How to be More Grateful this Holiday Season
By Drenda Keesee
Being grateful isn’t just for Thanksgiving. I want to encourage you to put gratitude into practice in your everyday life so that the joy of the holiday season stays in your heart all year round!
When we focus on all the good things that we have been blessed with, there is no room in our minds for negativity. Each person’s happiness is ultimately their choice. Either we can be thankful for what we have or have a bad attitude about everything that is wrong.
First Thessalonians 5:18 (NLT) says, “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”
Negative thoughts will hold you back from your God-given identity.
God has a purpose and a plan specifically for you, but you…
…can’t truly experience that unless you let go of the bad attitude weighing you down!
Your attitude is a choice.
Everyone has rough days. I raised five kids in a 1800s farmhouse that had one bathroom, so I know how you feel. There were days I locked myself in the bathroom and cried. Do you know what I decided to do though? I put a sign on the door that said, “Make the Choice to Rejoice.”
I want to encourage you today to make the choice to rejoice in all circumstances! Thankfulness is the antidote for negative thinking and depression. It is being FULL of THANKS to God for all He is and has done. Remember to purposefully be thankful when you start to feel bad. It works, and it attracts more things to be grateful for into your life.
Read below for three tips on how you can be more grateful!
Change Your Words
“My life is so stressful. I can’t catch a break!”
“We will never be able to afford that.”
“I’ll never lose this weight.”
“My toddler is such a hassle. She doesn’t listen!”
What have you been saying lately? What words have been coming out of your mouth?
We have all said things we shouldn’t have at one time or another. Other than Jesus, I can’t imagine there is any person who isn’t guilty of saying things they wish they could take back—about others or themselves.
“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit” (Proverbs 18:21, NIV).
Instead of speaking negative words, we need to be speaking words of LIFE. One of the most important things you can do to help yourself become more grateful is to speak it. Instead of complaining about never losing weight, train yourself to thank God that you have the ability to lose weight!
Your words set the course for your life. The Bible says out of the heart the mouth speaks and what we meditate on affects the words we speak. If we’re continually meditating on the negatives in our lives, nothing but negativity is going to come out of our mouths! If we meditate on the Word of God and thankfulness, we’re training our hearts and mouths to speak the Word of God and gratitude in every situation. Renew your mind to His Word, and speak what He says.
Our words are powerful. We need to make sure our hearts and mouths are full of the Word of God!
Change Your Thoughts
Our thoughts set things into motion—for good or for bad. Our thoughts can either propel us forward or hold us back from the amazing lives God has for us. If we’re always thinking about things that are negative or toxic, there’s no way we’re moving forward.
Too often, we live our lives with the mindset that if only we had something else, we’d be happy.
“If only I had more money… more success… more talent… a better body… better friends… more time… a better marriage… calmer children… THEN I’d be happy.”
Happiness depends on our MIND-SETS, not on our CIRCUMSTANCES.
You can’t move forward until you decide to think like God thinks. There is nothing apart from Him and His joy that can truly make us happy and complete. When we renew our minds with His Word and hope for our lives, we can rediscover our happiness and purpose in Him.
Having an attitude of gratitude keeps our focus on the good things in our lives. Self-pity, disappointments, and bitter attitudes have the opposite effect.
We need to start taking negative thoughts captive and meditating on positive words every day. Renew your mind to His Word, because the truth sets you free (John 8:32)! When we make the choice to rejoice and be grateful, we will have JOY! By focusing on everything we have been blessed with, we get off the negatives, and then we can be happy.
Don’t quit! An AMAZING spiritual principle is in the works! I promise that if you begin to change your focus, your whole life, attitude, and perception will change!
Count Your Blessings
Your thoughts are extremely powerful. God created positive thoughts to help you love others, to laugh, to motivate you to work toward your goals, to push through circumstances, and chase after your dreams.
Joyce Meyer once said, “You cannot have a positive life and a negative mind.”
Getting closer to your goals is impossible with a negative mind-set. Your ability to overcome mistakes depends on your willingness to think positive and be grateful for what you have! No matter what you’ve been through, it’s never too late to pick yourself up and try again.
Developing an attitude of gratitude is a HUGE building block to your success!
Every morning right after you wake up, or every night before you go to bed, think of five things you’re grateful for. You can write them down or say them out loud, whatever works best for you. Starting and ending your day with positive thoughts will stop the cycle of negative thoughts.
Your happiness is your choice! When you decide to count your blessings instead of focusing on the negative things that are happening in your life, you regain your joy! Make the choice to rejoice and be thankful.
Do your best to keep an attitude of gratitude, and keep a godly perspective. Joy is just a prayer away. The Word of God will always be waiting for you to tell you, “YOU CAN DO IT!”
It’s time to get joyful!
Listen in Now to Faith Life Church!
Drenda Keesee’s contagious zeal and humorous personal experiences help make her ministry of spiritual, emotional and relational wholeness one that will bless your life and spark a new fire in your spirit.
A wife of over 30 years and a mother of five children, Drenda has ministered at churches, seminars, and conferences, and through the mediums of television and radio, for more than 20 years.
Her books, The New Vintage Family, Better Than You Think, and She Gets It are available wherever books are sold. In these heartfelt books, Drenda shares her personal journey and the life lessons that have brought her to where she is today, as well as practical answers that all people need to live a joyful life.
Drenda and her husband Gary founded Faith Life Now, a ministry designed to spread the message of freedom in the areas of finances, faith, marriage, and family. Tune in for their weekly messages here. Faith Life Now hosts conferences worldwide, and sponsors both Fixing the Money Thing, which Drenda co-hosts with her husband Gary, and Drenda.
Through their own life experiences, the Keesees have found the principles from God’s Word to be powerful and effective. At one point, Drenda was a young, suicidal feminist with no hope of ever being “good enough” for her own standards of perfection. She never wanted the “inconvenience” of a husband or children, and she was on her own path to success. But the stress of trying to achieve perfection and perform for love left her broken and used. She had success, but it was nothing compared to the pain and loneliness it had also brought.
That’s when God got a hold of her heart. It was there—at her lowest point—that she found the One who accepted and loved her, faults and all. Since that transformation, Drenda has had a passion to reach women who find themselves where she once was.
She married Gary after attending college, and there she found herself in a personal boot camp of sorts. She says, “I cried and told God, ‘I can do anything but be a wife and mother.’” She committed to learning how to do it God’s way. Through the many years of raising their children and struggling to make ends meet, Drenda learned from their mistakes. “I didn’t know how to be a wife and mother, but God saved our marriage, taught us how to parent our children for success, showed us how to have financial success, and then irony of all ironies, He called us to ministry.” It’s truly because of these life experiences that Drenda can now share so many insightful principles for people who are now going through the same struggles.