How To Make Gratitude a Way of Life
Do you keep a record of God’s faithfulness in your life? I bought my first Godstops journal in 2011; the “stop” is an acronym coined by Beth Moore for “Savoring the Observable Presence.” It wasn’t anything fancy, just a college-ruled composition book with 100 pages.
Every day I’d take a few minutes after my Jesus time to record passages that felt personal, the things weighing on my heart, and how God was answering financial needs far beyond what I could supply on my own, and more. My goodness, friends, NOTHING has grown my faith and love for the Lord more!
Journaling has so many benefits. It increases self-awareness; you’ll see patterns revealing your most private thoughts, feelings and fears over time. It can improve your memory and enhance your creativity by allowing you to organize your ideas and thoughts better to come up with innovative solutions to problems. Additionally, journaling can serve as a stress reducer, which can help you manage anxiety and improve your overall mental health. And as you spend time journaling, you’ll discover that gratitude becomes a way of life when we seek to be people who are receptive to God’s presence.
Here are a few tips to help you put your feelings on paper, process them through prayer, compare them to God’s Word, and be open and receptive to His will and way.
- Start looking for the good throughout your day, pray, and ask God to give you eyes to see and ears to hear.
- Decide on a regular time to write in your journal. It could be first thing in the morning, before bed, or during a quiet moment in the middle of the day. The key is to make it a consistent habit.
- Write down three things you are grateful for each day. They can be big or small, specific or general, anything that brings you joy or appreciation. Try to be as detailed as possible rather than just listing broad categories like “family” or “good health.”
- Reflect on why you are grateful for each item on your list. What positive impact does it have on your life? How does it make you feel?
- If you’re struggling to find things to be grateful for, look for opportunities to turn negatives into positives. What lessons have you learned from a challenging experience? What strengths or support have you gained from facing adversity?
It’s easy to forget what Jesus did yesterday when we’re going through a storm today. But when we are receptive to the Lord’s presence in our lives and take the time to stop and take notice, we cultivate a personal history of God’s faithfulness that will carry us through all our tomorrows.
Kelly Kirby Worley
Do you have a journal where you record the things you are thankful for? How does that process look for you? I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments!
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