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For Jesus And For The Culture. . .Being Black, Christian and a Millennial In America

Gratitude is a Practice: The Benefits of a Thankful Heart

Dear Reader: 

From the time we’re young, we’re taught the importance of saying “please” and “thank you.” But as we get older and our lives get busier, it’s easy to forget the power of gratitude. Practicing gratitude is more than just good manners; it’s good for your mental and physical health!

When you show gratitude, you feel happier and more positive. You’re also more likely to help others and receive help when needed. Gratitude can even boost your career by helping you network and build relationships. Not convinced? Keep reading to learn about all the benefits of practicing gratitude!

The Benefits of Gratitude

Gratitude has been shown to have several benefits for mental and physical health. People who practice gratitude are happier, more optimistic, and less likely to be depressed. They’re also more resilient in the face of stress and more likely to care for their health.

Gratitude also strengthens relationships. When you show appreciation for others, they feel closer to you and are more likely to help you in the future. So if you’re looking for a way to improve your personal and professional relationships, start by expressing your gratitude!

How to Show Gratitude Every Day

The best way to reap the benefits of gratitude is to practice it daily. There are many ways to do this, so find what works best for you and make it part of your daily routine! Here are a few ideas:

Start a gratitude journal or diary.

Every day, write down a few things you’re grateful for. You could also include things that went well during your day or something you’re looking forward to in the future.

Make a point to thank someone every day.

Whether it’s a friend, family member, coworker, or stranger, take a moment out of your day to express your appreciation for them. A simple “thank you” goes a long way!

Keep a gratitude jar or box.

Whenever something good happens, or you notice something you’re grateful for, write it down on paper and put it in your jar or box. At the end of each month or year, read through everything you’ve collected and reflected on how far you’ve come!

Reflect daily on gratitude affirmations

Read positive statements about gratitude out loud to yourself, and let them sink in. Some examples are “I am grateful for what I have,” “I am grateful for my health,” or “I am grateful for my family and friends.”

Saying grace before meals

Take a moment to say grace before you eat. If not, simply taking a few seconds to pause and reflect on what you’re about to consume can help you appreciate your food more.

Volunteer your time or resources.

One of the best ways to show gratitude is to give back to your community. Donate your time or resources to a cause you care about, and help make the world a better place!

Practicing gratitude doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. Find what works for you and make it part of your daily routine. The benefits of a grateful heart are well worth the effort!

The Benefits of Being Grateful for the People in Your Life

Dear Reader: 

There are so many benefits to being grateful for the people in your life. Not only does it make you feel good, but it can also improve your relationships and make you a more positive person overall. Here are just a few of the benefits of expressing gratitude to the people in your life:

Gratitude Makes You Feel Good

We all know that happiness and positivity we get when we take the time to appreciate the people in our lives. Something about gratitude just makes us feel good! But did you know that gratitude also has a lot of benefits for your mental and emotional health? Studies have shown that people who practice gratitude regularly are more likely to experience less stress, anxiety, and depression. They report higher satisfaction levels with their lives and relationships and even tend to sleep better! And it’s not just mental health benefits that gratitude can offer. Practicing gratitude has been linked with improved physical health, too! There are plenty of reasons to make gratitude a part of your daily routine – so why not start today?

Gratitude Can Improve Your Relationships

There are a few ways in which gratitude can improve our relationships. First, they feel appreciated and valued when we express gratitude to someone. This can make them more likely to help us in the future and strengthen our bond. Second, grateful people are more likely to have fulfilling Relationships. A study published in The Journal of Positive Psychology found that more grateful individuals had closer friendships, more satisfying marriages, and better relationships than those who were less grateful. And third, expressing gratitude is a great way to start a conversation about emotions. If you have trouble communicating emotions, expressing gratitude is a great start.

So next time you feel grateful, don’t forget to express it! You may find that it improves your relationships more than you think.

Gratitude Makes You More Positive Overall

One of the best things about gratitude is that it can make you more positive overall. It’s easy to get bogged down in the negative and forget all the good in our lives. But if we take the time to focus on what we’re grateful for, we’ll start to see more of the good. Gratitude is like a muscle – the more you use it, the stronger it gets. The more you focus on what’s good in your life, the easier it becomes to see the good in everything. And as your grateful muscles get stronger, you’ll become happier and more optimistic overall. So if you’re looking for a way to increase your overall satisfaction with life, try adding gratitude to your daily routine. You might just find that it makes all the difference.

Gratitude is a great place to start if you’re looking for ways to improve your mental and emotional health. Not only does it make you feel good, but it can also improve your relationships and make you more positive overall. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy – Just take a few moments each day to think about who or what you’re grateful for. So next time you feel grateful, don’t forget to express it! You may be surprised at how much it can improve your life. Before long, you’ll start reaping all of the wonderful benefits that come with a grateful heart!

How to maintain your health while you’re working hard

Dear Reader: 

We all know the saying, “Work hard, play hard.” But what happens when working hard starts to take a toll on our health? It’s important to remember that our health should always be a priority, no matter how busy we are. Here are some tips on how to maintain your health while you’re working hard.

Get Enough Sleep

It’s been said that sleep is the cousin of death. And while that may be a bit dramatic, there’s no denying that getting enough sleep is vital to our overall health. Yet, in our 24/7 world, it can be all too easy to sacrifice sleep to get just one more thing done. But at what cost? A lack of sleep has been linked to various health problems, including obesity, heart disease, and depression. So how can we make sure we’re getting enough shut-eye? Disconnect from electronics an hour before bed and establish a bedtime routine to help you wind down. Additionally, experts recommend sleeping seven to eight hours per night for optimal health. By prioritizing sleep, we can improve our physical and mental health and function at our best. Sweet dreams!

Eat Healthy Meals

Regarding food, we often think about convenience first and health second. But if we want to maintain our health in the long run, it’s essential to make healthy eating habits a priority. Fruits, vegetables, and lean protein should be the foundation of every meal, and we should limit processed foods and sugary snacks as much as possible. Of course, it’s not always easy to eat perfectly healthy. But if we make an effort to plan and make wise choices when we can, we can give our bodies the nutrients they need to function at their best. This is one of my personal issues. I sometimes find myself feeling faint during the day and its because I haven’t eaten enough. I remember one day the breakfast I abandoned in breakroom was thrown away by a coworker and I totally forgot about it. That very same day I accidentally dropped my lunch lol. Three o’clock rolled around and I was definitely worse for wear. Don’t let this happen to you!

Take Breaks Throughout the Day

It’s essential to take breaks throughout the day to rest and rejuvenate. If possible, step away from your desk or workspace for a few minutes every couple of hours. Go for a walk around the block, call a friend, or read a chapter of your book. Taking regular breaks will help you stay focused and avoid burnout. My favorite thing to do is go for a walk during lunch. 

We all know the feeling of being completely overwhelmed and stressed out. We’ve all been there before – juggling a million different tasks and deadlines, trying to keep our heads above water. It can be helpful in moments like these to take a step back and remember that we need to take care of ourselves too. Our bodies and minds are not machines; they need time to rest and recharge.

So next time you’re feeling frazzled, take a break. Get up, walk around, call a friend, or read something for pleasure. A few minutes of self-care can make all the difference in productivity and focus.

Working hard is essential, but our health should always be a priority. By following these tips, we can ensure we care for ourselves physically and mentally. Getting enough sleep, eating healthy meals, and taking breaks throughout the day will help us stay focused and avoid burnout. Most importantly, we must remember that our bodies and minds are not machines – they need time to rest and recharge. So next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a break and give yourself some time to relax. Your work will thank you for it in the long run!

Finding your life’s purpose: How to live authentically in your calling

Dear Reader: 

We all have unique talents and passions that make us who we are. When we use these talents and passions to their fullest potential, we live authentically in our calling. But what does it mean to live authentically in your calling? And how can you find your life’s purpose? These are questions that we often ponder but seldom find satisfactory answers to. In truth, there is no one simple answer that will fit everyone. However, there are some things that you can do to help you understand and live into your authentic calling.

What Does It Mean To Live Authentically In Your Calling?

You are true to yourself and your talents when you live authentically in your calling. You are pursuing your passions and using your talents to their fullest potential. When you live authentically, you’ll feel a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction because you’ll be doing what you’re meant to do. What does it mean to live authentically in your calling? It means being honest about who you are and what you want to do with your life. It means having the courage to pursue your dreams and the strength to overcome obstacles. It means living each day with purpose and meaning. When you live authentically in your calling, you’ll be living a life that is truly yours. So, what does it mean to live authentically in your calling? Only you can answer that question. But whatever your answer may be, remember that living authentically is a journey worth taking. 

As you know by now, I think my career is part of my calling but that may not be true for everyone. Sometimes your calling can be separate from what you do for work. 

How to figure out your life’s purpose:

The first step is to spend time in contemplation and introspection. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. What are your values? What do you care about? What makes you come alive? When you are clear about these things, it will be easier to start discerning your life’s purpose. However, there are a few things you can do to start finding your life’s purpose:

Examine Your Talents And Passions. 

Think about what you’re good at and what you love to do. What are your strengths? What energizes and excites you? These are good places to start when it comes to finding your life’s purpose. 

Consider The Things That Bring You Joy. 

Another great way to start finding your life’s purpose is to think about the things that bring you joy. What are the activities or experiences that make you happy? When you’re doing something you love, it should bring you joy. If it doesn’t, then it might not be something you’re meant to do. 

Talk To People Who Know You Well. 

If you’re having trouble finding your life’s purpose, talking to people who know you well can be helpful. Ask them what they think your strengths are and what they think you should pursue professionally. Other people often see our talents and passions more clearly than we can see them ourselves! 

How to live out your life’s purpose

How you live out your life’s purpose is ultimately up to you. But once you understand what that purpose might be, there are some general principles you can follow to start living it out. First and foremost, don’t be afraid to take risks. Your life’s purpose is unlikely to be something that comes without effort or challenge. So don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and seize opportunities as they come your way. Second, stay true to yourself. Getting caught up in what other people think you should be doing with your life can be easy. But at the end of the day, you are the only one who knows what is best for you. Trust your gut and follow your heart. Third, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Pursuing your life’s purpose is not a solo journey. Surround yourself with people who support and believe in you and will help you along the way. And finally, enjoy the journey! It might not always be easy, but remember that living out your life’s purpose is an incredible privilege. Embrace the challenges and relish in the rewards. Pursue your purpose with passion and joy, and let it lead you to a truly fulfilling life.

Living out your life’s purpose is not always easy, but it is a journey worth taking. You can create a truly fulfilling life by following your heart, staying true to yourself, and embracing the challenges along the way. So, what does it mean to live authentically in your calling? Only you can answer that question. But whatever your answer may be, remember that living authentically is a journey worth taking.

Lastly, keep your mouth shut. When discovering who you are and what you are called to, don’t ask for second, third, or fourth opinions. This is between you and God. When you ask google, your mom, your aunt and your second cousin, they can only tell you what they want for you… not what God wants for you. Turn inward and listen to God, not google. 

Creating a Space You’re Grateful For

Dear Reader: 

It’s easy to take our homes for granted. We often complain about the noise, the mess, and the lack of privacy. But what if we took a step back and tried to see our homes differently? What if, instead of complaining about all the things we don’t like, we try to find things to be grateful for? Here are a few tips on how to make home a place you’re grateful for, even if it’s not perfect.

A couple of weeks back, I was talking to a man about how frustrated mess makes me and he told me about the gospel of closing the cabinet door and turning off the light. He told me the story of how his now-deceased mother-in-law used to always leave the kitchen light on and one of the cabinets ajar. He told me about how he used to get so incensed about it. Then he thought to himself, it’s easier to just turn the switch and close a door than get into an argument. 

Find the beauty in the chaos.

Our homes are often reflections of our lives. They are messy and chaotic because our lives are messy and chaotic. But instead of seeing this as a bad thing, try to find the beauty in the chaos. Embrace the fact that your home is full of life and energy. Appreciate all the little moments that make up your day-to-day existence.

For example, instead of feeling annoyed by the piles of laundry that seem to be constantly growing, take a moment to appreciate all the people in your life who wear those clothes. Think about all the activities they’ve been involved in and all the memories they’ve helped to create. Those clothes are more than just fabric; they’re a tangible representation of your life and all the things that make it extraordinary.

So next time you’re feeling overwhelmed by the messiness of your home, take a step back and try to see the beauty in the chaos. It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it. After all, your home is where your life happens. And your life is beautiful, even when it’s messy.

Make it your own.

A home is a special place. It’s where we can relax and be ourselves. It’s a refuge from the outside world. And it should reflect our personalities. Unfortunately, too often, our homes become just a reflection of the latest trends. We buy what’s popular, not what we like. We follow the herd instead of listening to our hearts. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Your home can be a true expression of who you are. All you have to do is make it your own. Hang some pictures, put out some plants, and light candles. Whatever makes you feel comfortable and happy, do it! Your home should be a reflection of you and your unique personality. So go ahead, make it your own!

Be present in the moment.

Getting caught up in thoughts of what could be or what might have been is easy. But dwelling on what’s not doesn’t do any good. Instead, try to focus on what is. Be present in the moment and appreciate all the good things that are happening right now, in this very moment.

The moment will be gone soon. Like that man whose mother-in-law is no longer with us. All he has is, what has now become a fond memory, of a woman who left a single cabinet ajar every single day. LOL.  

It can be helpful to think of your life as a journey. Each day is a new step, and each moment is a new experience. If you’re always looking back at what’s already happened, you’ll miss out on all the good things happening right now. So instead, focus on the present and savor all the little moments that make up your life. They’ll be gone before you know it.

Remember, it’s not forever.

It’s easy to be grateful when everything is going well. But what about when you’re struggling? When it feels like life is one big challenge, it can be hard to see anything worth being thankful for. If you’re finding it hard to be grateful, try reminding yourself that nothing is permanent. Your current situation is only temporary, and it will eventually change. So instead of dwelling on the negative, try to be patient and ride out the tough times. After all, better days are always ahead. Who knows, maybe even your current struggles will become something you’re grateful for someday. After all, they often lead us to growth and strength we would never have found otherwise. So next time you’re feeling down, remember that this too shall pass. And then find something small to be grateful for in the meantime.

Creating a space, you’re grateful for starts with changing your mindset. Instead of seeing all the things wrong with your home, try to find things to appreciate. Yes, it might be noisy and messy, but that’s because there’s so much life inside its walls! Embrace the chaos and make it your own by personalizing your space with things that make you happy. And if you’re struggling, just remember that your current situation is only temporary, and better days are ahead.

A home is a special place. It’s where we can relax and be ourselves. It’s a refuge from the outside world. And it should reflect our personalities. Unfortunately, too often, our homes become just a reflection of the latest trends. We buy what’s popular, not what we like. We follow the herd instead of listening to our hearts. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Your home can be a true expression of who you are. All you have to do is make it your own. Hang some pictures, put out some plants, and light candles. Whatever makes you feel comfortable and happy, do it! Your home should be a reflection of you and your unique personality. So go ahead, make it your own!