Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. This is a time when people tend to reflect on what they are thankful for in their lives. I thought I would do the same.
Thankfulness, or gratitude, is just another way of counting our blessings. Studies have shown that daily reflection and gratitude exercises can increase the quality of one’s life. It’s easy to overlook life’s little blessings at times. I have tried to focus on this during the past two years. In 2013, I created a Gratitude Jar. Perhaps some of you have seen this same idea floating around the Internet or on Facebook, which is where I first heard of it. Throughout the year, I wrote down the positive things that happened and placed them in a jar. I kept the jar on my living room coffee table so that I was reminded to look for things to include. On December 31, 2013, I opened the jar and dumped out the slips of paper. There were numerous things that had happened throughout the year I had forgotten, and I found myself smiling frequently. In many ways, I had not looked positively on 2013. This activity put things in a new perspective.
For 2014, I decided to do things a bit differently. I purchased a spiral-bound notebook, and I tried to list at least three positive things every day. Some days, it was difficult to come up with one item, but I am proud to say that I have not missed one day all year. 2014 has been a challenging year in various ways, and I must admit that I’m looking forward to 2015. However, I want to reflect on the countless things I am thankful for this holiday season. Here are just a few of them:
- I am thankful for my husband, who loves me unconditionally (and I know it’s not always easy!). He truly is the best man I know and the perfect match for me. God certainly knew what he was doing J
- I am thankful for my family and friends (even the virtual ones). They have been there for me through all the ups and downs.
- I am thankful that I have a warm house to come home to every day. While it’s not perfect, and it probably never will be, I realize that there are many people who are not as fortunate.
- I am thankful for the challenging situations that I have been placed in this year, as they have helped make me a stronger person.
- I am thankful for our turtle Speedy, as he is the best pet anyone could ever have J
- I am thankful for the talents that I have been blessed with, and the fact that God knows exactly how I will be using them (even when I do not).
- I am thankful for the changing seasons, as they remind me of God’s beauty.
- I am thankful for the love and laughter I have experienced this year.
- I am thankful for the opportunities I had this year which I didn’t think possible (such as attending the ACFW conference and witnessing my brother marry the love of his life).
- I am thankful for all of you, for taking the time to read this and be a part of my life. You are much appreciated!
What about you? What are you thankful for this holiday season?