What are you grateful for? When I hear that question, I immediately know my answers and yet I’ve found it hard to cultivate a mindset of gratitude on a daily basis. Not just “when I have the time” to slow down and be grateful, but a moment to moment recognition of how precious life is, the limited time we have on this earth and the wonderful calling we have to steward well what we are given. So often I am looking toward the next task to accomplish, meal to cook, or schedule to maintain. I think many of us can relate to that — taking care of the everyday necessities of life! In our home we’ve chosen to live a more simple life in an attempt to make space for what we value (faith, family time, outdoors), but even with this slower pace I’ve found I still struggle to prioritize gratitude!
This year, I wanted to do things differently but knew willpower and intentions were not enough. Based on past experience (and failures) I needed a tool or resource to help me integrate this as a routine in my day to day life. I also read that to develop a new practice, you need to do it daily for twenty to sixty days before it becomes a habit. With these things in mind, I set out to find gratitude resources and ideas. Here is a collection of what I found that may help you in this season as well!
Spend time each day in a posture of gratitude. This could be as simple as reflecting on and praying about one thing you are thankful for each day. Or it could be more involved by focusing on several areas in life and expressing a prayer of thanks over an item in each area. Val Marie Paper has a great prayer journal that identifies life categories with space to write notes about each one. I’ve found it helpful in focusing my thoughts and could definitely be applied to a gratitude quiet time!
Choose a gratitude partner. This is a wonderful way to have accountability while developing a new habit - you could both share how and what you are grateful for every day or simply check in to encourage one another.
Write in a gratitude journal. Gratitude journals have become popular recently which means you have options to choose from for a more guided practice! If you have a notebook you’d like to use instead, you could keep your own gratitude log throughout the week, writing down what you are grateful for each day.
I personally chose to use a gratitude journal by Korie Herald published this summer titled More Than Gratitude. The journal guides you through a deeper process of cultivating a thankful heart every day. I do my bible study in the mornings and put gratitude journaling time in the evening to reflect at the end of the day. A few other journals with a slightly different process than Korie’s are here: Gratitude Journal For Women, Well Watered Women Journal, and Good Days Start With Gratitude.
Express gratitude intentionally and spontaneously to others. Look for ways to encourage those in your life by sharing why you are thankful for them. Choose a method that brings the most meaning to the person - consider a handwritten letter, a phone call or even a simple gift. Especially seek to give thanks for the overlooked - a word of thanks can be incredibly meaningful and uplifting.
My hope is that this personal journey causes a shift in my mindset so that I start consistently viewing life through a lense of gratitude. A slower way of living helps dedicate time to intentional thankfulness by taking in the details, the simple moments, and the quiet in the midst of what can be a busy season. I’ve used the “More Than Gratitude Journal” for about 30 days now and have been blessed by the evening moments of quiet, deliberate prayer. I’m not all the way there yet with making this a habit and I imagine it will be a lifelong process of staying committed to cultivating contentment but the beginning of this journey has been wonderful.
Would you like to join me? Starting the first of November, we are doing 30 Days of Intentional Gratitude - you can follow along on Instagram and Facebook Stories for encouragement, reminders and tips. Our goal is to use this time to prepare our hearts and minds for the holiday season and establish a new pattern of thankfulness on an intentional basis.
Looking for more tips on intentional living? Join our email list at the bottom of this page to receive our receive Seasonal Journals.