Several years ago a friend gave me a blessings journal as a gift.
So each night I'd fill in the pages listing things I felt grateful to have seen or experienced. I listed everything from the beautiful sunsets to great conversations about faith and anything in-between.
It sort of began as a game. I started to intentionally focus on things during the day so I could write them in my journal. But the more the days passed, what started as a game became a way of life. I found myself thanking God for even seemingly insignificant things, like parking in the farthest spot in a lot and thanking God that I had legs to carry me into the store.
The lesson I learned is that we really can be grateful for everything.
God has blessed us in more ways that we can even know or imagine. And he desires that we appreciate the things he's done for us.
In this issue we look at the spiritual practice of gratitude. Not the pollyannish sort in which we just suck-it-up and smile. But the deep, abiding, true gratitude that wells up from a life that knows and desires God's presence in our lives.
That kind doesn't come naturally always, and sometimes it takes discipline. But gratitude is about developing a perspective of trust, that no matter what happens, we know that the God who created us has our backs.
May the following pages fill and encourage you with hope, joy, and thanksgiving as you live each day worshiping our good God.