Choose Gratitude

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If I was to ever get a tattoo I would have the word cherish inked on my inner wrist as a constant reminder to be still.  Cherish is word that makes me stop and soak up the here and now.  It’s a word that reminds me to search for goodness.  

When my mind takes me down dark paths of anger, jealousy, or bitterness and I sense that my soul is about to get stuck in the quicksand of sad this one word brings me back to noticing the green of the grass and the blue of the skies.  It forces me to take my focus off the negative and instead search for the positive.

At times it can be challenging to find blessings to count. We don’t always have a choice as to where our anchor has been cast.

I don’t know where your anchor is sitting dear heart.  You might be here because you’ve just experienced a miscarriage or given birth to a stillborn child.  You might be having marital problems, found out your mom has cancer, or are living through the divorce of your parents.  Chances are you probably feel as if you are literally drowning in your sorrows.

You know what? Not a single one of us would have ever chosen any of the above circumstances as the place to set our anchors.  And yet here we are.  Tethered to the storm.  

But this “now” is the only place we have to live. The future and the past are completely out of our control so we must somehow navigate the tempest that whirls around.

Dear Soul… it’s okay to be scared of the storm.  To be mad at the storm.  To straight up hate the storm, cry out in anguish, and curse the swirl.

But we can’t just hunker down and pretend it doesn’t exist.  We must take action.  Search for blessings in order to protect your soul.  

Just think.

What happens when a hurricane approaches the shore?  That’s right.  People hustle to board their houses with lumbar so as to avoid severe internal damage.  They want to protect the structure.  Do the same with your heart.  Guard it fiercely from bitterness.

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.  Proverbs 4:23

Can I challenge you?  Over the next week I want you to work on your mindset by cultivating a spirit of gratitude.

Each evening pause and review your day.  Search for three things to count as blessings.  Write them down.

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These blessings might be small.  They might be insignificant.  They might be overpowered by the grief in your life, but still…write them down.

Anchor your soul in gratitude for what the Lord has done.  You might not be rescued from the storm, but you can look around for the beauty in the midst of the upheaval.

Grief isn’t something that easily passes.  The storm will linger and revisit you over and over.  Some moments will feel like a downpour and some moments will feel like a hurricane.

Hold tight dear friend; in the midst of the tempest choose to cherish.

It will help ease your soul and still your mind.

I’m on the other side of the storm now- drifting in calm waters but I still continue to seek out the beauty of the moment.

I know another storm will eventually hit.  Because that is life.  And I’ll still cry out and lament, but I’ll anchor my soul by searching for evidence of God’s goodness.  Will you?

My Gratitude Journal

What are you thankful for today?  

I’m honored to be a member of Suzie Eller’s #livefree community.

Live Free Thursday

 

About Sarah

Sarah Lewis Philpott, Ph.D lives in the south on a sprawling cattle farm where she raises her two mischievous children (and one little baby!) and is farm wife to her high school sweetheart. It's quite the chaotic household, but she adores the blessings God has provided. Sarah is represented by The Blythe Daniel Literary Agency. Her book, Loved Baby: 31 Devotions for Helping you Grieve and Cherish Your Child After Pregnancy Loss, will be published in October '17 by Broadstreet Publishing. You can go ahead an pre-order it on Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, and at Christian Book. Sarah is a lover of coffee (black), rocking chairs, the outdoors, and Hemingway. Visit with Sarah at her All-American Mom blog where she writes about life on the farm and cherishing life in joy & in sorrow.

8 thoughts on “Choose Gratitude

  1. Oh this is just so beautifully written, Sarah. Your words softened my heart and opened it to truly cherishing each moment. This weekend ahead. Each and every blessing I will count. Oh yes- your word is my new one.

    Thank you. <3

  2. I love your heart, and your words. They are so encouraging and real. Being still is one of my biggest struggles. Yet, when I surrender and am still, then comes the biggest blessing! This was a joy to read!

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