For several years now.....well I think for 17 or 18 years, I have kept a gratitude journal. Or sometimes I just call it a thankfulness list. Anyway, it is just a list of things I am thankful for. I simply write down five things each day that I am thankful for. Over the years I have kept most of my lists in the front or back of spiral bound notebooks, notebooks that I am using for my current Bible study. Currently I am using a really pretty gratitude journal that I bought for myself last March. For the first time, I am numbering my lists, and I am on about five hundred or more.
For me, the lists serve as a journal of sorts. The things that I list that I am thankful for each day reflect my current stage of life. I do have gaps in my lists.....when I was pregnant with each of my five children and suffered with hyperemesis gravidarum (the fancy word for throwing up all day every day), I failed to keep up the gratitude lists. But I can tell when I began to feel better, that's when I started listing things I was grateful for again (five things each day---and the first several days' list always included how thankful I was that I was not throwing up anymore! From time to time I enjoy reading my gratitude lists from the past. The lists bring back so many fond memories. Of course my lists have recurring themes--my hope of salvation, my husband, my children, my family, my church family, my friends, my health, etc., but I try to list very specific things in these areas. I also list simple things that I am thankful for too, like hot coffee first thing in the morning, a new book, a clean closet, etc.
Thanksgiving produces joy.
The more we think about and write on paper the blessings in our lives--the things that we are thankful for each day--the better our attitude is.
There is always, always something to be thankful for.
We are commanded in God's Word to be thankful, and there are no qualifiers or exceptions whenever Scripture mentions thankfulness. We are to find things to be thankful for, and give thanks for our blessings to God.
I encourage you to begin your own gratitude journal on this day, Thanksgiving Day. You don't need a fancy notebook, anything you have on hand is fine. Just begin listing your blessings. Thank God for your blessings. Writing them down is therapeutic, and looking back on your lists to remind you of past blessings is beneficial too. Five things you are thankful for each day.
Today I am thankful for spending the day with my family (parents, grandmothers, brothers, sisters-in-law, and nephews). I am sad that Jimmy had to work today and could not be with us, but I am thankful that he has a job, and that he works so tirelessly to provide for our family.