Fearfully Wonderfully Me

Growing in God and Inspiring Young Women Through Faith and Fashion

Category: thanksgiving

3 Ways Gratitude Will Change Your Life

I used to keep a detailed gratitude journal. I challenged myself to write at least 5 things a day that I was thankful for–even on the toughest days. Although this might seem like a cute positive thinking exercise, there is so much more to a lifestyle of gratitude.

I found that even on my worst days when having a chronic illness made me bedridden or when I felt the heavy weight of being single press in on me, I could still choose gratitude.

Gratitude not only changes our thinking; it transforms our whole lives. Here are 3 ways practicing gratitude has transformed my life and faith.

Re-tracing God’s Faithfulness

When I flip through my gratitude journal from three years ago, I nod my head and smile at all of the little (and big) ways God has been faithful to me. Every beautiful sunset or time with a beloved friend or family member is a reminder of God’s compassion.

Sometimes prayers mingled with my list of blessings, and I can’t believe how many prayers God has answered! When we keep a gratitude journal or even just recite our blessings, we re-trace the history of God’s faithfulness in our lives.

 

Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. (Psalm 36:5 NIV)

Life gets hard sometimes–that’s not a secret. But remembering God’s past faithfulness and blessings reminds us just how awesome and powerful He is. Gratitude carries us through life’s struggles by reminding us of the one who’s always holding on to us.

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3 Ways Gratitude Will Change Your Life

Gratitude Lifts Our Perspective

I’m reading an amazing book by Max Lucado called Anxious for Nothing. This book shows us how we can conquer anxiety through the powerful Word of God, and one strategy is by expressing gratitude.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God,which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7 NIV)

It’s so tempting to limit our prayers by simply asking for things. Yes, prayer involves making humble requests to God, but praising God in our prayers gives us a breakthrough like no other.

When we praise and worship, our problems are no longer the focus. Instead, we can clearly see the Prince of Peace. When we lift Jesus above ourselves, we find our burdens are lifted as well.

We all want peace in our lives, but peace can’t possibly come from our ever-changing circumstances. However, when we praise God and express our gratitude for who He is, we shift our perspective towards a heavenly peace.

Creating a Heart of Overflow 

Gratitude has a powerful effect that can change the world–it gets us outside of ourselves.

When we take time to remember God’s faithfulness and lift Him up in praise, we make room in our hearts to remember and encourage others.

Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. (Colossians 3:16 NIV)

When we find Godly contentment, we begin to see those with physical and spiritual needs that can be ministered to. A lifestyle of gratitude and Godly joy is contagious. Our hearts open up and become homes for the lost and broken–which is exactly what Jesus did. When we look to Jesus with a heart of gratitude, love and joy overflow.

I’ve recently started a new gratitude journal, and I love the way it’s changing my heart. Sometimes I’ll stop to look outside the window of my workplace and admire the sunshine, praising God for the light He shines on me every moment.

What about you lovely one? What are you grateful for today? I believe that if you start counting your blessings daily, you’ll see the light of Jesus shining through every ordinary moment.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below 🙂 

Happy Thanksgiving lovely one! I hope you have a peaceful and joyful holiday surrounded by people you love. Next week I am having surgery on my elbow again, so there will not be a blog post for the holiday.  I will be counting my blessings, including your love and prayers!

(Images from Canva and Unsplash)

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A Surprising Way to Cultivate Gratitude

It’s Thanksgiving–a celebration of joy, gratitude, family, and delicious food. And while I plan on spending time with loved ones and going into a turkey coma, I can’t help but think of those who are overlooked this season.

You see, I know a woman whose teenage son died last weekend. Her heart is broken. I also know a family whose father is slowly dying of cancer. Their spirits are weary.

Where is the Thanksgiving turkey for these people? Most of the time we struggle to find gratitude in our everyday lives (myself included). How does remembering these hurting souls help us in cultivating a heart of gratitude?

The Calling

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, (Isaiah 61:1 NIV

God has given us a calling to bring the good news of the Gospel to others. Our calling is to feed the hungry, love the outcast, and comfort the brokenhearted.

However, we are so easily distracted by everyday problems that we don’t even notice those who are hurting right in front of us. We all go through seasons of hardship and loss. Right now I am battling a chronic illness, and sometimes I just want to lock myself in my room and focus on how bad I feel.

But the best way to experience healing and joy is by sharing the Gospel and helping somebody else.

True Gratitude

The moment we turn our focus outward and love the people around us is the moment we experience the love of Christ flowing through us. The moment we stop focusing on all of our problems and dedicate time to encourage others is the moment we experience an overflow of gratitude.

That’s powerful! Imagine shining a light by praying for someone you know is hurting, or volunteering to feed the hungry. Imagine inviting a person who has no place to go to your Thanksgiving dinner. Even a simple text message of encouragement makes more of an impact than we realize.

This, lovely one, is how you love your neighbor. And this is how you cultivate true gratitude.

All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. (2 Corinthians 4:15 NIV)

Thanks for reading and happy Thanksgiving! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below 🙂

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Being Thankful During Hard Times

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There are a lot of things to be grateful for in life, but sometimes it’s hard to be glad if you are struggling.

Right now I’m going through a lot of change in my life–both good and difficult. That’s life. There’s change and loss. I’m just being real.

I want you to know that it’s possible to be a thankful Christian even when life gets tough. 

Emotions aren’t singular; at times it can seem like they overwhelm us.  We can be a whole rainbow of emotions on any given day, and that’s okay. That’s also  good news for those of us who may be sad or stressed this year, but still want to take part in Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is more than just a holiday, it’s a lifestyle–through the good times and the bad.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God (Philippians 4:6 NKJV).

We can talk to God about anything and everything. Through our deepest hurts and fears we can still be thankful because God hears us and He cares for us.

So what am I thankful for?

My Family. We are not perfect, and we have experienced loss, but I still love them. Lord help me to never take them for granted.

My Friends and Church. A community of imperfect people who always have your back is more than amazing.

My Health. Although my body is complicated and I do struggle, I know it can be so much worse. The doctors tell me I’m lucky. I know I’m blessed with purpose.

The Youth Group I Serve. We will always be a family–through the good, the bad, and the hilarious.

My Blog and the Blogging Community. There have been times of writer’s block and discouragement, but lovely reader you give me so much support and love.  Thank you for being a part of my journey.

My Faithful Jesus. You are the God who lifts me up when I fall. You give me strength when I am weak. I am so thankful to be Your daughter.


Thank you for reading this! I hope you all have a blessed Thanksgiving (with lots of good food!).

What are you thankful for?  Let me know in the comments below 🙂

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Crushed Velvet + Thanksgiving Blues

Happy Friday lovely readers and followers!  Thanksgiving is next week here in America. I can’t wait for all of the turkey, cranberry sauce, and potatoes (#foodieproblems)!

I will say that this year feels so much…heavier. This is the first Holiday season that my Grandma Jean won’t be here. Someone who was such a staple at all of the family events is now in heaven. I know her spirit is still here, but I can’t see her or hear her voice. She won’t be able to enjoy the holiday decorations or watch me open up gifts.

I’m sorry if I’m making any of you sad. I know all of us must go through loss like this at some point of our lives. My greatest hope is in Jesus, who is always my comfort in times of grief. I am very thankful for my family, my church, and my friends. I am also very grateful for you, dear reader! Loss helps us to remember the important things in life–God, family, and loving others.

Today I made a collage inspired by the holidays and a hot fall trend: Velvet. 

 

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Velvet, especially the highly textured crushed velvet, has been making its way back into fashion (welcome back, 90’s!). Sometimes velvet can feel a bit costume-like, so I prefer wearing it in dark colors like black and navy (red also looks beautiful for Christmas). This dainty dress with a high neckline and 3/4 sleeves is both classy and unique.

I paired this dress with some black ankle boots that have a sturdy heal. This gives the dress an edgy vibe. Don’t forget black chandelier earrings and some burgundy lipstick to complete this romantic look.


I hope you liked this post! What are  you thankful for? Tell me in the comments below!

Like my fashion posts? See all of my collages and more on my Polyvore blog.

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May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant (Psalm 119:76 NIV).

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