Happy Thanksgiving week! In honor of giving thanks, I'd like to pass along a simple but powerful idea. Something that's changed my life over the past two or three years -- and can change yours, too. Something that can alter your perspective at the end of any given day. Something anyone can do.
The life-changing practice I'm alluding to? Keeping a gratitude journal. Now before you think there's no way you can add one more "chore" to your life, let me assure you I'm not talking about writing lengthy entries of polished prose. I'm talking super simple and super short (unless you just get on a roll and want to keep going!).
At the end of your day, simply think about something that's happened that you're thankful for and jot it down in a journal. The journal doesn't have to be fancy. When I began journaling my gratitude, I used a tiny spiral notebook. After I realized what a treasure it could be, I started using a beautiful journal given to me by a friend (thanks, Teri!). I discovered that having a pretty journal to write in helped make the practice more of a treat to carry out.
I try to jot down my notes of thanksgiving every day. If possible, I even take my journal with me when I travel. You'd be surprised how quickly the days blur together and how fast you can forget the things you're thankful for if you let it go for awhile. I record anything from major blessings like a long-awaited answer to prayer to smaller things like a short wait in the doctor's office or an encouraging comment left here on the blog.
If you have a hard time imagining how journaling your gratitude can change your life, just give it a try for a week. I've found that on particularly stressful or unhappy days, my spirits are always lightened and lifted when I stop at the end of the day and think back to something good that happened.
Maybe you'll thank God for the moment you enjoyed watching the leaves drift their way to the ground. Or you might remember the parking spot that opened up at just the right time. You might even thank God for the warmth and protection of your home.
I'm sure you can see how the possibilities are endless -- just like our God and His desire to touch our lives with good things. Sometimes we simply forget to notice His blessings. Keeping a gratitude journal will help you be alert to the ways your heavenly Father is watching over you and blessing you, even on the difficult days. It will foster a more positive attitude about the day's events and give you a more positive outlook for the future.
So go ahead. I challenge you to start celebrating Thanksgiving every day. Treat yourself to a pretty journal and start recording some of your blessings. You will be blessed, God will be blessed by your gratitude, and one day in the future, a loved one may treasure your journal even more than you did! Happy Thanksgiving to all!
"Let us come before him with thanksgiving..." Psalm 95:2a
*I'll be skipping my mid-week post this holiday week. I'll be up to my elbows in flour :) See you next week -- I'll be kicking off the Christmas season with a fun little giveaway! :)
*Flickr photo by susancorpuz90