In 2011 I read the best-selling book "One Thousand Gifts (A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are)" by Ann Voskamp. It outlined the simple idea of keeping record of the blessings, either big or small, that present themselves in our lives. Blessings as big as a beautiful blazing sky over the ocean or as small as a steaming cup of coffee in the early morning.
This read was a difference-maker for me in terms of learning how to find a better attitude in varying circumstances of my life during that season years ago.
Really, it was the idea of being present with what is right in front of me, noticing the God winks and not taking them for granted. If we are looking for Him, we will see Him. .
“…the secret to joy is to keep seeking God where we doubt he is”
The Bible, the perfect lens in which to see our lives, reminds us where to set our mind.
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
Philippians 4:4-9 (ESV)
I take courage in these words. He gives us the guidelines of how to frame our lives. Prayer and thanksgiving lead to the peace of God which surpasses our understanding. Next, thinking about whatever is honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable and excellent promises that He will be with us.
Loved ones, if our life is hidden in Christ, then so are our circumstances.
This encouragement should inform our attitudes. We have been called into kingdom- mindedness. We set our minds on things of heaven, not on the things of earth!
We can so easily default to baseline attitudes. However, our circumstances are not ground level the way that we may see them. Our very lives are held with Christ in a place of victory. In every difficulty we always have the promise of the resurrection. Believing and living in this resolve should shape us.
From the most challenging circumstances in life to little annoyances that frequently pop up, knowing that there is always a higher thought, a clearer lens from which to see and a circumstance seated in victory, I am empowered to choose attitudes in life that serve who I want to be and who God has called me to be.