Adapted from and inspired by Giving With a Pure Heart by Edwin Friesen
I adore this time of year when the last harvest comes in from the garden and I can make apple cinnamon rolls, crabapple muffins, and pumpkin scones. As I worked in my kitchen a couple weeks ago, I could just feel myself completely relax. I felt deeply grateful – for the example set by my grandmother, for the warm house on a chilly day, for the bountiful harvest, for the time to spend doing something I love. That gratitude ushered in great joy, and I couldn’t help but want to share it with others. It was an easy generosity that flowed through me much more than from me. I delighted in God’s goodness, happily bringing autumn baking to friends.
A Gratitude Adjustment
However, gratitude doesn’t always come so naturally. The next week, I found myself running in too many directions and feeling weighed down by obligations. I arrived at the end of the week and I looked back wondering ‘what happened’? At times like this, it’s easy to weigh our intentions against the results and feel we’ve come up short. I felt guilty for not giving my time nor my money as I should have, for giving out of obligation, or tradition, or even self-interest. I needed a gratitude adjustment.
Forgetting to Appreciate
It can be hard to find space for gratitude. It takes discipline to carve out time on a regular basis to intentionally acknowledge before God what we are grateful for. But it doesn’t have to take a long time. We can say it aloud, write a list, or pray a prayer of thanksgiving. If we don’t, it’s easy to become so focused on what’s ahead that we forget to appreciate what we already have, and dissatisfaction soon follows. However, when we consciously practice gratitude, joy at all God has done for us is revealed. It’s a joy that begs to be shared in a generous extension of His love to others.
So I tried it, sitting at my desk at work. I had a difficult day, but I soon discovered I had just as much to be grateful for in my crazy busy week as I did while calmly baking in my kitchen. The joy was the same. What’s more, I wanted to share it.
Have you experienced a gratitude adjustment? How did it impact generosity in your life? We invite you to encourage others by commenting below.