5 Things I’m Grateful For
When we’re going through the storms of life we tend to complain alot and overlook the many things we have to be grateful for.
Over the past two years I have been on a self reflecting, healing journey with God. It have had many tough realisations, moments that broke me gracefully into realising I needed to change!
One of those moments was that I have spent all my time complaining and stressing over things that really aren’t that bad. I complained about everything, literally everything. I spent most of my time fretting over what I don’t have, comparing my life to others. I would scroll through Facebook or Instagram looking at other people’s lifestyles, seeing all the dinners, weekends away, fun happy moments. At one point I even thought about taking myself off social media because it was just too difficult to see, given what we were going through.
While everyone else was gaining things in their lives and building memories, we were losing things and becoming bitter about it. I felt so depressed, I didn’t even want to get out bed but I had to force myself some days to put on that prideful happy face to make sure others didn’t realise we weren’t ok.
There are two things that brought major breakthrough for me in this area of my life:
At church in the past few months, we have been busy with a series called “Milk and Honey”. One of my breakthrough moments came through this series, when the Pastor said to us: “The Promised Land is not a place it’s a person..you can be in the promised land in your one bedroom apartment, in your double story house or in your mansion”. This is so true! I realised in that moment that what I was chasing after shouldn’t be a better lifestyle – but rather living life God’s way, seeking to better myself His way. My happiness did not need to depend on whether we had things or not, where we lived or fancy dinners or weekends away. I have met people along my journey who have much less than I do, but yet they are so happy and content, on fire for God and when you walk into their space you can really feel the presence of God there! They didn’t live their lives worrying about what they didn’t have but they were grateful for every small thing they received that would make their lives just that little bit better. It was about where they were at in their relationship with God, how much of their lives they had surrendered to Him and how grateful they were for what He had already given them.
I am partnered with a really great company, who gives us mentors in building our own online business. Part of the mentorship programme is mindset, alot of the advice and training I apply biblically. Another part of the mentorship programme is daily accountability and they encourage us to mention 5 things daily that we are grateful for. This was a challenge for me, as I didn’t feel grateful about anything in my life besides God. I felt like such a failure and everyday felt like a failure. I did this task anyway, so I searched high and low throughout each day looking back to find things to be grateful for no matter how big or small they were or insignificant they seemed.
One day, I couldn’t find anything significant that had happened in my day. I must admit I freaked out a little bit, how was I going to post my accountability with no gratitude! So I had to think how is my life different to others on this given day. I realised – it’s so cold and it’s raining. I may not have a big fancy home with beautiful furniture in it, but I sure do have a warm bed to sleep in and I’m sheltered from the rain. I sure did have a meal to fill my tummy, in fact I had 2 that day. I sure did have a warm cup of coffee to warm me up! I sure do have children, a husband and family. I sure am on a journey with God! Suddenly I felt happier about my day because I did have so much to be grateful for and having those things felt like more to be grateful for than any other success that could happen in a day. This is my life everyday – I have more than what some others have.
It made me sad to remember all of those who have so much less. There are some who have no shelter, who sleep on wet pavements in the rain, with a wet blanket and wet clothes. There are some who don’t have access to the kind of warmth we do on these cold days. There are some who cannot have children, some who are longing for a husband, some who have lost their families.
It all got me thinking, even those that have more, some of those I might be following on social media might not be happy with what they have either. When we seek after a certain lifestyle I guess nothing is enough.
The world always has something new to offer. We have a great phone, but then a new one comes out and we need that. We have a great car but then a new one comes out and we need that. Nothing we have just becomes enough. It’s never enough, there’s always something we going to wish we had.
I’ve learnt to become grateful for what I have even though it’s not a lot. I’ve learnt to stop seeking after what everyone else has that I don’t have. I have enough, I have my personal growth journey, the love of God, a family, a roof over my head, food, clothing and warmth. That’s enough! Anything that comes after that is a blessing stemmed from gratitude for what I do have.
We should live our lives with an attitude of gratitude, being grateful for our jobs, salaries, homes, people in our lives. We all have so much to be grateful for. Every one of us is more privileged than someone else we may or may not know. Blessing does not only come in the form of wealth, it can come in such small little things that we tend to overlook.
“give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18
I would encourage anyone to do this daily exercise of listing 5 things you are grateful for every night before you go to sleep, and taking the time to thank God for those blessings! Doing this daily has taken me from a place of being bitter about my life to finding happiness and being content with my life and where it’s going. God deserves all the glory, thanks and praise!
“Enter his gates with Thanksgiving, enter His courts with praise, give thanks to Him and praise His name” – Psalm 100:4