I almost missed them…
All of the wonderful things God did in 2015.
Then as the clock counted down toward my kids’ bedtime and we lifted our fancy glasses half-filled with chocolate milk, we began recounting events from the past 365 days…
“Avery started 1st grade.”
“Yeah, and Emory started kindergarten!”
“We went to summer camp.”
“We got a house!”
“Daddy built lots of things.”
“We played with friends.”
“WE GOT A TRAMPOLINE!!”
My kids’ excitement grew and, I must admit, mine did too.
Yeah… yeah, we did do all those things.
Well, God did all those things.
Gratitude welled up to my eyeballs.
This was something I hadn’t felt in a while. An old familiar friend.
While I looked back and saw a year that seemed wasted, my kids recognized every beautiful gift in it.
I couldn’t see it before, but my gratitude had been crowded out. The fog of long days and sleepless nights, stress and hardship, change and loss had blinded me from beauty God was working in my life. Other times, entitlement rotted my thankfulness, leaving it unexpressed.
So the question I’ve been asking myself is this: What can I do to keep gratitude at the forefront of my life?
I think what I’m discovering is it’s a daily practice of “chocolate milk cheers.”
Not with literal milk and glasses and all that jazz, but more mindful gratitude.
It’s waking up in the morning and thanking God for another blank slate.
It’s pausing at lunch to reflect on the pace of my day and the attitude of my heart.
It’s going to bed with a prayer on my tongue…
God, thank you for my husband.
Thank you for love.
Thank you for our health.
Thank you for food on our table and a job to wake up to…
Intentionally practicing “chocolate milk cheers” is changing me from the inside out. Gratitude has taken back the driver’s seat from complaining and negativity, allowing me to see all our blessings more clearly.
With thankfulness at the forefront, again, the words flow more quickly these days…
God, thank you for clothes on our backs.
Thank you for your forgiveness.
Thank you for your love that I can’t even begin to comprehend…
Gratitude breeds more gratitude.
And all that gratitude gives birth to joy.
Then we actually begin to enjoy the things God intended for us--imagine that!
My pastor always states, “What you fail to celebrate will leave your life”. And while, as children of God, His goodness towards us never ceases, I believe our ability to recognize it can and will if we don’t.
Friend, don’t let gratitude be choked out by entitlement.
Don’t allow a bad moment, month, or season blind you from your many, many blessings.
And don’t let everything you wish you were or had keep you from enjoying all that God has given to you.
Begin the habit of “chocolate milk cheers” starting right now.
God, thank you for…
Celebrate, and stand amazed in gratitude.
Word of the Day:
I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. (Psalms 9:1)
Father, thank You for the countless blessings You’ve given me. I must admit I’ve allowed them to become clouded by pain, negativity, and even entitlement. Forgive me for the times I have been ungrateful and unyielding. Open my eyes to see the many, wondrous ways you are working in my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Author: Katie Gibson