With a deep sigh of surrender, I eased back into the sofa. The joint and muscle pain was just too much. I had hoped for a walk, but once again it would need to be put on hold.
It had been nearly a year since all the pain had started. Since life had drastically changed.
As I sat, thoughts of my son’s similar rapid descent into poor health consumed my mind.
Frustration. Disappointment. Weariness. Concern. Anger.
They were beginning to take over.
Laughter wasn’t a priority.
And gratitude had descended to the bottom of my priority list.
The light of hope that had once filled my heart was barely flickering. And I was allowing it to happen.
(This article was originally published on Her View From Home.)
You see, gratitude and hope are firmly intertwined with each other. One does not exist without the other. So, how could I expect my hope to overflow if I wasn’t looking at life through a filter of gratitude?You see, gratitude and hope are firmly intertwined with each other.One does not exist without the other. So, how can we expect hope to overflow if we aren't looking at life through a filter of gratitude? Click To Tweet
In all honesty, I didn’t feel like being grateful.
It would mean consciously trading my complaints for praises.
It would mean taking my eyes off the pain, concern, and frustration and placing it instead on the everyday gifts for which I could be thankful. But in that season, through that pain, it felt too difficult.
How about you? Have you ever been there? Or maybe you are there right now? A season where laughter is no longer a priority?Are you in a season of life where laughter is no longer a priority? And #gratitude is at the bottom of your list with it? #thankful #joy #hope Click To Tweet
If so, friend, I get it. And because I get it, would you allow me to come alongside you for a moment and whisper words of hope?
There’s this amazing thing God does to our hearts and our minds when we look away from the trials and look toward Him. When we take our focus off the difficult and put it on the good.There’s this amazing thing God does to our hearts and our minds when we look away from the trials and look toward Him. #gratitude #hope #joy Click To Tweet
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. –Phillippians 4:6-8 ESV (bold text my addition)
One little step at a time. Expressing gratitude for the simple things. The things we often take for granted.
Then in the midst of our gratitude the transformation begins. The good begins to stand out. It begins to hold our attention longer. We become noticers of the good in our lives.
It’s as if gratitude holds a key that can unlock the doors of our hearts, allowing hope access within. As the hope builds, it overflows into our lives overcoming all of life’s struggles.
Without a doubt, some days are harder than others. It isn’t always an easy task to be a noticer of good.
But the truth is that success isn’t found in the easy. The greatest of breakthroughs happen when we push into the difficult by leaning into the strength of God.Success isn’t found in the easy. The greatest of breakthroughs happen when we push into the difficult by leaning into the strength of God. #gratitude #hope Click To Tweet
For me, leaning into the strength of God through prayer, reading His Word, and choosing gratitude brought laughter, peace, and hope back into our home. The weight of negativity had lifted and we made the best out of our time stuck on the sofa. We learned what embracing our new normal looked like and committed to living with gratitude even if our circumstances never changed.
In this instance, our circumstances did eventually change.
With the burden of negativity gone and the empowerment of gratitude and hope pushing me forward, I was a Mama able to continue my search for answers. In the peace I’d gained along the journey, I’d begun to listen closer to the wisdom God was giving me.
We found our home of less than two years was riddled with black mold. All the diagnoses of autoimmune diseases were incorrect. Mold was the culprit.
Today we are on the mend and laughter lives again. The road to reconstruction was long and complete healing is still not here. But as this journey has progressed, my commitment has been to not let gratitude slip to the bottom of my list. It means I sometimes have to give myself a swift quick in the gratitude behind, though!
Friends, gratitude is a weapon. In it there is power to conquer the battles of life.
So, let’s do this together! Let’s lean into Jesus, use the weapon of gratitude, and breathe in the hope that is ours to claim.♥
Happy Thanksgiving to each of you! May Thanksgiving mark a new way of living – one where being grateful resides at the forefront of your heart, thoughts, words, and actions. And may you live with abundant HOPE!
#MomentsofHope Featured Post
Oh my stars! There were so many incredible posts this week. It’s always the hardest part of this whole link-up each week. Well, because, 1) I want to read every single post and feel AWFUL that I can’t, and 2) Picking just one to feature is nearly impossible. This week I still didn’t get to read all of the links nor was picking one or two or even five an easy task. However, I’m doing a short roundup of all things on being grateful! They are all inspiring. All motivating.
And all of them will make you chew on getting right with gratitude right now ♥
- Empower Your Life With Praise and Thanksgiving by Leslie of Journey to Imperfect
- Things to Be Grateful for that Spread a Little Hope by Marva of Sun Sparkle Shine
- 10 Reasons Being Grateful is Good for You by Deb of Counting My Blessings
- Why Grateful People are Happy People by Wendy de Jong for Maree Dee of Embracing the Unexpected
- I’m Grateful for My Infertility by Jamie of The Mom Gene
- Choose a Thankful Heart by Debbie Puttman of Uncharted Water
- Disappointment and Perspective by Laura Rath of Journey in Faith
Thank you to each of you for writing such hope-filled content! This community of hope-givers is one of the things I am so very grateful for this Thanksgiving!
What You Can Find Here
The content you find here is designed to challenge you to live your best life. No stagnancy. A life that looks different. One that shines a little brighter with the hope, love, joy, and purpose we find in a life cultivated by Christ! It will push you out of your comfort zone and it will make you uncomfortably aware of the areas in which you need to grow.
And best of all, you will know you are not in it alone. Not only am I here growing and learning right alongside you, but thousands of others are, too.
Won’t you join us?
#MomentsofHope Link-UpJoin us for the #MomentsofHope Link-Up! Share hope and be encouraged every Monday! #hope Click To Tweet
Last but not least, each week I’ll be visiting as many posts as possible, sharing them to my Moments of Hope Group Board on Pinterest as well as my other social media platforms when applicable, and choosing one post each week to feature.
Thank you for joining me here each week to share the hope given to us through Christ. Whether your words come from a story that points to the full healing you have experienced in Christ, or its a story of the journey along the road to the healing you know He is working in you, it is giving hope to others. Your words matter and it honors me to have you share them here in this space!
What I ask of you:
- Share up to 2 blog post URLs resonating with the topic of HOPE. That which gives us hope for tomorrow and hope for victory. The little things and the big that inspire us to lean into Jesus and let Him carry us through.
2.#MomentsofHope is a place to give and get hope, so let’s encourage others in their efforts to share the hope of Jesus. If you have time, stop by more than one sweet writer’s little corner of the blog world!