"A happy heart is a thankful heart," as Madam Blueberry said it best from Veggie Tales. If you are a millinial or a mom of a millinial raised in church, you have watched this video dozens if not hundreds of times. Otherwise, you should find a copy and watch it, especially if you have little ones. So cute. The premise is that Madam Blueberry was so blue she didn't know what to do so she went to "Stuff Mart" and bought so much stuff that when they delivered it all to her house which was in a tree (Remember, we are talking about an animated child's show.) the house couldn't hold it all so disaster struck as the house was either flung from the tree and/or all the stuff was dumped into the pond below. Not exactly sure how that all went down as it's been a while since my now 18 year old watched it all the time. But it wasn't good. I do remember that. Had Madam Blueberry only been thankful, she wouldn't have been so blue and gotten herself in such a pickle. How true is that of each of our stories from time to time? Is there a situation you are in right now that is due to you not being thankful and searching for happiness in something that is causing more trouble than it's worth? Or maybe you can think of a situation in the past like that you can be sure not to repeat.
My uncle sent me an article recently that challenged the reader to do this exercise each day that has become a ritual for me that I love. The article suggested taking a few minutes each day to reflect on the last 24 hours through the lens of gratitude. It went on to say we reframe our memories by highlighting specific events we are thankful for. The goal is to write down or at least say out loud a minimum of three things you are thankful for. Studies show this will create a feeling of optimism to last up to two weeks! How cool is that?! Try it. I am loving doing it.
Another fun thing we have been doing lately is this~ My husband and I will get one of my bracelets I love to wear with beads and each say something we are thankful for over coffee for each bead. We even did this over dinner recently with friends and it was awesome! Made for a really great evening.
Getting in the habit of doing this daily takes as much time as brushing your teeth and according to Dr. Dan Tomasulo who wrote the article mentioned above, this ritual of thankfulness is as good for your emotions as brushing your teeth is for your health. He suggests "...you can review your gratitude list while you brush your teeth - and allow that smile to come from the inside as well."
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says to be happy, and sort of the how to is: pray constantly and be thankful no matter what.
Psalm 107:1 says to give thanks to the Lord because He is good, loving and kind...
Ephesians 5:20 again says to give thanks at all times.
Colossians 3:15-17 tells us to let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts acting as the umpire and be thankful, appreciative and give praise to God always.
2 Corinthians 9:11 says that our generosity brings forth thankfulness to God.
So the recurring theme is be thankful always. I think from this study that the key to being happy is not just being thankful but rather always, no matter what, in every situation, whatever comes our way to be thankful ALWAYS. Not happy? Then probably not as thankful as ya oughta be. Just sayin. That's been my testimony at times, not proud to admit. But man, it's such a quick and easy fix. I get thankful and happiness is right behind it.
Remember this week, a thankful heart is a happy heart!