The Stirring Faith Blog

Cultivating Boundless Gratitude

Cultivating Boundless Gratitude

As we navigate the complexities of life, one practice has the power to transform our perspective and enrich our souls—cultivating boundless gratitude. The research on the power of gratitude is overwhelmingly positive, improving mental health, physical health (such as reducing pain and improving cardiovascular health), strengthening social bonds, and building personal resilience. In light of all we know about the benefits, I want to explore with you the depths of thankfulness and discover practical ways to infuse gratitude into every facet of our lives.

The Heart of Gratitude: A Personal Journey

In my own walk, I’ve witnessed the profound impact of gratitude. It’s more than a fleeting emotion; it’s a transformative posture of the heart. Gratitude opens our eyes to the beauty woven into the tapestry of our existence, inviting us to appreciate the ordinary and extraordinary moments alike.

Journaling as a Gateway to Thankfulness

One avenue that has greatly enriched my gratitude journey is the practice of journaling. When we take pen to paper, we create a tangible space to express our thoughts, emotions, and, most importantly, our gratitude. Journaling becomes a sacred dialogue with God, a conversation where we recount His faithfulness and acknowledge the countless blessings in our lives.

Introducing the Boundless Gratitude Journal

To enhance your gratitude journey, I’m excited to share with you our Boundless Gratitude Journal. This thoughtfully crafted journal is designed to guide you through a daily practice of thankfulness. With prompts, reflections, and space for your personal expressions of gratitude, it’s a companion that will deepen your appreciation for the richness of life. And it’s cute!

Practical Tips for Cultivating Gratitude

Count Your Blessings Daily: Start or end your day by listing three things you’re thankful for. This simple act sets a positive tone for your day.

Express Gratitude in Adversity: In challenging moments, seek the silver lining. Acknowledge the lessons and growth that adversity brings.

Share Your Gratitude: Extend your thankfulness beyond yourself. Share kind words and appreciation with those around you.

A Journey Beyond Circumstances

Gratitude is not contingent on our circumstances. It’s a choice we make to focus our eyes up to God rather than our problems. Instead of focusing on all that is wrong in our world, we choose to look to the goodness that permeates our lives, even in the midst of challenges. As we intentionally cultivate boundless gratitude, we create a reservoir of joy that sustains us through every season.

Boundless Gratitude Challenge: 7 Reasons to be Thankful

Are you ready to deepen your gratitude journey? Join our Boundless Gratitude Challenge and discover 7 Reasons to be Thankful. Over the course of seven days, you’ll receive daily insights, reflections, and practical exercises to cultivate a heart of boundless gratitude. You will also receive exclusive bonuses when you sign up. Click [here] to join the challenge and embark on this transformative journey.

A Tapestry of Thankfulness

It’s my prayer that this journey softens and focuses your heart, leading you to a place of profound gratitude that colors every aspect of your life.

In the spirit of cultivating boundless gratitude,

xoxoxo,

P.S. Explore the Boundless Gratitude Journal [here] to enhance your daily practice of thankfulness.

Sign up for the 7-Day Boundless Gratitude Challenge [here].

 

Popular from The Stirring Faith Company

waiting well journal abide journal

 

 

 

Thankful for You

thankful for you

I could not enter this season of gratitude without acknowledging just how thankful I am for you. Each week the aim of She Prays is to encourage you, the reader, the She Yearns Community member, the woman who stops by out of curiosity, or anyone needing to be lifted up to the Lord. It is my joy and privilege to do so. Thank you for allowing me this privilege.

But today I want to do something different. On this occasion I want you to be lifted up out of my own personal gratitude. Words are not sufficient for expressing how much I appreciate the women of She Prays and those who walk out life alongside me on this cyber road. For you I am ever grateful.

Life can bring challenges too great to carry alone. With those challenges surges of loneliness and feelings of inadequacy can emerge. What comfort we have in knowing we are together in common goals and good– even though most of us are physically apart.

As you experience the joys and festivities Thanksgiving often brings, remember the charge Paul gives the church at Colossae.

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15

Research demonstrates the benefits of personal gratitude. From experiencing physical benefits to mental shifts, to improvements in your overall satisfaction with life, being thankful can forge a healthier path forward. It seems Paul is not simply giving a dogmatic directive because he can, but inviting us to experience life in a capacity he doesn’t want us to miss.

For you, I am truly grateful.

A Prayer of Thanksgiving Over You

thankfulLord,

How grateful I am for my friend. Her presence here brings joy to my heart and lifts my thoughts. Thank you for bringing her here. Give her a heart that wants to know You better. Grant her safety when she travels. Hear her when she prays and help her believe you are for her good. Provide all that she needs to experience Your presence more tomorrow than she did today. Help her to be a light and encouragement as she interacts with the difficult people in her life. Give her wisdom in which way to go and what to do. Bless the work of her hands. Tender her heart toward what breaks Yours. And lead her in becoming more like Jesus day by day. Help her feel her value and know she is loved and appreciated. Thank you, again, for bringing her my way. What an encouragement her presence officers. I thank You for the gift of this precious one.

In the Name of Jesus,

 Amen

Did You Know?

For the one who feels invisible, largely passed over, and insignificant – Cheri has created a resource for you. Grab your copy of Can You See Me, Now? Good news for the lonely, left out, and less than and join the Strange Readers Café. We will be going through the book together beginning Oct. 3 until December 16 – just in time for Christmas.

Buy the Book 

Join the Group

Don’t forget to check out the latest FREE reading plan available from YouVersion!

Have you received my FREE gift to you? Get 3 resources to help you experience more of God in your everyday life. It’s filled with practical helps for living out what really matters.

DOWNLOAD NOW

WAIT! THERE’S MORE.

If you would like to become a part of the private FB group, She Prays, we would love to have you. Click the image to join.

glimpses of she prays

 

You can meet Cheri on the She Yearns blog for more truth-saturated, Gospel-centered encouragement like this:

Times of testing

Boundless Gratitude YouVersion Plan

Boundless Gratitude

Boundless Gratitude

By Cheri Strange

One week from today Boundless Gratitude will release on the YouVersion app, or Bible.com.

This is a 7-day plan, perfect for preparing our hearts for this season to focus on being thankful, rather than scoot past it. I’m going to host a group on the app, so be looking for the LINK INVITATION. We will go through the plan together as soon as it comes out, leading up to Thanksgiving. Boundless Gratitude is set to release November 19, 2020.

In addition to the 7-day FREE plan, I have created a printable PDF journal to go with it. You can access it Here, which also enables you to become a subscriber AND gain access to the new She Yearns Community Facebook Group. These two places are where I will be supplying more free stuff to subscribers, like the Conversation Starter Cards that also accompany this plan. And this is only the beginning of the benefits you will receive. So jump on it and sign up!

I am looking forward to being with you as we do Plans Together (remember – BE LOOKING FOR THE LINK – on MY FB PAGE). And don’t forget to sign up for the free journal to become a subscriber. (If you are already a subscriber – don’t worry, it will be coming to you in an email. Just another perk of being a part).

The countdown to Boundless Gratitude begins now.

For His Glory,

Cheri

5 Practical Ways to Practice Gratitude

5 practical ways to practice gratitude

5 Practical Ways to Practice Gratitude

by Cheri Strange, PhD

Hey there,

I am super excited because on another screen behind this one I am turning in a new YouVerison reading Plan to release EXACTLY ONE WEEK BEFORE THANKSGIVING, called BOUNDLESS GRATITUDE. The focus is purely spiritual and I cannot wait to get to it with you. So today I wanted to offer something of a practical nature. Weird as the may be this year, the holidays are closing in. I don’t know about your traditions or experiences, your successes, or when you have hardly glossed over the foundational purposes of this time of year, expressing gratitude can get lost in the other seasonal activities. We lose ourselves in family time, shopping, the 24 hour Hallmark channel, and football. I am guilty. There is so much going on. But it’s a new day and you and I are going to have a plan to focus on being thankful in our going. Today we are going to focus on five practical ways to practice gratitude.

5 Practical Ways to Practice Gratitude

 

Way #1: Practice gratitude in your prayers

With my mouth I will give great thanks to the LORD; I will praise him in the midst of the throng. Psalm 109:30

Pray without ceasing; give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18

Sometimes being thankful is simply a matter of keeping a list and knowing what words to place on it. The Bible is helpful in providing the words I cannot always generate alone.  You can practice this independently, but also include others in your family. One simple idea is to take those small paper place holders and have each person write something they are thankful for on the inside every time you sit down for a meal. Leave a stack in the center of the table. Every time you come together, have someone pray over one.

At my house, This might sound like, “Thank you that Tate made a new friend at school. Or Thank you that Zoe has a family.” Or something like that. It doesn’t have to be super scholarly and theological. What are you thankful for? Then let’s tell Him.

Another way we have made this idea fancier is to write these on some sort of cut out, such as a leaf. Punch a hole in it and hang it on an arrangement of branches in a vase with ribbons like an accent piece. It’s a meaningful piece to display that serves as a constant reminder of the reason we celebrate.

Way #2: Recount what He has done for you

When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dream.
2Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then they said among the nations,
“The LORD has done great things for them.”
3The LORD has done great things for us;
we are glad. Psalm 126:1-3

The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him. Psalm 28:7

You might ask how #1 differs from #2? I think it is more testimonial toward others. Allow me to explain. Absolutely we can throwback at the Lord what He has done for us. Whatever your season has been like and how He has been there for you, you can tell Him about your gratitude and Your God will be delighted. That would be #1.

#2 would be to then tell someone else. I cannot see His Power in your life, necessarily until you tell me what He has done for you. So much of what we do every day happens under the radar. You know it does. We don’t tell anyone. Outside of those few people on your fb feed who tell all, most of us are private, especially about things we need or ways we are struggling or doubting we don’t want anyone to know about. But Then God does something amazing in your life, and we keep it to ourselves.

Let’s not do it this time. Instead, decide what it is you want someone to know you are super thankful for. Think about sharing it in 3 situations:

  1. Tell a family member
  2. Talk to a friend
  3. Tell a coworker – or someone in another environment that you are engaged in, like at church or something.

You can never know how your experience can impact someone else. What if they are secretly struggling and you have the exact encouragement they need? Take the risk. Recount for someone what God has done for you. Who knows the impact your gratitude will have?

Way #3: Plan Gratitude-Inducing Activities

Beyond the risk-taking you and I are going to participate in, there will likely be opportunities to influence others toward practicing gratitude. Here is an idea we use at the Strange house. You can find it pinned on my Pinterest Page under Fall Ideas.

The M&M Thanksgiving Game

This game is for beginners on up and is irresistible because it uses chocolate candy! So easy, one person passes out a handful of M&M’s of different colors. Depending on the color, each person must share something for which they are thankful. For instance, if you pull out a green one, then you are asked to name a food you are thankful for. If it’s blue, you must talk about a person you are thankful for. The game is basic and nonthreatening. If you are surrounded by people who have not even thought about what food that might be thankful for, this is a good place to start, regardless of age.

Way #4: Praise him

Praise offered up to God is all over the Bible. Play music. Sing out loud.

There are so many things we are doing with our mouths that would not be considered praises to God. This would be a great opportunity to stop one thing and begin another. When I find I am listening to my own negativity, not even saying things out loud, I turn on the praise. I drown it out because I cannot be doing damage to myself or any other relationships when I am singing praise and worship songs. I fins my mind shifts and my countenance literally softens. Then I can begin to do Psalm 34:1

I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. Psalm 34:1

This season, let me challenge you. Turn from yourself to praise your God. It’s a surefire way to express gratitude.

Way #5: Be joyful

And finally – express your gratitude by being joyful. I understand this may not be a natural response to 2020. Regardless of our circumstance, read what the Psalmist says about it:

Sing praises to the LORD, O you his saints,
and give thanks to his holy name.b
5For his anger is but for a moment,
and his favor is for a lifetime.c
Weeping may tarry for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.

6As for me, I said in my prosperity,
“I shall never be moved.”
7By your favor, O LORD,
you made my mountain stand strong;
you hid your face;
I was dismayed.

8To you, O LORD, I cry,
and to the Lord I plead for mercy:
9“What profit is there in my death,d
if I go down to the pit?e
Will the dust praise you?
Will it tell of your faithfulness?
10Hear, O LORD, and be merciful to me!
O LORD, be my helper!”

11You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
you have loosed my sackcloth
and clothed me with gladness,
12that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever! Psalm 30:4-12

This Psalm bursts with joy, even though the word “joy” is not in it. We feel it. That is what your life is to look and sound like to those around you. Not the sourpuss too overburdened with the responsibility of the season I tend to be. Not to girl done with 2020. Let’s choose to be women adored by God, truly loved, and cherished.

Here is one more idea that I really like because it points to joy over what might be missing in our lives.

The Reverse Bucket List

You know how you can make a mental or actual list of what you want to accomplish in your lifetime? There are some positive aspects about having a bucket list, but it can create a sense of how God is not coming through for you and how everyone else’s life is passing you by–and here you are. Still not doing what you wanted to do or accomplishing what you wanted to accomplish.

This idea is to turn that negativity around. Instead of focusing on what HAS NOT YET BEEN explored and accomplished, center on WHAT HAS BEEN. What has God done that has completely taken you by surprise? How has delighted you in unexpected ways? What have you experienced that was not in the plan, or maybe it was and you are indeed living that part out now?

Think about it

Think about these elements of your life, and write it down. What an unbelievable story that will make.

I would love any highlights you are willing to share.

I believe this history with God takes on very much what this Psalmist articulates that leads him to utter and complete joy.

My prayer for you and for me this season is that we lose our stress find our gratitude. I pray that you and I work through each practical possibility for showing our thankfulness and truly become a more thankful people. Not simply for our own hearts, but so others can see God more clearly. May He looks more reliable, more faithful, more irresistible because of our expressions of who He is and what He has done in our lives.

He is worthy of our gratitude. Many blessings to you as you walk these practical ideas out in your own life.

For His Glory,

Cheri

 

8 Ways to Practice Gratitude

8 Ways to Practice Gratitude

Podcast #41

Series: Psalms of Thanksgiving

 

Hey! Welcome to the She Yearns Podcast! If you are looking for practical ideas to express gratitude to God and others, this is your episode! You and I are supposed to be thankful and able to articulate our gratude. But sometimes it’s just not so simple. Sometimes we are simply unable to articulate it or express our thankfulness adequately. Forget helping others do so when we are in such a rut! Not anymore! Get ready for 8 Ways to Practice Gratitude from the Psalms, where we will discover the richness found in the Psalms on how to do this; and also find osme Pinteresty ideas for expressing our thanks in creative, yet meaningful ways.

Links to the ideas mentioned in this podcast are below!

If you missed the first two episodes of this series on the She Yearns Podcast called Psalms of Thanksgiving, you can find it here, No Longer Invisible, focusing on what I view as my own personal Psalm of Thanksgiving; and here. The second episode in the series, 7 Reasons to be Thanksful, draws us beyond our indifference to help us see more clearly how our hearts and minds can be truly thankful.

This series, Psalms of Thanksgiving, reaching down and grabs us in the heart of our deepest needs, highest hopes, and greatest longings. You can now find today’s episode, 7 Reasons to be Thankful and other episodes of the She Yearns Podcast from iTunes, GooglePlay, Stitcher, or SoundCloud. Just click on the links below! As always, you can scroll down and listen right here!

Listen to Stitcher

Links to Ideas Mentioned in Episode

Gratitude Game

Gratitude Scavenger Hunt

Gratitude Conversation Starters

M & M Thanksgiving Game

Reverse Bucket List

Allow me to invite you to become a subscriber to the She Yearns Podcast by going to any of the providers and signing up for the RSS feed to have it automatically updated to your device! It’s basically ONE CLICK! And it doesn’t use any extra memory and really makes like easier.

If you enjoyed this episode or found it helpful, please leave a comment or review in your hosting provider service. I also love it when you post below! It really helps the ministry. We cannot do it without you! The only way the Word goes out further is with your help. Please share it as you feel the leading.

Thank you for listening.

Cheri