57 - Are You A Believer?
[00:00:00] Hey friends. Welcome to another episode of life after therapy.
[00:00:07] I have to tell you one of my favorite things. It's my sushi guy at my local grocery store. His name is Peter, and he just has the biggest smile every time I come to get sushi and I don't do it very often, it's usually a celebratory thing for me. But when I do, he just lights up and he wants to talk to me about sushi, wants to help me pick which one, he makes sure that I know that Wednesday sushi is on sale, and he just is watching out for me. I really love sushi and I really love Peter.
[00:00:37] But I love Peter for more than just his enthusiasm. Last year on my anniversary, I thought it might be fun for me and my husband to make sushi together. We both love sushi and it sounded like it'd be fun to add that to our date night. Well, I bought all the stuff to make it. And then of course I thought of Peter that he'd probably want to share with me his tips, and I could definitely use that help.
[00:01:00] So I went and asked him for his secrets of how to make good sushi. He told me things about rice, about how to roll it, about what things to put in versus not, and he was all excited. He even came on the other side of the counter and we had a little chat.
[00:01:14] After we had talked about making sushi and he had shared his tips, he asked me, "How many years are you celebrating? " I told them it had been 13 years. "Do you have any kids? " I told them that I had four boys. And then I remembered a conversation that I had with another one of my Asian friends. They had told me that having four sons in their culture was a sign of good luck. Something about four princes and some Chinese proverb or symbol about four sons meaning that you're lucky.
[00:01:45] I want it to relate to him culturally. And so I said, "Yeah, I have four sons. That means I'm lucky, right? " Well in that moment, Peter got this questioning, look on his face and he said to me, "Are you a believer? "
[00:02:01] Now, in that moment, I kind of stopped and was like, "Um, are you talking about believing in Chinese tradition or what? I don't know. " But then knowing that I'm in Texas and people talk openly about Christianity here, I asked him, "You mean a believer in Christ? "
[00:02:17] He nodded his head and I tapped into my faith and said, yes, I am absolutely a believer in Christ. And what he said next stopped me in my tracks.
[00:02:27] He said, "If you are a believer. Then you don't believe in luck. You are not lucky. You are blessed. "
[00:02:38] This profound statement rendered me speechless. I felt called on the carpet for my faith. Did I believe in that moment that I just was lucky that I had four sons or that having four boys somehow made me more lucky in the world? Or do I believe that God orchestrates all things for my good and the blessing of my children came from Him? This is what Peter was inviting me to remember in the middle of Kroger.
[00:03:10] As I stood there and processed what he had said, Peter just gave me one of those knowing smiles. I finally said to him, "You are absolutely right. Thank you for reminding me how blessed I am and where my blessings come from. "
[00:03:28] My friend, my question for you is the same one that Peter asked me: *are you a believer?*
[00:03:36] Do you believe in Jesus Christ? Do you believe that every good thing comes from God? That it is orchestrated for you, there to help support you on this journey? That He is constantly giving you good gifts in your life, your children, your home, your employment, your natural strengths and gifts?
[00:03:58] *Everything that you have, everything that you are, has been guided by the gifts that come through the power of Jesus Christ on this earth. *
[00:04:11] Do you believe that? And if you believe that, are you showing up in a way that honors that? Are you taking time to see it, to recognize it, to feel gratitude for those gifts? Or is it just a lucky coincidence that good things happen to you?
[00:04:30] If you're a believer, truly a believer that has that deep relationship with Him, you will naturally notice your blessings, honor where they came from, and take time to thank Him. Not just repetitively saying in prayer. "I'm grateful for this food and I'm grateful for this day. And thanks for all the things you've given me. " But the kind of prayers where you really actually _feel_ that gratitude, feel it in your body, express it from your heart. Yes, it's harder to do that when we're surrounded by other people with family prayer over dinner, but you can still have that genuine gratitude for the things that He has given you.
[00:05:13] Ever since Peter invited me to remember that I'm a believer and that good things don't just come because of luck, I've tried to be more purposeful in my gratitude, especially in my prayers. And to teach my children how to do that too. So often their prayers are very rote and repetitive. And I'm grateful that they're practicing prayer and that it's a habit that we're instilling in their life that is priority for me and I don't think they need to do it perfectly. But if they watch _me_ be more genuine in _my_ gratitude, I see it trickle down and ripple into their lives, where they are more sincerely grateful. They actually pray from their heart, they feel that gratitude for the things that God has given them.
[00:06:01] The greatest benefit of practicing gratitude as a believer is strengthening the relationship you have with God the Father and His son Jesus Christ. That is invaluable. There's also many, many other benefits that come when you practice this mindset.
[00:06:21] So many studies have shown time and time again that gratitude can do amazing things in your life. It can improve your sleep, your mood, even your immunity. It can decrease depression, anxiety, difficulties with chronic pain, or even reduce the risk of disease.
[00:06:40] If there was a pill that could do all of that, everyone would be taking it. We'd all be scrambling over each other, trying to get it from the grocery store. It's right in front of us if we take time to practice sincere gratitude.
[00:06:57] And as we do, those other lifestyle benefits come naturally. We strengthen that relationship with Him and we end up trusting Him more to bring us good things. We're going to have the eyes to see it when He does bring us good things and we're going to move forward with more faith.
[00:07:16] Now, like any other good idea. It's just an idea or a dream, unless you have some sort of plan around it. And as much as I would like to say that I am really great at gratitude, I have to link it to other things for me to remember.
[00:07:31] One of my favorite things I like to do is play what I call the gratitude game with my son as we're driving to school. It helps us both get in a positive mindset for the day and it's kind of a fun game for me to connect with him. I'll put my hand up with all five fingers and I'll say, "Gratitude game. Ready, go! " And I'll start counting down from five. And he knows that before my last finger goes down, he has to say something he is grateful for that day. And I do the same thing. I have five seconds to say what I'm grateful for.
[00:08:04] And it usually starts out with things around us that we can see. We're grateful for cars. We're grateful for trees. We're grateful for the sunshine. We're grateful for school. But after a while, we're playing this back and forth and we get a little competitive, we have to think of more creative things because the rule is we can't repeat anything and we have quite a drive to go to school, so we have a long time.
[00:08:24] And if you try this, it will really make your brain pull from different experiences to remember why you're grateful. Oftentimes you'll remember something that happened a few days before or something that's going to happen in the future that you're excited about. It brings all of it into the present moment and gives you the chance to feel gratitude for that.
[00:08:47] That's one of my tricks to hack your brain for gratitude.
[00:08:50] Another really simple one that I love. Is linking it to something you do often like brushing your teeth. Just know that when you pick up that toothbrush, you're going to think of five things you're grateful for. That's it. Just five things. What am I grateful for as I brushed my teeth?
[00:09:07] I like to include something about myself or my body as I'm brushing, because I'm usually looking in the mirror and that trains my brain to see the good that God has given me.
[00:09:18] Also remember to bring Him into that conversation, not just, "I'm grateful for my hair or I'm grateful that I was able to exercise today and take care of my body. "
[00:09:29] Also include, "I'm grateful for the hair that God gave me. And that I was able to exercise today, that I had the blessing of time and a body that works for me to be able to do that. "
[00:09:40] See how it expands to be bigger than you? And it brings in that relationship with God, simply by brushing your teeth with a little mindfulness, a little more gratitude, a little more like a believer.
[00:09:56] I believe that God knows how to give you good gifts and he's constantly blessing your life.
[00:10:02] *Do you have the eyes to see it? And are you a believer too? *
[00:10:09] Take time to connect to gratitude today.
[00:10:12] Show the world that you believe that He is guiding you, giving you everything that you need, and trust that He will continue to provide that for you as you move forward in faith.
[00:10:25] Have a blessed day, my friends. And remember where those blessings are coming from.
[00:10:32] Are you getting my TLC Tuesday emails? They are filled with tips, insights, and invitations to help you add light to your life. Go to www.thelightcoach.com/subscribe and make sure you're included. Because big things are coming and I don't want you to miss them. *Together, we can create confidence, connection, and clarity in life after therapy.*