Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
Last November, my fellow Christian blogger, Deb Wolf, at Counting My Blessings, gives us this challenge: To keep a gratitude journal, with seven entries per day, for the entire month. I like the idea enormously, and readily take her up on it.
But as the month draws to a close, I realize this practice is one I do not wish to give up. My decision? To keep it going all the way into 2017 and beyond!
My gratitude journal is now an integral part of each and every day. Customarily, I sit down with it around five o'clock each evening to recount my blessings for that day, and to, of course, give thanks.
Are some days harder than others when it comes to expressing a gratitude attitude? You bet! I think back in particular to the month of January, when I am either battling a constant cold or enduring the worst shoulder/neck pain one can imagine. I recall writing this "thankful" phrase on several occasions: I'm grateful the pain isn't worse than it is.
And sometimes, after a tough, hard, nasty, no-good day, that's the best we can come up with.
BUT . . .
It is still giving thanks.
When we visit my mother in Oxford last month, my granddaughter, Virginia Rose, is enamored with the idea of a gratitude journal. "If I say what I'm thankful for, will you write it down, Gammie?"
"Of course," I say. "You only have to come up with seven things."
"But I have more than that," Virginia insists. "Can I say them all?"
"Go for it," I tell her, my pen hovering over the page.
And here's what Virginia comes up with:
- Visiting Nana
- Princess (the neighborhood kitty)
- I'm growing
- Mom and Dad
- Henry (her cat)
- Gammie and Papa (glad we made the list!)
- God creating us
- Gammie didn't stay lost in Lawrenceville (that is an entirely different story for another time)
- God making the whole world
That's some list, wouldn't you say? I'm confident that Virginia has a full grasp of the concept of having a gratitude attitude about life.
How about you? Do you give thanks and praise daily to God? Are you thanking Him in all circumstances?
If not, prayerfully consider starting a gratitude journal. You can begin small, if you wish, listing only three things per day. And if your day is such that being thankful is the last thing on your mind, be gentle on yourself and keep it simple; the hot cup of coffee you had that morning, birds singing, sun shining, a hot shower, just to name an ordinary few.
You can do this, my friend. And I will guarantee you it will add blessing upon blessing to your life.
Try it and see!