My Ink Dance

Discovering Extraordinary Grace in an Ordinary Life

How To Be Grateful (When It Feels Really Hard)

#30daysofgratitude #thankful #1000gifts

It all sounds great, right? It’s easy to want to be grateful. But what about when her house looks so much better than yours? Or when you see the pictures from that other family’s fantastic tropical vacation? Or when she has that great new designer bag and yours is from Walmart?

Or maybe it’s even harder. A sick loved one. A marriage on the brink. A job loss. Infertility.

How can we be grateful then?

There are three things you can do today that have the power to change your entire outlook no matter what you are facing.


I stood on the front steps wishing I didn’t have to ring the doorbell. Standing here was enough to make me feel small, less than, not good enough. Did I really have to go inside, too?

I shook off my feelings and held my breath. I could hear my friend walking closer to the front door, the knob turn and the door swing open wide.

Yup. It was as bad as I thought it would be. Her house was fantastic and mine was so…..not.

Have you ever been there? Maybe not on my friend’s front steps, but in a situation where you couldn’t help but compare your reality to someone else? A situation that left you feeling anything but #grateful?

It’s easy to fall into the comparison trap, and easier still for gratitude to slip through our fingers as if it were never there. Gratitude is slippery and we need to grip tighter than I ever expected.

Even in the hardest places, there are three things we can do to hold tight to gratitude today.

1.) Fake it. Yup. Sometimes you have to play dress up before the ball. You have to practice before the big game. You have to….well, you get the idea. They don’t say fake it until you make it for nothing. Start here when gratitude seems impossible (even if your teeth are clenched and your fists tight).

2.) Start basic. I’m talking really basic; fundamental elements of life basic. Air. Sun. Eyes. Whatever. Pick things that don’t even register on a regular basis and be grateful for them.

3.) Find a diamond. Look at whatever rough place you’re in and find something you can be grateful for. Standing on my friend’s steps I could be grateful for the friend or that I have legs to stand there with. Maybe you’re out of work — be grateful you have more time with your family. If you’re in a hospital — be grateful you have access to medical help. Find a diamond in the rough place and hold on tight.

Now it’s time to really commit. Grab a pen and a post-it. Write one thing you are grateful for today and put it where you can see it. Just start.


For help with creating a life of gratitude (no matter your circumstances) don’t miss One Thousands Gifts. Grab your copy here!

Sharing words with these great writers today!

Faith Filled Friday

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About Becky Hastings

I am emotional and logical. I am strong and dependent. I am a juxtaposition of head and heart exploring it all through writing. And in all my mixed-up ways I am loved. I'm here to tell you that you are, too. Just the way you are.

15 Replies

  1. There is always something to be grateful for, even if we have to dig deep!

    1. Becky Hastings

      Digging deep may be the key some days. Other days looking at what we always overlook may be the thing we need. So glad you’re here today!

  2. Hi Becky,
    I think we were on a similar track today with our posts! Oh comparison hits me hard sometimes especially in the midst of my scrolling on Facebook or Instagram! It does take some intention on our part to be grateful for all that we do have and keep that perspective, even when it’s difficult.

    1. Becky Hastings

      I’m with you Valerie! Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest…so overwhelming. Bringing it back to Jesus every time makes all the difference.

  3. love that: find a diamond! at the risk of sounding pollyannish to my kids, I think i’ll do it anyway! thanks, becky!

    1. Becky Hastings

      It may sound pollyannish now, but someday they will look back and see how special it is! 🙂

  4. Love this! We can always find diamonds in our own back yard.

    1. Becky Hastings

      Always. Always. Sometimes we have to dig a little though 😉

  5. Hello Becky😘
    Gratitude is one word I love so much. It is intentional. A habit we can develop and future with grace.
    Thank you for the tips you have shared.
    Hugs and blessings to you

    1. Becky Hastings

      I love how you point out that gratitude is intentional. It is a choice we get to make again and again. Thanks for being here!

  6. Oops I meant nurture!

  7. I’ve stood on that doorstep- not hers, but you know. Thanks for the helpful suggestions, Becky!

    1. Becky Hastings

      I know Bethany. I know!

  8. I have definitely been there, fallen into the comparison trap too easily on most days and it can be so hard to find a way to be grateful in the midst of all of it. You are so right, Becky. Gratitude often begins by being intentional and even faking it on the hardest days. Thankfully, His grace can always be seen in every moment and place.

    1. Becky Hastings

      His grace is the very best part!

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