Recently I did a marathon of errands. I usually have a list of errands to do in a trip, so I can be more efficient. As I drove down the road and stopped into Target, a variety of thankfulnesses came to mind: “Thank You for the errands I can get done. Thank You I can walk. Thank You for money to buy groceries. Thank You for clean water.” These are all little, everyday things in my life. But they would not be so little if I didn’t have them! With this burst of thankfulness came a burst of energy. My day is full of good gifts!
What makes every day thankfulness so great?
- Thankfulness reminds us of who God is and invites Him into our day. We remember His presence, care, and generous nature. Saying “thank You” opens conversation with Him. It is a catalyst for connecting with God relationally! “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matthew 6:26, NIV)
- Thankfulness helps us navigate the good and bad of life through joy! Though it doesn’t lessen the hard realities that are mixed into our days, gratitude helps us choose joy. We can be honest about both the bad and the good in our day. Expressing thanks and awareness of God’s presence are anchors that hold us fast in the midst of hard days.
- Thankfulness causes us to see life differently. We tend to focus in and fixate on the stresses or sufferings of our day. Thankfulness helps us notice the positives we may have been missing, or gain perspective on the bigger picture in our life. “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” ~1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
- Thankfulness shapes the kind of people we’re becoming! With thankfulness, we grow closer to God. We worship God. We become joyful despite life’s imperfections. We gain a wise perspective on life.
One simple way I’m leaning into gratitude is by keeping a daily thankfulness journal. It’s on the nightstand by my bed.
I write a sentence about something I’m thankful for each night before I go to sleep. I’m using The Happiness Project, One-Sentence Journal. I like how simple it is, and I enjoy the encouraging quotes at the top of each page. It’s designed so you can begin it any day of the year. While I like paper and pen, my husband Richard enjoys using technology. If you’re like him, you should check out Daylio, the app he’s using to record his daily gratitudes.
What positive thoughts fill your life? Try to keep your eyes wide open for thankfulnesses throughout the day! Practice noticing them by keeping a gratitude journal.