“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” ( I Thess. 5:18, NLT)

God, I need a fresh word on gratitude.

After all, I’ve heard about this topic many times in my Christian life. And do believe gratitude is vital to a fulfilled life in Christ even as I wrestle with living it out. AND, after all, this is the launch of the Sacred Story blog conversation!

To refresh my perspective, I did a bit of research on the benefits of gratitude. Harvard Medical School reports:  “In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. . . gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals — whether to other people, nature, or a higher power.”

I love how God’s wisdom proves true whether people recognize Him as the Source. Through Jesus, I am so grateful to be connected to the Source. What I experience in my daily life is an opportunity to acknowledge God. Even when I can’t make sense out what is happening in my story, I want to thank Him for hearing me and moving in ways I cannot see.

Speaking of stories, my gratitude meter is OFF THE CHARTS when it comes to thanking the women who have contributed so far. What a rich and precious collection–continuing to expand with your help!

I believe every woman’s story overflows with gratitude. Not necessarily for the unknown roads and hard circumstances in and of themselves. The overwhelming response is thankfulness for how God shows Himself faithful.

Faithful to guide.

Faithful to sustain.

Faithful to comfort.

Faithful to transform.

Faithful to work all things together for good.

I also have LOADS OF THANKS flowing out of my heart for the following people who helped launch this site:

Cynthia Johnson, your groundwork is invaluable.

Laure Bertrand, your design of the site is amazing.

Jack Potts, your photos add a special touch.

Alicia Garza, your calligraphy is beautiful.

Brittany Mederos, your heart for stories is so refreshing.

Each month the Sacred Story blog hosts a conversation about a topic. I’m beyond grateful for the blog contributors whom I deeply admire. I can’t wait for you to interact with these dear sisters.  In November, tasty food is a reason to give thanks as we sit down for THE THANKSGIVING MEAL. You won’t want to miss side-dish recipes posted by culinary queen and trained-chef Lauren Browning.

I want to share this reminder. A few sentences after the apostle Paul writes the command to give thanks, he pens the following blessing and promise (I Thess. 5:23-24, Italics mine): “Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. God will make this happen, for He who calls you is faithful.”

What evidence of God’s faithfulness do you see in your story? What helps your gratitude meter increase?

Ladies, I’d love to talk amongst ourselves in the comments below as we celebrate the start of the conversation. ~Laura