I have a great life! I live in a beautiful condo on a golf course across from Maumee Bay. I am married to a generous, funny, supportive man. I get to spend winters in Florida near my daughter and her family. But this morning I woke up and saw a mayfly on my window and none of that mattered! All I could think about was the upcoming two weeks of messy, stinky, swarming bugs that descend upon those of us who live near the lake once or twice each summer. They had arrived! Seriously, is this what I’m going to focus on today? In the midst of my 1,000 blessings (actually, I’ve only gotten up to 210 so far), I’m going to focus on mayflies?
Well, scientists tell us that the presence of mayflies indicates the lake is healthy—so maybe mayflies are actually Blessing No. 211! See that? I just changed my perspective! Now instead of viewing the mayflies as a nuisance (well, they still are!), I am grateful because they are a sign of something good.
During the weekend service, speaker and author Barb Roose told us that we all have a “negativity bias.” We can’t help but see all that is wrong in our lives and the world. We don’t focus on the blessings, big and small, that we have. It takes intention and work (sometimes really hard work) to change our perspective—to look on the sunny side of life! I am grateful to God that I am generally an optimistic person. I feel sorry for those who have fallen into the habit of only looking at the negative side of any situation. It hurts my heart to know that they live under a cloud of negativity, which often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
“Gratitude is giving thanks and passing that sense of appreciation along,” Barb said. Sometimes it is difficult to find something to be grateful for, especially under our current circumstances and in light of recent events. We need to change our perspective—take the focus off ourselves and put it back on God! By training ourselves to see God’s blessings in everyday things, we will also train ourselves to give God glory in all things.
Gratitude gives life. As Christians, we have so much to be thankful for, even when the day doesn’t seem so sunny, or should I say, summery.
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
What good gifts has God given you? How can you show your gratitude for them?
Fill out the Monday’s section of the Summer Side of Life Journal.
Begin a gratitude journal. If you have been marking your moments this week, you already have a great start.
Listen to “Another in the Fire” by Hillsong United.
My dear Jesus, as I think about the song, “Another in the Fire,” it reminds me of how good you are to me, that you have stood with me every day of my life. You love me, you guide and protect me, and you bless me with wonderful gifts. When I look at where I was when you found me, and where I am today, how can I not fall on my knees in grateful worship? “Should I ever need reminding what power set me free, there is a grave that holds no body, and now that power lives in me.” I am grateful, Lord. Let my praise be a fragrant offering to you. Amen.
This post was written by Lauri White. Lauri is one of the 25 people that God used to start CedarCreek in the Fall of 1995, and was on staff until 2013. Lauri loves Jesus, and loves helping people, especially women, live out of the truth about who we are in Christ. She and her husband Mike live in Oregon, but now spend winter months in Florida near daughter Kelda and her family.
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