A Gratitude Story

about the author

Andrea Olson is a worship leader, recording artist, coach and founder of Overflow Worship, a ministry for Worship Leaders and entire teams.  Andrea (with family in tow) travels the Midwest  leading worship, training teams and equipping church leaders with practical tools to thrive in ministry. Andrea continues to release new songs for the church to sing and new resources on overflowresource.com, which she started in 2020, to help churches train their leaders and worship teams.

The Gratitude Series

This blog in the Gratitude Series was written from the heart of worship leader and Overflow Resource founder, Andrea Olson.

Gratitude is at the heart of Overflow Resource. Join us as we walk through life marked with gratitude for our Savior. Whether you are a worship leaders, worship team member, ministry volunteer, or simply love the Church, welcome! We’re glad you’re here.

Questions? Interested in booking Andrea for a team workshop? EMAIL US HERE

If you’re new to the Gratitude Series, I’ve named it as such  because gratitude is such a huge part of my family’s life. We have  worked hard to fight to be grateful, and we’ve worked hard to be intentional and purpose our hearts and minds toward gratitude.

The truth we’ve found to be the most helpful in cultivating a lifestyle of gratitude is that while we may not be grateful for what we are going through, we can choose to be grateful in it. 

I’m a mom and have three kids, I’ve had to be intentional with purposing my heart toward gratitude, and sometimes it’s harder than others. I need to make time to have a moment to refocus my heart and mind. Sunday nights are the nights that I’ve chosen to carve out time to refocus my head and heart. When I first thought about how to live a lifestyle of gratitude,  I thought about Sunday nights. Sunday Nights are when I’m scurrying about prepping everything for kids and myself for the week to come. Listening to podcasts, audio books, and being busy. I realized this is the time to not only reset my household for the week,  but also my heart. Sunday night may be this time for you as well. As you are getting prepared for the next week , take the time to sit and reflect/pause on the past week and go BIG.

My husband is a business owner and anytime he has a meeting he starts with going BIG. BIG stands for “Begin In Gratitude.”  Everyone in the staff meeting, if they are willing to participate, shares what they are grateful for. It can be something from the previous week or few weeks. It’s really cool how it has shifted and continues to move their team culture because the atmosphere and mood change to gratitude. A huge part of our life and businesses is to minister to those we rub shoulders with. It’s very important to us because it realigns our hearts. And when we stop and we say “I’m really grateful…” all of a sudden, our mind isn’t thinking about what we were upset, angry, or frustrated with. We can pull away from those distractions, and have our hearts focus on something positive.

This isn’t something we’ve come up with our own, the bible has so much to say about practicing gratitude.  Take a look at the Psalms, it’s incredible! Verses are filled with words like, “Give thanks to the Lord” “Give praise to the Lord” “And always be thankful”. What is so  interesting is that King David was writing these Psalms while he was in distress and despair! Real distress and despair! If you take a look at the Psalms from beginning to end, they have a really cool pattern of talking about struggles and then ending with “I will praise you, I will give thanks to you.” And a lot of the time David will start it off that way too; “I will give thanks for he is good” and then he’s down in the pit, but still calling his heart toward gratitude, “I will give thanks to the Lord.”

This is where our hearts and minds need to be now more than ever. Remember to give thanks to God because it shifts our focus, and it realigns our hearts. Even when King David was pursued by his enemies and King Saul, he would still pause and give thanks to the Lord. There must be something to that, right? It’s in these writings that we learn that gratitude lifts us up and out of our pit, it lifts us up and out of the depths that we’re in. It helps us to come up for air.

This is the way my family has purposed to live our lives and it’s made a huge difference, even with our kids! We aren’t perfect at it- not even close! We definitely have to fight for it but it’s always worth it. When I choose to practice gratitude and take a moment to give thanks, I begin to see things differently and ask different questions. I begin to look at whatever situation I am in through a different lens.

I encourage you to do the same. If you find yourself in that hard spot, in the pit, that you would go to the psalms and start reading through them. Some of the psalms I was scrolling through today are Psalm 107, 119, and 136. Dig into these, and let that be the beginning posture of your heart. Take a moment and let God know you will try to give thanks in all things. That is a huge perspective shift and game changer.

I was singing and worshipping before I wrote this and the word “Abide” kept coming to mind. The word abide means to remain, continue, and to stay. I really believe that the Holy Spirit is speaking to me and to you to abide in him. I’ve shared in previous blogs about the vine and branches remaining together and I want to touch on that again. It’s so important for us to abide. Take a look at John 15 in TPT and then in the NIV.

“I am the sprouting vine and you’re my branches. As you live in union with me as your source, fruitfulness will stream from within you—but when you live separated from me you are powerless.”

“I am the vine. You are the branches. If you remain joined to me, and I to you, you will bear a lot of fruit. You can’t do anything without me.”

I believe the Holy Spirit is speaking and saying we need to make sure we are abiding and remaining connected. Continuing to stay close to him and continuing to stay in his presence because there are so many things around us that are changing, and so many things that are throwing lies and confusion constantly our way. I want to make sure I am remaining, abiding, dwelling and residing there. I encourage you to the same, abide.

We need to stay and abide in Christ, because we need that source of life, we need it to get us through to the other side of our present challenges and those coming in the future.  We will always remember our tough seasons, so let’s remember our struggles as a time of abiding and building a solid foundation in gratitude. This will set us up for a life in His presence and walking hand in hand with our Savior.

I encourage you to prepare for the week. Prepare your heart and mind, dig into those psalms that talk about gratefulness. Read John 15 which is all about remaining and realigning your heart. Then, go BIG! (Begin in Gratitude) Ask yourself these questions: How can you go BIG this week? How can you be grateful in your circumstances? How can you live with purpose and intention this week in gratitude?

If you are a worship leader, ask your team these questions! You will be amazed how you can shift the culture of your ministry team to one of gratitude with a few simple questions to both encourage your heart and the hearts of your volunteers.

This intentionality will change your perspective. I promise.

We may not always be grateful for every situation, but we can be grateful in every situation.