Gratitude – 3 Doors that a Grateful Heart will Open
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
? Prayers: A Prayer for a Grateful Heart and A Prayer for Hope When All Seems Lost
? 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?
I regularly link up with these encouraging sites.
Lori, you know you were the first and only blogger whom I met in “real life” and I have to tell you, you’ve set the bar pretty high, my friend! 🙂
I am so in awe of how God works having brought us together and now to have this chance to share our hearts together in this series. He really is an amazing God, and for that I’m very grateful.
You were the first blogger I met, too! Funny how we were literally an ocean apart, but God arranged it! I knew in a minute, though, how authentic your sparkle was! I, too, am so very grateful!
Beautiful! Gratitude has an amazing influence in our lives. My family was also involved in a car accident four years ago, and I was so incredibly thankful that my children were not hurt and that I was not hurt more seriously. I was grateful for the firemen who calmed and took care of my kids when I could not and grateful for all the hospital staff and the police officers, too. Gratitude really helped me get through a very emotional time. Jesus was smiling on me.
Gratitude reminders are always timely. I thank you for this one, because every so often I fall into a pit of complaining. That’s when I really need some help in climbing out. Thank God for the joy that comes from thanksgiving!
Wow, Hilary, I’m so glad you and your family were okay. That kind of event has a way of staying with you and my prayer is that every time we remember it we will be inspired by another wave of gratitude. I remember the very next morning walking into my kids’ rooms and being so overwhelmed with gratitude that they were alive and well. I pray to remember that daily.
I hope our thoughts in this series have helped you climb out of the pit — we all can use a helping hand, that’s for sure!
I love hearing your testimony to the power of gratitude. Praise God your family, too, was safe, and that God sent such kind professionals to help you! Thanks so much for sharing your story and I pray gratitude continues to be a powerful weapon of choice in your life! #GratefulHeart
Blessings and smiles,
I love that you guys got to meet in person!
I’ve jotted these scriptures down to meditate on tomorrow. I’m feeling too tired from lots of difficult situations to be able to find my joy, but tomorrow I’m going to wake up and focus on giving thanks in everything. So I’m in. 🙂
Thanks for stopping by today, Jennie. It was definitely one of those special moments getting to meet Lori in person.
Yes, not everyday in the same and sometimes we just have to ‘pack up shop’ (as my parents would say) and start over tomorrow. I hope today is looking much brighter for you!
Thank you, Jennie, for joining us here. We are praying for your strength and energy to return. For God to fill you with His supernatural peace and joy in the midst of these difficult times. I’m so glad you are choosing to pick up the weapon of gratitude and fight the difficult!!
That’s so awesome you guys have met and now are banding together for this series.
I love the Joy, Junk and Jesus. I wrote it down and am going to add this to my daily list. Honestly, I need to work on my gratitude. It’s not that I’m not thankful, I just tend to focus on what’s wrong versus what’s right.
God is working on me though, I know that for sure!
I can’t wait to read the rest of the series!
Oh we know that feeling too, Julie — God is working on all of us! 🙂
We got the Joy Junk and Jesus from our friend Deb Wolf (Counting My Blessings) — she’s another special friend who reminds us to count our blessings daily.
Joy, Junk, and Jesus is so simple, but so profound! With the joy, it builds a heart of gratitude as we think on the goodness in our lives. Then we get the opportunity to release the burdens and share them so others can support us in prayer. And finally, we put our focus back on Jesus and how He is there through everything! It keeps us authentic, yet doesn’t allow us to get our thoughts stuck in all the negative.
I am so grateful for you, Julie! You are a blessing!
Gratitude is my favorite. I love how God is cultivating it in my life and I love being around others who are intentionally grateful. Thanks for this post and for highlighting how good gratitude can be!
It is so much more fun to hang around with people who are intentionally grateful! I always walk away feeling energetic and my step a little lighter!
Blessings and smiles,
I’ve never met a blogger I know online in person yet. Must be awesome.
Nice thoughts. I believe in the power of gratitude.
It definitely was a great experience meeting Lori — it almost felt like a ‘once in a lifetime’ kinda thing. But you never know what other encounters God has in store. After all, the likelihood of having our paths cross were fairly slim, yet God made a way and I’m so glad he did.
Thanks for visiting, Lux!
Lux, I wish I could meet you!! You never know what God arranges!!!
Thanks for sharing your story! Close calls tend to leave me feeling more thankful, too, and it’s important to cultivate that attitude! You’re right that it’s hard to find the junk when we’re focused on gratitude 🙂
You’re right, Emily. That’s the kind of close call I never want to experience again so I’m making sure to soak up all the lessons this time around. 🙂
Amen, Emily! Close calls do have that effect!
This is great, Marva! (and Lori!) … perfect devotional for my Saturday morning here at the beach. Life has been very “lifey” lately. I need to focus on Joy & Jesus more.
So glad you are getting some time away at the beach, Dianne! Praying for that joy and Jesus to rise to the forefront of your thoughts♥
Lori, this is a wonderful mini-series! And Marva, your challenge to living more fully in gratitude is excellent! Making gratitude a daily part of my life has changed me profoundly. It makes the good times richer and the hard times easier to endure with a “big picture” perspective.
Love that, Crystal! “The good times richer and the hard times easier.” It truly does! Thanks for your kind words, friend!
Blessings and smiles,