5 Keys To Cultivate a Heart Of Gratitude

Posted by Susan Brown on

Why The Lens of Gratitude Matters

My journey has led me on a mission to help others.  After believing the lies I was fed growing up that I would never amount to anything and carrying that with me through much of my life and relationships, I know how damaging it can be to have your mind so focused on lies. 

God has been gracious to redeem me from the shackles of those lies and I long so much to shower others with the comfort and grace I have received!

So much of our joy and sorrow, I believe, comes from our focus and perspective.  Shifting our mindset and our focus onto squarely searching and seeking Him out every day in every places gives our hearts and minds that rest from all the junk the world tries to lure us in with. 

It gives us Hope for the future and each moment as we press on this side of Heaven.  Sometimes it’s a flowing transition, other times its a hard fight, in the arena, with sweat pouring down your face with every breath fight for joy (the latter was more my experience).  Either way, it is a worthy fight indeed!

Seeing life through the lens of gratitude FREES you to live unchained to the desperation of the world and fully LIVE your life with a joy filled perspective that changes life itself!

Be willing to Fight for It!

Well, like I mentioned previously, to discover and use this amazing lens with which to see EVERYTHING through, mine has been a hard, fought for in the arena fight and I am not going to lie to you and tell you it is over.  Every single moment I remind myself to begin seeking and seeing what is truly there under the thin (and sometimes seemingly thick) veil of this materialistic world.  Where is the real reality?  Let’s begin our search!

So, the how really began at a young age, even though at that time, I wouldn’t have been able to put it into words.  You see, I was just one of those kids that was happy to be there…just kind of floaty and unaware of all the “cool things” I was supposed to be wearing or saying or behaving like if that makes sense. 

The world was just so amazing and I always had this strong desire to just be joyful no matter what.  I also had a very sensitive heart and would easily be brought to my knees in tears at the sight of a homeless person just imagining their plight in life. 

Let me back up to make it crystal clear that neither one of those things somehow make me a “good person” as we are told in scripture, “None of us are righteous, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10).  Those were simply character traits of how God designed me and ANYTHING GOOD in me was ALL JESUS AND THE HOLY SPIRIT!

Now, I do believe those 2 traits can be trained and constantly worked on in order to help us towards a grateful heart and developing eyes to see and seek God everywhere.  But, if you aren’t wired like this, it matters not.  God has made trillions of people in the history of the world and each one of them serves a purpose for His Kingdom and we are to always be pointing straight to His face and seeking Him regardless of how we are wired.

So, what are those keys of HOW to do it?

Well, God has been gracious to me to allow me certain sufferings over the years that have opened my eyes to certain ways to look at things through a different lens than I ever had before.  He has allowed me many tools in my toolbox, so to speak. 

Since we don’t have room for the entire toolbox here, I will share 5 of them with you today.

Also, if you are up for a FREE 5 day challenge that comes straight to your inbox and goes into more detail into how to apply these in your own life, feel free to sign up for that here and get ready for a journey of your own!

Here are 5 of the keys that I use to keep my heart’s eyes looking through the lens of gratitude:

  1. “Flip The Script” and the “What If” mindset.

This one can be hard when you are so deeply entrenched in SEEING only what is on the surface layer of your suffering and what you are going through.  Bear with me here.  Like I said, it is a journey.  Think of a time in your life that brought you heartache or struggle. Do you have it?  Now flip the script on it.  Flip it upside down and imagine it from the opposite perspective. 

How does this change your thoughts and feelings about the struggle?  What does this make you thankful for when you view it through this lens? What lesson would you maybe have missed if it hadn’t happened?

  1. Look backwards.

Yes, that’s right!  That thing that everyone says “not to do” can actually be so beneficial to be reminded of your strength and all you have been through. Look back on your journey with all its windy roads and ups and downs.  You have been through so much!  You are still here!  He has been with you all along!  Aren’t you grateful He has never let you go and that He held you through every storm and valley? 

Be sure to not look backwards as a way to miss what used to be, as that is not what we are doing here.  We are looking back in gratitude for all He has seen us through and to be reminded of what we have overcome with a grateful heart!

  1. Serve someone else.

OK, I know this sounds crazy especially if you are currently going through hard times, but you honestly won’t believe the perspective shift it gives you as a blessing.  Step outside yourself and help someone else.  As an individual or family, go serve in a simple and tangible way.  You may be surprised how this opens your hearts eyes to be grateful in a new way.  What do you find yourself seeing and being grateful for that you otherwise may have missed if you hadn’t served.

  1. Realize there are no “interruptions” in life.

Instead of being disturbed by the “interruption” whether small or large in life, maybe view it as the lesson it is intended to be.  Each thing that we view as an interruption actually has a purpose and a teachable moment inside of it for us.  Being reminded that Psalm 139:16 tells us “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” is a comforting tell all that each moment is a part of our story.  How we choose to view those things the world tells us are “interruptions” can definitely change our lens to one of gratitude for the lessons.

  1. Put on “the journey” lens.

This life is NOT our destination.  None of us will live forever.  I don’t say that in a negative way at all.  It is an incredibly freeing thing to realize our journey is temporary. So our choice to be negative or grateful for even having a journey changes our actual journey itself!  YOU DO GET TO CHOOSE!  We don’t know how long this journey will last. You do get to choose your perspective and attitude during the journey!  With this “journey” lens now on, what do you see clearly that you can be grateful for that maybe you missed before?

So, that’s all I will bug you with for now.  I do have many more tools that I use to always be putting on my lens of gratitude when the world of negativity, worry, anxiety, and depression try to pull me down with all their might.

God is bigger than the darkness.

God has saved us from the ravages of this world.

He has redeemed us for something more!

At this point…that only leaves room for 2 things….GRATITUDE AND JOY!

Would you like to go deeper on this topic?  Longing for more of an inside scoop and practical “how to” in your own life with these tips?

Go sign up for our FREE 5 day challenge that walks you through each step in a very personal way to allow you the time to really get entrenched in the beautiful world of gratitude!

What are you seeing now that you didn’t see before to be grateful for in your own life?  Comment below and let us know!  Share this and let’s open the realm of gratitude and share it with everyone!

Are you always longing for more of Jesus in this dark world like I am as well?  Feel free to check out my book all about seeing Him everywhere!  


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