In early March 2020 the world came to a grinding halt when COVID-19 shut down life as we know it.
The virus brought with it a crazy amount of worry, stress, fear, disappointment and heartbreak.
In this episode I am going to share with you some of the heartbreak our family experienced and some of the blessings we received. Then I hope to make a case to inspire you to use gratitude to cope with any and all hardships you might experience in life.
Then, in the next episode I’m going to share with you several different ideas for how you can intentionally start a gratitude practice.
I hope you’ll tune in!
If you would like more inspiration, download my Ultimate Guide to Guilt-Free Self-Care HERE!
And join us in the Life Designed Community on Facebook!
Welcome to A Life Designed.
My name is Tina Haisman. I teach busy moms how to get everything done and still have time and energy for themselves. My passion is for helping women create more heart-to-heart connection with their husband and children so they can feel deeply fulfilled in those most important relationships.
The topic of today’s podcast is A Case for Gratitude
But before we get started I want to let you know I have a FREE private group on Facebook where you can come to get inspiration for your life. It’s called A Life Designed. I hope you’ll join us!
Also, I have created a free download called the Ultimate Guide to Guilt-Free Self-Care. It’s a Guide to help you take care of yourself in mind, body and spirit so you can feel like your best self every day. Visit my website tinahaisman.com to download it.
Now let’s Dive IN and Make a Case for Gratitude
On March 13, 2020 the world came to a grinding halt when COVID-19 shut down life as we know it.
The virus brought with it a crazy amount of worry, stress, fear, disappointment and heartbreak.
Millions of people were getting sick. Thousands were dying.
Millions of people were losing their jobs and all were ordered to stay at home.
It was pretty terrifying. And it felt like a nightmare.
As every family did, our family had its share of heartbreak.
My husband was in the middle of a job search, and the virus most certainly slowed that down.
My daughter’s 8th grade graduation and all of its festivities. Cancelled.
Her confirmation. Cancelled.
My son’s SAT testing dates. Cancelled.
Spring break trip to tour colleges. Cancelled.
Speaking engagements for me in my business. Cancelled.
It felt like life was cancelled.
There was so much uncertainty about the future.
We were all wondering and still are wondering, how long will this virus be a problem?
When will life get back to normal?
Will we all be OK?
I’m sure you all have your own COVID 19 stories of heartbreak and can relate to mine, and that is why I am recording this podcast today.
Because I know that gratitude is what has helped and what is helping me get through these trying times.
I want to make sure you’re able to use gratitude to cope, too.
Let’s start with an anxiety reducing piece of scripture.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
We can use this verse when things seem difficult.
It’s telling us that God will guard our tender hearts and racing minds if we will bring them to him.
If we will work to find the blessings in every situation.
What blessings have you received during the midst of this global pandemic?
To get you thinking about it, I’d like to share a couple of my family’s blessings.
My daughter’s grade school pulled out all the stops to celebrate our 8th grade graduates. Although they were not the same as the traditional festivities, they were wonderful and felt so meaningful because of all that we had been through.
Another blessing is that like every other American family, we got to spend a lot more time together, which was actually wonderful, considering we are about to send our oldest off to college. I’ll take all the time with him that I can get.
Also, the virus helped us save money, because, there wasn’t anything to spend it on, like going out to eat, during this time.
I think we also learned how to live more simply with less. And I am truly grateful for that.
I also feel even more grateful for my loved ones and the time I am able to spend with them. When something is taken away from you, this often happens.
One final thing I would like to share is that I am grateful for the creativity of others who figured out a way to still connect and get things done virtually. We are resourceful people, and that was and continues to be awe-inspiring!
So, I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture.
My hope with this episode is that I can encourage you to focus more on gratitude.
For the next few minutes, I am going to share with you what gratitude is. Why we should be grateful – even when times are tough. Why it can sometimes be difficult to be grateful. And then some inspiration from the bible.
Then, in the next episode, we are going to get practical. We’ll talk about the benefits of gratitude, then I’ll share some specific and scientifically proven ways to practice gratitude.
So let’s dive in.
What is gratitude anyway?
The dictionary says gratitude is a noun and defines it as the quality of being thankful.
While that’s true and a great start …
I also think of gratitude as an emotion. Something you can feel in your heart.
It is also an attitude. You’ve heard people talk about having an attitude of gratitude. You just decide.
Finally, Gratitude is a transformational tool that can have a profound effect on your life.
It is a tool we can use to slow down, come into the present moment and be at peace.
To take our attention off of our problems and focus on the positive.
So, gratitude is a lot of things.
It’s easy to be grateful when times are good.
But what about when times are difficult. When a global pandemic lingers on. Do we have to be grateful?
I believe the answer is yes.
According to a couple of different websites, the concept of thankfulness comes up more than 100 times in the bible.
So, it seems it must be a pretty important concept.
One of the verses that shows us we should be grateful in difficult times is 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says: Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
If God wants us to be grateful – even in difficult times, why is it so difficult?
I’m happy to tell you it’s not your fault. Our brains are wired for noticing problems. So, it’s easier to focus on the negative.
The good news is that it has been scientifically proven that we can rewire our brain to be more positive by practicing gratitude.
The result is you begin to notice more of what’s right, instead of what’s wrong.
I think this work is worth the effort.
Because if we choose to stay stuck focusing on everything wrong, we will feel miserable and crabby and hopeless
But if we work to cultivate gratitude, we will feel more thankful, peaceful and hopeful.
But you don’t just have to take it from me …. Let’s Look to the Bible for some inspiration.
I want to share a couple stories with you, where thanking God is specifically mentioned. Although these stories will be familiar, I wonder if you really looked at them through the lens of gratitude before.
I think they give us great inspiration for being grateful.
So, let’s take a quick look!
In the John 11: 41 where Jesus Raises Lazarus from the dead, we read: “So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.”
What a great example of us thanking God for hearing us. All of our prayers.
In the gospel of Luke, after Mary hears the news of her miraculous pregnancy, she hurries to visit her relative, Elizabeth and delivers a beautiful song of gratitude and praise in verses 46-55.
This song of praise shows that despite her circumstances of being a pregnant virgin, Mary viewed her situation as a blessing with gratitude.
What a wonderful example of all of us for finding blessings in situations that might not seem ideal.
In 1st Samuel 1, we hear Hannah’s story of her struggle with infertility. But she trusts in God so much that she promised Him that if he gives her a child she will dedicate it to him.
Hannah was a woman of her word. After Samuel was born, she brought him back to the Lord for His service.
Then in 1st Samuel Chapter 2, she delivers a beautiful prayer giving praise and thanks God.
Can you imagine thanking God at a time like that?
Finally, in Luke 17, Jesus healed ten lepers on his way to Jerusalem, but only one returned to thank him. Luke 17:16 says: “He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him.” Jesus notices this and askes where the others are.
How could they not be there at his feet? Healing them was an amazing miracle!
Yet only one man returned to express thanksgiving for being healed.
How often do we forget to thank Jesus for our blessings?
I’d like to think I would be the one who came back to thank Jesus. But the truth is that I often forget and take blessings for granted. …
That’s why we need to create an intentional gratitude practice. A way to remind ourselves on a daily basis to thank God for the blessings he’s given us.
That is what we are going to talk about in the next episode of the podcast!
If you’re struggling with feeling grateful right now with everything going on, reach out to me for a complimentary gratitude coaching call. We can take a look at where you are, where you want to be and what is holding you back.
Remember! I have created the Ultimate Guide to Guilt-Free Self-Care to help you feel like your best self every day. You will find it on my website.
Don’t forget to join the Life Designed Community on Facebook!
Thank you! See you next week!