I hope you’re enjoying your Thanksgiving holiday. Ours has been quiet and filled with time with family and friends. Just the way I like my holidays.
Every Thanksgiving, my husband gets up early and makes a list of things he’s thankful for. Another friend of ours, Tom, has done the same thing for years. He passed 500 items on his list several years ago.
Giving thanks can be an occasional thing, but gratitude is a state or feeling. It’s a discipline worth cultivating.
Michael Hyatt, author, speaker, and CEO, has a great blog post called “The Gratitude Advantage: Four Ways Giving Thanks Improves Your Life.” It includes research on how gratitude reduces stress, improves your health, strengthens your relationships, and more. Read it here.
In hard times, we may find it hard to think of anything to be grateful for, but we can start small. My friend Tom has sometimes given thanks for “the simplest gifts of being human, like the ability to breathe.”
Being grateful for what we have been given can help take our focus off of our circumstances and, for those of us who follow Jesus, put our focus on him. It reminds us of his faithfulness to us, his presence in our lives, and the hope we have in him.
Although I give thanks every day, I don’t often make a written list, but I think now is a good time to make one.
So, here are a few things on my gratitude list this year in no particular order:
- my husband and my daughter (and our dog)
- family and friends
- laughter, and lots of it
- holiday get-togethers with dear ones
- provision for basic needs and many, many extras besides
- a mind that can think, learn and reason
- a body that moves, breathes, and performs countless tasks every day that I take for granted
- beauty, of course
- the arts
- language and words that build up
- grace, grace, and more grace.
And as always, I’m thankful for you, my readers. You're on my list!
Do you make a gratitude list at Thanksgiving? Or maybe you keep a gratitude journal. I’d love to know what's on your list. Leave a comment here or on Facebook here.