In Others’ Words: How Gratitude Shapes the Heart

Missing Gratitude 2016

I’m counting my blessings tonight. And because I just spent 4 days in Nashville at the 2016 American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) Conference, those blessings have names like Rachel and Susie and Cathy and Kristy and Roxanne and Alena and Lisa  and Dee … and oh, the list goes on.

CLTCL friends ACFW 2016

My heart overflows with gratitude because I spent time with my people — other “creatives,” who understand why I talk to imaginary people and why I wrestle with arranging words on the page just so and why I will always answer the call of the next story.

ACFW 2016

I know the value of gratitude, how it shapes a person’s heart. Softens it, so that bitterness ebbs out and compassion flows in. And I agree with Eli Wiesel that gratitude is an integral element of our humanity. Without the ability to say “thank you,” we stop valuing the things — both small and big — in our lives. Next, we stop valuing the people in our lives — ignoring their God-given worth.

In Your Words: How is gratitude shaping your heart? Who taught you to be thankful? What are you thankful for today?

 

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7 Comments

  1. August 30, 2016, 12:42 am   /  Reply

    Interesting post for today, Beth, as I lately ran up against someone who’s decidedly ungrateful…and it really affected me, colouring my world in dun shades.

    “I can’t do the things I enjoy!” was the cry, and I thought, Wow. Moving an even breathing hurt, and I have to try to enjoy that which I can do.

    It shouldn’t affect me, but it does. It’s depressing, and somehow makes my efforts seem like a throwaway. But you can’t make another individual see gratitude; and you have to harden your heart to protect the integrity of your own, for in the end it is indeed a personal responsibility.

    • August 30, 2016, 6:10 pm   /  Reply

      ” … you can’t make another individual see gratitude; and you have to harden your heart to protect the integrity of your own … ”
      So true, Andrew, and a hard truth.
      You are choosing gratitude in the face of looming obstacles because that is who you are at your core.

  2. August 30, 2016, 9:43 am   /  Reply

    Such a good post, Beth. It was wonderful to spend four days in Nashville, hanging out with you and other great people!

    Many years ago, I lived with a family. Marian, the mother, was instrumental in helping me own my faith in Jesus. She would share books and thoughts with me about the Christian life, and one of them encouraged me to write down five things a day that I was grateful for. Ann Voskamp’s, 1,000 Gifts, expounded on that for me, and has helped me to develop a habit of gratitude—looking for the gifts God has placed in each day and thanking Him for them.

    • August 30, 2016, 6:11 pm   /  Reply

      Jeanne: I loved the Nashville conference, too — and the knowledge that you and I live near each other! 🙂
      One year my One Word was “gratitude,” and writing down things I was grateful for made such a huge difference in my heart and mindset.

  3. August 30, 2016, 4:44 pm   /  Reply

    You described well how this conference soften our hearts with love and gratitude. It was such a blessing, and so encouraging and freeing. I am very thankful I could be there to absorb it all, and a very important Part of that was getting quality time with you.

    • August 30, 2016, 6:12 pm   /  Reply

      Dee:
      You know how we both counted the days to the ACFW conference — and time spent together with close friends fills our hearts up with good, good things. It’s one of the ways God is a good, good Father. (I love that song by Chris Tomlin, don’t you?)

  4. August 30, 2016, 7:44 pm   /  Reply

    Well said and CONGRATULATIONS on the Carol! You deserved it a long time ago!

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