Lifestyle

Exceptional Gratitude

Gratitude works like a magnet!

Grateful people attract grateful, joyful people, and joyful circumstances into their lives. I have discovered that when I am the most joyful it is due in no small part because I’ve been harboring thoughts of appreciation for what the Lord has provided. I have also become aware that when I feel a sense of lack, it is because I’ve focused on what is absent from my life rather than what or who is present.

Maybe you’ve spent too much time focusing on your spouse’s quirks and overlooked all the reasons you married him or her. Perhaps you’ve focused on what was absent in your life and not spent enough time appreciating what or who is present.

Gratitude will bring you back to the present moment, to all that is working well in your life right now. Gratitude predisposes your heart to joy and happiness.

Over the last few years, I have been thinking about how to be “exceptionally grateful.” How can I practice a relentless life of praise and thanksgiving? I have realized that no one is born “exceptionally grateful.” In fact, the world is in direct opposition to us ever becoming “exceptionally grateful.”

I have become convinced that gratitude is learned and cultivated throughout our lives. Gratitude is a lifestyle that must be intentionally developed if we are ever to live in all that God has destined for us.

GRATITUDE IS YOUR CHOICE! When you intentionally, with great determination, focus on life’s blessings rather than life’s challenges you will have taken the first step towards being “exceptionally grateful.” When you focus on your blessings, your life will feel abundant. When you focus on what’s missing, life feels incomplete.

GRATITUDE IS A FEELING! It is that sense of joy and appreciation that is a response to having received a gift. We have received the gift of righteousness and grace. We have received “abundant life.” Gratitude is the feeling produced by the recognition of that life.

GRATITUDE IS A CAPACITY! We can expand our ability, our skill to be grateful. We can enlarge our awareness of the blessings, the gifts, and the graces that we have received. Some of them are concrete; others are spiritual and yet unseen. But we can develop our ability to respond to both.

My family and I were reminded that success in life can not be measured by our accomplishments, but rather by those whom we touch with our lives; by the lives that are changed because of us and by the love that we receive and share. Porter touched our lives. Porter changed our lives. We will forever love Porter and look forward to seeing him.

Porter McCallen Moore was born sleeping on September 27, 2017. His lungs would never be filled with breath and yet has spoken more into my family than we could ever imagine possible.

Porter accomplished nothing in human terms and yet he touched our lives in a deep and lasting way. To never have breathed air into those precious lungs this child touched the lives of countless people.

There was nothing good about this experience. It came with a grief that is overwhelming and yet God’s grace was sufficient in this extraordinary circumstance. The peace that we as a family have received has fluctuated depending in no small way on whether or not we actively and intentionally practiced gratitude. It has been awkward and unnatural at times.

In all honesty, it was gut-wrenching to watch. Steve and Johannah kept telling the Lord how grateful they were for this child, this child that they would never see grow into an adult. They gave praise to God for His goodness in the very midst of nothing good. I wept as I watched “exceptional gratitude” on display. Amplified by the right focus and grounded in God’s promises, it was an amazing demonstration of authentic faith.

I share this moment with you because I want you to become hypersensitive to the power of gratitude. I’m am confident that if you recognize that gratitude is foundational to life, you will truly live a joyful, abundant and eternal life.

In the midst of nothing good, in the midst of indescribable grief, gratitude will release the Grace of Christ into your life.

I want to encourage you to live expressing appreciation consistently in your thoughts, words, and actions. I want to encourage you to choose to be grateful, to feel grateful, and to increase your capacity to be grateful.

There are moments that life will require, perhaps demand, “exceptional gratitude.”

Gratitude is a magnet! It will attract the Grace, the Goodness and the Greatness of God in moments of your greatest need.

Live Grateful!