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5 Reflections I’ve Learned to Help Maintain Gratitude

Even the strongest of us struggle with our faith. Life has a way of shaking us up with various emotions. 

No matter who we are, where we come from, or what we have, we all face dark moments and seasons. 

But what do we do in those dark seasons when they surely come? 

As an entrepreneur, teacher, and ultimately just as a human—I have my ups and downs. I’ve been going through my own dark season recently and I found reflecting helps me find gratitude despite my fears and difficulties. Here are two strategies to help you maintain gratitude in dark seasons:

1: Reflect over every hard season in your life that you’ve been through and made it through. 

As you reflect, this will give you gratitude of all that you’ve survived. When you find gratitude it often helps us remember that “this too shall pass” because of all the other storms that indeed eventually passed in your life. 

2: Write a list of your reflections to look back on. 

When I reflect over my life, I often think, “How in the world did I make it thought that?” Then, I gain an even deeper love for God because truly, if it weren’t for the blood of Jesus and His Grace, I know I couldn’t have made it out of so much pain and battles. 

Whatever battle you’re currently facing, I encourage you to take a trip down memory lane and reflect on your darkest valleys and seasons that you felt at your absolute lowest. Think back to a time you felt broken, and with time, you found yourself no longer broken. Let that be your confidence that God will bring you through again and again. 

Here’s my list of five personal reflections from my own life that I’ve made it through. I hope they can inspire you as you make your own list.

My List of Reflections:

  1. Loosing my father when I was sixteen. This was one of the lowest times of my life. I felt like my whole world had shattered. However, this became one of my biggest blessings in disguise. Though I still miss my dad everyday, his death remains the one event in my life that changed my character and perspective for the better. I truly don’t think I’d be who I am if it weren’t for his impact he left on my life; and later his passing aiding me in making me stronger and helping me appreciate life more. 
  2. Starting my business from scratch with 0 dollars and experience. I remember designing The JCCML Planners for three years without knowing anything about design or even having the funds for my first order of inventory. I just had passion and a dream. I had no knowledge about manufacturing oversees, business, or what lied ahead. God provided for me and taught me anyway.
  3. Attending college with 0 dollars to enroll. I knew I wanted to go to college in Georgia but my mother was a single mother and we had 0 dollars to get me enrolled. I also remember having a strong “YES” from God that I would indeed attend college in Georgia, even if I didn’t have funds or know how. God indeed got me through and made a way out of no way. I can proudly say, I made it and graduated with Magna Cum Laude.
  4. Passing my certification after failing 3 times. Y’all, teachers in Georgia had to take something called EDTPA in order to get certified to become a teacher. I had got offered a job under one condition, I had to pass EDTPA, otherwise I’d loose my job. I had a car note, car insurance, and my rent that depended on me passing. By the grace of God, on the third try I had finally passed.
  5. Paying my rent when I quit my job. I remember finding myself not knowing how in the world I was going to pay my rent without having steady income like I normally had from teaching second grade, and just launching my business. I had never been late on my rent and I was so scared, but this was a time God humbled me and I learned how to ask for help. I reflect back over and have gratitude that God worked it out in the end each time for me. I prayed so hard and was so worried and stressed—But God. That’s all I can say is but God.

These moments are just a few storms I’ve made it though by His grace and favor.

Tonight, find some quiet time (even if it’s only 10 minutes) and write a list reflecting over your life’s triumphs. 

Below I’ve included some of my favorite scriptures from the book of Matthew that help me calm down when I start thinking, “How will I make it through this time?”

Scriptures To Remind You God Has YOU:

26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God[a] above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

Mathew 6:26-34

Your friend,

-Padriana, xoxo

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