If you stare at something long enough, whatever it is, that thing will soon distort your vision. Everything, especially the peripheral, becomes blurry. Try it. Or maybe don’t. It might give you a headache. 🙂
Our problems are like that, aren’t they? Yes, they’re real. Yes, they’re hard, and for some of you, incredibly hard; harder than most. And yet, if we focus too long on the problem, the peripheral becomes blurry.
But if we focus on the good, the lovely, admirable, and praiseworthy, peace takes up residence deep in our heart. And this is the reason behind the Call to Praise Blog Hop. Well, that and Christ is absolutely worthy of our praise, regardless of our circumstances.
I’m so excited for this series and the opportunity it will provide to gain deeper insight, through the perspective of others, into what has quickly become one of my favorite Psalms–Psalm 103.
Kicking us off today is my very sweet, Christ-centered friend, Jennifer Hallmark.
Having an Attitude of Gratitude
By Jennifer Hallmark
Winter will soon be over. Warm, sunny weather is peeking over the horizon, life and newness in its hands. The first months of this year have been good for me and my family in many ways. We received favorable reports on medical tests, job opportunities opened, and we’re all focusing on exercise and healthy eating. I have much to be grateful for, but I don’t always recognize it.
We all tend to focus on the negative instead of the positive. For me, I don’t recognize the good when…
- I let fear and worry creep in. These attitudes point out every speck on an otherwise clean floor.
- I expect the worst from people instead of the best. Scripture says to believe the best. (I Corinthians 13:7) I need to focus on the strengths of myself and others instead of the weaknesses.
- I don’t balance work and rest. When I’m overtired, everything looks difficult and unbearable. When rested, gratitude has a place again.
- I don’t keep my focus on God and the big picture. When I take my eyes off Him and put them on the problem, the good disappears. I can’t see past the detour or curve in the road. Prayers don’t often have instantaneous answers. I need to focus on Him and patiently wait.
It’s time for me to adopt an attitude of gratitude. My friend, Joyce, gave me a happy journal. I’m using it to write my blessings and things that make me happy. When life is tough, I can take a glimpse in my journal and remember.
And be grateful.
Jennifer Hallmark is a writer by nature, artist at heart, and daughter of God by His grace. She’s published over 200 articles and interviews on the internet, short stories in several magazines and been part of two book compilations, A Dozen Apologies, and Sweet Freedom A La Mode. She is currently shopping her contemporary southern fiction novel, When Wedding and Weather Collide. She’s contributed to two compilations, one that will release in June with Write Integrity Press called Unlikely Merger and a non-fiction compilation releasing in the summer called Not Alone: A Literary and Spiritual Companion for those Confronted with Infertility and Miscarriage.
Visit her online at Alabama-Inspired Fiction, and the group blog she co-founded focus on her books, love of the South, and helping writers. Keep up to day with her and her writing by subscribing to her monthly newsletter at her author page. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. For fun, she loves to read detective fiction from the Golden Age, watch movies like LOTR, and play with her two precious granddaughters. Jennifer and her husband, Danny, have spent their married life in Alabama and have a basset hound, Max.
Let’s talk about this! What are some ways you center yourself in praise? Have you done that when going through a particularly anxious or difficult time, and if so, how has it helped? There are countless ways to praise Christ, and today, Jennifer shared one–maintaining an attitude of gratitude. What are some things you are most grateful for?
Share your thoughts here in the comments below or at Living by Grace on Facebook.
And make sure to visit our next stop in the Call to Praise Blog Hop on March 9 when Sarah Ruut will visit Carol McClain’s to share her thoughts on what it means to praise God will ALL that we are.
Thanks to both Jennifers. This was such a good reminder about keep my focus on God. I was just encouraging my daughter by texting her and I was able to remind her of Psalm 103 because you reminded me to Praise in all circumstances.
I’m so glad you found today’s post helpful. 🙂 I love this passage. I need to take time to remember the whole chapter. I also like Ps. 105, and have committed the first five verses of that one to memory.
I think it’s awesome that you send encouraging texts with Scripture references to your daughter. Beautiful example of a Christ-centered mama. 🙂
My son always laughs when he opens his phone and it reads, “The verse of the day is…” I never stop planting and spreading. Love ya Jen.
Thanks for dropping by, Beth!
Great encouragement Jennifer and Jennifer. I needed that this morning! Thanks for your timely words of support!
I’m so glad you were encouraged, Marji! Jen is always like a bright ray of sunshine! I really need to have her on my blog more often! 🙂
Glad it helped, Marji!
Important truth here, Jennifer! God is so good to us, isn’t He?! Thanks for the encouragement!
Amen! That He is!
Thank you Jennifers! You asked what I do? Well, this morning I read Psalm 103… and 104, 105, 106…and didn’t want to stop but someone came in my office. 🙂 I’m also following this blog hop. Today was a great first day – love the encouragement and advice.
That’s awesome, Catrina! Did you have a favorite verse or passage?
Here is one: “10) he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.” After all these years, this level of mercy is still hard to fathom, and my undeservedness can bring me to tears.
Yes! I love that verse! So incredibly powerful!
Great encouragement and reminders…thanks friends!…:)
Hi, SandyT! You’ve been on my mind and heart lately, and I keep meaning to send you an email. Gonna do that now! 🙂
Thanks for a this lovely post which I can related to in every way.
Hi, Claudia! I’m so glad you enjoyed Jennifer’s post. I could relate to it as well. 🙂
Great post. This is such a great reminder and I love the happy journal idea!
I also doodle in the happy journal. 🙂
That’s awesome! 🙂