Gratitude is a pretty crazy thing… It can change a person’s whole outlook on things… on life even… Recently in a book I was reading I came across the concept of practicing gratitude. In the book it was a simple task of wearing a gratitude bracelet which reminded the wearer to be thankful whenever they noticed the band… it could have been for something big or small, it didn’t matter it was just about taking a moment to stop and be thankful.
Sometimes I think I forget this… I forget to stop and smell the roses so to speak, every now and then it hits me and I am seriously thankful for heaps of things, but then in a moment it can all be gone… back to normal, back to woe is me, or my day sucks… Practicing gratitude is something that I have been trying really hard to do this year, with some success, but not that much… I know it is something that I need to keep working on so that gratitude and seeing the good in a situation is my first response not my last… I want it to be my default position… a heart that is open to seeing the best, not the worst, to appreciating, not taking for granted… and not only noticing the massive life changing things, but being thankful for all the tiny things in between. So to try and help me do this I added it to the list… right at number 38… ‘make a gratitude jar and use it’. I used a jar idea that I found on Pinterest which means it also crosses no. 46 off the list as well, but the jar is there for me to add to… big and small… and I think it has been working to a certain extent… sometimes I forget about it and it’s weeks before I add to it, but other times I am madly scribbling things I am thankful for onto strips of paper ready for the jar. These little strips get folded into little origami stars (no. 40) and popped in the jar so that when I am feeling a little down one quick look at the jar makes me feel happy, thanks to the stars, coloured paper and the pretty fabric lid that I got from Mum’s work, but also quickly reminds me there are so many things I can be thankful for. And if I need more convincing I can always unfold a star and read what I wrote.
I am hoping that by the end of the year I will be so good at practicing gratitude that my jar will be full… and that it will be a daily habit, where I am always looking for the good and positive. That soon I will be able to say I practice gratitude regularly… and I am truly grateful, coz lets face it, gratitude and happiness are much better than bitterness and worry.
‘Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart’
Colossians 4:2 (NLT)