Recently, I sat in a room full of people who were listening to a dedicated coach spill grace all over her athletes. She had nothing but good things to say, of course, because we were there to applaud their hard earned achievements through the season. We were there to gather and to fellowship and to give thanks together for the achievements that were gained. And it was easy to choose gratefulness.
Gratefulness, though, is a choice we must make. Like love and joy and compassion, we must choose to give thanks more often than not. It is something that we learn to do more than have coded right inside of us, but If we make it a habit, it surely becomes a lifestyle.
Because if we really think about what gratefulness is, we can often fall short of the mark…at least I can. It is easy for me to find something wrong in nearly every situation, because I look for it. It is easy to be critical when we long for perfection and accomplishment and awards, because there is always a new goal.
But what if we choose gratitude and grace as our filter?
As these young athletes sat listening to the words of their faithful coach, I couldn’t help but admire the tenacity with which they learned the most valuable of lessons this season: The powerful gift of affirmation and gratitude.
My youngest was a reluctant runner. I had to coerce her to join the cross country team last season, read force. It was hard for me to see her dislike a passion so close to my own heart. I am a runner. Her brother is a runner. It’s in her blood. But she didn’t love it.
And that first season was really hard. In fact, so hard that there were many times she wanted to quit. SheBut she didn’t. But she chose to work harder. She chose to continue. And she chose to be grateful for the hard things even when it didn’t feel so good.
When gratefulness is a choice we willingly make it changes our perspective on everything.
We learn to affirm the good that we see and let go of the rest. We learn to see that the hard things make the victories so much sweeter. We learn to look through fait-eyes instead of flesh-sight.
Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on the eternal life that you were called to and have made a good confession about in the presence of many witnesses. 1 Timothy 6:12
Choosing gratitude makes us look through a lens that only grace has the power to bend. And it fills you so that you can spill out into others and lead them in a way where there is always room for more.
My daughter learned an important lesson about affirmations this year. I believe it was the key to the change in her heart and in her performance as a runner. As the coach was sharing the highs and lows of the season, she began to share quotes from the runners. Each one was built on an affirmation that they learned to put into practice while they ran and trained through the season.
I listened as the words from my girl spilled out and my heart was flooded with gratefulness for the transformation that was fully apparent. As she learned to affirm herself, she became an affirmer of others. She learned that her victories were also the team’s victories, and her teammates victories were even more exciting than her own.
She stopped focusing on herself and started focusing on the power of gratefulness. Turning what I’ve thoughts into positive thoughts, changed the entire experience. Instead of self-defeat, she chose grace-words and soon she was cheering the runners on who were next to her and she set goals as she went.
How profound is that? Cheering one another on helps us to affirm ourselves in is grace.
Gratefulness changed her beyond the role of a runner, consequently it is changing her whole perspective of life…and those whose lives she is touching.
Because when we chose gratefulness, we also choose to be affirmers of all that we see and it becomes a seed of faith that grows in our hearts. A mustard seed, though tiny, it becomes a strong fruitful tree in the seat of our soul and it makes us believe the good instead of the bad more easily.
When gratefulness is a choice, we look beyond what we see. We miss the mess because we are looking for the good. We choose to affirm what He has said and what He has given. We settle close in the space that He is in, the good things, the grace-things. And we find gratefulness is one of the best of choices.
Praying for the opportunities to choose gratefulness in your #GraceMoments today.
IT’S YOUR TURN TO BE A GRACE COUNTER! SHARE YOUR GRACE MOMENT IN THE COMMENTS BELOW AND THEN COUNT GRACE WITH A FRIEND WITH COMMENT ON A BLOG OR TWO.
If you are a blogger, link up here with a post about finding grace moments in your life or one of your favorite inspiring and encouraging posts from this week. Share your thoughts in the comment section telling me about the #Grace Moments you experienced this week. *(only 1 post per link please)*
Take time to visit your neighbor next to you, and if you want visit a few more friends on the journey. We all need a little encouragement and affirmation as we travel together.
If you don’t have a blog, you can connect with me via my Journeys in Grace FB page by sharing a photo or a comment. Or you can join the party by sharing your images on Instagram with #Gracemoments hashtag.
Each week I will try visit as many of your amazing posts as I can.This is a safe place to sit and dwell in grace together, friends. I can’t wait to pour a cup of friendship with you and take in the grace moments you have to share. Don’t forget to leave a comment below, I love to hear from you.