#1 - A GRATEFUL HEART

Holy smokes. It is almost April and most, if not all of my "New Year's Resolutions" have been thrown out the window. First of all, I am not exercising 3 times a week like I said I would. Actually, I am not exercising at all! I'm eating out, when I said I would do more grocery shopping. I "resolved" to cut down on my spending and save money, but I find myself anxiously awaiting my next paycheck to get "caught up." Didn't I tell myself that this year would be different? This was also supposed to be the year that I would read the Bible and pray everyday. Is 10 minutes a day really that hard to find or am I, once again, struggling with keeping my priorities straight? My wife is upset with me, my parents don't understand me, the kids don't listen to me anymore, the house is a mess, I hate my job, I need a new car, and...is it already time to file my taxes?!?

Hopefully I'm not the only one, but this is a conversation very similar to the one I have had with myself, more than once, over the last couple of weeks. To think about how "far behind" I am in certain areas of my life and how I am "falling short" in others can be very discouraging. With bills piling up, the "To Do" list getting longer and longer, and the feeling of there never being enough time, how easy it is to spend a large part of my day thinking about the things I do not have.

But all that being said, if there is one thing I do know, regardless of present circumstances, I AM BLESSED. YOU ARE BLESSED. There is so much more to be thankful for than there is to complain and worry about. Personally, I want a change of heart. My desire is that my heart would be consumed with gratitude and thankfulness for all of God's blessings. To name a few:

  1. I am thankful that I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He loved me so much that he died on the cross for my sins so that I do not have to live with the guilt and shame of my sinful nature. 
     
  2. I am thankful for my beautiful wife who loves me unconditionally.
     
  3. I am thankful for struggle. I understand that it is through obstacles and being "without," that character, strength, and integrity is built. There is no other way.

Just writing the above list is encouraging to me. It is obvious that my blessings far outweigh my circumstances, My prayer is that after reading this article, you would take the time to write a short list of the things that you are thankful for. Do you desire to have more of an attitude of gratitude? Do you find yourself more often than not complaining and being anxious for the things that you do not have? Write your list right now. The choice is yours. You can either finish this article and push it aside, along with the 17 other things you are neglecting right now, or you can pull out a sheet of paper and write down 3 things you are thankful for RIGHT NOW. Today, let's make the decision to change our hearts. I am looking forward to the breakthrough that will occur in our lives as we dedicate ourselves to having a grateful hearts.

Now, if I could just find my W-2's...