Are We Grateful?
I read an article in the paper the other day about Captain Mark Kelly, the husband of Gabrielle Gifford, the senator shot in Tuscon, Arizona. He said, “I hadn’t been a big believer in fate until recently. I thought the world just spins, the clock just ticks and things happen for no particular reason.” USA Today
Captain Kelly knows that people are praying for his wife. He sees their faith. He sees God at work in the life of his wife and the lives of all the people touched by this tragedy.
He continued on in his thought process, recalling all the words of comfort, the flowers, the candles and the prayer vigils when Gabrielle was in intensive care. He says, “You pray when God is there in your heart. And prayer isn’t just asking. It’s also listening for answers and expressing gratitude, (my emphasis) which I have done a lot lately.” AZ Central
All of this reminded me again of Ann Voskamp’s Gratitude Community. Taking each day and giving thanks, each day no matter what – find things to thank God for. It builds in your hearts. It makes that connection to God closer and closer. In her first post for the One Thousand Gifts, Ann states that research says:
At the end of the 10 weeks, participants who’d kept a gratitude journal felt better about their lives as a whole and were more optimistic about the future than participants in either of the other two conditions. To put it into numbers, according to the scale we used to calculate well-being, they were a full 25 percent happier than the other participants. Those in the gratitude condition reported fewer health complaints.
People who kept a gratitude journal reported feeling more joyful, enthusiastic, interested, attentive, energetic, excited, determined, and strong than those in the hassles condition. They also reported offering others more emotional support or help with a personal problem— supporting the notion that gratitude motivates people to do good. And this was not limited to what they said about themselves. We sent surveys to people who knew them well, and these significant others rated participants in the gratitude group as more helpful than those in the other groups.
If you blog, Ann says feel free to join the Gratitude Community. If you don’t blog you can still journal your thankfulness.
Watch for my list to start next Friday as I join others in being grateful.
To view the trailer for One Thousand Gifts,
Father, we thank you so much for this opportunity to look for gifts. Sometimes I know that I get sidetracked with stuff and forget to look for You all around me. Keep my eyes open and my heart sweet to see Your gifts each day. In Jesus’ name. AMEN