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  • Writer's pictureAlexandra Jensen

A Grateful Mom

Welcome to my blog series that is focused on gratitude called, "A Grateful Mom." I hope you will follow along and be encouraged as we become a little more joyful, a little more humble, a little more grace-filled, a little more lovely, and a little more grateful.

Gratitude plus Mom equals oxymoron. At least it does to the world’s standards! But as Christ followers, as God-fearing women, we have been called to a higher standard, a greater benchmark, a heavenly gauge, a holier way of life. This sanctified lifestyle entails gratitude, hearts of cheerfulness that exude Christ’s loyal love, and surpassing peace. A sincerely grateful heart can only be germinated through the process of yielding to Jesus, every day. 

In motherhood, mishaps are going to happen. Will we choose to acknowledge Jesus through it, or to whine and complain? It is a choice made daily. We can view the sippy cup as half full, or half empty. Either way, the world will keep spinning. The dishes will still need cleaning. The pile of laundry will keep enhancing. Our children will keep growing. But we might miss our opportunity to be the hands, feet, and mouthpiece of Jesus to our families, and to a world in desperate need of an influencer who portrays a heart of gratitude amidst humble circumstances. Yes, there will be laundry. Yes, there will be mouths to feed and spills to mop up. Yes, there will still be all of the daily requirements. But joy is possible through Jesus, through a heart shift toward gratitude.

We have a million and one reasons to be grateful: God’s presence, the Bible, family, clean drinking water, food, church, and friends to name a few. And yet, we come up with one million and two reasons to complain. The culture of complaining is running rampant and we need to stop the rising tide. This can be done by cultivating a heart and mindset of gratitude.

In the Old Testament, the Israelites wandered around in the desert for forty years demonstrating a pattern of complaining, turning away from God, bondage, repentance, rinse and repeat. The only two people who were part of the original Israelite crew who made it into the Promised Land were Joshua and Caleb. They portrayed faithfulness to God that far surpassed their peers and they were blessed because of it. 

God notices our hearts (1 Samuel 16:7). He knows when we complain, are bitter, and hold grudges. He knows when we are grateful and rewards us with his presence, peace, and joy. Gratitude leads to Jesus. Complaining leads us further away from God. He cannot tolerate sin. Sin separates us from the Maker. But thanksgiving rekindles our hearts with His own.

The Bible commands us to be joyful, always (1 Thessalonians 5:16). This verse is easier said than done. But if we begin to undo ourselves and unwind our spool-bound hearts, the bonds begin to break. Gratitude unravels our hearts and sets our spirits on a new trajectory of life and peace. Gratitude liberates the essence of God’s light inside of us that pierces the dark. Gratitude releases the blockades of our hearts that enable joy to burst forth. 

Gratitude is freeing. Live life as a mom set free by dwelling on your blessings, putting on a mindset of thanksgiving, and praying instead of complaining. Generate habits that lead to life and tranquility found in Christ.

People begin to notice when we draw from the well of a grateful heart. They notice our peace, they notice our joy, they notice Jesus’ faithful presence bestowed upon our lives. In order to be the salt and light of the world, we must be grateful. 

Let’s not follow the pattern of culture or the design of the Israelites. Let’s choose to let go of bitterness and negativity. Let’s choose to view our lives through the lens of hope and light. Let’s choose to not condemn our circumstances, but to choose joy instead. Because when we do so, we choose gratitude. When we make the cognizant decision to be grateful and not complain, we proclaim Christ’s holy name. When we choose gratitude over taking our lives for granted, the Holy Spirit bridges the gap between us and the eternal goodness God has in store.

When we choose gratitude, we choose Jesus, and all of our earthly troubles seem like lesser giants. God equips us with a sling and stones through gratitude, because gratitude requires faith in the Living God, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies who fights for us and goes before us. Be brave. Be bold. Be grateful. Trust in Jesus to slay your giants. The worries of the world might not go away, but they will grow strangely dim as you cling to gratitude and have faith in Jesus through all things.

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