Today is my day (day 3) in this project, I am honored and excited to be part of this Gratitude Project 101. I hope as the week progresses you will stop in and check out the 6 amazing bloggers I have been teamed with.
365 days of grateful
This is the time of year we stop to reflect on what we are thankful for, we post out thankfulness for the 31 days of November. Don’t get me wrong, this is a great practice, but last year my heart was softly challenged, why only once a year? Why do I take only 31 days out of 365 to actively practice gratitude? These thoughts continued to nag at me for several weeks. Why would I not express my thankfulness every day, all year long? I have a blessed, beautiful life.
Instead of making resolutions for the New Year I chose this one word to focus on and put into practice for 365 days– Grateful. (See this project for more details.)
For days I prayed, planned and wondered, how would that look? How exactly would I place this word in my life in practical, tangible ways. I decided on at least 3 things I would practice every day.
Number one, before I put my feet on the floor in the mornings I would think of one thing to be grateful for, and offer up a praise to the One who has blessed me.
Number two, when my head hit the pillow at night, 3 things I was grateful for that day, easy peasy, right? Some days, not so much.
Number three, on my office door at work I posted a 2×3 foot sheet of paper, at the top I wrote “What are you grateful for today?” My task is to write one thing I am grateful for before I enter my office. My hope was to find my gratefulness in my every day. What happened next absolutely filled my heart to over flowing with happiness, my staff began writing their gratefulness. I wish I could express how this blessed me, and what it does to lift me at the beginning of each day.
There are 10 sheets (that is 600 square feet of gratefulness) filled with God’s goodness and mercies, in one or two word expressions: Breath, Sunshine, Rain, Co-workers, Love, One More Day, Flowers, Good Friends, Amazing Family. . . I could go on and on. Some days my gratefulness was in short supply until I stood and read my office door. My attitude is immediately changed when I stand before what has become a wall of gratefulness.
This word, grateful, has changed my world view, my attitude, and my life. I hope that does not sound over dramatic but I have a tendency to want more, to look to the next thing, this word has slowed me down. This practice of gratefulness has caused me to stop in the moment and be grateful, to stop looking beyond and losing the now.
Prayers of thanksgiving flow from my lips with more frequency. Gratefulness wells up inside me as I look around my life, especially when my eyes land on the people who are sharing this journey with me. Sometimes I feel I may not be able to contain the overwhelming gratitude that washes over me.
Compassion for those who have less has intensified. Compassion for those who have more suffering and trials has intensified. Some days my heart hurts for precious ones who are suffering from not enough and too much.
I see gratitude almost everywhere I look. As I walked through a small downtown area the other day I came across a little art store, out in front there was a tall black box with pens and nice plain white linen note cards. The question on the box was, “What are you grateful for today?” It begged me to add my card, I could have filled the box.
I have so much to be thankful for, even in the hard where the most profitable lessons are learned.
My challenge to you, take a week, give the practice of gratefulness a hardy try. See if you can remain the person you are today.
My practical tip, when feeling grumpy about mundane chores such as dusting or dishes, these are two chores that do not thrill me, try make chores an exercise in gratefulness. When I dust, I thank God for the people that the items remind me of, or the person that gave me the item. When I wash dishes I pray over and give thanks for the family members that used these things. Makes the chores a little less mundane.
My prayer for you that if for just a moment in this small minute of time you will feel all the love that my Jesus has to offer you. He has given us blessings beyond measure.
To read more of Bev Landgren your can find me here.For those of you new to my blog please feel free to poke around, I would love to hear from you while you are here.