A Grateful Heart is a Happy Heart

Thanksgiving is such a great holiday. A time to get together with family and friends—and feast! I mean, give thanks.

The Bountiful Life

The lavish Thanksgiving table that most of us indulge in symbolizes to me the bountiful life that we have. We have so much! So much food, so many material possessions.  Truly, we live in a land of plenty. And though many, many households have experienced financial loss in the past several years, even in our struggles, we are far richer than most of the world.

We have to keep perspective to stay thankful. It’s easy to focus on things we need and areas where our checkbook falls short, but when we think about the 870 million people who are hungry today (source) and who do not have enough food, we quickly realize we are blessed.

Gratefulness is Good for You

We have much to be thankful for, so we need to actively give thanks. This is a great time of year to be reminded how valuable a grateful heart is. It’s the perfect time to start a gratefulness journal to jot down 3-5 things a day, or even every week, for which we are thankful.

Studies show that gratefulness will literally make us “happier and healthier.” It will improve our outlook on life and encourages positive interactions with others. “Recent studies have concluded that the expression of gratitude can have profound and positive effects on our health, our moods and even the survival of our marriages.” (For this source and more info, click here.) That’s a lot of benefits for just saying, “Thank you, Lord.”

Although it shouldn’t surprise us that there are such positive results from a grateful heart because God’s ways are always life-giving. “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (I Thess. 5:18.)

Thankfulness in Hard Times

In all circumstances. Sometimes it is hard to give thanks. Sometimes the heartache and stress in our lives is overwhelming, but if we will choose to give thanks, the Lord will bless us for our obedience. Thanking God in and through and for everything will lift our eyes to where they need to be and we will be reminded that we serve a good God who cares for us.

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever” (I Chron. 16:34.)

May your heart be happy and light this Thanksgiving as you look up and give thanks.

 

*I’m giving thanks in all things this holiday, even though my family won’t be together. My daughter is in Hawaii (where she lives) and my oldest son is visiting friends in South Dakota. Most importantly, my husband is away at work, but my youngest son is here with me and we have a large, wonderful extended family to give thanks with and I am so grateful for that.

What are you giving thanks for? What are you giving thanks for in spite of…?

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  • Hi, I'm Erica ~ a wife, a mom, a Christian speaker, singer, author, and worship leader. I love coffee & chocolate, reading & writing, music & more music, Facebook & Twitter, time with family & friends! Thanks for dropping by ~ I hope you are encouraged here.

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