Gifts of Joy: Gratitude

GJ Gratitude


Ask for what you need, but be grateful for what you get. -Whitney English

Monday night I heard Whitney English share this statement via scope. My kids came home from their first year of school with a similar sentiment.

You get what you get and you don’t pitch a fit.

These are all ways to say, “Be grateful for what you have”.

Of course, I tell my kids often that by being born in one of the richest countries in the world, like the United States, we have more luxuries than the majority of the world. This is incredibly hard for either of them or myself (really) to completely understand, because we have always had a roof over our heads and warm floors under our feet. However, as a child I lived is a tiny old house where my father grew up of less than 500 square feet. I didn’t know any difference because my basic needs were provided. We felt rich to me, because we had shelter (it was very cold during the mild Alabama winters), food, transportation, and hand-me down or handmade clothing all with a whole lot of faith, hope and love.

Serving to poverty stricken areas in Mexico, Moldova, and Indonesia I have seen poverty. Yet, even among what I see as destitute, I see smiles of joy from children playing together and parents making what little they do have meet their family’s needs to the best of their ability.

Today, especially in the US, there is such a huge movement of entitlement with very little in the way of attitudes of gratitude.

I’m reminded of Ann Voskamp’s book 1000’s Gifts where it was through the counting of gifts that Ann discovered joy as she encountered God and opened her eyes to the work of his hand in simple daily living and in the world at large.

Ann continues to tell the stories of gratitude and inspire others through her blog

How often do we stop to count the ways that we have been blessed? Are we grateful for what we have been given? Do we dare begin to count the gifts?

Today, let’s take a moment to take inventory of the gifts we have been given and give thanks. Instead of looking at everything we don’t have or cannot provide to others, begin looking at all the little things we do have and find joy in those things.

The Gifts of Joy Challenge is to tell someone you know why you are grateful for them. Share with them specific ways that you see them living a life that inspires you.

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