Grasping for Gratitude

Nov 11, 2021 9:00:00 AM / by Tera Michelson

Where did all the volunteers go? What’s our Plan B for Advent? How can we pull off a winter retreat? Under the weight of these questions and so many more, I am weary. I am weary of keeping distance and awareness of safety protocols. I am weary of having to pivot, reimagine, and rethink. I am weary from the weight of these days and times. Working in ministry under these conditions leaves me grasping for gratitude. When the thankfulness to which Jesus calls us feels out of reach, join me in looking up from the fatigue and focusing on bringing back an attitude of gratitude. Here’s how I am reclaiming a thankful heart this season.

Anchor Your Worth

When I am seeking gratitude, it helps to rescue my bobbing self-esteem from the stormy seas of privilege. When I lose sight of my role in God’s kingdom, I float from entitlement to unworthiness, a sliding scale of what I do and don’t deserve. Remind yourself that your worth comes from being a child of God. We are heirs of God’s great love, and our legacies are mercy and grace.

Ask for Help

Repeat after me: It’s okay to ask for help. When I shed my fears and anxieties and look up from the grindstone, I usually find people around me that are available and equipped to help. When we are too afraid to ask for help, we miss the blessing of being vulnerable and authentic, robbing ourselves and others of the opportunity to connect and grow together in a new way.

Adapt Your Perspective

When I feel stuck, I change my lens. I zoom in on the little things that may have been going unnoticed, and I zoom out to bring the big picture into view. Shift your frame of reference to alter your frame of mind. We often find what we are looking for. Make it a daily goal to pinpoint three things for which you are grateful. With a fresh perspective, your list will grow exponentially from there.

Slow the Scroll

One of my first baby steps to gratitude is to limit my screen time. Shut down the comparison monster that can emerge from social media. Recognize that the square photos of smiling faces are carefully edited and curated to only show the best moments. Instead of focusing on your own feed, focus on the needs of others. Being a helper breeds gratitude.

I thank God for you, your ministry, and your grateful heart this season!

Topics: gratitude

Tera Michelson

Written by Tera Michelson

Tera Michelson is a silver-haired youth leader, serving the church since 1994. She loves Jesus and teens. She is a pastor’s spouse, mother of three, and writes at the world’s loudest house on a hilly street in Ohio.


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