Posts Tagged ‘gratitude’

Dumpster fire … that is what I have heard most to describe 2020, our world.

It seems like either the world is coming to an end or the journalists and reporters are so hyped up on bad news that they can deliver nothing else to us.

What is the antidote, the cure for everything that is so … 2020?

gratitude is the antidote

It may seem so simplistic, but giving thanks, being appreciative, not only are nice things to do, but they are also actions that change our brains. Odd as it may sound the more gratitude we practice in our lives, the more positive our thoughts become.

This would be the real life, there are studies with evidence behind them, working out of a biblical proverb:

“as a woman/man thinks, so is she/he”

Proverbs 23:7

In Canada this weekend we celebrate Thanksgiving. We decorate with pumpkins and colored leaves, gather with family and friends (or not … thanks Coronavirus), we roast a turkey, we wear our stretchy pants. But it is more than just a long weekend, for it is also an opportunity to be thankful in our thoughts, our actions and our words.

It’s the perfect opportunity to make eye contact with someone and say the words, “I am thankful for you,” or give someone a gift and just say, I was thinking fondly of you and wanted to show you I care, or write a letter, an email a note and just say I am thankful for you.

Just last week I had the opportunity to be on the receiving end of a gift from a stranger. When I approached the drive through window to pay for my steeped tea, the person working there said that the previous person had paid the $1.62 for my tea. I was shocked, speechless. Honestly, the way I felt was as if the cost paid was much, much more. I think it was because it was unexpected, undeserved. All I could do was feel the gratitude.

I just wish I had thought to pay it forward, covering the cost of the next person’s order, to keep the gratitude flowing. But … hindsight is 20/20.

As gratitude realigns our mind to focus on the positive, I hope that we might be able to respond to the negatives of 2020 with gratitude, offering thanks for who and what we have in our lives, rather than adding more fuel to the dumpster fire that is currently burning up the good in our minds, our world.

Happy thanksgiving to you, reader. I want you to know that, though I may not know you, I am thankful that you have taken the time to read my ramblings as I wander and wonder.


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Screen Shot 2018-10-03 at 6.54.35 AM.pngIn Canada, we celebrate Thanksgiving this coming weekend.

It is my most favourite holiday of the year, for it is always good to be reminded to give thanks … and there is always something to be thankful for.

Over the past number of weeks I have encountered, in a handful of places and ways, St. Ignatius’ prayer of Examen, and I find it to be a good outline for sincerely thankful prayer.

Ignatius of Loyola was born, in Spain, in the late fourteen hundreds and lived into the mid fifteen hundreds. He was a Catholic Priest who founded the Jesuits. The Prayer of Examen is from his book The Spiritual Exercises.

The Prayer of Examen is not rote but is reflective and personal/intimate.

The steps and order of prayer are as follows (from http://www.ignatianspirituality.com):

1. Become aware of God’s presence.
2. Review the day with gratitude.
3. Pay attention to your emotions.
4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it.
5. Look toward tomorrow.

Basically one starts out seeking God’s presence. Really this is more about us entering consciously, into his presence, then it is he entering into ours, for he is always with us … we simply are not always aware of this fact.

Then you look over your day, noticing all in it that you are thankful for.

Though we Christians do not normally put much stock into our emotions, and many would even say to not trust them. Yet God can speak to us in our feelings of joy, sorrow, melancholy, fear and anger. He may even awaken us, through the noting of our emotions of the day, to act in some way.

Then, choose one specific part of the day, it will come to you, to specifically pray about. Perhaps it will prompt to make an apology, a confession, a dinner for a friend in need.

Finally, pray for the day to come. For strength, for courage, for wisdom.

(click here for more details on how to pray the Examen).

Basically such reflective, personal prayer can not only be relevant when praying, but throughout the day, as our reflections begin to make us aware of God’s presence in all of our days. We can become sensitive to God’s presence in our life, in our days, not just when our head is bowed, or hands lifted in praise but when we are paying the bills, running kids to soccer and dance, standing in line at the grocery store.

It can convert us to followers of God who are intimately aware of his presence in every part of our day,  not just the times we bow our heads.

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Last week I wrote about how just doing ‘good’ is not enough, in my post If I … but don’t have Love.

The day after I wrote it, I received a post from one of the people whose blogs I follow, and I thought how timely it was, for where my head was on the issue of love, and social justice.

I love the heart of this woman!

Ann Voskamp, book writer (One Thousand Gifts), blog writer ( http://www.aholyexperience.com ), mother to six, wife to the Farmer, child of God.

This post had me silently ‘amen-ing’ her thoughts at 6am, smiling and eyes filling with the fluid of the heart.

images-3Ann deals inwardly, and then with words, with the plight of too many young women around the world. She deals with the need for revolutionary change, and where that change can be birthed. She deals with the message of the world (one of good intentions … but … without … love) and with the message of the power of gratitude, of love … in making the change.

The post, How Women Can Get Really Radical For Their Sisters, moved me. I encourage you to take a read.

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