Today I am continuing to share about the keys to helping us bounce back from disappointments through our transitions. Yesterday we discussed how being rooted in God’s Word can help us through disappointments. God reminds us in Joshua 1:9 “do not be discouraged”. Since we know that to be true than what do we do in place of being disappointed or discouraged? One thing I do is praise God for what is working in my life and this takes the focus off of whatever is disappointing me. Praising God in the chaos of life is a habit that has to be created and cultivated day in and day out. Praising God through gratitude helps create a positive attitude in us.
This is my second key to transitioning through disappointments - Have A Positive Attitude and cultivate it through gratitude! One practical way I do this is to end each day with a gratitude post on my Facebook page. My last post every night, for over a year now, starts with “Three things I am grateful for today:…”
One example of one of my gratitude posts:
Three things I am grateful for today: God; Grace; and Forgiveness! I needed all three today! And encouragement from three friends (Gloria, Kimberly and Lacey) - you ladies are amazing and I wouldn't trade you in for all the dark chocolate in the world!
Another less “spiritual” post:
Three things I am grateful for today: My friend, Raja, who has been sharing my blog posts; the hubs who saved the day with a creative dinner; and the opportunity to learn from my blogging friend, Kimberly, and the opportunity to share what she taught me with my friend, Dilshani!
Being grateful takes the attention off of what we don’t have and puts all the attention on what God has done and continues to do in our lives. The practice of posting what I am grateful for every night has done a surprising thing over the past year. I have noticed that I have even more to be grateful for. God talks about this laser focus in Philippians 4:8 (NIV) “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, what is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” When we are thinking about what is right, pure or lovely we can’t be thinking of our lack or anything negative. Light and dark can’t occupy the same space – not even in our minds.
You can also practice writing down what you are grateful for in a journal or talk about what you are grateful for with your spouse and kids at the dinner table.
Here is a fun way to cultivate a grateful heart within yourself and your family if posting on Facebook or journaling isn't your thing. Or, you need a BIGGER,visual reminder:
Create a Gratitude Jar like this one and write at least one thing you are grateful for every day for 365 days and toss the paper you write it on into your jar. At the end of the year, on December 31st, you can pull all the papers out and read them together.
The Bible tells us that God grows us and changes us - Romans 12:2a in the NLT version says “God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”
However, to change, we have to be willing to do things daily and intentionally.
What are you going to do intentionally today to change your thoughts so you can transition well during a normal day or a disappointing time in your life?