A month of gratitude! Let’s focus on gratitude throughout the month of November. I challenge you to look around and be more aware of the blessings in your life. And each day write down at least five things you are thankful for.
One thing I am thankful for today is my journal. I always liked the idea of journaling. However, throughout the years I would start a journal, then give up on it before too long. Now for the first time in my life, I have been able to consistently keep a journal for a couple of years.
What is the difference between then and now? Gratitude!
In the past I would use a journal to complain about the things in my life that I wished were different. The result was that journaling became a negative experience. Why would I want to keep a journal which only brought me down? When we complain and focus on the things that are wrong in our lives, we become bitter and resentful. And studies show that complaining can have harmful effects on our health.
A couple of years ago, I started using a journal to write down things I was thankful for. And I continue to do that today. Often I will write down good things that happened during the day. The things I write down could be something big, like publishing a book. But more often they are small things that are part of daily life, such as a beautiful sunset or my husband surprising me with a cooked dinner when I get home. These moments make up our lives. They might seem small because they are things that happen often. But they are still beautiful and meaningful moments.
It can be all too easy to allow life to bring us down. But if you open your eyes to the beauty that surrounds you, your perspective will change. Over time you will see miracles that you wouldn’t have noticed before. You will see all the blessings that God showers you with each and every day. As a result, your mood will improve and your health will also reap the benefits.
I believe that writing these special moments on paper is also vital when you want to focus on gratitude. There is something significant about putting pen to paper. Studies show that writing things down helps us to remember them better. In the case of gratitude, writing down the things we are grateful for helps our brain to remember the blessings in our lives. If we merely look around and don’t actually write these things down, we will forget them quickly. As soon as something bad happens, all our gratitude will go out the window.
Let’s take this a step further. Writing down what we are thankful for also helps us to enforce this new habit of gratitude in our lives. If we don’t write down the things we are thankful for, we will forget to continue to look around at the blessings in our lives. We will get busy with our normal day-to-day life and gratitude will be long forgotten.
When I began walking in gratitude, I started out by writing down ten things I was thankful for every day. And I intentionally laid my journal in a place where I would see it every day, so I wouldn’t forget. So this helped me to make gratitude a routine in my life that I still follow today. As a result, it helped my attitude to be more optimistic as well. That is why I am grateful for my journal. It was a key tool I used when implementing gratitude in my life.
So let’s make a point of writing down all of the wonderful treasures in our lives. Our Father is a loving Father who enjoys being good to us. I pray we can all be better about opening our eyes to all the wonderful blessings He gives us every single day.
I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. – Psalm 9:1
And remember that every day is a gift from God!