Grounded in Gratefulness
American scholar and author Brene Brown (who is also my favourite social worker) wisely states “I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness - it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude”.
Gratefulness is a gift that I believe is all too often is undervalued, or sadly withheld. We are presented with opportunities every day to express thankfulness, however these are often neglected as a result of busyness or a self- consciousness of being perceived as unauthentic. Gratitude assists us in our persistent pursuit of remaining present in the moment, by being mindful of the people and experiences that are shaping us daily, and expressing thankfulness for these contributions.
“Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father” (Colossians 3: 16-17 NLT).
The Message version of that same verse speaks about “cultivating thankfulness”; the perfect verb to describe this kind attitude. Ultimately, we express our appreciation for others, for moments, for opportunities, and all those blessings in our lives, as a reflection of our thanksgiving for Jesus, knowing it is Him who so graciously fills our lives with every blessing. That’s the best part! Knowing it is Jesus who we owe all our gratitude to at the end of the day - what a privilege and an honour.
I love that it was a woman in Matthew 26:7 who was so bold in her extravagant expression of appreciation, worship and love of Jesus when she poured the alabaster oil over Jesus’ head. I believe as women we have the opportunity to foster this attitude of gratitude amongst our relationships and circles of influence, and that this can be one of the most natural ways to reflect Christ’s love to all those we encounter.
People are drawn to a grateful heart, to a person who isn’t shy or withholding of their love, affection and appreciation for what another is offering. I believe this is because a grateful heart is one that is beautifully secure, open, quick to forgive, kind, selfless, generous and chooses to hold no record of wrongs.
An encouraging word, a warm embrace, a little “just cause” gift, a loving text; no matter the size of the gesture, let us never be too busy to stop, and practice gratitude. We need to honour every moment by recognising and expressing our appreciation for the people and the blessings – small and large – Christ gifts us with every single day.
About Emily Briggs
Emily has been part of the C3 Oxford Falls community for almost 9 years. She has a Certificate IV in Christian Ministry and Theology, has recently completed her Bachelor of Social Work (Honours) and is currently looking to begin her career in this field. Emily has a passion to see young people discover their identity, purpose and true freedom in Christ, and loves pastoring young women and leading at C3 Youth. Her time is spent enjoying the sunshine on a walk, picnic or at the beach, eating delicious wholefood meals, sipping good coffee or adventuring to new places alongside loved ones.