Regular Recitations Help Gratitude Echo

On this 21st Day of Thanks Living I choose to say Psalm 34:1-8 twice a day.

Recitation Challenge. Recently my pastor challenged the congregation to daily recite The Lord’s Prayer. He asked us to say it three times a day at 7am, 1pm, and 7pm. I have quite enjoyed this. Since I am reading it from a version I don’t normally read, I have to pay attention to the words.

Because I am reading it three times a day, the concepts and phrases frequently echo in my thinking without much conscious effort.

Regular times of thanks giving. I thought I could also do this with a prayer of thanksgiving or a psalm of thanksgiving. There are quite a few ideas on the internet. I finally settled on Psalm 34: 1-8 in the New Living Translation. Two times a day, I will say these verses at 10am and 10pm (just before bedtime).

Alarm the alarm. So that I don’t have to count on my memory to say the various things at various times, I set the alarm on my cell phone with the correct label (either The Lord’s Prayer or Psalm 34). And I took a photo of these two readings so that it is easy to find and read.

A friend saved The Lord’s Prayer to a voice memo app. I will see if I can do that as well.

  • Do you engage in regular, set times of prayer? How has that impacted you?
  • How about joining me in saying a prayer or a psalm of thanks giving at least once a day?

Related Posts . . .

5 Benefits from Giving Thanks

Grateful 43 – Things about Prayer

Prayer Impacts Us in 5 Ways

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Slow Down To Ramp Up Gratitude

On this 20th Day of Thanks Living, I choose to slow down so I can SEE what there is to appreciate.

It is noticing that opens up the way for gratitude. It takes mindfulness to notice what’s around us. And to be mindful, we need to slow down.

We are busy people. We’re busy with our families, friendships, work, household chores, and health maintenance. Time-saving devices (like washing machines, dishwashers, and convenience foods) have not saved us time. That claim was a myth. Instead of using the saved time to chill, deepen relationships, or have a hobby, we’ve added more work in its place. We are busier than ever.

This frenetic pace presents us from noticing the good around us. We take for granted the nature, people, and circumstances that bless us. We are blind to their beauty, helpfulness, and love. In short, we exhibit an attitude of INgratitude.

THAT STINKS.

I propose that we slow down. Notice what’s around us. Savour what’s around us. And then express our thanks. It is always appropriate to thank God. And it is appropriate to thank the people around us for their contributions and personhood.

Your Turn …

  • Could you do with some rest, quiet time, or empty slots on the calendar? Take it. Slow down. See what there is to appreciate. Have a gratitude fest. Even by yourself, it will be worth it.
  • If you are already good at a slower paced life that leads to gratitude, give us your best tip to guarding this time.

Related Posts …

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Celebrating Others Increases Our Gratitude

On the 19th Day of Thanks Living, I choose to celebrate with and for others.

We Feel Happy When We Engage In Three Types Of Gratitude. The first one is gratitude we receive. It is a good feeling to be recognized for a job well done or just for being you. It is a delight to know that our accomplishments are noticed and that we are appreciated. This is gratitude we are all familiar with.

The second type of happiness from gratitude is when we express gratitude to others. Yes, we feel gratitude when we extend gratitude. This is especially true when our gratitude doesn’t expect anything in return. At that moment we are more focused on the well-being of the other person than on ourselves.

The last type of happiness from gratitude is when we celebrate with others the good things in their lives. This is when I am grateful that someone has an accomplishment or a happy circumstance. This type of happiness is not usually talked about. But it sure is a relationship builder when we practice it.

For Instance . . .

  • I am grateful that Rusty’s surgery went well and the infection is all cleared up.
  • I am grateful that my niece found an awesome apartment in midtown despite the lack of affordable housing.
  • I am grateful one granddaughter (8 years old) went on her first camping trip without the family and it went well.
  • I am grateful my daughter finished the “renovations” on her SUV to turn it into a tiny, tiny home.

Your Turn . . .

  • When was the last time you experienced happiness from these types of gratitude?
  • Will you take some time today to express gratitude?
  • Share how it felt celebrating something from another’s gratitude list.
  • The next time someone says “Thanks,” stop and savour the moment. You were given a gift. Don’t be dismissive of that gift.

Related Posts . . .

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Searching is A Good Way To Review Gratitude

On the 17th Day of Thanks Living I choose to do a word search.

We’ve had 17 days of ideas. That is a lot of information. Let’s take today and do a review about some of the ways we can start, enhance, and grow gratitude in our hearts and minds.

Let’s do a gratitude word search. Each of the words has been mentioned in the past 17 days or will be mentioned sometime this month. As you read each word, see if you can remember the BIG idea associated with it. What did that word have to do with this 30 Days of Thanks Living series?

Go to this link to make your own gratitude word search: shorturl.at/lsK45

Your Turn …

  • Did you find all the words?
  • Did you remember all the BIG ideas?
  • Did you make up your own word search? If you did, be sure to share it here so we can also play along.

Related Posts …

Gratitude BINGO Game Conversation Starter

Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss – a book review

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Gratitude BINGO Game Conversation Starter

On the 16th Day of Thanks Living I choose to play this gratitude BINGO game.

Next week is Thanksgiving. Many of us are gathering in person or via Zoom to celebrate. Playing games is a great way to pass the time and have fun.

I put together a simple Gratitude BINGO game that is also a conversation starter. Not only is this a fun way to pass the time. We get to know more about each other. And hearing others share what they are grateful for enhances our own gratitude.

If you want to make your own categories, go to this link: https://myfreebingocards.com/bingo-card-generator

 Directions

  1. Put the following categories on slips of paper. Activity … Book …  City … Clothing … Friend … Hero … Music … Nation … Tradition
  2. Put the slips into a bowl.
  3. Print the needed number of BINGO cards. There are 30 different cards to choose from. The links are down below.
  4. Gather markers for the cards, like M&M’s or pennies. Or use a pen or a crayon to X out the squares.
  5. Pull out a slip and read the category. Have one player share why are they grateful for that thing/person.
  6. Every player puts a marker on that square on their board. Do not put that slip of paper back into the bowl.
  7. Pull out the next slip. One person answers it. Everyone puts a marker on that square. And so on.
  8. The game usually lasts for only 3-4 slips of paper.

These are the free Individual Links to the BINGO cards.

https://mfbc.us/m/dyzxg8m/1
https://mfbc.us/m/dyzxg8m/2
https://mfbc.us/m/dyzxg8m/3
https://mfbc.us/m/dyzxg8m/4
https://mfbc.us/m/dyzxg8m/5
https://mfbc.us/m/dyzxg8m/6
https://mfbc.us/m/dyzxg8m/7
https://mfbc.us/m/dyzxg8m/8
https://mfbc.us/m/dyzxg8m/9
https://mfbc.us/m/dyzxg8m/10
https://mfbc.us/m/dyzxg8m/11
https://mfbc.us/m/dyzxg8m/12
https://mfbc.us/m/dyzxg8m/13
https://mfbc.us/m/dyzxg8m/14
https://mfbc.us/m/dyzxg8m/15
https://mfbc.us/m/dyzxg8m/16
https://mfbc.us/m/dyzxg8m/17
https://mfbc.us/m/dyzxg8m/18
https://mfbc.us/m/dyzxg8m/19
https://mfbc.us/m/dyzxg8m/20
https://mfbc.us/m/dyzxg8m/21
https://mfbc.us/m/dyzxg8m/22
https://mfbc.us/m/dyzxg8m/23
https://mfbc.us/m/dyzxg8m/24
https://mfbc.us/m/dyzxg8m/25
https://mfbc.us/m/dyzxg8m/26
https://mfbc.us/m/dyzxg8m/27
https://mfbc.us/m/dyzxg8m/28
https://mfbc.us/m/dyzxg8m/29
https://mfbc.us/m/dyzxg8m/30

Your Turn …

  • What games do you play when you gather with friends and/or family?
  • Tell us your experience if you play this game.

Related Posts …

Grateful 43 – Games

Finding Laughter: 9 More Ideas to Bring on Laughter (day 14 part two)

Making Gratitude Permanent

 

 

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Quote Note Book Helps Broaden Gratitude Definition

On the 15th Day of Thanks Living I choose to keep gratitude quotes all in one place.

Words hold power. Certain sentences are worth saving.

This is because we are impacted by the feelings, the insight, or the information they impart. Some of us collect quotes.

  • We underline them in the material we read.
  • We share them on Facebook and Twitter.
  • We find the perfect picture to go with the quote and post on Instagram.
  • We write them on random pieces of paper.
  • The well-organized, collect the quotes in a WORD document or in a notebook.

I like to periodically reread them. That reminds me of WHY I saved that quote. Then I feel motivated, or more healing happens, or I laugh. In the case of a gratitude quote notebook, the sentences help broaden my view of gratitude.

I am usually one of those that writes quotes everywhere. Sometimes, I write them in a WORD document and then my computer crashes. And then, oh, no, no more quote file. I ‘ve written blog posts with quotes. I’ve even used my naked wood TV tray as a place for quotes.

But now, I want to keep a notebook dedicated to gratitude quotes. I will sort them according to the author’s last name. I even have a place to keep the notebook and pen.

Your Turn …

  • If you collect quotes where do you keep them?
  • Do you have a gratiude quote notebook?
  • Please share a favourite quote or a recent in the comments.

Related Posts …

1.   Quotes from “A Year by the Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman”

2.  Favourite Quotes from Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers by Anne Lamott

3.  Why I Put Quotes With My Signature

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Smell Your Way To Gratitude

On this 14th Day of Thanks Living, I choose to try linking the scent of cinnamon with gratitude.

The other day I was listening to NPR about the effect of smell on our everyday lives. One thing it does is help us remember events from the past. A woman called in to say that every time she had a profound life change, (like getting married or having a baby), she changed her perfume. That way whenever she smelled that particular scent, she would remember the happy event.

Normally I don’t associate scents with much of anything. You could say I have an underdeveloped sense of smell. But I thought I would try something new. During November, whenever I write about gratitude, I am going to burn a cinnamon candle.

I already associate cinnamon with pumpkin pie and Thanksgiving. At the end of the month, I’ll let you know if I also think about gratitude.

Your Turn …

  • Tell us if a particular scent brings back memories for you.
  • Will you try this cinnamon experiment with me?

Related Posts …

Grateful for Smells

Another Week of Sensory Gratitude

Grateful for Feelings

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Track Gratitude On The Calendar

On the 12th day of Thanks Living, I choose to use a tiny planner to daily pinpoint one gratitude.

Write it down, they say. Most gratitude articles say that writing down what we’re grateful for is a helpful practice. They suggest daily activities like capturing three things from each day in a journal or write one thing on a slip of paper and put it into a gratitude jar and reread them at the end of the year. Even writing a weekly list gratitude list is beneficial.

Too hard or too much work? But sometimes those ideas seem like huge endeavors; at least to me. I need a more manageable idea. I have a friend, Denise, who takes this idea and downsizes it. She turns this writing idea into a baby step that even I can manage.

Tiny Planner to the rescue. Denise buys a dollar store purse-sized planner; you know those ones that are like 6″ x 4″. She writes in the day’s space something for which she is grateful. You know how small those spaces are? You are not able to write much; just a few words to indicate a snap shot of the gratitude.

Convenient spot. Denise keeps this planner with her Bible study materials because she sees it every day. You could …

  • Keep it in the visor in your car.
  • Stash it in your purse.
  • Place it in your gym bag.
  • Use a magnet to attach it to the inside of your gym locker door.
  • Where else could you put it?

Three Rules. Make sure that wherever you keep it you follow three rules. (1) Clip a pen to the tiny calendar. (2) Put it somewhere you will see it every day.  (3) And of course, dedicate 30 seconds to writing.

You have 30 seconds. Writing in this planner would literally take 30 seconds or less. Go ahead and try it. Time yourself. And then let us know how long it took to complete this baby step. What do you think?

Your Turn …

Do you write about thankfulness every day? If yes, in what format?

If no, consider using a tiny planner. …… Where will you keep it?

Related Posts …

 Choosing Gratitude And Why It Matters

3 Ways to Get More Gratitude Into Your Life

3 Benefits of Month-Long Gratitude-Fest

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Set Up Your Environment To Encourage Gratitude

We know that many are impacted by their environment. Clutter and dark colours can be especially distressing. Whereas tidy, bright areas bring joy and peace. 

On the 11th day of Thanks Living I choose to decorate my spaces to encourage gratitude.

Since our environmnet can be so powerful, why not use decor to influence gratitude?

  • Put out throw pillows with “Give Thanks” stitched on them.
  • Hang a plaque that says, “Be  Grateful.”
  • Arrange an item on your fireplace mantle that says, “Grateful. Thankful. Blessed. “
  • Use festive paper napkins that say the same.
  • Wear a tee shirt that has a similar sentiment.

Robert A. Emmons, gratitude researcher and author, wrote Thanks: How The New Science Of Gratitude Can Make You Happier. In it there is a chapter on Practicing Gratitude. He gives us 10 different techniques for developing and experiencing gratitude. Organizing our environment is one way we can do this.

Emmons says “two of the primary obstacles to being grateful are (1) forgetfulness and (2) a lack of mindful awareness.… Awareness is a precondition for gratitude.” Emmons support the idea of using décor to cue us to gratitude. As we carefully observe what’s around us, these cues can lead to thoughts of gratitude.

I want to purposefully put things in my home, office, and car that prompt me towards thankfulness.  

  • Recently, I bought a picture for my mantel that says. “Let our lives be full of both thanks and giving.”
  • This week I will gather six photos from the past year that highlight God’s faithfulness. I will put them in a collage frame.
  • I’d also like to do something with the words from the hymn “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.”

Your Turn …

  • How does your environment impact you?
  • What do you have out that sparks gratitude?
  • What will you add to your home/office/car as a visual gratitude reminder?

Related Posts …

9 Environmental Tips to Help Lift Depression

Choosing Gratitude As a Way of Living & Feeling

How to Be Happy, Healthy and Holy

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Be Around People That Model Gratitude

On this 9th day of Thanks Living, I am choosing to be around folks who are grateful.

We are influenced by our environment – by what we read, watch, and listen to. And of course, that influence is extended to the people who surround us. We become like each other in our habits, patterns of speech, and ideas especially regarding what’s acceptable behavior.

Jim Rohn, a motivational speaker, said, “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” That is either a scary thought or a wonderful thought.

I want my inner circle to be full of folks who are gratitude generators. That way, we spur each other on to do this even when life is hard. I don’t want to be given a pass on expressing thanks just because there are dark times.

I’m not saying I am grateful for the awful in my life. But there are things I can be grateful for.

·       God will never leave nor forsake me no matter what the circumstances look like.

·       There are people I can call upon for prayer, help, or a listening ear.

·       This is a season in my life.

Your Turn …

·       What do you think about the Jim Rohn’s quote?

·       Do the five people you are closest to model the types of behaviors you want to emulate?

·       What action step will you take this week?

Related Posts …

9 Types of People I Don’t Need When Life Stinks

People I NEED When Life Stinks

Love Looks Around & Purposefully Invites People In

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Volunteering Boosts Gratitude

On this 7th day of Thanks Living, I choose to volunteer and to think on the blessings associated with it.

Being part of a group that helps others is a must in my life. It reminds me that life isn’t all about me. It reinforces the idea that my energy is renewed and my mood is elevated when I give my time, resources, money, and talents for the betterment of others, animals, and/or nature. Additionally, I find volunteering is more delightful when I can volunteer with others.

I also become more grateful for what I have and what I am able to do.

Today I was part of a Sunday school teacher training. Folks willingly spent their afternoon getting filled with vision, information, and training. Camaraderie was a great side-benefit. So was the delicious homemade pie, whipped cream, and ice cream that others in the church provided.

I am grateful for the people I spent time with today.  They were fun, friendly, and attentive. Helpful ideas were shared. I like being with them in ministry settings and outside of church. We motivate each other.

I am grateful that I spent time doing this today. I came away with six points I want to use or think on more. I am more enthused to help in the classrooms, pray for this ministry more consistently, and to grow my own faith more diligently and in a more transparent matter.

Your Turn …

  1. What impact does volunteering have on you?
  2. If you attended the training, what was one of your take-aways?

Related Posts …

10 Actions Parents Can Take for a Happier Morning at Church

10 Reasons Why Involvement in Your Church Nursery is Important

Grateful 43- Ideas from Heaven is for Real

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ABC’s Form A Gratitude List

On this 6th day of Thanks Living, I am writing a gratitude list using the ABC’s as my guide.

Sometimes it is hard to come up with things, actions, people, and/or events to be grateful for. Adding this specific, the word has to start with a certain letter, helps me to come up with ideas more quickly.

A – Adult Children: I am grateful for these relationships. They are more like peers, now.

B – Books: This is the item I have the most of in my home. I probably spend the most time on these as a hobby.
C – Cake4Kids: I am grateful to bake for this organization that pairs bakers with underserved children. We mainly bake birthday cakes.

D – Dirt: This is required in order to have a garden. I love gardening.

E – Eggs: I especially like an omelet with cheese, mushrooms, onion, and ham. Best breakfast

F – French Fries: I like them hot and with salt and catsup.

G – Glasses: If I didn’t have these, I would be so blind.

H – Home office: I am grateful to have an office at home.

I –  Inky pens: These are a joy to write with.

J – Juggling: I am proud that I can do this, although not well. It was a fun learning process.

K – Kindness: I most appreciate this trait in people and God. I am learning to be better at this.

L – Libby: An app with my library that lets me check out eBooks, audios, and movies. I appreciate the convenience of check out and check in.

M – Media: I love all social media, FB, Twitter, blogs, and Insta. I like how there can be connection, information sharing, and encouragement.

N – Nutrition: What I eat absolutely impacts my health and how I feel. I am grateful to have access to healthy food.

O – Operation Christmas Child: Shopping and filling up boxes for this ministry, makes me feel like I am helping the poorest of the poor in a concrete way.

P – Psalms journal: This journal has artwork and my reflections. I am slow, so it will probably be a couple more years before I am done.

Q – Questions: I am curious about people, the world, and the Bible. That’s why I ask. Do you think I ask too many questions?

R – Rain: I am grateful for the “nourishment” it provides, the puddles it makes, and the sound on the roof.

S – Sensible Shoes (book) series: These books were well liked by my book club. We learned a lot about spiritual disciplines and each other.

T – To-do lists: I make these for everything. Of course, I enjoy crossing off the completed items. I also get energized making them.

U – Unicorns: I’ve appreciated unicorns since I was a teen. Now my grands like them.

V – Vacation: My next one is at Christmas. I’ll be seeing my East coast family.

W – Worship: By myself at home, in the car, or with others at church, this is something that improves my mood and relationship with God.

X – XO (abbreviation for Hugs and Kisses) – Of COURSE this is a FAVOURITE!

Y – Yahweh: I am grateful to know Him as King, Lord, and Saviour.

Z – Zero emails inbox: Great challenge and great feeling every time I’ve accomplished this. 

Your Turn …

  • Can you relate to anything on my list?
  • Write your own list and share in the comments.

Related Posts …

Reading The ABC’s of My Bookshelves 2018

My ABC’s of Gratitude

 

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