This is a relatively new feature on the blog, where I answer questions I’m asked a lot. So if you have a question for me, shoot me an email and I’ll try my best to give you a relevant answer.
Question: How do you start a gratitude journal?
Over the past year I’ve received a handful of queries from ladies who have read my Counting My Blessings posts and are interested in start their own gratitude journals. To get a background of my own journey, I encourage you to read how I got started and why I continue to do it. The rest of this post will explain the basics and tools to help you get started.
You will need one of the following to document your blessings:
- A journal/notebook and a pen.
- A notepad on your computer, tablet or phone.
- The One Thousand Gifts app.
When you’ve decided how you’re going to document your blessings, be on out for things you are thankful for each day. Jot your blessings down, numbering them as you go. I take mental notes throughout my day – maybe a funny thing a son said, beautiful flowers, a verse from the Bible, or an experience. At the end of the day, I open my notepad and do a mental recap of the day – writing down everything I am thankful for.
If you find it too daunting to write down long sentences at the end of the day, I encourage you to take the Joy Dare from A Holy Experience. That’s where I started as well. You can download the Joy Dare for each month, get the daily prompt and then look for things you are thankful for based on the prompt.
For example, if the prompt for today is “3 gifts sweet”, you go about your day looking for sweet things you are thankful for – chocolate, a fruit or perhaps even a kiss .
These daily prompts had me thanking God for the unlikeliest things – gifts I usually take for granted – like electricity and clean running water. Let’s not forget to list the not-so-nice things you are thankful for as well. Last week, I actually managed to thank God for a lost wallet. It definitely puts things in perspective when we choose to give thanks in all circumstances – good and bad.
A note of caution here: let not the act of counting your blessings deter you from keeping your focus on God. In developing the habit of giving thanks, we may tend to focus on the gifts rather than the Giver. It is essential to remember that every blessing, every gift, everything you are thankful for comes from God alone.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17)
Do you maintain a gratitude journal? Are you planning to start one?