster gratitude in our homes. Won’t you join us there?
And to make sure you don’t miss any of the posts, be sure to sign up here. When you do, we’ll send you a set of free #GratefulHeart scripture graphics for you to use.
About Marva: Marva is an island living, sun loving Christian wife and mother. Inspired by John 10:10 she encourages women to slow down and enjoy life to the full, brilliantly. You can find all the latest sparkle on her blog SunSparkleShine as well as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram. Get a free copy of her e-book You Were Made to Sparkle when you sign up for her Sparkle Highlights newsletter here.
The #GratefulHeart is a mini-series of four posts spanning two blogs, Marva’s SunSparkleShine, and right here at Searching for Moments. Through it we will provide ideas, encouragement, prayers, and Bible verses that will equip you in the cultivating of a grateful heart.
Find All the #GratefulHeart Posts Here!
? Series introductions from Marva and me.
? Post #1: Gratitude – 3 Doors that a Grateful Heart will Open
? Practical Advice: 10 Ways to Cultivate Gratitude in Your Home
? Scriptural Resource: 10 Memorable Bible Verses for the Grateful Heart
? Scripture, prayer, encouragement, and your free gift: Thanks in all Circumstances: Are You Sure, God?
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