Today is Thanksgiving in the United States. Scientific research, countless personal stories, and good old common sense demonstrate that being grateful is good for you – physically, emotionally, relationally, and spiritually. A day to do this together is awesome. And I’d like to share my grateful list with you.

Gratitude does not dismiss problems. But neurobiology says that what we focus on becomes larger in our brains. Looking for things to be grateful for makes those things even more real.

So here are some key parts of my grateful list for this year.

  1. My new home.

I moved this year. UGH! And yet YEAH! The move was very intentional. The home I’m in now makes certain parts of my life and ministry so much more fluid, possible, and integrated. On days I work from home I look out from my home office to see my enormous oak tree and the Texas countryside. My back porch is a sanctuary. Having a permanent video room makes producing that type of content so much easier and more consistent. I have space to host gatherings for ladies, or couples, or family.

My new home is not perfect! But I feel deep gratitude for both the physical blessings of my new home, and for what this home makes possible.

What material blessings do you have? And even more important, what do the material things you have make possible? How might you be able to invest whatever you do have for blessing others?

  1. YOU!

There’s nothing that fuels me more than you. Every single morning I pray for you. Everything I write, say, or produce is for you. I think about the problems you share with me, and ask God to help me and our team craft resources that will be helpful for you. When I receive a comment or question from you, it lights up my day.

And the thing that brings me such deep joy is when I hear that you have been helped in some way by something we have made available. When you share with me a “lightbulb moment,” a question you got answered, a problem in your relationship that has improved, a new way you’ve addressed a challenge, something you’ve learned about God and His ways, I celebrate with you!

I hope you’re reaching out to help someone too. Who has God put in your life who needs what you have to offer? Is there someone you can be grateful for this Thanksgiving whose life is in some way better because of you?

  1. Divine Guardrails

Giving God permission to direct your life is amazing. I’ve specifically given God permission to be in charge of my time, my money, and my influence. I’ve devoted great amounts of time, energy, and resources into growing and developing certain parts of this ministry. Some things have “worked;” some things have not worked so well. There have been some “no’s” this year as well as some wonderful “yes’s.”

Learning to hold plans loosely has been such a healthy thing. I’ve learned to invite God into the process right from the start, rather than to try to create something and expect God to “bless” what I came up with. If He’s the Originator, then He will always bless it! If He’s not, He’s not obligated to do so.

God’s “no’s” can provide wonderful guidance. Every time I’ve experienced a No, it has resulted in a clearer focus, and better preparation for what God is about to say Yes to.

Have there been some No’s in your life this past year? What clarity has that brought for you? Can you see God now preparing you for your next Yes?

From me and all of us at Dr Carol Ministries,

Happy Thanksgiving!

Your Turn: What are you grateful for this year? How can broadening your view of gratitude make this holiday even more meaningful? I’d love to hear your gratitude list in the comments below!

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  • Scientific research, countless personal stories, and good old common sense demonstrate that being grateful is good for you. Here’s part of my grateful list for 2019. What are you choosing to be grateful for?  Tweet that.

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