I don't always display an attitude of gratitude. 'Always' is the key word here. I'm grateful when I receive something I've been wishing and praying for. I always remember to say "Thank You" when I receive great customer service at a restaurant or a store. I send thank you notes, texts and emails when people go out of their way to show kindness to me. But I still have room to grow in the gratitude department, because a true attitude of gratitude requires gratefulness even when I don't get what I want or wish for. Even when I get terrible customer service. I'm not saying we should express our thanks to a person who treated us wrong, but I am saying that we can still express thanks to God in every situation. An attitude of gratitude says, "I'm NOT happy with the service I received, but I AM thankful to even be in a position to be able to afford to eat/shop here. I am grateful for this experience in spite of the situation."
Let me share a real life experience that literally just happened before I sat down to write this blog today. (I love how the Lord works.) So part of the hood that vents our stove stopped working a few weeks ago. For a family who likes to cook 5 nights a week, this is a real problem. We've been using the stove and opening the windows and doors and turning on our ceiling fan to try to vent the kitchen each time we cook. Needless to say, the smoke has verified that our fire alarms are working just fine.... We called a repair company that was recommended by the appliance brand we have. The 1st time they came out the technician literally said to me "I don't know how to repair this, you're going to have to make another appointment so we can send another technician out who has experience with this model," even though I gave them the model number when I booked the appointment. After he left, the one part that was working also stopped working. The 2nd time they didn't show up. After the scheduled appointment window had passed I called and they said "Sorry, the technician is still on another job and won't be able to make it today." The 3rd time (just about 30 minutes ago) they came and fiddled with it for an hour and said "We have to order 3 parts, but we can't give you a quote until next week and you need to pay a service charge for us coming out today." There is more to this story that I'd love to vent (pun intended), but let me get to my point.
When they left my house for the third time, I had to check my attitude and choose to be grateful. I was frustrated at the terrible customer service I received, I won't pretend that I wasn't. However it's not the end of the world. I am still grateful that even if I can't use my stove, we have an oven. Even if our oven stops working too, we have a microwave. Seriously, I have no reason to be ungrateful and let this situation frustrate me to the point of not still showing my appreciation to God for what I do have. There are hundreds of millions of people who wish they had a stove that needed repair. Instead of allowing a negative attitude to take over, wasting energy and time fussing about this situation to family, friends or social media - I will choose gratitude.
Do you choose gratitude or do you give in to the temptation to settle into negative thoughts?
One of the ways I've found to quickly turn my thoughts from negative to positive is to write "Thank You" notes. As soon as I hit save on this post, I'm going to write a "Thank You" note to my husband. For all the little repairs he does around the house so that we don't have to always rely on an outside company to come in. That's something I can easily take for granted and this experience has highlighted how grateful I am that many of these frustrations are avoided because he takes good care of our home. Just thinking about him has already turned my attitude into gratitude.
I hope our GRATITUDE box will help you do the same. It's all about encouraging yourself and others through a heartfelt expression of thankfulness. The act of expressing appreciation shows humility and can change your attitude from one of negativity to positivity. From self-centeredness to selflessness. So we hope you'll join loved+blessed® and Bakery TWO NINE™ in this month's:
SHOW YOUR GRATITUDE Instagram challenge
Winners will receive a limited edition box of encouragement filled with a dozen Bakery TWO NINE™ cookies and goodies from loved+blessed®.
- Follow @passhopeon and @bakerytwonine on Instagram
- Use the planning page to think of creative ways to express gratitude
- Throughout November, post pictures showing how you used items from your Gratitude box to say "Thank You" to those special people in your life
- Tag @passhopeon and @bakerytwonine and use the hashtag #attitudeofgratitude
- Each post will be entered to win, so the more you post, the better your chances of winning!
There will be 4 winners, selected at random. Challenge starts November 1st and ends November 30th, 2016. Winners will be announced on December 1st.
To help you get started, we've included 2 cookie cutters that can be used not only for cookies, but also to make heart and cross shaped sandwiches or rice crispy treats! If you're not a baker or want to encourage someone who's watching their waistline, use the cookie cutters as molds for homemade candles or even stencils to cut out photos or decorate scrapbook pages.
Even if you don't join our Instagram challenge, my hope is that you'll use the cookie cutters and "Thank You" cards to put a smile on someone's face. And that their smile will in turn encourage you to continue to maintain an attitude of gratitude.
If you love delicious (like really delicious) treats, learn more about Bakery TWO NINE™ on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BakeryTwoNine/