Last week I broke open my third Gratitude Journal (rather fitting during Easter week!), which I’ve written in daily since January 1, 2012. Gratitude can change your heart and your life, if you let it! Taking the time each and every night to write out the things/people/experiences I’m grateful for has made me so much more aware of God’s never-ending presence, love, and grace. Big things, little things, and everything in between. And if I’ve written down what I’m thankful for every night for 3+ years, and I average between 7 and 15 things each day, then that’s at least TWELVE THOUSAND (minimum!) blessings in my life, day in and day out, year to year. Reading back through my journal is so incredibly amazing and humbling, too, and it astonishes me to see God so apparently – and so faithfully – at work. So grateful!!
I also shared MANY more thoughts on joy, cultivating gratitude, and why I love writing in a gratitude journal, and I’d love for you to be encouraged by those posts, too!
Can I encourage you to give writing in a gratitude journal a try?!
My favorite gratitude journal (the one here, of course!) is at Paper Source!
Gratitude and thanksgiving are two of the most important foundations in life, I firmly believe. I discussed ways to sincerely cultivate gratitude in your life, something I have been passionate about for a very long time. If we’re not giving thanks for the things we have and the blessings we have received, then we’re being ungrateful or complaining or always desiring more. I have so much. SO much. And yet it’s easy for me to slip into the downward spiral of comparison or envy or greed or simply wanting more and more. But when I stop and take a hard look at my life, I am overwhelmed with all that I do have. Being continually aware of all that you have in your life (big things and little things alike) is a critical piece in gratefulness and gratitude.
I stumbled upon this quote when the incredibly inspiring Lara Casey sent out her November newsletter, and it hit me hard. I love the simplicity – and the eloquence – of this: “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more.” YES! I am in no way perfect, but I try each and every day, and in every moment, to be deeply and profoundly grateful for all that that I have and all of the blessings that I have so graciously received from the Lord. Without Him, I am nothing. Without his love and his grace and his generosity, I have nothing.
In this season of Thanksgiving, it is so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and in to-do lists, but I want to try to stop and simply be. To think and remember and reflect on the extravagant ways that I am grateful and thankful. To reflect on the people in my life that I love tremendously and who love me back. For the sunrises and the bountiful Thanksgiving meal and the warm home and the laughter and the steady paycheck. I am blessed, truly – and I am so very grateful for it. And there are things that I want, things that are deep desires. But we are commanded to “be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances.” So even when something is missing or I feel discontentment or disappointment or rejection, I am GRATEFUL. I want to remember, all the time, to give thanks to the Lord & to rejoice in Him. Instead of worrying or comparing or complaining, I want to reflect on and give deep thanks for all that I do have in my life, as I have abundantly more than I could ever ask or receive. I do not need more _____ (whatever it is you think you want!) to live a full life. I thankfully have a very full life, indeed. When I am grateful for what I do have, I no longer need more because I realize that what I have is enough. It’s more than enough. Truth! I am giving due praise and thanks when I stop wanting more just to want more. Gratitude is a definite way of praising Him from whom all blessings flow.