Taking Down Negativity {Give Away!}

Have you ever noticed that the most microscopic trace of negativity holds a disproportionate amount of impact?

An eye roll.

A critical thought.

A snarky remark.

Whatever form negativity takes, it does a quick work in a bad way. Negativity fizzles enthusiasm, hurts hearts, and steals joy. A negative word adversely changes the atmosphere of our home or a person’s heart.  

Worst, negativity is infectious. It goes viral faster than a video of a deployed soldier’s surprise homecoming.

I’m not sure why it’s so dang easy to be negative, or why a critical word slips between my lips with such ease, despite my intentions. But I’m determined to fight it. To do my part. And to pray for God to change my heart. Because as Luke 6:45 points out, it’s “out of the heart the mouth speaks”.

The most powerful thing we can do—that changes the very atmosphere of our hearts and squelches negativity—is to cultivate intentional gratitude. And what better time of year to prayerfully practice this than now…with Thanksgiving on the horizon?

Here are 3 simple, specific ways you can practice intentional gratitude:

1. Before your feet hit the floor each the morning, whisper a sentence of gratitude to God. Lord, thank you for Your peace. Or, Lord, thank you for your fresh new mercies this morning. Whatever you need or whatever He has already done for you, turn it into a simple prayer of thanksgiving as you swing your legs out of bed. This sets the tone for a day of gratitude.

2. Ask the Lord to help you recognize and notice everyday blessings all throughout your day. Then thank Him specifically. Have a full pantry? Thank Him. Did you enjoy that talk with your friend? Thank Him. Whether it’s a hot shower, sunshine streaming into your windows, a beautiful breeze or a car that works, notice it and express your gratitude. Make this a daily habit!

3. Thank those around you for simple gestures. Did your spouse take out the trash? Thank him. Did you child actually put their cup in the dishwasher? Thank them. Did your mailman lug a large box up your driveway? Thank him. People love to be noticed and appreciated (I sure do!), and expressing our thanks to those around us (even for small things) is a great way to encourage others while cultivating our own heart of gratitude.

This November, let’s take our gratitude efforts to the next level. As we each prayerfully cultivate intentional gratitude this month, it will become a holy habit—one that squelches negativity and changes the atmosphere of our hearts and homes. And that is something to be thankful for.

The "I'm So Thankful for YOU Giveaway"! You are the absolute best, and I truly appreciate you, my awesome readers! I so love receiving your notes of encouragement, your comments, and your emails, so I'm giving away a signed copy of From Hot Mess to Blessed. TO ENTER, leave a comment along with your email (so I can notify you if you win!). Winner will be notified via email by Friday, November 17. 

Reading this via email? CLICK HERE to visit my blog and leave a comment. 



34 comments:

Barbara Ward said...

I struggle with gratitude and this is very timely. It's been timely all year - my church's theme for the year is "this is the year of GENEROSITY" ! Thank you for the 3, easy to implement, suggestions. bward4071@yahoo.com.

Brenda Ann Saball said...

Because of issues going on in our life, my husband has been having a very negative attitude. I have been trying to be positive but sometimes it is difficult. That is when I pray hardest. My email is ladyrunerois@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Gratitude needs to be practiced every day - it's too easy to become negative and it spreads like wildfire. Thank you for this reminder to be more grateful every day. Thank you for your ministry and heart to help all of us learn to grow closer to our Lord! Cherie K bck4045@hotmail.com

Tamara said...

Grateful for my Lord and Savior who generously surrounds me with His love showing me grace love and mercy!

Tamara said...

whoops I forgot to leave my email.. tamaralammers@hotmail.com

Roz Barrett said...

Thanks Julie for your book offer! Your encouragement regarding overcoming negativity washes my soul. My heart’s takeaway - to practice gratitude in small things.
Emmarae926@gmail.com

Pam said...

I started a gratitude journal years ago and gave $1 journals to over 70 women to start their gratitude journal. Unfortunately, I haven’t kept up the habit. Thank you for the reminder and I would love to win a copy of Hot Mess to Blessed! Lately I have been more of the hot mess. Thank you!

Pam said...

I also forgot to leave my email. pamelahain9@gmail.com

Sandy Campell said...

I love your encouragement as I'm getting ready for work! Every morning I thank God for today and I will rejoice and be glad in it! God bless! My email is violagirl11@gmail.com

Sharon said...

Lots of stuff going on at my house lately. I so appreciate your words of encouragement. Thanking God daily for the good days and seeking His grace in the difficult ones. txrose99@netscape.net

Unknown said...

I sooo needed this today! You have such a wonderful way of getting right to the heart of the matter. I am grateful for you and how you speak to my heart and help my soul want to seek God more.

Lisa said...

I needed the encouragement so much today, thank you. I have been in one of those mods of being negative and hateful to my family lately.

safe said...

It’s been a crazy two years, marital issues and now a breast cancer diagnosis,but God continues to be my provider,protector and my encourager! He courses me to see not only the big things to be thankful for but the little things every day when the big things I am still waiting on. My email is dlgenua@gmail.com

Kelli King said...

It is so easy to get down and negative sometime. I really want to be better and this and make it infectious to the rest of my household. I thank God for your post and the great reminders.

Teri Fox said...

There is no better way to start and end each day than with an attitude of thankfulness.

Kayla Stierwalt said...

Thank you for the encouragement! I got off track on my daily blessings journal for a while, but I'm getting back into it. I love keeping my eyes open for God's hand in my life; it makes it easier to show more gratitude.

Unknown said...

Really, really good stuff! And yes, despite our efforts to be kind and intentional, the negative stuff just falls out when we are pushed to our limits, or pressed for time, or stressed, etc. Lord, thank you for your grace. Please help us give the same to those that hurt us, rather than hurting them back, or cutting them with unkind words. Gratitude is an attitude!

Rhonda Bergman said...

Enjoy your blog! The applications and action steps are great. Please enter me in The "I'm Thankful for YOU GiveAway"!

Cheryl Barker said...

Gratitude changes everything, doesn't it?

Julie, I loaned my daughter your book and she loved it! Said she was going to recommend it to her Bible study leader in her church (a very large group that breaks into smaller Bible study groups.) Would love to win a copy for her -- or for our church library if she buys one int the meantime! :)

Nena said...

Yes, Julie, I AM a HOT MESS. HELP! I need to read your book. Thanks for your encouraging words. :)

Lisa said...

I believe I am the world's worst to allow negative comments from others take over my life. This would be a great help.

dlcbmoore@gmail.com

Carol said...

The older I get the more fragmented I fell. Your book sounds like a positive step.

Kristin said...

I borrowed this book from someone but it's so good, I want a copy so I can underline! kleehar[at]gmail[dot]com

Stacy Baker said...

As a grade school teacher I find my tone sets the tone for my class. This month I am working hard to point out the positives and blessings so that they will notice them too.

Unknown said...

Thanks for your words that so many of us can relate to and the suggestions for how we can work on negative thoughts by finding something to be grateful for daily! I struggle with this more than I care to admit! Lynn
bmmcelreath@aol.com

Sherie Lagendyk said...

Thank you for reminding us that we are not alone and that God doesn't care if we aren't perfect. He loves us unconditionally! We are all hot messes, but as long as we work on it, everything will be alright.

Unknown said...

Thank you for the different ideas of how to show gratitude. Sometimes my life is so busy I forget to take time to be grateful and remember all the blessings God gives me. My email is Vengeful_fairie@yahoo.com

Ann said...

Yes I want to practice this more! Thank you!

jmrs1010 said...

Thank you for the giveaway. I am struggling mightily with being grateful because a lot of family issues - things that aren’t fair. Situations where I am having to bear the burden or pay a price for the bad and intentional decisions of others. All on top of moving out of state. I’m tired, and tired of being angry and bitter all the time.

Kathi said...

Thank you for offering a giveaway!

Patricia Jaracz said...

Love your devotionals!

Robyn Seal said...

Would so love to win this book which I’m sure help curb the impulse to be negative which i very easy to do!

Julie B said...

I been a pessimistic person most of my life. I need to implement this into my daily life: "Here are 3 simple, specific ways you can practice intentional gratitude:

1. Before your feet hit the floor each the morning, whisper a sentence of gratitude to God.

2. Ask the Lord to help you recognize and notice everyday blessings all throughout your day.
3. Thank those around you for simple gestures. Julie thank you for your devotional posts and this giveaway.

Linda said...

Thank you so much for me these practical reminers that I can begin to use, to start and continue my days in thankfulness! Its so easy and ingrained in me to start and continue in negativity which then leads me very quickly to ungratefulness......

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