The most beautiful way to start and end the day is with a grateful heart. Anonymous
This post developed as a result of my Hope post in Adding Life to Year 29 where I listed gratefulness as one of my 3 things I would work on in September. What started so seemingly simple has blossomed into a beautiful practice that I look forward to and enjoy.
In the Bible, we are instructed to be thankful on many different occasions (Col 2:7, Phil 4:6, Heb 12:28) . Being at peace with God, experiencing God’s amazing love through Jesus and being reconciled to Him, is one of my core reasons to be thankful. However, it doesn’t stop there, each day God continues to pour out His love on us, we only have to take time to look for these instances.
Now, I am taking these instances and writing them down in my gratefulness jar 🙂
Last year, I had begun recording 1 thing I was grateful for each day, typing it up on my mobile phone. This lasted for a couple of months before I fell off the wagon so to speak. I still noted those things for which I was grateful but I was not recording them consistently. When I challenged myself in September to begin noting these “thankfulnesses” again in a tangible way, I knew I needed to come up with a new way to add this to my life in a consistent manner. I did some research and the gratefulness jar idea popped out for me so I knew this was the way to go 🙂
I’m about 3 weeks in where I add a minimum of 1 note daily but usually more. I find myself living out the quote at the top of this post. It has truly been a blessing for me to start and end my days with an attitude of gratitude.
What I Have Learnt
In walking through this process so far, here’s what I have learnt:
Why gratitude matters – Taking the time to be thankful makes me more aware of how God is working in my life as it’s sometimes easy to coast through life without taking time to thank God for all He does because He loves us. Then we can forget instead of having those times to remember and encourage us. Being thankful reorients my heart taking my focus off of my immediate situation, whether good or bad, and puts it right back on Jesus. Also, cultivating an attitude of gratitude allows me to experience the peace of God, one of his many gifts.
Find what works for you – I have a creative side and being able to express this through my gratefulness jar acts as motivation for me to continue this practice compared to my first attempt with typing/writing. In your case, you may find that writing works well for you or you prefer to leverage technology, that’s great! Take the time to discover which expression resonates with who you are.
Add a new practice to an already existing habit/routine – I have added my gratefulness practice to my already established morning and night routines so it was very easy to integrate as it takes less than a minute. It also became easy to remember as it is a set part of my routine now. Previously, when I was capturing my writings, I did it when I remembered or when something brought it to mind so it was very irregular in terms of time and that made it difficult for me to build consistency.
Make it fun! – The whole process of finding the right jar and thinking through how I actually wanted to have the notes was enjoyable for me. Also, in my research stage, seeing what others had done inspired me as well and was fun. I have taken my jar a step further including not only my “I’m Grateful For” notes but also little origami hearts I make each day to make the jar prettier to me 🙂
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15