The Significance of Cultivating Gratitude: Enhancing Well-being and Happiness

Show Notes

Join us on a journey of faith and transformation in this special solo episode of Faithfully Engaged. Your host, Johnny Sanders, explores the incredible power of gratitude to reshape our lives.

Discover how simple gratitude can turn everyday moments into blessings and lead us to a more fulfilling life. We also draw inspiration from the story of Job, reminding us of the importance of resilience in the face of adversity.

Whether you’re seeking solace in challenging times or looking to enrich your daily life, this episode will inspire you. Share your thoughts on this solo episode format, and let us know if you’d like more themed episodes like this one. Join us on this journey of faith, gratitude, and positive change.

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Johnny Sanders (00:03):

Hello everybody and welcome back to another episode of Faithfully Engaged. So today’s episode is going to be a little bit different than what you have been used to. I actually don’t have a guest on the show today. This is just going to be a solo episode and I would love to hear once you are done, listen to this episode. Love to hear your comments on how this went for you. If you would like for me to start incorporating some more solo podcast episodes, or if by the end of it you’re like, dude, get off the screen. Go back to the guests that are better than you. I don’t want to hear your voice so much either, which way I want to hear your opinion. If you’ve been here since the beginning of where the Truth and Grace Counseling podcast was at, you would remember the structure I had for the Truth and Grace Counseling podcast is I had several different segments and I actually really enjoyed doing those segments.

It was kind of a way for me to talk out loud a little bit, kind of give some updates of what’s been going on. So doing these solo podcast episodes, I’m kind of tinkering around with this idea a little bit. I might have some different themes that I would like to talk about or have some different topics, current events, things like that. So anyways, I would just love to hear your opinion about how you felt like this episode went. A few things off the bat as far as ways that you can really help support the show. First thing, I’ve mentioned this before, simply liking, commenting, sharing this, the show with both your friends and family kind of offline and also even just sharing it to your Facebook or Twitter or I guess Instagram, whatever. That really does go a long way towards just spreading the show.

And like I said, even just hitting a quick or if you’re listening to the audio only version, giving this a five star review on Apple Podcast, Google podcast, Spotify, wherever you’re listening to this, those little things, they just go a really long way towards working with the algorithm and everything and really spreading the show. So that means a lot. A few new ways that you can help support the show. These are both different affiliates that I am now working with. One is called North Arrow Coffee. So North Arrow Coffee is a really neat pro-life coffee resource. So they’ve got great beans available. You can either get them as whole beans or as grounded already beans and it kind of works like if you’ve done black rifle coffee or there’s several other coffee places like that where you can also do a subscribe and kind of have your coffee delivered to you at a certain frequency. Now what I love about North Arrow Coffee is their mission. They donate to a portion of their proceeds to

Johnny Sanders (02:58):

Pro-life causes. They are really heavily invested in babies getting appropriate care and making sure that we’re treating these mothers in difficult spots with compassion and care. And yeah, just making sure that there are babies that are being taken care of in this world, and I think that’s just such a great mission. I think abortion is really the great evil of our civilization. It’s evil just in the sense of dismembering unborn babies is obviously evil in my mind, but it’s also such a big evil because it’s so accepted in our culture. It’s looked at not only as not a bad thing, but it’s actually celebrated in a lot of ways. So I love getting to partner with a coffee company like North Arrow and be able to support some really great values. So I have this link down in the show notes from now on. This is going to be in all of my show notes and the show notes are listed on all the audio only podcasts.

They’re also listed on YouTube Brumble. I’m trying to post these more often on X or Twitter, whatever you want to call it. Elon Musk. If you’re listening to this, which I know you’re a big Faithfully engaged fan, the issue of y I don’t post every episode there is, while they do let you post longer videos than previously, there is a limit on the gigabyte size and some of these conversations that go on for over an hour actually end up going over that limit. So Elon, if you could up that maximum file size, that would be great. I would absolutely love to have all of my shows posted on X as well. But that being said, I’m trying to put these affiliate links in the show notes in all the places I put the show and obviously Faithfully, I have both a newsletter, which you’re more than welcome to sign up for.

I’ll talk a little bit more about that in a little bit. And then also just on the website itself, I have an episode, kind of a list there and you’re able to watch it have YouTube link and Spotify link and all that good stuff on there. But I also have not only the show notes listed for every episode, but I also have a transcript that’s down there as well. So Faithfully has some cool stuff, but I’m going to be posting this North Arrow link on there every time. And when you click on the link I give you, it actually automatically comes with a coupon code. You don’t have to click on the link, you can go on North Arrow yourself, but the coupon code is engaged and when you put engaged in there when you’re checking out, you actually get 10% off your order there.

But if you click on the link I provide for you, you don’t even have to put engaged in there. It’s already in there for you and you get that discount. So great way to support the show and support a great cause. Another affiliate that I’m going to start posting on all these shows is through Pod Match. Now, pod Match is a really neat website. I have been on it for oh three or four months, something of that nature and it’s really neat for me as a podcast host, that’s actually where I’ve gotten the majority of my guest on the show. I find them through Pod Match and Pod Match kind of works. It’s almost like a dating site where it matches guest people that want to be a guest on a podcast and people that host podcasts and it matches similar interests kind has an algorithm and ask you different questions and things like that.

And you match with guest or host and you’re able to message each other if you feel like that’s a good fit. So a lot of the guests I’ve had on either they message me first or I message them and we decide if we’re a good fit. Then from there I get ’em on the show and one of the benefits for me as a host is not only do I get some great guests and have some great conversations, but as a host using Pod Match, I actually get a little bit of a kickback there. Actually it turns out where I end up getting paid to have people on the show, it’s not like a massive amount, but it’s a nice little perk to find some guest and get a little bit of commission there. Now, I don’t just use it as a host though, I also use it as a guest.

Now if you use it as a guest, you are not going to get paid a commission. You actually have to pay a little bit more that way. But the wonderful thing of being a guest and why I choose to be a guest on other podcasts is it is wonderful exposure. It is a great way to pitch your services. Typically what I do when I’m a guest on shows is I will talk about either counseling, so I’ll talk about Truth and Grace counseling or I’ll talk about this podcast, talk about Faithfully engaged and it’s a really cheap way to kind of have yourself exposed to different podcast audiences and to get just a pretty cheap advertising dollar there. So I love it. I love it both as a host and as a guest as well. So I have a link down there. It’s again another affiliate link.

So if you go on there and sign up as either a host or as a guest, I get again, a little bit of a percentage of that kickback, but I’m not plugging this solely just for the affiliate links. Yeah, I mean I like getting affiliate kickback, don’t get me wrong, that’s why I’m discussing it, but I actually really, I believe in both of these products. I believe in North Arrow and their mission and I believe in Pod Match. I think Pod Match has provided me great value already just as a host and a guest. And if you’re out there, particularly if you’re a guest and you’re like, Hey, I’ve really got this cool idea out there and I don’t want to float it, or I’ve got a book that I want to promote, my mom’s actually on there and she’s out there promoting her new book that’s about to come out.

So all sorts of cool things that you can do with that, and it’s really neat if you don’t want to be on a show or whatever, you can just hit decline and then they won’t bother you anymore. It’s just a really cool format. So I got those links down there. Feel free to check those out. Another kind of quick update on other ways to help support the show. You can always get some March. I’ve got those cool shirts. I don’t have my shirt on right now. It’s in the dryer. I had it planned to have on for this episode, but life happens also there in the background. I’ve got my mug also have a hoodie in the shop. So that’s always a great way to help support the show. And then another good way, like I mentioned before, I have my newsletter. This is part of why I like to do these solo episodes.

I like to kind of think out loud a little bit to the audience. I’m considering expanding the newsletter right now. The newsletter I will send out on Monday mornings to kind of announce the new show that airs every Monday morning and have just little blurbs in there about the current show and about past shows and things of that nature. I’m considering expanding it. I still want to have the announcement newsletter, but considering doing kind of like a blog style newsletter about different topics, different ways that you can engage the culture, things of that nature. So let me know if you’re interested in that. I’m thinking of doing it a blog style, maybe 500 words or so once a week or something. But if that’s something you’re interested in, I would love to hear your thoughts on that. And if so, what are some topics you would like to be covered?

Do you want me to talk about more current event things? Do you want to talk about mental health issues? Do you want to talk about ways that you can use social media for positivity and not for negativity? Anyways, I’d just love to hear your thought on that. Another perk of being on the newsletter is if you’re interested in merch, I do have some exclusive codes there to be able to discount your purchases there and I would love to expand upon that, maybe come up with some other newsletter member perks. You recently had that giveaway for Soad journal that she had released. So I’m always loving new. I want to not just have your guys emails and spam you all the time. I want to bring you value and I would love to hear some ideas from you of ways that I could help bring you value through those emails.

So all that being said, for today, I wanted to talk a little bit about a word that I think is very important and that is gratitude. So when I hear that word gratitude, I immediately think about a situation that happened with my daughter. So my daughter is almost four years old as of this recording and when my daughter was born, she had issues that it’s a medical condition known as jaundice. If you have had a baby that had jaundice, it’s fairly common. I don’t know the statistics on how many babies have it. I actually had it as a baby myself. The skin gets a little bit more yellowed and it’s an issue with your liver and something called bilirubin. Essentially your bilirubin count is too high, relatively minor, as long as you catch it and you get it treated. When I was a baby, the course of treatment was to put me in a window sill, get a lot of sunlight with my daughter.

We caught it when she was in the hospital and they had this fancy ultraviolet lamp essentially, and she had to wear these specialized sunglasses type of thing, kind of looks like what you put on your eyes if you go to a sun tan place or whatever. Anyways, so she had to do that and we were thinking that it wasn’t going to take that long and eventually we were going to get to go home and obviously we did go home eventually, but not when we wanted to. We had to stay another night or two longer than we would’ve liked to in the hospital. So my daughter, she was our firstborn. We were ready to go home, sleep in our own bed to have our daughter back home, start our life there with our baby out in the world and we’re just kind of bummed out, bummed out that we had to stay in the hospital a little bit longer.

And I don’t know if any of you listening to this have either one had a child or just have had to sleep in the hospital. It’s not a restful spot. Nobody likes having to sleep in the hospital. So during this story, I ended up going back home for a short while just to grab some more clothing, get some toiletry items because we weren’t planning on staying in the hospital as long as we did and when I’m driving out of the hospital, I see this helicopter that’s flying out. It’s a medical helicopter and that’s fairly frequent. That wasn’t that odd of an occurrence, but what was odd, as I’m driving out here as I

Johnny Sanders (14:50):

See this young lady that looked to be in her twenties or something like that, but she was out there in a hospital gown and she’s kind of the positioning of her body. She’s looking up at that helicopter and as the helicopter flies off, she as is being assisted. She had a nurse or something out there that was helping her and was assisted back into the hospital. I just thought at first glance I was like, that’s weird. Why is she out there? And I pieced this together. Now I could be wrong. I don’t know this lady, nobody ever told me what happened, but just using context clues, I’m pretty sure what happened is that lady that I saw was a new mom or at least a mom of a new child and that was more than likely her child, her baby that was up in that helicopter.

I say that because just based off of her age, her looking up at the helicopter, the fact that somebody was out there assisting her where she was going back into the hospital is kind of where the birthing wing is. And also at my local hospital, it’s not that uncommon for a baby to be taken into the medical helicopter. I just say that because our local hospital doesn’t have a nicu, so if there’s any type of treatment that is a little bit more serious in nature, they play it pretty, pretty safe and send most babies to OU Medical and they just do that on the helicopter there. I have no idea what happened to that baby, what happened to that mom? I hope that everything went fine, but I’m sitting there in my car driving, this is all going on and 15, 20 seconds in my head and my mindset changed.

I’m still annoyed, I’m still disappointed. I still want to go home. That desire didn’t change, but now all of a sudden my perspective changes. I become grateful. I become grateful that my wife is okay that she wasn’t having any major physical issues, became grateful that my daughter was okay. Sure she had jaundice. We were annoyed that her level bilirubin levels were higher and she had to stay in the hospital a little bit longer, but no point was there ever a risk of her having to be lighted or anything. I was grateful and it took me seeing something outside of my own pity, outside of my own discomfort and just being stuck in my head took me seeing outside a little bit for me to get more perspective. Now, before I go further on this, I want to clarify that there are going to be times in life that you are in a big despair.

Maybe you have lost a loved one. Maybe that is your kid that’s being lighted. Maybe you’re just really dealing with massive hardship in your life. There’s one book of the Bible that I think is always a great one to go back to when you’re facing strife like that and that’s the book of job. Job is such a story of perseverance and trust and God that I don’t know anybody on earth that went through quite what Job went through. His story of grief and despair and trust in God through it all is incredible. So I don’t want this story for me to say that, oh, just get over it. If you’re going through problems, just get over it. It’s no big deal and just think positive all the time. No, it’s more so what do you do with your grief, with your loss? Who are you going to with it?

Are you just saying woe was me and making it all about yourself and that you’ve got it the worst? I can understand that temptation. I’m not going to say I haven’t ever done that obviously in that story there in the beginning of it with both my daughter, I had some woes me attitude, but it’s important that when we are despaired that we give it to God that we don’t hold on to ourselves Job. He said that the Lord giveth and the Lord take it the way blessed be the name of the Lord. That amount of faith that he showed is incredible. We also see some of the psalmist that whether they’re an exile or whatever it may be, they feel God is distant from them and they still cry out, God, why are you distant? Why do I feel like you’ve abandoned me? But blessed are you, blessed?

Are your name that amount of faith to even go to God when you don’t feel him? That’s incredible. That is so my incredible faith to show. So again, the point of me saying all of this is not to say that you won’t experience despair just to quickly get over it. It’s simply to say that when we’re so focused on what’s going wrong, we miss the blessings around us because the fact of the matter is the fact that we are here. The fact that I have this microphone that I’m talking into, I’m talking into my camera, is my iPhone. I have a cell phone. Can you imagine what somebody 50 years ago that was looking at a cell phone, especially a smartphone, what kind of witchcraft is this? It’s incredible technology. Again, the fact that I’m just able to get up, walk around the fact that I have now three kids, I have a newborn son. Time of this recording was born two weeks ago. So much to be grateful for in my life, and I guarantee you, even if you are listening to this and you’ve gone through heartache, you have things you’re grateful for too. That doesn’t discount that you have struggles, but again, it gives you context and that is a big challenge I have for you.

Regardless of what you have going on in life, regardless of what stage of life you’re in, find something ideally daily that you’re grateful for. I’ve challenged this with some of my clients before, some of my counseling clients and what I love about making a daily gratitude challenge is eventually you lose some of the big ones. Like I mentioned, I’m grateful for my son that was just bored. That’s a good thing. I should be grateful for that and I love him to death. But if I’m going to say things I’m grateful for every day, I could still say that like I’m grateful for my son, grateful for my kids, my wife. I could still say that daily. That’s a good thing, but I want us to go beyond that, to not just be grateful for the big things. What about the small things? Again, time of recording this.

It’s been a very hot summer, especially in the later summer and the fact that we have air conditioning here is pretty incredible. Another thing, in the grand scheme of all time, human history, air conditioning is a very new invention. Have you been grateful for it? Have you been grateful for the fact that you are breathing today, that God gave you another day to live, another day to breathe? Are you thankful for socks? The fact that you’re able to put them on your feet and not blister your feet when you wear shoes again, another thing to be grateful for. Are you grateful for the fact that more than likely you did not go hungry or thirsty this day? There are things out there that you take for granted every single day and when things go wrong again, it’s okay to recognize that things aren’t right and that we want to correct some things and deal with that, but are you missing the context?

Are you missing all the blessings that you have there in between? You’re not ever going to be perfect at this. We’re all sinful. Sin impacts every single one of us, but especially those of you that are listening that have been given that grace pa God to be set free from our sin, to be forgiven for that. My goodness, there’s nothing bigger in the world than to be grateful for having a God that loves us so much that sent us his son and died for our sins and saved us from that. Boy, that’s a lot of gratitude. That’s huge gratitude. So we need to practice that. We need to model that. If you’re a mom, if you’re a dad, model that for your kids to show that there’s so much to be grateful for. If you listen to again, the Truth and Grace Counseling podcast, which proceeded Faithfully engaged, one of my last episodes, I was kind of explaining the change of going from the Truth and Grace Counseling podcast to Faithfully engaged, and one of the big reasons why I made the switch is I see so much content out there that is either conservative in scope, more political in scope, or even just being more Christian in scope that is focused on what’s going wrong.

Again, there’s nothing wrong with that. There is lots going wrong in our culture. No doubt you won’t hear me say otherwise. The issue is so much of that just leaves you listening to it, feeling down, feeling depressed, feeling angry, feeling apathetic, and then you just go into Woe is me. Or even worse, what’s the point? What’s the point of me trying? I don’t believe God made us to feel that way or to be that way. He wants us to be engaged in our lives to make a difference in our lives, and you personally probably aren’t going to save the United States. You’re not going to save the whole world and change everything yourself, but can you impact your kids? Can you go say hi to your neighbor? Can you be grateful for what God has gifted you with? You can do those things and that’s what I want to emphasize here is some real practical ways.

Not to act like nothing is wrong, but to actually do something with your life and you practicing feeling grateful for the things you already have, not coveting what you don’t have, not coveting what your neighbor has, but being grateful, being thankful for what you do have is a really big deal and that’s something in your control to think about every day. Now, again, wrapping up, let me know what you think of this episode. A little bit of a different feel. It’s just me, a little bit more kind of casual in nature. I might have themes like this kind of hearkening back to truth and grace, counseling of the last word segment where I took a word. That’s kind of where I got this idea from. Using gratitude. Lemme know what you think of that. Do you want a topic of the day? Would you like to do solo podcasts half the time and interviews half the time, maybe once a month for a solo podcast? Or what’d you just say? Again, Johnny, get out of here. I want to talk to the cool guest that you have on and just be more of the interviewer. Let me know. Again, check out North Arrow Coffee, keep coupon code engaged pod match. If you want to start a podcast and have some guest on there, or if you have a really cool product out there, a good book or want to advertise your company or something, go on

Johnny Sanders (26:42):

There, a guest. There’s all sorts of podcasts out there. It’s really cheap. Good advertising. I’m actually going to be trying to pop up on some podcasts here in the new future for Truth of Grace Counseling. I’ve got a new continuing education course that’s coming out. It’s about evangelicalism and ways that counselors can be better for those that are evangelical in the counseling field. So I’m going to be talking about that hopefully soon on some podcast and might even talk about a little bit more on this podcast later. But as always, thank you so much for listening. Feel free to check out those links. Please consider giving this a like subscribe, share. If you’re listening on audio, give it a five star review. I know it doesn’t seem like much and it’s really not, but it does add up quite a bit. So thanks again for listening. I hope you all have a great week, and I will talk to you guys soon. Next Monday.