We wrapped production on the first season of

Ties That Bind

Monday. It was emotional: I have grown to love my colleagues in Vancouver, who have consistently done wonderful work with even more wonderful attitudes. In saying goodbye, our stills photographer, a deeply spiritual man, said, “No words. Just gratitude.” He then sent me a TED talk, given by photographer Louie Schwartzberg, about the power of gratitude. The same day, a friend who wrote on the show shared an op-ed piece from the New York Times by David Brooks about why grateful people are happier people.

These messages about gratitude made my sadness vanish. Rather than being dejected about no longer seeing these people every day, I rejoiced that I had met them and had the opportunity to learn from them. Rather than worry about whether we’ll get a chance to work together again, I gave thanks to God for the time we’d had together.

Gratitude should be our default attitude as Christians: We know that everything we have comes from the Lord and we should thank Him and be content. But too often, we let our own fears and desires interfere. We create false needs and then complain they are not being met. We allow ourselves to be tempted into anger and dissatisfaction because we don’t have everything we think we need the way we think we need it.

To live every day in gratitude is to be reminded constantly that we are children of a loving Father who wants only the best for us. When we center ourselves in gratitude, we open ourselves to the wonders God works every day in our lives and in His world. We can put aside the false distractions and hollow agendas that pull us away from Him. We can see the simple elegance of His complex creation and rejoice that He has made this world – and the next – for us and all His children.

May our gratitude for all He has done bring us closer to the Father and to each other, each and every day.

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe…”

Hebrews 12:28