Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Study Time: Gratitude

Wow, it has been a hot minute since I spoke with you guys! I hope you are all doing well. I have been real busy!
The Belfry in St.Peters Square
Ghent, Belgium
One of the things I had the opportunity to do at work is visit Ghent in Belgium for three days. I attended the Flanders Belgium Travel Forum, which was the flagship event of the whole trip. It was for organised by the Visit Flanders Tourist Board and was another opportunity for key players in the travel industry to network and do business. Aside from the "work" part, I was blessed with the chance to tour the historical city of Ghent and to learn all about its history and culture.
The canal in the historical town
For someone who up until a couple of years was in a mundane job she wasn't exactly thrilled with,I couldn't help but feel a deep sense of gratitude for how far I have come, and the opportunities that are now afforded me. This has inspired the theme of today's blog post. It's the latest installment of the Study Time series.

So, what is Gratitude? It is described as the quality of being thankful or deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received.
The old Ghent prison
(You need to find out why it's called the Mammelokker. Hehe!)
For those of us who choose to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Bible, we ought to be grateful to God who we believe has blessed us with eternal life, life on earth and everything in it. 
Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, MSG)

Not convinced? In an April 2015 study of 186 men and women with heart damage, researchers rated the people’s levels of gratitude and spiritual well-being. They found that higher gratitude scores were linked to having a better mood, higher quality sleep and less inflammation (, Nov 2015)
You cannot go to Belgium and not try a Belgian beer!
With that said, can we please do a short study on why gratefulness is important, and the benefits of displaying an attitude of gratitude?

1. It takes the focus off of what you don't have.
All that I am ...praise [bless] the Lordeverything in me ...·praise [bless] his holy name. My whole being ...praise [bless] the Lord and do not forget all his kindnesses [gifts; benefits]. (Psalms 103: 1,2 EXV)

2. It attracts more kindness from others
Ruth fell at [Boaz's] feet and thanked him warmly. "What have I done to receive such kindness?"...At mealtime, Boaz called to her "come over here and help yourself to some food..." (Ruth 2: 10, 14a, NIV)

Dinner at the very prestigious Belga Queen
3. It grants you peace 
And when you pray, always give thanks... And God’s peace will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6b - 7a, ICB)

4. It grants you joy 
It is good to give thanks to the Lordto sing praises to your name...For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work;at the works of your hands I sing for joy. (Psalm 92: 1, 4 ESV)
Belgian hot chocolate, with whipped cream. Mmmm.....

There is a story in the Good Book (Luke 17:11-19) of ten men suffering from leprosy, which is a horrible, flesh eating disease. Even today, these men are known as the ten lepers. Even though all ten were healed by Jesus, only one made a point of saying "thank you" to him. Jesus, astonished that only one of the ten had the common decency to say thank you, said to the one man "Get up and go. Your faith has healed you" (v19) Only God knows the implications of that for the other nine!

This is an important lesson in being grateful. So, how do you show gratitude?

1. Saying "thank you" (well that's obvious!)
2. Choosing to focus on the good
3. Being satisfied with what you have
4. Being joyful (different to happiness, which is only determined by your current circumstances)
5. Getting out of the mindset that somehow the world owes you something
6. Giving back to others

Thank you Visit Flanders! Very grateful for the opportunity.
Whether you choose to take the 100 days of gratitude challenge, or simply make notes on everything you have to be grateful for, please do not forget that an attitude of gratitude will determine your altitude!

What are some of the ways in which you show gratitude, or have been shown gratitude? Please comment below.


  1. Showing "Gratitude" is very important and definitely a great thing. You nailed every point. Belgium is one of the places I want to visit for sure. Great shots, Madeline. Still waiting for your call and questions. Ha!!

    1. Thank you Missy May! Bless you. And...hmmm, please sister forgive me oh! I promise that very very soon you will hear from me. Promise :-) Lol! I hope you and your son are well. xx

  2. I love the focus on gratitude in this post, it truly is the foundation stone for happiness! How lovely your work saw you visit Ghent; I've stayed in Belgium's Bruges many times, however am yet to visit Ghent - the canal looks lovely :)

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice

    1. Thank you Gabrielle. It was a very lovely opportunity. But we did actually do some work. Promise! Please do post your lovely pics whenever you do visit!


© SoulJourner's Story. All rights reserved.
Blogger templates by pipdig