Devotional | Kristin Brown | Nov 12, 2023

Intentional Gratitude

Intentional Gratitude

Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:20 

In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3


Be thankful in all circumstances … The Lord calls us to be thankful, gracious, and kind, among many other things. When I think about what I am grateful for, I think of my husband, my family, and my ministry role. I think of little kids who fill the church halls and classrooms week in and week out. I think of how far Crossings has come since the days of Westridge Hills and how God has and continues to bless the church—he certainly doesn’t have to, but he chooses to, and I have loved having a front row seat. I also think of the roof over my head, the home in which I live, and the blessing of taking care of it—that is a joy and a gift in and of itself! I’m grateful for many things, but I am most grateful to get to serve and worship a mighty God: a God who loves relentlessly, who fights on my behalf, who provides in ways no one else can, and who is always present whether I choose to “see” him or not. Gratitude is sitting in his presence whenever that is possible for you, whether that’s before your household wakes up or after the work day … whatever that looks like to you. Gratitude is a simple act that takes little time but carries a heavy weight with it.

A few years ago, a friend and I were in a similar season of life—a season of doing life on our own, without a spouse to talk to, cook for, laugh with, etc. It was a challenging season that went on for several years. During this time, we were there for each other while many of our other friends were getting engaged, married, and some even having kids. It was a joyful time with them, but going back home to an empty house was just hard. My friend and I spent time together each week, whether we went on a walk, grabbed dinner, or had a girl’s night. We made it a sweet season. After some time of praying, she met and married her now husband whom we all love. A couple years after that, I met my husband, and now we all hang out together. The season we went through before we met our husbands was hard, but it was worth the pain in the waiting. 

Romans 5:3 states, “Not only so, but we also glory in our suffering, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” The season of “waiting” we walked through wasn’t easy, but it allowed us to grow in our faith in ways we didn’t realize we needed to. It was worth the tears of sorrow and loneliness, and boy were there tears! It was worth it because God continuously made himself known to us. We had to keep reminding ourselves that God had a plan, that he was working, and we just had to be patient. We believed it was just a season, but not knowing when that season would end was really hard, as it is with any difficult season we find ourselves in. Through those hard moments, God showed me his kindness by allowing me time with great friends, time with my nieces and nephews, and opportunities at work that brought me so much joy and fulfillment.

Gratitude is when you see answers to prayers you’ve been praying. After many years of praying, hoping, trying to make life feel complete as a single woman, the Lord opened a door! One of the Lord’s sweetest and greatest gifts to me is meeting and marrying my husband. Proverbs 27:17 says, “Iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” This has proven to be so true in my life and in our marriage. We sharpen each other daily, and sometimes we feel that sharpening, while other times we may not. Regardless, I am thankful to be able to do life with someone who extends grace, love, and understanding and who sharpens me in areas I don’t even realize exist in me. God has used my husband to show me a new level of gratitude. If you are reading this and find yourself single, know this: whether you have chosen singleness or are in a season of waiting, don’t give up! While you’re in this season, surround yourself with good friends who will come alongside you and pray with and for you. There is truly nothing sweeter than doing life with people who love you, pray for you, and are always there for you.

My prayer for anyone reading this is that you will see new ways each day this week to show a little gratitude to someone around you and find something to thank God for. There is always someone or something to be grateful for, and if you have trouble finding that someone or something, ask the Lord to reveal it to you! A grateful heart helps soften our sometimes-weighty spirits!


Lord, I am thankful for all of the reasons you give me to be grateful. I pray you will open my eyes to all of the things you are doing for me and let me see clearly your hand in my life. Please soften my heart and reveal the things you are doing not only in my life, but in the lives of those around me, in my family, in my church, and in my community. I’m grateful to have a mighty God writing my story. Amen.

Kristin Brown
Congregational Care Pastoral Associate, OKC Location

Kristin Brown is part of the Pastoral Care Team at Crossings OKC. This role allows her the opportunity to visit congregants who are hospitalized or can’t get out of their home very well. She is able to pour into Crossings senior adults to show them love, value, and care during a stage of life that can often feel very lonely.


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