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For most of 2012 and 2013, the Lord had been teaching me specifically about gratefulness, through books like “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp, and “7” by Jen Hatmaker. I wanted to figure out how to go a little public with that gratefulness, to draw my own attention to the little gifts that fill my life.
I decided that in 2014, I would share daily on social media something for which I was grateful…any small gift from the Lord. Not just during November for Thanksgiving, and not just during the holiday season, but every day.
“Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” (1 Thes. 5:16-19, NLT)
I wanted to choose joy, I wanted to live out a life of prayer, so, every day, through Twitter and Facebook, I shared. I knew that not everyone would read what I had to say, but the point for me became to witness to the beauty of life around me.
“Day 76: thankful for friends who push me a little bit to socialize, even when I may not feel like it.”
“Day 91: thankful for chocolate peanut butter cups. Yes, I’m a bit of a foodie.”
There were a few stretches of time throughout the year when I fell behind in my daily task. I began to recognize times when the Enemy was trying to get in my head and steal my joy, or distract me from my act of Thanksgiving. I had many moments of brushing myself off and stumbling forward, when the last thing I wanted to say was “Thank You, Jesus”. I refused to be defeated. I felt urgency and a command to continue to my counting.
“Day 198: thankful for the up-and-up feeling of the better end of a bad cold.”
“Day 345: thankful for productive days, even if they’re hard.”
In counting my gifts, I became moved to be more generous. I began to look for more ways that I could share with others. When we see something as freely given to us, we are much more likely to want to share it, right?
Even though I only publicly shared one gift daily, my perspective was changing and I was finding myself overwhelmed by the goodness of God in several moments throughout my days. And I turned right around and gave thanks for this new ability to live life as abundantly as God designed me to do so.
Thankfulness has been this epic journey, this retraining of my brain and soul. I’ve gone from angry, whiny, and bitter, to open, loving, and gracious. I know that my sound, stable mind and emotional security are gifts themselves, and that the Lord has been working His healing in me for several years. So how could I not utter thanks for every little thing that comes my way?
I see my Savior with new eyes now, and I can’t wait to see what 2015 brings.
You can read more from Gilda on her blog: www.seekingstriving.blogspot.com.