Grateful

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving…be thankful unto Him and bless His name.
Psalm 100:4

184 days of our 15 days to flatten the curve, I have learned a few things about gratitude. First of all, I am grateful for my wonderful husband, Kevin. He travels most of the year for work, but, during this time, he has been home. Ah, to have him here with me is a balm for my need of people. I have several single girlfriends. I have been praying earnestly for them during this time as they are lonely for company. Kevin is excellent company and keeps me laughing. We are using this time to work on our house and yard. Kevin is enjoying the work of his hands, and I am enjoying the fruit of his labor. Watering our new plants and now green backyard is therapeutic for me.

I am grateful for the quiet time to enjoy writing my first novel. At this point, I have written nearly 37,000 words of 80,000-100,000 words required for a full novel. I am grateful for this time that I can dedicate myself to building my online platform.

I am grateful for social media so I can keep up with friends and family. I am thankful for my cousins and friends who text or call. I would be extremely grateful for air conditioning, if we had any, during these 100+ degrees August days, here in California. (I’d like to crawl into the freezer for about 10 minutes every hour.)

If I could give you a few tips on how to stay grateful, I would say turn off social media for a day. Turn off the news–it’s really only opinion anyway, and it causes division and fear. Read a good book. Play an instrument. Turn on your favorite music and dance. Memorize your favorite poem, or better yet, your favorite scripture. Listen to or read God’s Word (that’s what Kevin and I do together, even during dinner, as we listen to scripture through the YouVersion Bible app.) Put on hymns or praise and worship music. Even if you like it, not all music is suitable for calming you—praise and worship music is.

Best of all, meditate on a favorite passage of scripture. Here’s my favorite to meditate on: Philippians 4:4-8 “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all, the Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything with thanksgiving, by prayer and petition, present your request to God. And the peace of God which passes all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Jesus Christ. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”

What are you grateful for? What is your tip for staying in an attitude of gratitude during this plague?

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