Sometimes pain makes you want to quit.

There are days when it would be so much easier to give in to the pain and accept the assumption that certain situations won’t get better. It might even seem “safer” to settle for low expectations and probable disappointment than to show appreciation for what lies directly in front of you and to expend the energy for hope and change.

Let me be real here.  Sometimes, I need to take a moment in the middle of the craziness to pause and remember who I am and who God has called me to be — despite my pain. I need to anchor myself back to the truth of what God says about me and my life, regardless of what I see. 

Here’s the truth. God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). My salvation and the grace gifted to me through the blood of Jesus unlocks fellowship with God on earth and in eternity. My fellowship with God is a friendship that I can access now. I can access eternal life now — a life not founded on pain and sorrow but quite the opposite. A life that can be experienced differently, if I take a moment to pause and reflect on the goodness of the Father. Reflection and thankfulness allow me to see who I truly am and who He is over and over again, creating room for me to see more of Him.

I am my Father’s daughter. That means I have the right to live a life full of true delight in the assurance that HE is for me and that my life will be good because He is good.

He works everything for His glory. (Romans 8:28)

He never stops exclaiming His love over me. (Exodus 14:14)

He always fights for me. (Jeremiah 31:3)

He empowers me to believe who I truly am. (Ephesians 2:10)   

But if I’m honest, sometimes I need reminders to help me  rest and rehearse so that I won’t forget or doubt the reality of His love in my life.

Thankfulness is a tool; it helps me see beyond my problems to what is possible. It helps me choose to value my life through gratitude and allows me to honor, observe, and remember the unique beauty in my life through the grace of God.

What HE has given me is MORE than ENOUGH.

And GRATITUDE turns what I have into more than ENOUGH.

Let me show you what I mean…

When Jesus wanted to feed the multitude, He first gave thanks to the Father for what He had supplied before it could be multiplied. His gratitude made room for the Father to show His goodness and abundance, displaying a new aspect of God’s nature that they didn’t know before (John 6:1-14).

Even Jesus practiced thanksgiving. 

If we aren’t intentional about cultivating celebration and gratefulness,  sarcasm, disappointment, entitlement, and negativity will quickly sprout in its place. Lack of thankfulness suffocates hope. Without hope, we forfeit the mindset God intended for us and disregard the lifestyle Jesus modeled for us: one full of faith, thankfulness, and gratitude.

Don’t subject yourself only to the rhythm and routine of life and leave out the reward of living with a grateful heart for each and every step you take. When you choose to celebrate and be thankful, you shine a light on your small victories, which nurtures and sets the stage for more of the same.

So let’s take a moment each day to reflect. Notice the milestones, achievements, and what currently is.  In doing so, you create room to experience the depths of God’s love. Take a moment to remember the goodness of God and what has already been given. Then simply transpose the same hope, joy, satisfaction, contentment from that memory and transfer it to your current situation. Doing so will help you recreate the same hope and joy that existed in the moment and transfer it to current situations.

Real talk? There have been many recent days where I have wanted to quit.  It often feels easier to give up hope, expect the worst, and wallow in misery. Being “all in my feelings” feels bad and good all at the same time. Over the last few years, losing family members has been painful, being sick hasn’t been fun, and walking with my mother through her cancer journey has been ridiculously hard. So I’m sharing this reminder about gratitude for you and me. I’ve lived long enough to know that quitting doesn’t help anything in the long term.  But over the long haul, the decision to be grateful can change an entire outcome and experience.

As often as you can, no matter how bad you think things are, give thanks. Find something — anything — to express gratitude for, and make it a point to look at your life and notice where God has been part of it. Spend more time thanking God for what He’s done instead of expressing frustration for what you’re still waiting on Him to do. Time spent being thankful for who you are, where you’ve been, and where you’re going will change your mindset and how you see everything. Spend time today, noticing what’s right in your life. As part of your reflection, thank God for who you are and the journey He has you on. The practice of thankfulness is a valuable weapon.

When you feel like you want to quit, you don’t have to be overwhelmed by discouragement.  You have an option for living fully.

In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

(1 Thessalonians 5:18)

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