Posted in Sarah's Attic Of Treasures

The Stubbornness of Intentional Gratitude {For Those Lonely On Christmas}

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The Stubbornness of Intentional Gratitude By Jennifer Dukes Lee,

{From Sarah:This was a post Jennifer wrote for Thanksgiving. I thought it was also appropriate for any day…Like Christmas Day.
Merry Christmas to those of you who are alone today. Or Lonely.
Love Sarah}

The days when I don’t feel like singing at all, are the days when I need to sing most of all.

I know I’m not alone. Because I’ve read the emails you’ve sent me. I’ve prayed over the requests you’ve delivered on Facebook. I know that many of you don’t feel like singing at all this Thanksgiving. Being grateful feels hard because of what you’re going through.

Friend, maybe this is when we need to sing the most. Maybe this is when we need to be loudest in our praise. We can’t wait for perfect conditions to be grateful. Gratitude is more than a nice gesture acknowledging the gifts in our lives. It is the stubborn refusal to be held hostage by fear and despair. It’s saying to the world — and to ourselves — that despite everything, this old world is still a beautiful place. No matter how hopeless it all seems, there’s always, always something to be thankful for.

This year, I’ve come to believe that gratitude is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to look like … and celebrating it for what it already is.

And I’m inviting you to join me.

How Gratitude Makes You Happier

thehappinessdare_july-2016_hi-res_13-2 When we look for things that make us grateful, we start seeing them. And when we start noticing them, we are making actual investments in the thoughts of our future selves. We are building neural pathways, all the while becoming more resourced on the inside. When we are more resourced with happiness, we have a kind of happiness bank that we can draw from on our hardest days.

We can begin accumulating resources in our happiness banks by taking five minutes every day to consider our blessings. It’s a good practice to write them down, but you don’t have to. Merely thinking of your blessings has a profound effect on your outlook. We can devote five minutes a day, dwelling on the good things and thanking the one who gave them to us. I understand that you may not be one of those unstoppably positive people whom you know—the kind of person who wakes up singing songs, the kind of person who relentlessly posts cuddly puppy pictures on Facebook. I understand how you might be inclined to forgo counting your blessings on your hardest days. And I totally get how it feels selfish to make a list of what’s right in your little world when you know there’s a girl in a developing country who can see the ribs under her skin.

Thank God anyway. We must.

There are so many good gifts here in this world. Clean sheets and Frisbee golf and kites and reruns of Friends. A cool breeze through a cracked window. A Charlie Brown Christmas on a cold December night. An overdue date with your husband, and his arm over your shoulder at the movies. A new bottle of bubble bath, a fresh haircut, leggings-and-boots weather, the smell of a bookstore, a long rope of licorice.

Thank God for what you have been given and then use your gratefulness as a way to share the gospel with a world in need of a reason to praise.

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Author:

My real name is Debra (Debbie Sue). Sarah is a nickname given to me in high school. My husband has always called me that so here in Florida It's all I am known by. I was born and raised in Illinois. My son and I moved to Colorado in 1982. I taught school for 17 years. Then I ran a homeschooling/preschool/daycare until 2006 when I moved to Florida after my son, Bobby died suddenly. He was almost 26. Danny and I live and work at a state park here. I miss the mountains and climate of Colorado. I miss snow and the four seasons. I miss Bobby.

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