Monday, October 19, 2020

Strategies for a Grateful Attitude By Patty Nicholas-Boyte

I think we can all agree that 2020 has been a year like no other that we’ve experienced in our generation. When I think of everything that has happened this year, I sometimes wonder if we will ever get to a place where we can call things normal again. 

I suspect I am not the only one feeling this way. I also suspect I am not the only one who has struggled with the writing projects I’ve been working on this year. What used to be a routine of mine to get up, spend time with God, and then pound out several hundred words before I got ready for work is now a struggle. On a daily basis I’ve had to work hard just to focus. 

These last few weeks in particular have been extremely difficult, but I have learned one thing that has been helpful. Be thankful for what I have been given. When I dwell on the negative, I will be a negative person. If I stop each day and be thankful for at least one thing, then I am a more positive person and I find that my writing is not as difficult, and I have even had moments where the words flow as before. 

Even in my hardest days I can find one thing to be thankful to God for how He has provided for me that day. The following are some of my strategies to remain grateful and positive during this last year. 

  • Smile. There is usually one thing in the day that made me smile. I try to write this down as a way to remain thankful, and at the end of the day I refer back and thank God for His goodness. 
  • Prayer Journal. If you don’t have one, I highly recommend one. By writing down my prayers, and then, the answers to the prayers as they happen, I can see God working. When I am discouraged, I will often refer back to see God’s goodness and my attitude changes. 
  • Organization. During the lockdowns, my life has only gotten busier if that is possible. I’ve always been a pretty organized person, but that was just my nature. I’ve found I needed to be intentional about organizing my time and being wise about choosing between two or more competing things that need my time. The best advice I ever received when making hard choices was to always choose the relationship over the task.
  • Worship. Making sure I have worship music on at the start of the day puts my mind in a positive place, and places everything in perspective. No matter what happens, God is still on the throne and worthy of my worship. 
  • Write. These days I often have to force myself to sit and write. While the first several minutes may be difficult, once I get a few words written, I find myself back in my characters head, and the story begins to flow. I am always more depressed if I give in to a negative attitude and let it keep me from writing and feel better when I’ve written, even if it’s only a few words, as long as I’m making progress. 

I know everyone is different and t
hese strategies may not work for you, but I hope it helps you to seek out what does work. Happy Writing

While the first several minutes may be difficult, once I get a few words written, I find myself back in my characters head, and the story begins to flow

Multi award winning writer, Patty Nicholas-Boyte lives with her Husband Brian in the mountains of North Carolina. She is a busy event planner for the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove, and is a member of the Blue Ridge Writers Group and Word Weavers International. She is a mother of two grown daughters and grandmother of three. She writes Bible studies and devotionals as well as contemporary romance. 

Patty Nicholas-Boyte

She is a regular contributor to the Cove Blog.
Devotions are published in compilations by Lighthouse Bible Studies.

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