Gratitude Resources

Monday, November 2, 2015

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We have heard the statistics that people are happier when they are grateful. The lack of thanks ensures that unhappiness prevails. It is gratitude that changes perspectives and makes us realize that life isn't as terrible as it looks on the surface. In October of 2009, I started on a journey to journal all the gifts God has given me. It has changed my life. I struggle with negativity, but gratitude morphs the negative into a more positive perspective. Jealousy doesn't haunt me simply because I am more content with what I have.

Lately, each morning I try to add a few more items that I am thankful for in my gratitude journal. I used to crack it open only once a week, but now it seems that thankfulness has become more of a habit. It has taken time to develop, but now I almost can't live without giving thanks. It has become a way of life.

So how can you instill in yourself {and maybe even your kids} a sense of gratitude instead of entitlement? Here are some ideas and resources...

First, start with a gratitude journal. My original goal was to reach one thousand things I was thankful for {based on the ideas from Ann Voskamp's book, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are. Now my goal is to do 1,000 gifts a year. Does it sound hard? Actually, it isn't if you get yourself into a habit of sitting down at least once or twice a week to list what you are thankful for. Without a goal, however, it becomes hard to stay consistent. Each year I have been able to reach my goal...I am closing in on 6,000 gifts this year! I know that having a goal might sound a bit "legalistic", but it does help you stay on track until you develop a habit of thankfulness.

Something that can be done during the month of November with your kids is a "Thanksgiving Tree". We used to do this when the boys were younger. Each day every family member would take a leaf and write what they were thankful for on it and place it on the tree. It was a daily reminder to give thanks. Here is an awesome post on intentional gratitude that highlights a thankful tree.

If you are looking for other ways to teach kids gratitude, hop on over to Future Flying Saucers for some ideas.

Thankfulness in a Box - An incredible object lesson for kids {and adults, too} on how to think "outside of the box" when it comes to being thankful.

Thankfulness and Suffering

You can also check out a few of my posts on gratitude and the difference it has made in my life...

Learning to count it all as blessings...such a tough thing to do when you are hurting.

How gratitude can change your heart over time

So how about you? How can you take steps to a more grateful heart?

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