GRATITUDE JOURNAL

Even in a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad, awful, rotten day – there is always something to be grateful for.  Here are few highlights of a couple of my ‘one-of-those-kinds of day’s.

 *When one of my sons was about 4 years old, he figured out that he  could spin the roll of toilet paper from the tp holder attached to the wall, put the end into the toilet and…..flush….it would keep the roll going and going and going….yes, it happened more than once, so I was grateful for a kind plumber who gave me a family discount!

*One evening after dinner, the kids were supposed to do their part in cleaning up the dishes and food.  For some reason two of them decided they both wanted the plastic wrap box. My daughter took off running with it, and in the scramble with her brother over the box, her knee was cut by the sharp edge. Now I have two upset kids, one with blood and one denying any responsibility. My oldest son had just attended a first aid class in his boy scout troop, and took off running to his room to get his brand new first aid kit.  He was ‘prepared’ to stitch up his sisters knee with his newly acquired training, which of course made her holler all the louder. I was grateful for neighbors who cared enough to came over to see what the ruckus was all about.

*Recently I chipped my front tooth, and I dislike going to the dentist quite a bit. My dentist is one of the very best, and a good man, but I really don’t like slobber, the suction tube, the sound of that awful drill, and all the stuff involved with dental work (yes I do take care of my dental hygiene). Another bill is not what I need either.  But, I decided to find some good in the situation.  So, I am grateful that I was able to get right in to get it fixed and I didn’t need a numbing shot.

 These are everyday difficult/annoying situations, but as a family we have had our share of serious issues to deal with also.  Whether its the daily challenges or life-threatening situations, I know from personal experience, that when I decided to look for something, anything, to be grateful for, it was easier to bear and to go through.  If I acknowledged them aloud in my prayers, those hardships were relieved incredibly; in fact, I could feel pure joy and calm, though the circumstance had not changed.

I would like to challenge all of us to keep a little notebook or journal, to record, even one sentence a night, of something to be grateful for day. 

Here are a few ways to approach this attitude of gratitude

A few things to consider thanking God for:

  • Maybe it’s the beauty of a sunrise to remind of a new start to come
  • Possibly it is the glory of a sunset, mercifully ending a difficult day
  • Perhaps the exquisiteness of butterfly wings, or the splendor of the flight of a bird, awakens a hope for better times
  • The smile of a stranger, the innocent laugh of a child, the beauty of nature; all brings a breath of joy

Also, there is gratitude to be found in the ordinary, such as:

  • The life we have, find something good
  • Name a trait or attribute about yourself  that you are making better and can see even a small amount of progress
  • Family, whether large or small
  • Food to eat
  • A house or place to live
  • Freedom!
  • Ability to read
  • Use of our body – that anything works properly is a wonder
  • Appreciate your body!  It is really a miracle and when we are sincerely thankful for it – even with our few flaws, we become much better, more confident and more able to see others needs, and how we can be a blessing in their life.
  • Friends
  • A kindness performed for us or our loved ones
  • Ability to serve another person

The list would go on for pages of the large and small things we have to be thankful for. 

Why are we better for recognizing our blessings?

  • When we acknowledge blessings in our life, we are naturally happier. It is a simple fact
  • We make better decisions, because recognizing the good, makes us want more good in our life
  • Focusing on giving credit to God, and people, changes us for the better
  • Giving credit to God and people helps us prioritize what is right and best
  • Expressing gratitude helps us avoid the ‘I wish I had…. and I want….’ bringing the enormous blessing of contentment
  • Thanking regularly helps to chase away the blues and sad days
  • Gratitude expressed daily, truly does make what we have, be enough and that in itself is a blessing
  • When we are looking daily for miracles and received assistance from God and others, it is almost impossible to be critical, cynical, bitter,mean or unkind.
  • More able to see the needs and ways we can serve to be a blessing in another persons life

 I’ll bet you can come up with a huge list of why, and what, to write down of things to be grateful for.

Grab a simple notebook, a blank journal, or even have a specific document in your computer to daily record, even one sentence, of a blessing you can recognize that day. 

I will guarantee, that if you do this, your attitude will change dramatically for the better, and so will that of your family.   And Your life will overflow with happiness and peace.  

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2013

Image courtesy of tigger11th at FreeDigitalPhotos.net , adapted 2016

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.