“What if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you were thankful for today?”

When my friend shared this quote with me earlier this year, it hit me between the eyes. If I’m honest with myself, the list of things that are right in my life is much longer than the list of things that are wrong in my life.

Although it may seem like a chore, being thankful is one of the most effective ways to improve your life and the lives of those around you.

There is a documentary on Netflix I watched a few months back called Happy. This documentary studies the factors that most affect our happiness and overall well-being. They discovered that only 10% of happiness has to do with our circumstances (what job we have, how healthy we are, how much money we have, our status in society), but 40% of happiness was based on our decisions.

Did you catch that? According to this documentary, only 10% of your happiness is determined by your circumstances, but 40% is a choice—a decision to be happy.

And one of the best ways to be happy is to embrace—that’s right, you guessed it—thankfulness.

So how do we practice a lifestyle of thanksgiving?

Often when we think of being thankful, we think of rattling off a quick list of 50-ish things we are grateful for. But this can become dull.

Instead, try this:

  1. Focus on one thing you are thankful for.
  2. Feel the emotion of gratitude for this person or thing in your life.
  3. Then say, “Thank you, Lord, for _______.”

You can repeat this exercise for multiple things you are thankful for, but the important thing is quality over quantity. The more you feel the emotion of gratitude for the things you have been given the better.

I encourage you to practice this habit every day. If you miss a day, don’t worry about it. But the more consistent you are in the practice of being thankful, the easier it will be for you to be grateful. And in doing so, you will harness one of the most effective ways to instantly improve your life and the lives of those around you.

 

 

9 Comments

  1. I just wanted to say thank You!! Thank you for being obedient to this movement. To showing what God fearing sons and daughters can live like in victory in our everyday moments. A little history, My sister went to bible school with you at wave college here in va beach. Her name was Bekah Tunnicliffe. I’m her older sister Micah Dillon. I had a life changing event happen to me this summer and it has changed my life forever. My husband of 13 years, I found dead in the shower on June 12, 2017. At that moment, I went into my prayer language and the supernatural power of God enveloped me. I rebuked the spirit of fear in the hospital room when they told me I’m sorry for your loss. After that I said it’s time to go worship. This battle is the Lords and he isn’t done with this situation yet. So from Monday to Friday we prayed and rallied like never before seen in our church body or extended church family in 43 years of ministry. I believed for a Lazarus return. However, I had decided it was a Job moment for me and I was going to say blessed be the name of the Lord either way. God has the final say but I was going to fight until that Friday came. Each morning the Lord gave me clear direction. Day 1 hope! Day 2 persistence like the widow with the unjust judge. Day 3 authority. It was time to claim/take some things back that the devil tried to steal. Day 4 Love. It was a love feast at his service when over 800 people showed up. And over 70 lives where saved. He didn’t wake up but we did. I was asking for the person to arise but it was his presence it is that rose. Two days later on Father’s Day my father in law, myself and my brother in law spoke. That has never happened before either. That afternoon I went to take a nap and Your mothers book was on my dresser. I had never read any of her books before. I felt called to pick it up and let me say it felt like Divine destiny. Girls with ⚔️!! I have read many of her books since and truly feel like they were all written for me for this moment. God has changed my life forever. I truly felt like I was born for this day. He has given me fresh revolution through his word, through the wonder of creation, through acts of kindness in friend and family and through the gift of his ever present presence. Through a whisper, a wave or the fire I felt in my bones those 5 days God came and now I’m asking him to use me like never before. My life is not my own, to you I belong. I give myself, I give myself away is an old song we use to sing. I’m still standing on “To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.””
    ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭61:3‬ ‭NKJV‬‬
    I continue to choose to see the beauty in my situation instead of the ashes. I choose to receive the oil of joy instead of mourning. I choose to put on the garment of praise instead of the spirit of heaviness. His word is active and alive in me. I’m a worship leader here at our church and I fight through worship. My full time job has been a real estate. We are from the Rock church affiliation in va beach, va. King and country has a song called calling all the messengers and when I found out your company is messengers international. Something really leaped inside of me. So to sum this up. I am one of those sons and daughters. We have focused at our church on the number 17 which is the overcomer. Everything you are posting is speaking to me the same things I have felt in my heart. So thank you thank you. I don’t know what the future holds. I am yielding my life to Jesus in a new way and I would love to be apart of this movement.

    Micah Dillon.

  2. Christina Casimira

    So much truth in this video! Lord knows gratefulness is not my default setting – When there’s always something to do or accomplish it’s so easy to let myself get lost in the work of it all. But the work makes a soul weary and thankfulness restores the spirit and when I recognize a God who has never failed, who is always there, the pressure of what is still to be done pales in the light of HIS goodness and MY gratefulness. I’m praying this week for a grateful heart and a shift in focus!

  3. Awesome! Thank you, guys 🙏🏻

  4. Well done you guys! Thank you so much for putting yourselves out there- it’s really a gift to the larger community. Thankful for you and your family!

  5. SO good!!! always thankful for y’all!!

  6. Love this. And I love that we’re set up for such s win–that often our gratitude is the foundation for God’s blessing in our lives. In Philippians 4 it says to approach God with thanksgiving and THEN His peace that exceeds understanding will be extended to us. One of His many promises.

    Thanks to you all for this, you rock.🤘🏼

  7. Rachel Thomas

    This is such a great video! I love your encouragement and insights!

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