Divine Connection: For bone-weary Burb Moms who need to recollect themselves and reconnect with the Divine
What if I told you there was a hot topic in scientific research that is a proven method of increasing your sense of well-being? This method increases your happiness, reduces stress and depression, and helps you feel more satisfied in your relationships and with life in general. The people who employ this powerful method exhibit more control over their lives, produce more personal growth, have more self-acceptance, and have a greater sense of purpose in life. This method is known as: Gratitude. Grateful people enjoy all these benefits and they even sleep better! (Now what Burb Mom couldn’t use that!)
Gratitude is being thankful for a received benefit. The scientific journal called Emotion (2008 vol 8, 281-290) reports that the amount of gratitude we experience depends on our perception of three things: (1) the value of what is received (2) the cost to the one who gives, and (3) that it is given with good intentions rather than ulterior motives. Studies show that a person who feels grateful is motivated to seek out their benefactor and improve relationship with them. So clearly, a focus on Gratitude to God is a way to make a Divine Connection!
I can think of no better example of a valuable benefit given at a high price than Jesus on the cross, but Will Smith does a great job of depicting sacrificial gifts in his movie Seven Pounds. What if you were going through life with a disability or limited life span because of something deficient? What if it was your child? And what if someone willingly gave their life to help you? How grateful would you be?
Wouldn’t you appreciate every little thing that so many take for granted–noticing the wonder of star light and yor baby breathing and your husband’s smile? Would that drive you to live more abundantly–kiss more, laugh more and share treasured moments with family and friends? Wouldn’t the rest of your time be lived not just for you but also in the name of the one who gave it all for you? The psalmist wrote, “What shall I return to the Lord for all his bounty to me?” (Psalm 116:12) That’s the soul’s natural response to God in gratitude. What is your response?
“Gratitude is the key to a virtuous life. Conversely, all sin boils down to ingratitude–to an abuse or neglect of God’s gifts.” ~Mark E. Thibodeaux
Are there any of God’s gifts you’ve abused or under-appreciated lately? Perhaps this week you could practice gratitude especially for those gifts. One way to practice gratitude is to write a letter to someone for whom you are grateful. Everyone loves to be appreciated. It is a practice that is life affirming and life building.
“Express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you’ll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you’ll find that you have more of it. ~Ralph Marston
I am grateful for many things including you, dear reader. You have my love and prayers for abundant living.