Have you heard the quote, “What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?” That quote has really been on my heart lately. Maybe it’s because Thanksgiving was just last week, but I can’t seem to get it out of my head.
What if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you thanked God for today? Think about what that would mean. We go to God so often with requests, pleas, and burdens. I know I do, at least. What about the praises?
How about you? What things have you been thankful for today? Not too long ago, I did a challenge on here where we spent days not asking for one request no matter how big or small. We prayed only prayers of thanks, and I know I personally saw some incredible things happen. It really made me aware of how often I go to God asking for things but give thanks a lot less often.
I remember when my husband and I were dating, and the new had worn off. We hit that point where we felt like we knew everything about one another, and we were kind of taking each other for granted.
We decided to start writing a gratitude journal. In this journal we wrote 2 things we were thankful for in general and two things we were thankful for in the other person. Then, every Sunday we would read it to each other.
There was a “catch,” though. We could never say the same thing more than once, and it got difficult sometimes because we had to get creative. I absolutely loved when Sunday rolled around, and we got to read the week’s gratitude to one another. I remember some of the things my journal said:
- I’m thankful for the mama bird that decided to make a nest out of my hanging plant on the porch. I love watching the baby birds as they’ve hatched and grown.
- I’m thankful I had money to get the car fixed this week. (usually I wrote something specific here because almost every week something happened to the car)
- I’m thankful Eric bought Raman noodles for us so we could have dinner. (We were full time students in college, both living in apartments with bills to pay, and we were dirt poor).
- I’m thankful Eric surprised me by washing my dishes this week.
I think almost everything on that list is something I wouldn’t normally give thanks for. The journal caused me to look at things I would take for granted on most days. I really enjoyed doing this, and I plan to start again but this time out loud around the dinner table where all of us say something we are thankful for from the day. Why only do this at Thanksgiving?
What are you thankful for?
Why don’t you start your own gratitude habit? Whether it’s a journal or something different, think today about ways you can keep track of your gratitude for the blessings you have. It’s a great way to help you through a difficult day, too, because you are forced to find something to be thankful for. It’s something to look back on later so you can be thankful for those things all over again.
If you get stuck not knowing what you’re thankful for, ask yourself this question, “What if I woke up tomorrow with only the things I was thankful for today?” I bet you’ll find something.
To get you started, I’m going to list some things you might not think of but would be very sad to see it gone tomorrow:
- That friend you just texted
- Homework (I know, it’s a long shot, but imagine if you didn’t have school ever. How well would you function in today’s society?)
- The computer you’re using right now whether it’s your own or someone else’s
- The blanket you woke up under this morning
- The soap you used when you showered
- Water to shower
- The music you listened to today when you were feeling down
- Your jacket that kept you warm when you went to school
- The washing machine so you didn’t have to hand wash your clothes
- The tv show that made you laugh today
These are just a very few things that you may have never thought about before. Start documenting your gratitude each day. Feel free to share some things here that you’re thankful for if you’d like. I love hearing from you.
Find someone to do this with you, and see how much fun it is to come together and hear what you both are thankful for each day.
- Can Teenagers Be Grateful? (beittshuvah.wordpress.com)
- One week later, Still in Thanksgiving mode (1stvillager.wordpress.com)