“Practicing” Gratitude???

Yep. That’s right. Practicing Gratitude. This is about to get real, folks. Real life is hard.

I’m not very good at having a thankful heart. In fact, I suck at it. Maybe I was good at being thankful once-upon-a-time, but now? Not so much. In all honesty, I know that I spend more time thinking negatively about most things, and my family knows firsthand how big this problem is. Negativity is like an illness. A disease. But there is a cure, and I’m after it: gratitude. With gratitude comes humility and a genuinely cheerful heart. With gratitude in my heart I will have a joyful perception of life. This isn’t the same thing as having positive thoughts or staking some claim that something amazing is going to happen in my life for my benefit. No, my aim is to be able to see all of the grace and blessings that I receive each day from my Lord Jesus and to be transformed by the gratitude that will inevitably result.

I was reading my Solid Joys devotion by John Piper on November 21st, and it was actually titled “The Gravity of Gratitude“. The Holy Spirit brought great conviction to my heart through this particular devotion since I’ve known for quite some time that I struggle with being thankful. Piper says,

“When the high spring of gratitude to God fails at the top of the mountain, soon all the pools of thankfulness begin to dry up further down the mountain. And when gratitude goes, the sovereignty of the self condones more and more corruption for its pleasure.”

I think I’ve just allowed myself to be bogged down by all of the demands of adult life. Don’t you just sometimes long for the days of freedom that you enjoyed as a child? I certainly had responsibilities growing up, but it seems that somehow over the years I have overwhelmed myself and started perceiving everything as a ridiculously heavy burden.

Did you ever watch Veggie Tales as a kid? I have, and I’ve shown some of them to my own kids. They always have catchy tunes with simple lyrics so that you keep singing them, and eventually they’re ingrained into your memory, right? God has seen fit to repeatedly bring this song to my mind: Veggie Tales’ The Thankful Heart. Ever heard that one? Catchy, right? “Because a thankful heart is a happy heart.” And that’s my aim: a thankful and joyful heart.

So what am I doing blogging about this? Lots of folks use journals to record their thankfulness. In fact, we’re in November right now, so everywhere on Facebook I see my friends posting each day their reason to be thankful. I want to go beyond that. It’s perfectly fine to take one month of the year and devote each day’s post about your thankfulness, but I need more time to work on this. We all know that there is power in sharing; it catches on with others. So my theory is that if I am regularly proclaiming a new reason to be thankful then I will be cementing gratitude into my own heart, and maybe someone else will be encouraged in this journey as well.

What am I thankful for today?


My 17-month-old (Tiny Banana) slept through the night. He’s cutting four molars and a few other teeth, and that means he’s whiny, grumpy, picky about what he eats, and wants to nurse several times a night. I’m whooped. But in His grace, God gave both TB and I good rest last night, and TB is napping even now. I’m so thankful for a good night of rest!

Let’s make this mutually encouraging, shall we? Please share something for which you are thankful today!



  1. Heather · November 24, 2015

    Today, I’m thankful to have a friend that brought me my favorite coffee at breakfast! After only getting 4 hours of sleep, she (and her gift) made my whole day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ashley B · November 25, 2015

      Good gravy. Props to that friend! I love you. 🙂


  2. Larissa arias · November 24, 2015

    I’m thankful that tomorrow is like Friday and we will have a long weekend with family.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ashley B · November 24, 2015

      Agreed! Long weekends with the family can be really fun!


  3. Gena · November 24, 2015

    I am thankful for God’s provision that came in the way of a anonymous gift from a person at my church.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ashley B · November 25, 2015

      I love anonymous gifts! When we get to heaven, we’ll figure out who it is!


  4. thereluctantnaturalmom · November 24, 2015

    I’m grateful for my husband and his dedication and sacrifice working/living away from his family to support us!!! (And ALOT thankful for Tranquil helping the baby sleep!!!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ashley B · November 25, 2015

      Thanks to you for your commitment to helping your husband and helping him with his PTSD. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. madeline · November 25, 2015

    Asking myself “Who am I”? that my Lord would choose to save me ! I am Grateful today and every day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ashley B · November 25, 2015

      Agreed, Madeline. He has called me out of darkness into His marvelous light. I’m so thankful for His grace and favor.


  6. Mark · November 25, 2015

    Ashley and Stephen, I’m thankful for having met you guys although not at best time but I am still grateful in knowing you all as family!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ashley B · November 25, 2015

      Mark, we love you and are SO very thankful for the time we had with you. It was unexpected. It was tough. But it was an absolute delight to serve your family, and God has change a bit of my heart because of you and LaDonna.


  7. Jennifer Vanover · November 26, 2015

    Ashley, today I am thankful for many things, like a friend who reminds me that choosing thankfulness increases joy and life satisfaction. I look forward to hearing more, as I struggle with this part of life, too. Happy Thanksgiving!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ashley B · November 26, 2015

      Jen, I am honored that you would take time to read and comment. Thanks for your kind words.


  8. Pingback: Losing is hard to do. | practicinggratitudeblog

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