What are you thankful for? What makes you feel so blessed that it hurts? Or do you even feel blessed at all?
I’ve been reflecting on the depth & beauty of true thankfulness over the past couple of years. Not to bring it up again, for the millionth time, but we’ve had our share of bumps in the road within that time. My complete lack of control over the situation and struggle to simply trust God has caused me to think long & hard about gratitude.
If we’re being honest, most of us probably forget all about thankfulness 99% of the time because we’re busy thinking about everything else. When November rolls around, we pull thankfulness out of the closet, dust it off, and put it on display…that is, until we whip out the Christmas tree after Thanksgiving dinner.
I’m declaring that we could all use a little more of thankfulness in our lives on a daily basis and I’m stickin’ to it.
Let’s rip out the bitterness, anger, guilt, or greed and replace it with thankfulness & gratitude.
Thankfulness is an attitude that begins with an intentional mindset & a right perspective. This is something that we cultivate & invest in, like a garden. As our grateful spirit grows, our hearts change for the better. We become more aware of God’s working in our lives, the many ways in which we are truly blessed—it’s oh-so humbling.
One of the ways that I actively pursue this grateful spirit is by keeping a Works of God journal. I mentioned this idea briefly in my Fall Favorites post but I want to dedicate a bit more space to it, because it’s such an awesome habit to start. This journal helps me to refocus when I’m sinking back into old attitudes, it helps me to remember that God has always provided with more than I could ever truly need, and it is so refreshing to simply reflect on years & years of unexpected blessings both big & small.
The best part is—it’s EASY to start. In fact, why not start today—on Thanksgiving of all days? Stash the Black Friday ad for a quick minute and grab a pen instead.
Here are a few simple “rules” that I follow in keeping this journal.
You can start with any journal that suits your fancy—bullet, ruler, composition, whatever. I have used a mixture of things in the past and loved each for different reasons.
ValMariePaper always puts out these beautiful journals, which have been a staple for me in the past. There is plenty of space to write your own miscellany but I love that it offers “guidelines” for both praise & prayers. If you’re not sure where to start, it helps to inspire you.
SheReadsTruth just released this bullet style journal this year—it’s small—easy to tote around & it has lots of space for doodles & notes alike.
Rifle Paper Co. & Target are my go-to’s for pretty, simplistic notebooks. It provides the lines to write…the rest is up to you.
I challenge myself to add to this journal at least once a month. Naturally whenever a significant praise pops up, I add that in as well. But I find that this is especially important if I don’t have a significant praise of late, it causes me to think more intently about ways that God has provided or answered—seemingly small details that have gone unnoticed. So make a plan to contribute at least once a month.
WHAT TO WRITE
This journal is to focus entirely on the ways that God is working in your life. That can include the good & bad, big & small, past & present. But here’s a few writing prompts just to get you started:
- Something that you are growing in/learning about
- Someone that you’re especially grateful for
- An unexpected way that God provided
- Unnecessary “wants” that God has blessed you with
- A way that you were able to share your blessings with someone else
- Skills/abilities that God has given you
- A challenging time that you’re learning from
- Changes from year to year
- Opportunities within your church
- Little things that you usually take for granted
- Three people who are difficult to get along with & one quality about each of them that you are thankful for
- Someone who has helped you out or made your life easier
- Your physical abilities & health
- Your current season of life
- Something that made you laugh recently
- Benefits of your job
- Places that you were able to travel
- Opportunities to share the Gospel
- Something that you love about your spouse
- Something that you love about your friend
That’s it! Be faithful to it, jot down even the smallest things–it is such a blessing in itself to look back & reflect on all that God has done. You sort of can’t help but be thankful. 🙂
Happy Thanksgiving, guys! This year I’m so, so, so thankful for YOU. Each and every one of you beautifully unique & incredible individuals who keep stopping by and & supporting the blog/me. I mean you obviously have great taste but I’m not supposed to say that out loud. 😉 Seriously though. You guys are too good to me. Mean it. Thank you. <3
Now, go enjoy a wonderful & relaxing Thanksgiving, folks! And come back later when you’re ready to chill in your stretchy pants with the third piece of pie. Pajama party. Here. Tonight. I’ll be posting a personalized (and super fun) gift guide just in time to kick-off Black Friday!