Welcome if you've found your way here from my devotion. Feel free to introduce yourself and maybe tell me what are you thankful for at this moment on this day.
If answering that question is surprisingly harder that you expected, maybe you should join me in staring a gratitude journal. I've keep one in the past and I can tell you it is certain to stoke the fires of gratefulness in your heart, and bring the many benefits of "thank you power" I wrote about in the devotion linked here. You just have to commit to doing it several nights a week - it only takes a couple minutes.
"God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say 'thank you?'" ~ William A. Ward
So how do you start? Simple. First choose a book to be your gratitude journal. It can be a journal book, a small sketch book, or a small spiral bound notebook - whatever works for you. Just make sure you find it visually appealing. You can decorate the cover of a subject notebook if you wish- try ribbons, stamping, photographs, or maybe decoupage. If you do create yours, I hope you'll post a picture of it on your blog and then leave the link here in the comments so we can come see it. Until I see yours and get inspired to decorate one myself, I'm using the one pictured here. It's by Dayspring.
Place your journal beside your bed along with a pencil or pen. All you do is at the end of the day, sit with your journal and write down 5 things your are thankful for. Once you've completed your list, whisper thanks to God (from whom all blessings flow).
At first it might seem hard to list 5 things every day. Also, your lists might look the same a lot at the start, and that's OK. Just remember you can list "big" things (grace, health, family, job, friends) and also "little" things (bird you spotted this morning, the friendly waitress who made you laugh, the house down the street that looks so festive at Christmas time, minty-fresh toothpaste). Anything positive will do, so long as you can be honestly thankful for it.
What if you come up with more than 5 things one evening? Great, feel free to jot more down. What if you come up with less than 5? Look back over past entries and see if that helps get your mind going. You can always list precious promises like salvation or God's promise to never leave us!
My deal with myself is that if I can't fill a list of 5, I'll copy into my journal a verse from the Bible (like Psalms) that speaks about being grateful, or that gives me a reason to be thankful to God. I also enjoy including motivating quotes in my gratitude journal such as:
"I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder." ~ G.K. Chesterton
The gratitude journal shouldn't take long to fill out each evening. And as the days and weeks go on and you make this a part of your routine, you'll find yourself making mental notes through out the day - I'm going to remember this and write it in my journal. That's when gratefulness becomes the lens through which you look at your day, and the benefits of "thank you power"start kicking in.
So give it a try and let me know how it goes if you choose to start a journal. If you don't plan to start one right now, just post a comment here and tell us what you're thankful for today.
- I'm thankful so far today for a warm house on this wintery morning.
- For the kisses my little boy just gave me.
- For my morning green tea, and the health benefits it has.
- And for the holiday coming on Thursday ... because while my husband likes the "routine" days of life, I like the "punctuation" marks like holidays.
- I'm also thankful you visited!