Of course, we need to also record those long-time precious parts of our life!
Who in your life has stood by your side for a long time? Perhaps they’ve already passed into eternity, but you know they’re still interested in you and love you from there. Make a list. Think through all your life stages… childhood, teen years, as a young adult and beyond. You’re going to find certain people have played a part in your life for years and years. Others have popped in and out again… they all have great value. Be thankful for those old friends and mentors.
Thankful for old experiences…
What experiences have you had on an ongoing basis?
Perhaps it’s as simple as baking (or eating) the same Christmas cookies year after year… the familiar taste, smell, and love wrapped up in something sweet.
What about performances? Do you play an instrument? Or sing? Each year, from my earliest memories, we had a Christmas program at our church and in larger and smaller ways I participated over the years. (One year I even made a small dent in my stash of fabric to make costumes for the children…) The experiences surrounding Christmas Programs at church hold many ways I feel thankful. Somewhere in storage, there’s a box of Christmas music… I need to pull it out for our grands.
And reading and re-reading the same book over again. Maybe it’s a children’s book you’ve read to your children and now to your grandchildren. Maybe it’s a book you revisit each year at a certain time… The experience of refreshing those particular words becomes part of who you are as a person… (For example, this is a book I recommend to everyone for its tongue-in-cheek style that prompts me to examine my own negative tendencies as a disciple of Christ.)
In addition, consider past experiences, those once-in-a-lifetime events, which will never show up again. Be thankful for those special moments also.
Old stuff. Be thankful for all the old stuff in your life. New is great, but sometimes that special blanket, or dish, or cup that’s been a part of your life from youth onward has great memories. I just came back from my mother’s home. She’s sorting through her stuff and it’s really hard to let go of all the stuff with good memories.
To combat some of her (and my) melancholy I’ve begun a new hobby – Junk Journaling. (Crafting a book using recycled, found and memorable items used to record ideas, quotes, memories, etc.) I’m incorporating things like the cards from my grandparent’s 50th wedding anniversary, some fabrics from worn-out linens, and more into this new art form.
I can’t keep all the stuff – but I can be thankful for it as I use bits and pieces!
What about you?
What long-term people, experiences and things are you thankful for in your life?
Take note! Write them down.
There’s such value in watching the process of a thankful journal take shape…
Or, if you want to read, consider and focus in greater depth, then this other Gratitude focused book called “One Thousand Gifts Devotional: Reflections on Finding Everyday Graces” is wonderful. It’s written in a lyrical style with lots to “chew” on and space at the end of each devotional to write your own thoughts. (I’m a fan of this author.)
Stuff. This could be about the littlest thing, such as a new box of tissues. Hey! I bet you’re feeling a unique sense of gratitude when you’ve just sneezed, and, sitting by your side is a new, full box of tissues to meet your need! It’s also perfectly fine to include on this list the new things you’re anticipating… Be aware and give thanks for even the essentials in your life.
Experiences. What have you just done that you’ve never tried before? Have you just eaten sushi? Or learned a dance step, or been to a great movie, or… Being filled with thanks for new and lovely experiences is essential for living a grateful life! Big or small, let’s keep track!
People. Who have you just met that strikes a spark in your soul? Surely there will be at least one new person – even if that meeting was fleeting… Rob and I have been traveling and we’ve met some really fun and interesting people. I don’t know when we will connect again, but boy-oh-boy am I thankful for these special people. They’re the secret sauce in my life!
What about you?
In what way are you thankful for new…
Leave a comment – and add to your thankful journal!
30 days of thankfulness —
Join in – here are a few more of the articles in this series:
Want to play? Find a piece of paper, or a notebook, journal or even download and print this free PDF to record all of what you’re thankful for. The beauty will build as you look at the many areas in which you’re feeling thankful.
He, of course, wrote to all the significant people in his life, but quickly needed other options. I remember chuckling as he described writing a thank-you note to the person who would receive a bill he was paying… Imagine their surprise!
Are you playing?
If you’re playing the 30 Days of Thankfulness – writing down all you’re grateful for in one place – then make this an entry:
Record all those friends or strangers where you said “thank-you” to today!
Accomplishments – what have you completed that you’re thankful for? Do you feel a sense of satisfaction about something you’ve done?
We all have failures in our life. That’s normal. Failing is part of being human. Too often the first that comes to mind are those items which we regret, or didn’t do, or haven’t excelled at in comparison with others.
Today I want you to tuck those negative thoughts away.
Today be thankful for your accomplishments!
We all have accomplishments that we can list.
Where have you succeeded?
What have you completed?
Who has benefited from what you’ve done?
There are areas in which you’ve had influence that are better today because of your presence.
You have contributed in places, with people, that no one else could have done.
It’s not necessary to make a big splash to be considered a success. Even the smallest pebble will create ripples when dropped into a pond.
The ripples from your accomplishments have value!
For one who cooks supper each day for decades – that’s an accomplishment! (Don’t laugh. It’s not an easy task for some of us to be consistent!)
Raising children is an accomplishment. Nurturing a marriage is an accomplishment. Caring for a parent is an accomplishment. Singing in a choir is something for which to be thankful. Paying taxes, learning a new skill, voting, improving your bank account, making something useful, writing, giving up a vice, being optimistic even when life looks dreadful, getting up early to exercise, trying once more at that thing that seems too much…
The list of accomplishments is long for every life!
Take a new look at what you’re involved in and celebrate!
Be thankful you can do that one thing… it’s an accomplishment!
Join in on the #30daysof thankfulness. It’s amazing to see your list of what you’re grateful for grow and grow and grow…
H20 – water. Consider all the ways we are privileged to use water. Turn on the faucet and there you have water.
We disregard the free-flowing availability of our H20. No walking down to a stream to fill our buckets. No pumping by hand at a well. We turn on a tap and there it is!
Washing, cleaning, preparing food and all kinds of activities would be extra challenging if, firstly, we needed to go get our water!
Be thankful for H20 – hot & cold!
Even more miraculous is the opportunity to have hot water flowing from the tap.
Next time you take a shower or relax in a bath, take note of the flowing hot water. Consider how thankful you are it’s there…
In what ways have you used water today? Make a note and give thanks!
A Story from Haiti
Our son and daughter-in-love participated in a non-profit video shoot in Haiti. Part of the trek included time far up in the hills where there is no running water.
People walk down, down, down, through the bush to the river far below to collect their daily water. Often it’s the children who carry heavy buckets back up the hills to home.
One day, Alex accompanied these children to film the process. He chose to wear sandals/flipflops. (As he tells the story he usually pauses to tell the listeners that wearing flip-flops isn’t a good idea!)
The group collected their water at the river and began the uphill walk on the rough trail back to the village, carrying their jugs.
Half-way back up Alex stumbled and fell to the side of the path. His feet and legs were muddy and messy from the fall.
He began brushing at the dirt, and before he could react, one of the young boys, carrying his family’s water in a heavy jug, poured water over Alex’s legs to clean them.
That young boy didn’t hesitate to share this precious resource. Alex says he wanted to tell him to save the water that they’d just walked 30 minutes to collect, but the boy gave too quickly…
Think about it. Would you be that quick to share a precious resource you’d just walked 30 minutes to gather?
Thankful for your hobbies. What’s a hobby? It’s an activity that isn’t work. It’s pleasure. <wink>
If we’re being specific or legalistic, then a hobby is something that’s supposed to be done during your leisure time. Most of us have little time we’d consider as throw-away leisure-time, so I’m going to make the term “hobby” as loose as you choose. The only thing I’d say is that it needs to be something you find pleasurable.
Thankful for your hobbies.
Now, before you say that you don’t have any hobbies, I’d like you to consider:
Do you sing in a choir?
Enjoy cooking? Baking?
Do you like to send snail-mail cards?
What about organizing and improving your environment?
Do you make things? Take photos?
Read, read and read some more?
Garden or nurture plans inside?
Many activities you enjoy could be considered a hobby!
Record all your hobbies – they’re activities you’re thankful for! Here are more ideas on what to find your gratitude attitude in…
To be thankful for safety we first need to be aware of our vulnerability. I’m imagining we are all, to some extent, aware of how fragile our safety in this world is…
As I write this post, it’s November 11th. In the United States of America, it’s Veterans Day. In Canada, Australia, and the Commonwealth of Nations this date is titled Remembrance Day.
Where you live, is November 11th dedicated to those who fight, or have fought, for your safety – freedom?
Regardless of the date or the title of that date, we all have someone in our life who has championed our safety.
Perhaps they are closely related or a friend who served in the military. Maybe they don’t have anything to do with the military, however, that person has protected us: physically, mentally or spiritually.
So today, we can be…
thankful for safety and those who provide it.
Who will you be referencing in your journal about thankfulness?
Continuing in our 30 days of thankfulness check out these posts!
When have you tried something out of your comfort zone, or on your bucket list or an activity you’d never consider if someone hadn’t invited you…
What have you done in the last year that was new to you?
A few days ago we tried a new dining experience – cooking our meat on a 700+ degree rock! We had fun trying out something new!
See, being thankful for new experiences doesn’t need to be about the huge events. It could be just a simple food item that’s new to you or movement style like dancing or tai chi. Maybe it’s as simple as driving down a new street, rather than using the regular path to a regular spot.
Thankful for new experiences.
What would you list? Maybe you have more than one item to put in your thankful journal?
30 days of thankfulness
We’re working on documenting many ways in which we feel grateful. There will be 30 days worth but it’s perfectly fine if you have way many more than 30 items!
Want to play? – Maybe this is your new experience?
The power comes in seeing these items add up, and reading the long list at the end… Want to play?
What do you want to do in the future? I have a list… one item on my list is to see the aurora borealis (northern lights). I’m looking at journals to buy – or I might make my own – to keep a record of all the things I want to experience in the future…
Thankful for your favorite… Favorite what? Think about what you wear.
Do you have a favorite set of pajamas? What about a sweater or hoodie that wraps you up in love? Perhaps there’s a swim-suit that fits just right or a huge, fuzzy, flannel shirt that feels so cozy?
Maybe it’s a dress that fits the glamorous side of your personality. Or a set of lingerie which no-one might see, yet makes you feel so feminine. Your favorite might be a robe that, when you wear it, means it’s going to be a relaxing day – all day…
You might be thankful for a favorite pair of shoes that make you feel like you could run all day or a set of sunglasses you can hide behind. It could be a scarf that’s just the right amount of warmth, or…
Thankful for your favorite wearable!
Use today, in your 30 days of thankfulness journal, to note that piece of clothing you wear which brings a smile to your heart!
We’re continuing in our 30 days of thankfulness – here are some of the posts so far…
Thankful for Prayer – both the ability to pray and thankful for those who pray for you.
Who prays for you?
Do you know?
Perhaps some people are aware of those who pray for them. But there may be times when there’s little indication…
grandparents who complain that they don’t see you often enough… continue to intercede in prayer for you…
your ministers pray for you – even though they don’t know anything about your life. They trust God knows the whole story and reach out on your behalf…
co-workers who are quiet about their faith and you might not even know that they sit quietly in the church each week, praying for you. (I’ve heard when co-workers were prayed for.)
that person strolling past your house who is just walking… might be praying for those who live in their neighborhood… my parents-in-law had a tradition of doing that when they went for their evening walk.
when you’re facing procedures or issues, and you’ve shared with someone, they may just go home and remember you. A stranger could be praying for you. (Rob and I have done that.)
I know people who, when they hear a siren, automatically pray for those involved.
when you vent on social media, and though you don’t get a “like” or comment, there will be those who are praying for you and your pain.
Now you. Thankful for prayer…
Who do you pray for? And when?
Prayer is a power action. It’s a gift. It engages the One who created everything.
Prayer can be done silently, and constantly.
It’s a way to express joy and sorrow and fears and overwhelm. It’s a way to help, even when you’re far away, or there doesn’t seem like there’s any solution. Prayer makes a difference.
(And if you have time to scroll on social media, you have time to pray – just sayin’… )
Be thankful for the opportunity to pray.
And be thankful for those who pray for you.
Thankful for prayer is the 8th in 30 days of thankfulness – here are the ones which went before…