Breathing Out Gratitude

November 21, 2018 | Written by Janae Collins

Our little girl starts her day the same every morning. Arms stretched out and upward with a sweet grin. After waking up with my usual grunting or weariness from a short night, this is a bright spot to walk into.

There’s been a devotional I’ve been reflecting on all week that talks about our bodies giving thanks automatically. Like our Creator created us in such a way that is naturally prone to worship Him and give thanks sometimes without us even realizing it.

This is an excerpt from this devotional:

“Little girls twirl and giggle with the delight of being alive without ever watching a YouTube tutorial.

When we’ve been spared a calamity or rescued from peril, our lungs naturally heave deep sighs that sound a whole lot like “Yahweh,” one of the powerful names of our rescuing God. As we age, our shoulders tend to stoop. Sure, there’s a medical reason for the change, but is it possible that age brings humble gratitude? Might we naturally bend lower as the years reveal the faithfulness of God?

We tend to think of gratitude like a greeting card, a warm sentiment sent to someone special. Or maybe it’s a journal entry, a place where we are “intentional” to write down our expressions of thanks.

But what if gratitude doesn’t require pen and paper or a stamp?

Here in 2 Chronicles chapter 6, Solomon’s body seems electrified with thanks. First, he stands and spreads out his hands, gratefully receiving the gifts of God’s favor (v.12). Next, he kneels, lifting his hands toward heaven. We might expect Solomon to parade or puff up at this important occasion. Instead, he lowers his body into a posture of humility (v.13). Gratitude will do that; it knocks us out, and lays us flat.” -She Reads Truth, Thankfulness Study Day Three

This hasn’t been the easiest or my most favorite season by any means, though there is plenty to be grateful for. In the last few months, as we transitioned from one to two babies, I have often felt behind in my walk with the Lord. Through the mundane days of caring for littles, my love and need for stability has been a bit lost. And so, I try to grasp onto systems to write out or lists to help me remember things to be grateful for. This format isn’t wrong. But for my current heart, it’s not easily attained. It’s overcomplicating gratitude.

As I move toward this week of Thanksgiving, I can’t help but look back at the last few months and see how my body was constantly giving thanks to the Lord. I didn’t try new methods, I just lived as a created and loved daughter the best that I could. It didn’t feel enough and it wasn’t neat and tidy. But, I see now how it was shaping my heart into one that breathes out gratitude.

My hands naturally relax and turn open when I hear music. Tears sting my eyes when I hear a story of my friends grief. I breathe deep sighs of relief when my babies wake up in the morning and when it’s not my school that the shooting was at and when I watch fires rage through my home state. And, my shoulders stoop lower by the day’s end, knowing full well I would not have made it on my own.

I’m learning to trust that this kind of gratefulness is enough. It’s how we were created.

May we be more like my little girl who reaches up in gratitude every morning. And may we remember His promises and respond to His faithfulness this week.

Written by Janae Collins
Janae is wife to Kyle, mom to Logan and Brooklyn. Read more from Janae on her blog.

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