Gratitude: Lessons From Joanna Gaines

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Hey there, friends! Ya' know how I'm borderline obsessed with Chip and Joanna Gaines? And ya' know how in the past I've talked about what Joanna Gaines taught me about simplicity? Well, then it probably won't shock you that once again, I've found another gem from The Magnolia Journal (TMJ, from here on out) to talk about.

Per usual, TMJ was packed with yummy recipe's, fun recommended items, and sweet articles about homes, families, and local businesses. But I think my favorite part of TMJ is the A Note From Jo section. This is where she shares wisdom about something she has been learning lately.  

For the Fall issue of TMJ, Joanna chose to talk about gratitude.

Joanna approaches this subject in an extremely practical and applicable way. Her main premise?

Everyday tasks are reminders of how blessed we are. -Joanna Gaines. What I've learned about #Gratitude from #JoannaGaines

Such a simple concept, huh? But good grief, we miss this constantly.

If I have to do the dishes when I am tired, I grumble.

When I have to wake up early for work, I complain.

When I have to fold clothes, I avoid it.

When I have to go to a social engagement that I don't want to attend, I try to get out of it.

When my car needs repairs, I get stressed because it costs money.

When my spouse doesn't agree with me, I get angry.

Surely most of us know that these aren't the right responses. But figuring out how to have a good and godly response is a lot harder to do than simply identifying the wrong way of doing things. But tackling this issue is what Joanna Gaines does in TMJ, and it's what I want to discuss with you today.

Gratitude: What I learned about it from Joanna Gaines and The Magnolia Journal. #JoannaGaines #Magnolia

What Joanna Learned About Gratitude

Joanna talks about how she used to dread meal planning and grocery shopping. She used to feel that gardening was a burden. She felt like a cab driver when she had to drive her kids everywhere. And she felt overwhelmed by the constant mountain of laundry that seemed to always be waiting for her.

But then something changed. Joanna decided to choose gratitude for the everyday things in life, and her attitude was transformed. When she realized that cooking for her family was a privilege, and that she was able to serve them and help nourish them through this act, she stopped dreading it.

When she accepted that the garden work was not going away anytime soon, she decided to use that time outdoors to breath and think. It become her own little therapy session.

The same was true of driving. Joanna realized that her time in the car with her kids was the best time to catch up with them and hear how they were doing. They had time to talk without the distraction of TV, homework, etc. At that realization, it was no longer a chore, but a joy.

And as for laundry? Despite the fact that Joanna says this one will always be tough for her, she has found gratitude by realizing the abundance they have. They have been blessed with even more than they need, and taking care of this chore is a reminder of that.

"I bet you have your own internal list of little daily grievances... Sometimes a change of perspective is all it takes to let gratitude run free in every area of our lives. Once that happens, nothing ever looks the same again: Everything starts looking like a thank-you." 
                                                    - Joanna Gaines

What Joanna Taught Me About Gratitude

So what does that mean for me- for us?

It means that we should be thankful when the alarm goes off in the early morning, because it means we are blessed with a job and an income.

It means that we should be grateful for the social engagements, since it's another opportunity to make friends, form community, and be a witness for Christ.

It means that I should cultivate gratitude for the dishes that need to be washed- because dirty dishes mean that I've had food to eat and plates to eat it on.

It means that I should try not to get angry about car repairs- I should be grateful that I have a car to drive in the first place.

It means that when Taylor and I disagree, I should be thankful that he and I are often able to grow, challenge, and sharpen each other.

Responsibilities & Blessings

The fact that we have things that require our attention, means that we have things that are worth taking care of. Having responsibilities means that we are in charge of things that are worthwhile. And coming to this realization is a practical way to cultivate gratitude year-round. And while I technically knew that, Joanna just has such a great way of wording things. She is very skilled in taking simple concepts and bringing them to life.

So once again, a big thank you to "Jo Jo". She rocks, and she has so many wise things to say. I hope this struck as much of a cord with you as it did with me.

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