Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Please read my disclosure for more info.
Have you ever breezed though Thanksgiving without so much of a glance toward your blessings? How about November? Or an entire year?
It’s not hard to do. Let’s face it, life goes fast. And learning how to be thankful takes a little discipline.
Having a thankful heart or life is doable but it means you need to be intentional about it.
If you don’t make yourself focus on your blessings, you won’t automatically do this. You’ll bounce from one thing to another and never slow down enough to say thanks for the blessings you’ve already received.
The truth is, a thankful heart isn’t something that is natural. Just like a good prayer life or a solid Bible reading habit takes effort, being thankful is something that must be cultivated. Being thankful is a discipline that must be practiced. It’s a habit that requires establishment. Maybe that’s why the Bible talks so much about it.
But how do you actually do this? How do you actually slow down enough to do anything when you are drowning from everything you have to do? Are you so overwhelmed that a few minutes a day sounds like a fantasy? I can tell you that it doesn’t have to. You simply need to make living a thankful life a priority.
Here’s how –
Get a few minutes on your calendar just for you.
I know exactly how challenging it is to be thankful but a few minutes a day can fill you with joy because you cultivated your thankful heart.
Decide on a time when you will have 5-10 minutes just for you. Will it be right before lunch or first thing in the morning? Is there a time that you find yourself scrolling mindlessly on your phone? Why not replace that with something meaningful.
It starts with a few minutes a day.
Notice the little things.
Once you start seeing life through a lens of thankfulness, you’ll begin to see how good God is to us. He’s really good to us.
You’ll be at peace, you’ll enjoy the simple things more, and you’ll begin to see the silver lining even on the toughest of days.
The trick is to remind yourself of the good things of life, instead of all the bad stuff out there, or even your worries. Just a few minutes a day will train your mind to remember your blessings throughout the day. You’ll start seeing that a few minutes of thankfulness leads to a life of thankful living.
Start a thankful journal today!! Simply get a notebook and a pen you have laying around your house and start writing.
I found this cutie here, if you want a new journal for your thankful journey.
Hardcover Journal / Blue Chevron
from: inkWELL Press
I like to write the date at the top and list at least 3 things I’m thankful for today. Sometimes the things I’m thankful for come from my Bible reading, sometimes it’s creation speaking to me, and sometimes it’s a simple courtesy that came from a friend.
Finish with a prayer of thanks. You can even write your prayer in your journal.
Don’t Take it for Granted.
I try not to repeat anything on my list for at least a week.
This challenges me to think about little blessings that really mean a lot to me.
Example, I’m thankful for hot water, fresh towels, and a cold refrigerator. Imagine one day without these things. I’m also thankful for God’s love and my husband’s love.
Some blessings never get mentioned because we stay on the surface of thankfulness rather than digging deep and realizing that the things we take for granted are really blessings from above.
Read and mediate on scripture.
There are many Bible verses on being thankful. The Word is clear that this is a practice we should be doing regularly.
There are also many verses to remind us what we should be thankful for spiritually; like eternal life, a God who loves unconditionally, what God has done, and countless others blessings.
When we read Scripture, it helps us to focus on other things besides the selfish tendencies we usually focus on.
Psalms is a great place to start reading about thankfulness. Check out Psalm 100.
Pray the scripture.
While you are journaling and reading Scripture, a natural follow-up activity is to pray. I recommend you pray about the things you have written in your thankful journal. I also recommend praying the scripture that has spoken to you today.
Since you have your journal out, write out your prayers.
It’s like writing a letter to God. Just start writing your prayers and let the words flow as you think about how good God is, what blessings you have, and how the Bible spoke to you today.
I love this Bible study notebook. If you want to kickstart your Bible habit, this tool will help.
Give thanks whether you feel like it or not.
Sometimes, bad days happen. Some days can be really bad, but God has given blessings, even on the worst of days.
Finding something to be thankful for regardless of your feelings is a sign of a strong, thankful heart.
Maybe you know someone like this. Maybe you are this person already. I tend to focus on what I want rather than what I have. God continues to remind me that the blessings He gave me are right there in front of me.
Show thankfulness by blessing others.
Don’t just keep the blessings you’ve been given to yourself.
It could be fixing a meal for someone in need, buying a coat for your neighbors kids, or picking up a list of toys a needy child would enjoy. Whatever it is, do something that shares the blessings you’ve been given.
Write thank you letters.
One way to show our thankfulness is to tell others what we are thankful for in a letter or card.
Try writing thankful letters to each other in your family. Share what you love about each other.
Encourage your kids to write thankful letters for their grandparents and aunts/uncles. Get them done early so you can mail them if you need to.
You can also write your spouse a great letter of thanks. To show how thankful you are for what your spouse does for your family. Maybe they work hard to provide for everyone, prepare food for the whole family on a regular basis, or maybe they have the best hugs.
A thankful letter is a great way to tell your spouse that you are thankful for them.
Living a thankful life starts by making a choice to notice your blessings. Will you take a moment to count your blessings? Or will you wait till next year? ; )