Gratitude – Is it only for Thanksgiving?

Gratitude-1a How often are we grateful the things we have? How often do we appreciate those we spend time with day in and day out?

It would be something if we were to wake up with only the things we were grateful for today. How would your life be then?

The dictionary defines gratitude as,”warmly or deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received; being thankful.”  The bible in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says that,”Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” Here it says that we need to be thankful in ALL circumstances and not just in some.

This quote by ― Epicurus “Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” teaches us to truly be thankful for the what you currently have.  If you think about it, you can be thankful for so many things even when you think you have nothing.  We take for granted the things we do daily (ex. breathe, eat, sleep, walk, smell, feel, see, etc)

Will you continue to be ungrateful?  Many will say I am grateful but if you truly reflect on it you will find that you are not.

I will leave you with these questions:

To whom should you be grateful for?  What should you be grateful for? Do you have anything to be grateful for?

Time for Everything….

managing.multiple.priorities

If you are like many people, you are juggling a lot of things: your church responsibilities, your career or school, your relationships, your health and wellness-not to mention having some fun once in awhile! And when you have a lot to do, it is often hard to know what to do first. Moreover, if you spend most of your time in one area, you may be feeling out of balance and resenting the fact that you do not have time for anything else. You start to view time as your enemy and you find that your energy is zapped and you feel even more out of control. The key to getting yourself out of this cycle is to change your relationship to time and learn how to manage yourself around time.

First of all, we all have the same amount of time. Secondly, let’s remember what priorities are: short-term goals. These are the things that you want to accomplish in any given period of time. The more your goals represent your values, strengths and passions, the more likely you are to achieve them. The same thing goes for your priorities. A lot of people are stuck with to-do lists that have a lot of “shoulds” rather than their choices. We are managers of many things.  What we need to learn is how to prioritize them.

“Management” is another word for “stewardship.” “Stewards,” or “managers,” are responsible over something entrusted to them by someone else.  As believers, each of us are managers of spiritual resources with which God has entrusted us.

Jesus told a parable in Matthew 25:14-30 about servants whose master gave them resources called “talents,” which in this case was money.  They were told to be good stewards and use the funds wisely.  Those who did so were called “faithful” and were rewarded.  Those who failed were judged and held accountable.

In order to begin to manage time in a way that makes you feel in control, you need to reset your priorities. By following these steps, you will get a good start on changing how to do more with the time you currently have:

First learn how you are currently spending your time:

The first step to changing your relationship to time is to assess or figure out how to spend your time. Write down all the things that you do. How much time do you spend in each area? The way you spend your time is a statement of what your priorities are.

Second, how happy are you with the way you are spending your time?

Next, think about the most important areas of your life (e.g., church, family, career, relationships, personal development, finances, health, fun, service etc).

•Rate each area in terms of how important it is to you. Use a scale of 1-10 with 1 being “not important” and 10 being “very important.”

•Now rate how well are you living each of these areas. How satisfied are you with the amount of time you spend on this area? Rate this on a scale of 1-10.

Look back at those areas that you rated as very important (8, 9 or 10). If there is a gap of 2 or more points between how important an area is and your satisfaction rating, chances are that you are feeling a lack of balance because there is a gap between what is important to you and what you are actually doing.

Third, reset your priorities to start doing more of the things most important to you:

In this step, you want to reorganize your priorities is to figure out what important activities are missing from your life. As you review each question, write down the activities that come to mind.

What is the most important thing in my life right now?

Where would I want to spend more time?

Where would I want to spend less time?

What areas need my attention now (e.g., God, family, talent, health, relationship)?

Write down your activities in the order that feels most important to you. This is your new list of priorities.

Remember that your priorities can change in any given period of time. If there is something important on your list that you do not have time for right now, think about when you can put into your schedule. It’s another way to use your  time and feel like you have actually accomplished something.

Proverbs 3:6 (TLB) says: “ In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.” 

Have a blessed day.