hope is a force

When things are dark, and the struggle is hard, hope helps me.

In times of weakness and debilitation, hope makes me strong.

When things are chaotic and out of control, hope gives me peace.

Hope helps me to trust the Lord and release my cares to him.

It is a force that keeps me going and optimistic about tomorrow.

I am a work in progress because I have embraced hope.

developing a grateful heart

This is the image that greets me each morning when I enter the hall bath of our downtown KC loft.

It reminds me that thankfulness is a challenge to embrace every single new day.

The words challenge me to live a different sort of life and develop a transformed image of it.

I honestly don't always pay attention to the words - sometimes I am simply not up for the message.

Often I wake up to a life that seems so heavy and I feel so alone and forgotten.

In times like these I think that it is so hard, yet so necessary, to develop a grateful heart.

Some think that thankfulness is purely a matter of perspective and focus.

These folks say things like count your blessings and focus on the positive.

That may work for some but it has not really been helpful in my life.

For me, the journey begins with an acknowledgement that I am a thankful person.

I am so grateful for the love of my God, my wife, my family and my friends.

I think that this acknowledgement is foundational in developing a grateful heart.

Developing a grateful heart begins with the idea that I am grateful.

So it is not so much a change of heart as it is a development of it.

It is not saying that I am thankful for bad things but acknowledging that God is at work.

Believing that God is active in every situation causes thankfulness to grow in me.

If something bad happens it can help strengthen and grow a thankful heart in me.

I think that a strong heart is a thankful one that is able to see unseen things.

Developing inner vision requires feeding, nurturing and training our heart.

In essence a thankful life is one not dominated by the brain but by the heart.

In my experience, leaning into my brain nevers develops thankfulness.

On the flipside, I find thankfulness to bubble up from a strong heart.

It is not so much a matter of counting our blessings as it is knowing we are blessed.

Having this knowledge causes us to embrace the idea that life is a blessing to be lived.

So with each new day we can awake thankful for the blessing of life.

In doing so we make our heart a bit stronger than our head.

And find thanksgiving and gratefulness developing in us.