Friday, June 4, 2010

Attitude of Gratitude

Each of us, at one time or another, has a day when we just have trouble finding the bright spots or blessings in our lives.  Whether we are going through financial struggles, health issues, family difficulties of any kind, we all are susceptible to feeling a bit down.  I was reading a dear friend's Facebook page and she reminded me of an idea that helps to refocus our outlook in life.  It is called a Gratitude Journal.
Gratitude Journals are simply a little book where you take a moment each and every day to write down one thing you are grateful for.  The entry can be as long or short as you feel like writing.  The blessing or item you are grateful for may be as simple as not losing your temper during a child's tantrum. Some days, you may find a much larger blessing to record.  The journal doesn't have to be fancy.  A spiral notebook or a blank book/journal from a dollar store will work just as well as a fancier one.  You could leave the book plain or dress it up to suit your own style. 
The purpose of the journal is to help us to refocus and see the blessings of the Lord in our daily life.  It is so easy to allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by the worldly things and our own situations.  By taking a few minutes to ponder on how the Lord blesses us each and every day, we stop looking at the trials in our life, but start realizing the joys and blessings.  Even on the worst day of your life, there are blessings from the Lord.  We only have to look for them.
During the times when we feel alone or very worn down from our trials, we can take out the journal to read and remember how the Lord blesses us each day.  Over time, we develop an attitude of gratitude towards the Lord that strengthens our relationship with Him.  How can a person feel lost or separated from the Lord when they acknowledge daily the ways that the Lord has blessed them?
I am thinking about starting one for both Abigail and I.  Each night before we do bedtime prayers with with her, Joe asks Abbie about her day and is teaching her to thank the Lord in prayer for all that she enjoyed that day.  It will make a nice little book to give her when she is much older.  When she is old enough to write on her own, she could do it in her own writing.  By teaching Abbie from a young age to look for the Lord's blessings, I hope to help her in developing her own relationship with the Lord.  It has been a long time since I have kept a journal.  It is long passed time for me to do so again.  This journal will be a good start. 
May the Lord's blessings be with thee,
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