I used to host a blog meme by that name. Each Thursday, bloggers were invited to link up to my meme, sharing posts about things for which they were grateful in life. The idea was to list three to five things each week, so as to keep a running log of all the reasons one might have for giving thanks.
I hosted this meme on a blog called, “Thankful Blessings” that included other posts and thoughts on inculcating an “attitude of gratitude” in all areas of life. As I told my blog readers at the time, I have often noticed a direct correlation between how joyful a person is and how thankful he/she is for the many blessings (and, yes, even sufferings, trials and challenges) that God allows in his/her life.
In my past work as an online speaker and Blog Talk radio show host, I would often hear from (mostly) women, seeking ways to combat stress, depression, ill-health or other negative aspects of their lives. One of the first things I would ask would always be: Would you consider yourself a person who has a grateful heart?
Nine times out of 10, those who were in the deepest of ruts would answer, “Not really.” Often, they would then list all the reasons they thought they had for “not” being thankful – financial struggles, marriage problems, kids struggling to succeed in school, health trouble, weight problems – in fact, they had no problem verbalizing all that was “wrong” with their lives.
Without attempting to minimize the very real issues these women were often facing, I would encourage them to accept a small challenge. The challenge was to get a blank journal or notebook of some sort, and every day, no matter what particular circumstances a day might hold, they were to write at least three things for which they were thankful.
I personally try to do this every year during the Advent or Lenten seasons. Sometimes, I will write basic “Things I’m Thankful for” lists. Other times, I tweak it a bit by being more specific, such as: “Family Blessings I’ve Received” or “Things I Love about My Husband”, etc…the point is, the more we focus on what is good and right with our lives, the more joy we have in our hearts, and the more strength and perseverance we gain to make it through the tough times.
I keep all my old journals in a drawer. When life grows challenging, or, I’m feeling lonely or sad, I love to take out a journal and look back in time at all the ways God has blessed me. Scripture tells us that, as Christians, others will recognize us by our joy. I believe that joy and thanks-giving go hand in hand.
Want more joy?
Give more thanks!
Judy Dudich resides in the beautiful woods of Pennsylvania, where 24 acres of land and a home-office provide the perfect setting for her children’s home-education and her own homesteading and business ventures. Life is full of blessings (and challenges!) for Judy, as a wife, mother of 10 and Grammy to six. She is a published author, whose book, “I Surrender/A Study Guide for Women” continues to encourage and support others in Christian family lifestyles throughout the world. Judy has also previously worked in the online speaking circuit. Her passion for permaculture, re-purposing, foraging and organic gardening fills her days with learning and adventure that she loves to share.