How do we cultivate thankfulness, gratitude, and appreciation?
- Cultivate Dreams
- Enjoy Simple Pleasures
- Sow into Your Soul
We want to cultivate our dreams, but we don’t need our aspirations to breed discontentment, strife, or paralyzation. We want our heartfelt desires to inspire and motivate us forward.
We need to allow ourselves time to incubate dreams in our hearts. We can journal, take a walk, spend a morning alone at home, or plan a getaway weekend to brainstorm and flesh out our dream on paper. Thankfulness in the midst of the journey will keep us inspired until our desire is fulfilled.
How do our dreams inspire us yet not hinder us? Some dreams will come to fruition and fulfill the desires of our hearts and minds. With a positive perspective, we can allow these dreams to mold us into a giving person. We must refuse to let unfulfilled or broken dreams break you. Instead, allow them to be fertilizer for the plans that bear fruit.
Give me the Love that leads the way
The Faith that nothing can dismay
The Hope no disappointments tire
The Passion that’ll burn like fire
Let me not sink to be a clod
Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God. ~Amy Carmichael
It is a safe thing to trust Him to fulfill the desire which He creates. ~Amy Carmichael
Enjoy Simple Pleasures
It’s the simple things in life that mean the most. Ask any cancer survivor and you’ll find they most enjoy their early morning cup of coffee in their favorite chair surrounded by their loved ones. It’s their loving family, familiar surroundings, and hope for the future that comforts them as they heal.
I enjoy sunrises, sunsets, watching the rain, seeing a rainbow, the fresh green leaves in spring, and the vibrant fall colors. I enjoy the fragrant aroma: of antique roses, fresh cut grass, and biscuits.
Perhaps the most tragic thing about mankind is that we are all dreaming about some magical garden over the horizon, instead of enjoying the roses that are right outside today. ~Andrew Carnegie
There is always something to be happy about if we look for it: ‘Two men looked through prison bars, the one saw mud, and the other saw stars.’ ~Amy Carmichael
Enjoying simple pleasures comes from the point of view we carry in ourselves. Is the glass half-empty or half-full? Our viewpoint will affect how we process an event.
For instance, I can sit in my backyard, listen to the doves coo, feel the gentle breeze, capture the fragrance of flowers and thoroughly lose myself in the moment of contentment. All is well with my soul.
I can sit in the same chair, and zero into the sound of a neighbor’s dog barking, the sound of a car driving by on the street, criticize the wind for not blowing or for blowing to strong, complain about the lack of fragrance from the flowers and lose myself in discontentment. All is wrong in the world.
Our outlook allows us to enjoy the beauty, appreciate the moment, and release the unpleasant. Thankfulness and contentment help our soul to be satisfied.
Sow into Your Soul
What causes beauty to arise from your soul? Music, books, paintings or artwork are a few indoor stimulants that help us cultivate beauty. The view outside of our window, a walk in the park, a drive along the shoreline or through a forest are outdoor stimulants that help us find delight in our world.
We can sow into our soul by cultivating our spirit. Intentionally seeking wisdom from God releases us from the stress of walking alone or from carrying a weight that is too heavy for us to bear. When we tend to our spirit, soul and body, we become a well-rounded person.
Living from a whole heart means we are not shackled by the past, tethered by the present, or imprisoned by fear for the future. ~Lisa Blair
Improving our soul develops our ability to cultivate thankfulness, gratitude, and appreciation.
To cultivate thankfulness, name one simple pleasure you enjoyed today.
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