A Lifetime of Gratefulness
Written by Bethany Curee, God’s Daughter – Freckled & Free

Feel the warmth of the sun on your face, the cool of the wind’s breeze, the way the sweater on your skin keeps you snuggled, the smell of the stew on the stovetop cooking, the rustle of the leaves, the sound of the ocean’s power, the peaceful feeling of your own bed, hearing your family’s laughter, the brush of your husband’s skin, your kids’ imaginations running wildly visibly, the visions of heaven and knowing some are already there, the feeling of your heart recognizing joy. These are the moments to cherish. Even the crazy bad ones. They make us truly live, in the rawness, in the disaster, in the emotion, in the tears, in the joy, there is always good to be found if you look for it. God is always waiting to be seen or discovered if we choose to see.

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One glance around you and you can see the many struggles we all face. All of us on different journeys in this thing called life. And that’s just it…we have the choice to live that very life with a perspective of gratefulness. Today you have breath in your lungs and that is reason enough to be grateful. A life free to be joyous no matter what comes your way.

A grateful heart is a heart that sees things in the right light.

Growing up we didn’t have a lot of “extras.” My mom always mainly bought “real” food (which I’m thankful for now), but we didn’t have an oversupply of all the snacks, bells and whistles you could ever dream of. While it wasn’t an abundance, it was always just enough. I remember going grocery shopping with my beautiful momma, truly some of my favorite memories. I was her right-hand assistant trying to keep her on task and within budget. The countless times we had to hand things back to the cashier taught me a lot. I was grateful. I was grateful that my momma bought me my favorite lunch meat and chips at the store each week despite putting so much back. I was thankful when my mom would surprise us with a new notebook and pen (it was like the best day ever!). One year we got to pick out one new outfit for school and I felt like a rich person. You see my parents worked so hard, endlessly to take care of us. No, we weren’t the family that had five new pairs of shoes and fifteen new outfits. We received hand me downs and went to The Center (a free store) and we were ok with that because that wasn’t what was important. We learned how to rock those free store clothes with a great pair of earrings, and no one would notice the difference (except for the American flag shorts). Our Christmas’s were always the best time of the entire year. My parents did give in abundance and we relished in the season of blessed hearts. We learned early on to always be grateful. That abundance isn’t necessary to be happy but when it happens it’s something to be cherished and grateful about for a lifetime.

Gratefulness goes hand and hand with living a life with Christ. Gratefulness allows you to rest and be satisfied with what you have. I believe you can only be there if Christ is the center of your being. Christ is the underlying trust, peace and joy, —and where the grateful heart comes from.

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“All this is for your sake; and as God’s grace reaches more and more people, they will offer to the glory of God more prayers of thanksgiving.” 2nd Corinthians 4:15

Multiple times growing up an attempt was made on my life whether through freak accidents or by snares of Satan himself whispering lies. For that I’m thankful for being alive. My walk with Christ has rooted a deep grateful heart. A heart that knows no matter what it is well.

We didn’t ever have a vacation growing up, but my parents slaved to send us to church camp. I am grateful for some of the best summers in my life. My parents invested in the right things, always working to sow the seed of God’s Word and wisdom and a lifetime of worship and faith for real situations.

“Rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, even as you were taught, abounding in it in thanksgiving.” Colossians 2:7

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You see we all have a choice. A choice to choose an attitude or mindset of gratefulness. I have seen so many families in my life, siblings who grow up in the same households and each one turns out wildly different than the other. This is all due to choice. How we each react to situations is our own choosing. We can respond as a victim, or respond in anger, hate, regret, sadness, dreaming of another life or we can choose to say — wowGod, you taught me all of this by going through these situations?! I look back on my life and I see all the hardships, the pain or the sadness we have had to endure in different seasons, and I can say thank you Lord. I don’t live in regret. I don’t choose to go there. Everything God brought me up in or walked me through molded me into who I am today. For that I am forever grateful.

My prayer today is to continue this attitude of gratefulness because it’s a daily choice that has to be made. It takes work and relying on Christ to stay there. My prayer for my children is that they would recognize how blessed they are and be grateful for all they have even if one day it is taken away.

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In one of the homes we lived in after a few years of marriage we had no dishwasher. Sometimes I would get so upset and want to throw a fit like a little kid, but then I would remember what I’m thankful for. We have to keep our complaints in check. I began to recall the facts – wow, I have dishes, I have cups, I have silverware, a sink and home to wash it in. I had food and drinks to use in them. I’m not eating out of a garbage can and I am so blessed. That sure put me back in perspective real quick.

So whether you get new clothes everyday or you have just a few outfits, whether your fridge is stocked or you have just enough, choose to see the blessing of today, of each season and to capture the beautiful moments of life. That it’s our loved ones around us and the beauty and the lessons of life that matter. And if you are in need, don’t be afraid to reach out and give someone else the gift of giving and be thankful for that. God is teaching us things in every…single…moment. Choose to walk in a life of gratefulness because it’s truly just that — a choice.

“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippian 4:11-13

 Written by Bethany Curee, God’s Daughter – Freckled & Free

2 thoughts on “A GRATEFUL HEART

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