I remember when I could hardly find one thing I was thankful for. All I could see was suffering and sadness. But when I started thanking God, even when I didn’t feel like it, life became very meaningful and beautiful. Having a thankful content heart is a powerful tool to change your outlook on life. You could ask any one of my kids, and they would tell you that when they would get a bad attitude or start to have an “entitlement mentality,” I would have them write down at least ten things they were thankful for. It was profound to see how being thankful turned their sob story into a God story. Even if all you can find to be grateful or praise God for is that your heart is still beating, that should be enough to motivate you to know that you still have hope and a purpose. Embrace the life you have right now! Be thankful in all situations even though life doesn’t seem fair, don’t take anything God has given you for granted. True contentment isn’t something we find in things, people, or circumstances. It can only be discovered in Christ.
Getting outside in raw nature helps me see God’s constancy and faithfulness. Sometimes it is hard to see God when I am going through a difficult time. When I get outside and embrace all of His creation and breath in the fresh mountain air, watch the unending powerful ocean waves hit the sand, listen to the birds boldly singing, find unique colorful flowers blooming with such beauty, watch animals in their natural habitat without a care in the world, hike up a daunting, painful path but then being rewarded with a majestic view, blow the dandelions in the wind, feel the warm sunshine illuminate and empower my whole being with raw energy, see the earth change into a new season as the colors on the trees change and fall off, watch each unique snowflake fall as it lands to make the perfect white wonderland, hear the rain hit my tent and feel so safe and protected, watch the sunrise faithfully rise every morning and set every night, helps me to see tangibly, that God is still alive and taking care of things. Writing in a journal is very helpful.
Even when I have days I doubt his existence, His creation causes me to fall to my knees in humble adoration, singing at the top of my lungs in thankfulness for who He is and what He has done in my life and my children’s lives.
“Not that I speak from [any personal] need, for I have learned to be content [and self-sufficient through Christ, satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or uneasy] regardless of my circumstances.
I know how to get along and live humbly [in difficult times], and I also know how to enjoy abundance and live in prosperity. In any circumstance, I have learned the secret [of facing life], whether well-fed or going hungry, whether having an abundance or being in need. I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace].” Philippians 4: 11-13
But I will sing of your strength in the morning. I will sing of your love for you are her fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. -Ps. 59:16