Cultivating Gratitude: A Journey Towards Positive Change

I am trying something new!

Hello, dear listeners, and welcome back to Faithfully Engaged! Today, we’re setting aside our usual guest format for a more intimate conversation. This is a solo episode, and I want you to know it’s not because we couldn’t find an incredible guest to join us—quite the opposite. We’re exploring new horizons and trying something a bit different, and I’m genuinely eager to hear your thoughts on it.

If you’ve been with us since the early days of the Truth and Grace Counseling podcast, you might recall our segmented format. Those segments were my way of sharing updates, talking out loud about various topics, and engaging with you differently. It was a format I enjoyed that allowed me to connect with our listeners more personally.

road going towards mountain

So, I’m revisiting that format in this solo episode, albeit with a new twist. Instead of our usual guest interviews, we will dive into various themes, touch on current events, and explore intriguing topics. And yes, I’d love to hear your feedback on this format. Do you enjoy these solo episodes? Would you like more of them? Or are you eagerly awaiting our next guest? Your opinion matters, so please share your thoughts after you’ve listened to this episode.

Before we plunge into our main topic today, I want to talk about how you can continue supporting Faithfully Engaged. Your support means the world to us, and here are a few ways you can make a real difference:

1. Share and Engage

The simplest way to support our show is to like, comment, and share it with your friends and family, both in the real world and on social media. Your word-of-mouth recommendations are precious. I’m going to have more of a focus on my “X” account. If you want to engage with me, find me there!

2. Leave a Review

If you’re listening on platforms like Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or Spotify, consider leaving a review. Those five-star ratings and thoughtful reviews warm our hearts and help boost our visibility, making it easier for others to discover Faithfully Engaged.

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Affiliates

Now, let me introduce you to a couple of our affiliates who are more than just partners; they’re fellow travelers on this journey of faith and positive change.

North Arrow Coffee

North Arrow Coffee is different from your run-of-the-mill coffee supplier. Sure, they offer top-quality beans, available whole or ground, with the convenience of subscription delivery. But what sets them apart is their unwavering commitment to pro-life causes. They dedicate a portion of their proceeds to ensure babies and mothers in difficult situations receive proper care and support. By supporting North Arrow Coffee, you’re not just enjoying great coffee but contributing to a profoundly meaningful cause. And here’s a little something extra: Use our coupon code “ENGAGED” when you make a purchase, and you’ll get a 10% discount on your order. So, it’s a win-win—a better brew and world.

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PodMatch

If you’ve ever thought about starting your podcast or are looking for opportunities to be a guest on podcasts, then PodMatch is your virtual matchmaking platform. It operates like a dating site, but instead of matching people for romance, it pairs podcast hosts and guests based on their interests and expertise. It’s a fantastic way to connect with like-minded individuals and create engaging content. And here’s the best part: if you’re a host like me and use PodMatch, you’ll even receive a commission. As a guest, it’s an excellent platform to gain exposure and share your insights.

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Let’s get to the heart of today’s discussion: gratitude.

A Lesson in Gratitude

Gratitude is a word that carries tremendous weight in our lives. It’s not just a feeling; it’s a way of approaching the world and navigating our journey. To illustrate the profound impact of gratitude, I want to share a personal story that reminded me of its importance.

When my daughter was born, we encountered some health challenges related to jaundice. If you’ve been a parent or been around newborns, you might be familiar with this common condition. While it’s relatively common, it does require medical attention, especially if the bilirubin levels become too high.

So, there we were excited first-time parents, expecting a brief hospital stay to address the jaundice issue. We were eager to take our baby girl home, introduce her to her new surroundings, and begin our life as a family. However, things took an unexpected turn. The hospital stay extended beyond what we’d anticipated, and the disappointment started to sink in.

Medical helicopter in the air with windsock in the foreground

I had to travel home to fetch some essentials during this challenging period. During this drive, something remarkable happened—an encounter that forever changed my perspective on gratitude.

As I was leaving the hospital, I couldn’t help but notice a medical helicopter taking off. It wasn’t an unusual sight; our local hospital often utilized helicopters for medical emergencies. What struck me, though, was a young woman standing outside the hospital, her eyes locked on the departing helicopter.

She seemed to be in her twenties, and I couldn’t shake the feeling that she was a new mother. The way she gazed at the helicopter and the fact that a nurse or medical staff member was assisting her back inside the hospital led me to believe that her baby might have been on that helicopter.

This moment we had profoundly impacted me. It shifted my perspective, turning my disappointment into gratitude. Yes, we were still at the hospital, and yes, we were eager to leave, but at that moment, I was reminded of something crucial: the health and safety of my wife and daughter were intact. They were not in a life-threatening situation.

I was grateful, deeply grateful, for their well-being. The extended hospital stay suddenly seemed inconsequential compared to the well-being of my family. This experience taught me a powerful lesson in gratitude.

Woman holding sign that says grateful

Finding Gratitude in Everyday Life

Gratitude is not reserved for monumental moments or life-al

tering events. It can—and should—be cultivated daily by appreciating the small blessings surrounding us. Here are a few examples:

1. Modern Comforts

Could you take a moment to consider the privilege of having air conditioning? It’s a relatively recent invention in the grand scheme of history, yet it brings us immense relief during scorching summers. It’s a small comfort that we often overlook.

2. The Gift of Life

As you wake up each day and take that first breath, remember that life is a precious gift. It’s a gift we often take for granted amid our busy lives.

baby holding an adults hand

3. Basic Necessities

Please remember that you probably didn’t go hungry or thirsty today. Access to food and clean water is a blessing many people worldwide don’t enjoy. It’s something we should be thankful for every day.

4. Little Comforts

Remember the small things that add to our daily comfort. Take, for instance, the simple act of wearing socks. Socks protect our feet from blisters, provide warmth in cold weather, and make our daily routines more comfortable. These seemingly insignificant items contribute to our overall well-being.

Navigating Despair

It’s important to note that gratitude doesn’t mean we’re immune to despair or hardship. Life has a way of throwing immense challenges our way, and sometimes, those challenges can feel insurmountable. In these moments, we must turn to our faith and seek solace.

One biblical figure who serves as an inspiration in this regard is Job. The story of Job is one of profound suffering and enduring faith. Job faced unimaginable hardships, losing his wealth, health, and family. Yet, amid his suffering, he did not curse God or lose faith. Instead, he persevered, maintaining trust in God even when all hope seemed lost.

Job’s story reminds us of the importance of resilience, of holding onto our faith even in the darkest hours of our lives. It shows us that, even in the depths of despair, we can find blessings if we open our hearts to gratitude.

Man holding bible against a wall

Conclusion

As we wrap up this episode, thank you for joining me on this exploration of gratitude. Your presence and support mean the world to us at Faithfully Engaged.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this solo episode format and whether you’d like more themed episodes like this one or if you’re eagerly awaiting our next guest. Your input guides our journey, and we’re here to serve you.

Remember, supporting the show is as simple as sharing, engaging, or leaving a review. And remember to check out our affiliates, North Arrow Coffee and Pod Match, as they align with our values and missions.

Gratitude is a powerful force that can reshape our lives. Cultivate it daily, and you’ll find much to be thankful for, even in the face of challenges. Your perspective can make all the difference.

Thank you for being a part of the Faithfully Engaged community. Until next time, stay blessed, stay grateful, and stay engaged!