What are you grateful for?
It was on the Oprah show that I first heard of a Gratitude Journal. Then everyone was talking about a Gratitude Journal. Articles in magazines, YouTube videos, Pinterest. Put Gratitude Journal in your search engine and you can read all day on the benefits of keeping one.
I’m going to keep it pretty simple, because that’s what I do best. A Gratitude Journal is a notebook, piece of paper, tablet, or anywhere else you record a list of all that you are grateful for. It can be in your phone or computer. Mine began in a $1 notebook from the Dollar Tree and has now progressed to a leather wrapped looseleaf notebook.
Each day, I jot down at least one thing I’m grateful for that day. Oprah says she writes five things she’s grateful for. You might like to list ten, the choice is yours. What’s important is that you write it down so you can see it, so that it sticks in your mind.
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”
Oprah knew what she was talking about. Focusing on what I have makes me realize how blessed I am. I have a home with a roof on it. There are many people in the world who do not. I have enough food to eat today; many do not. Things I’ve always taken for granted, I now see in a new light. A pillow under my head at night. A blanket to keep me warm. Clean clothes to wear and shoes on my feet. These are all blessings, and I am grateful.
Having gratitude for what I have helps keep me focused, and often a bit humble. When I think I want something more, I realize I have enough. When I read back over all the things I’m grateful for in my life, it makes me realize that God does provide what I need, not what I want. I couldn’t ask for anything more.
I will be honest, there are some days I’m feeling out of sorts and grumpy and I may struggle to find one thing I’m grateful for that day. But I write it down. And often, once I start writing, I will think of another thing I’m grateful for, and another. Soon, I will have the page filled with gratitude’s I didn’t even know I had. It’s a nice surprise!
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. ~ Philippians 4:6 NIV
To have an attitude of gratitude has made such a difference in my life. It makes it easier to distinguish between my wants and needs. When I’m upset over car trouble or a leaky faucet or the cost of electricity to heat my house, I get out my Gratitude Journal and pretty soon I’m thanking God that I have a car, a faucet, and electricity.
Being grateful has improved my mood, lessened anger, and quieted my nerves. It can change my day from one that really stinks, into one that’s not so bad after all.
What are you thankful for?