I have always believed that if there is only one secret to living a full, rewarding and joyful life it is found in the decision to just be thankful, all day, every day.
This one singular heart attitude, that of choosing to live in a place of gratitude, holds more sway over the quality of your life than does your income bracket, your street address or even the pain of your past.
Determining to be a person of sincere praise and appreciativeness will frame your life in a beautiful and miraculous way. Gratitude will erase days of pain and create days of blessing.
Thanksgiving will enlarge the small places of your life into rooms of grand bounty and sweet strength. Praise will turn the gray and blah of humdrum responsibilities into sparkling opportunities of service in the kingdom of God.
It is in choosing to be thankful, sincerely and joyfully thankful, that ordinary days turn into holidays.
Days that are identified by wretchedness and wreathed in ugly become events of heavenly inspiration and sweet remembrance when we use the paintbrush of gratitude to change their color.
This is your life. You will never have another. This life is your only chance at joy, your only opportunity for destiny and your only occasion for capturing a delightful heart.
You must discover the power of thanksgiving if you long for your life to make a difference. If you are thankful for even the small things in life, you have discovered an eternal treasure.
If you can look at a sunset and bask in its presence, you have tapped into treasure.
If you can giggle back at a baby with a silly grin on your face, you have tapped into treasure.
If you can make snow angels with the little girls in your life, you have tapped into treasure.
If you can catch fireflies with a freckle-faced boy, you have tapped into treasure.
If the glory discovered in vibrant rainbows, in the majestic roar of the ocean's waves and in the morning song of the bird cause you to well up with praise, you have learned how to value the truly important commodities in life.
Conversely, if you choose to focus on your deficits rather than on your gifts, you will always be miserable. If all you do is whine and complain and worry, you are the only one it wounds and ultimately subtracts from.
Did you know it doesn't really matter what your circumstances are? Once you begin to lock into this miraculous lifestyle of thanksgiving, although your circumstances may never change, you will change. You change from being in bondage to disappointments and pain to living a life of the joy found only within the gates of His powerful presence!
The moment you become grateful, it changes the atmospheric conditions of your life. Thanksgiving will take you out of your human pain and place you in the very courts of His presence. What a miraculous possibility!!
"Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord, He is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise; be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy endures forever, and His faithfulness to all generations" (Ps. 100).
Carol McLeod is an author and popular speaker at women's conferences and retreats, where she teaches the Word of God with great joy and enthusiasm. Carol encourages and empowers women with passionate and practical biblical messages mixed with her own special brand of hope and humor. She has written five books, including No More Ordinary, Holy Estrogen!, The Rooms of a Woman's Heart and Defiant Joy! Her most recent book, Refined: Finding Joy in the Midst of the Fire, was released last August. Her teaching DVD, The Rooms of a Woman's Heart, won the Telly Award, a prestigious industry award for excellence in religious programming. You can also listen to Carol's "A Jolt of Joy" program daily on the Charisma Podcast Network. Connect with Carol or inquire about her speaking to your group at justjoyministries.com.
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