I’d love to say that I choose gratitude each day, but I don’t. Honestly, it has taken a lot of work. We all live in a world that is filled with consumerism. And instant satisfaction fills the hearts of many people in today’s world. Even though I choose to live a simpler lifestyle, I’m not completely free of many of those desires. But I’ve learned that choosing gratitude leads to a simple life.
It’s not entirely easy to choose gratitude each day. Consumerism pushes us to have more. To have the next best thing. Getting wrapped up in all our wants, needs, and desires can be a little bit tricky. It can create a life of always wanting more instead of finding joy in what we do have.
Gratitude is a choice.
Gratitude really is a choice we must make each day. As a wife and mom, this isn’t always easy. Our natural inclinations lead us towards losing our inner peace and joy from every single annoyance we experience in a day. Children bickering, or making messes. Husband leaving clothes 2 feet away from the hamper or forgetting to take the trash out.
You know what I’m talking about.
Those simple things that can add up quickly over the course of a day.
But it all starts with how we choose to view these annoyances. It all starts with a thought. Instead of having a negative thought creep in, choose a thought of gratitude. For us mama’s, we set the tone for our home life and if we choose negative thoughts over those of gratitude, our home begins to fill with negative energy.
For me personally, I have to work every single day to fight these thoughts of annoyances especially towards my spouse. And truthfully, marriage takes a lot of work and being a mama takes a lot of work.
Don’t get me wrong, I am truly thankful for this life that God has given to me. But it all definitely takes a lot of work and it all starts with a choice.
Gratitude opens the door to simplicity.
Once we started to make that shift towards being thankful for the gifts the Good Lord provides, I have realized I no longer crave the next best thing. This shift helps with living a simple life and helps to overcome the desires for buying frivolous things.
“Be nothing solicitous; but in every thing, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasseth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. And may my God supply all your want, according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
– Philippians 4: 6-7 & 19
Gratitude helps to calm the craving for more. When we choose to be thankful for the blessings we have, we stop desiring things that we don’t need.
Gratitude & simple living = less stress.
Around here, we aren’t true minimalists, but we strive to live a simple lifestyle. In the beginning of our simple living journey, I started with a massive declutter session. In doing so, my eyes were opened up to how easily having too many things got in the way of happiness. It really just led to extra stress.
All of the extra cleaning I was doing was really stressing me out. Cleaning becomes so much easier and less of a chore when there are fewer things to get in the way.
The home becomes a sanctuary for us to relax and recharge after a hard day of work on the homestead. It becomes a place for our farm kids to grow and learn without excessive clutter. It teaches our children to appreciate what they have been blessed with.
And according to this study, gratitude improves overall health and well being.
6 Ways to add gratitude to your day.
- Spend a few moments each day to write in a gratitude journal.
- Pray. “Always rejoice. Pray without ceasing. In all things give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you all.” – 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18
- My husband and I started a practice each day of sharing a highlight of our day in which we were most thankful. I think its a great way to keep gratitude fresh in our minds.
- Spend time to reflect on the week and focus on moments of gratitude.
- Write a thank you card or letter. I don’t know about you, but I still love to receive regular old letters via snail mail. Taking the time to write out a little note of gratitude will definitely make someone’s day!
- Count your blessings!
How has choosing gratitude lead to a simple life for you?