In the beginning of this year, I decided to start a ‘Gratitude Journal’. Obviously, the title of this journal easily reveals what this journal is about…being grateful. The scripture admonishes us ‘in everything give thanks’. So I took an empty journal and put it on my kitchen counter for my family to write in. The journal is a special place to write about the things you are grateful for in your life. Every morning, upon waking up, each of my family members are to write three things that we are grateful for in our lives. The goal is to begin each day on a positive note of thankfulness. Rather than allowing the myriad of voices to get the best of us, we begin the day giving thanks to the Lord for His blessings in our lives.
In the beginning, writing in the journal was relatively easy. There are many things to be grateful for that are not too difficult to write about. The usual ‘roof over my head’ or a ‘warm bed to sleep in’ were easy to write about. But the goal of the journal is deeper than the superficial things we give thanks for. Not that we shouldn’t be thankful for these things, but there are so many other things to be thankful in our lives we need to attend to in our minds. Sadly, in the day and age in which we live, when we have an abundance of so many material things, our gratefulness is seemingly lost in our race to always get more. We become so focused on getting we forget to give thanks for the things we already have and have been blessed with.
Every morning, for the last twenty-three days, I have been getting up and writing three things I am grateful for in my life. As I stated, in the beginning it was relatively simple, but as the days passed, I had to dig deeper and really stop to ponder the all the blessings in my life. I began to find this to be a great day to start my day. Think about it, to ‘force’ oneself to dwell on good things first thing in the morning is a great way to begin the morning. But even more amazing, I found a very subtle thing happening to me. As I continued to start my days with writing my journal of gratefulness, I began to notice that thoughts of gratefulness would subtly follow me throughout the entire day. For instance, I can remember standing at the kitchen sink and I turned on the water, and all of a sudden, I found myself pondering how thankful I am to have running water. I momentarily fell into a trance like state as I pondered what it would be like not to have any running water and how many people in this world who do not have access to any water let alone to be able to stand at a kitchen sink with water blasting out of the faucet. This has happened over and over again. I could be walking into a store or stepping outside and out of nowhere, a thought of gratitude will come upon me. All of these subtle thoughts of thankfulness began to show themselves in my life and the only thing I could attribute it to was the fact I had begun this Journal of Gratefulness at the beginning of the year.
There is a saying, ‘Change your thoughts, and you change your world’ and the more I live, the more I am finding this to be true. One would not think writing three things every morning about what you are grateful for would change your world, but it does. Writing about things I am grateful for has affected me in a very unique and subtle way. Waking up every morning and putting gratefulness in the forefront of my mind has been a great add to my life. I figure this, if I am going to be affected by something why not be affected by thoughts of gratefulness! You should try it. Try waking up every morning and write down three things you are grateful for and not just the ‘easy’ things, but look around and begin to ponder all those things you take for granted. If you do this you may end up being surprised like I have been. Truly, what do you have to lose? A life with days being filled with more gratefulness is no doubt a great add to one’s life!