Posts tagged ‘gratitude’

Use Christmas Cards To Send Gratitude

Vehicles of gratitude. I usually prepare my Christmas cards the weekend after Thanksgiving. I love this ritual. And I love Christmas cards: selecting them … buying special postage stamps … and taking time to write a note of thanks.

On this 28th Day of Thanks Living, I choose to use my Christmas cards as a medium for thanks giving.

Gratitude grows. Even though the recipients are not with me, I feel close to them. I feel more grateful for them. This is because I’ve spent some time thinking about our shared memories. I also take a couple of minutes to pray God’s blessings over their life.

Some years I’ve written a detailed letter that includes my gratitude and the happenings of my family and me. Some years, it is simpler – just a handful of sentences about what I appreciate about them

This year is a simple year. But I know my cards will still have an impact.

Welcome feedback. Because I am part of a Christmas card swap, I already mailed out some cards. This afternoon, I received the following message: “Thank you so much for the encouragement in your card. Love you so much.”  

I don’t normally get a thank you for a card I’ve sent. But it is wonderful to have confirmation that my note hit the mark!

It’s a gift. Whether I am the sender or the receiver, I view cards as gifts; especially cards that express gratitude.

Your Turn . . .

  • What is your view on cards as gifts?
  • When was the last time you received a meaningful card? What made it that way?
  • Will you write a note of appreciation in your Christmas cards this year?

Related Posts . . .

Kindness is Writing a Letter

Sending Thanks to a “Behind the Scenes Person” –

Letter Writing Meme Take Two

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Ted Talk Podcast Teaches a LOT About Gratitude

On this 27th day of Thanks Living, I chose to listen to a podcast about gratitude.

I am new to listening to podcasts. But wow, there are all kinds of topics available. A “gratitude” search came up with the following . . .

Gratitude podcasts: Hear a collection of thankfulness podcasts that cover everything from the science of gratitude to mindfulness and more. Here is the link: https://www.iheart.com/podcast/139-gratitude-podcasts-74117674/

The first podcast, The Gratitude Chain, was a Ted Talk by A.J. Jacobs. He set about thanking everyone who had a hand in making his morning cup of coffee. Turns out that was over a 1,000 people. It didn’t take a village to make his coffee; it took the world. He writes about his experience in Thanks a Thousand.

Here is the podcast link: https://www.npr.org/2021/02/18/969032187/the-gratitude-chain-a-j-jacobs to this 51 minute talk.

My favourite quotes are

“The first step to gratitude is noticing.” ·     

 “Gratitude makes you want to pay it forward … It sparks action.”

My favourite ideas are …

  • “Gratitude compounds itself. It makes you brave enough to take action to help other people.” We need more of this kind of bravery.
  • “Every moment is a gift.” Live like that and see how your attitude and life change.
  •  “If you err, err on the side of over-thanking others.” Which do you do more of, over-thanking or under-thanking?

My favourite word from this podcast is zarf! When was the last time you used a zarf? I bet for some of you, it is daily. Here’s the definition of zarf: protective sleeve on a hot cup of coffee.

Your Turn  . . .

  • Do you already listen to podcasts? Are any of them about gratitude?
  • What is the most meaningful part of this post?
  • How has it changed your mind about gratitude?

Related Posts . . .

Slow Down To Ramp Up Gratitude

Kindness is Paying Someone’s Way Who Can’t Pay You Back or Pay it Forward

Pay It Forward – New Theme for the 12 Days of Christmas

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Writing Gratitude Facts With Pen and Paper

On this 26th Day of Thanks Living, I choose to journal with pen and paper.

Sometimes, I just need to grab a pen (a really inky one) and write a list of what I’m thankful for. There are days . . . .

·      I need more space that what a square on a calendar allows. Read Track Gratitude On The Calendar.

·      I need a more free flowing way to document than writing an ABC gratitude list. Read ABC’s Form A Gratitude List.

·      I need to use a real pen and paper and so a keyboard or voice-to-text program won’t do.

At times, I need to write with physical utensils. Sometimes the list is short: one or two items. But I give myself time to explain WHY I am grateful and HOW it impacts me. I delve into what I’m thinking and how I live.

Usually, when I do this, I choose five gratitude facts. After I’ve journaled, I’ll copy it into WORD and post it to a weekly meme called Friday’s Fave Five. The cool thing is that I get to read what others have written. This format helps me to really get to know them.

Unfortunately, I haven’t done this in a long, long time. It is easy for me to get out of doing good habits. This is true even though I enjoyed doing this every week for years.

I am going to get back into this good habit. I’ll write a weekly Friday’s Fave Five during December. I’ll be on vacation in December and I think doing this gratitude practice will be easy as I only need my phone (and password to my blog).

Your Turn . . .

  • Do you find it makes a difference as to what kind of writing utensil you use? A keyboard? ……  Paper and pen? …… Voice-to-text?
  • How often do you write gratitude facts?
  • Will you try that this week?

Related Posts . . .

·      Friday’s Fave Five – November 15, 2019

·      Your Future Self Will Thank You for Today’s Action

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Go Around The Table & Express Gratitude

On this 25th Day of Thanks Living, (which is Thanksgiving Day), I will share with my table mates why I’m grateful.  

Many gatherings have this tradition at the Thanksgiving table. Each person says something for which they are grateful. This time of sharing makes us feel more connected. And research shows that when we hear (or read) what others are thankful for, we feel more thankful.

I will suggest we do this today after we eat. This year, I will share why I am grateful for each person at the table.  

Your Turn . . .

  • Have you done this before? How did you feel afterwards?
  • What would be on your list?

Related Posts . . .

Grateful 4 3 Reasons about Decluttering

What We Don’t Need For a Happy Holiday

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Gratitude Movies Give us Ideas

On this 24th Day of Gratitude, I choose to watch a movie and do something with my gratitude.

Movies entertain, pass the time, encourage, and can even spur us on to action. Movies that have a gratitude theme can remind us of what we have and help us do something with that remembrance. Below are two such movies.

It’s a Wonderful Life. George has a skewed idea of the state of his life. He tells Mary, “Everything’s wrong!” After George has an encounter with an angel, George figures out what’s right in his life: family, friends, and faith. Everything else (like a drafty old house) is insignificant.

Lesson: Really look at your life. Count your blessings: family, friends, faith, etc. Share them with someone. You’ll both be encouraged.

White Christmas. Sometimes a person impacts us in a majour way and then we forget about their impact. (Ex) Captain Bob Wallace and (ex) Private Phil Davis talk about the sacrifices their (ex) Major General Thomas Waverly made. “We ate and then he ate. We slept and then he slept.”

Sometimes we get a chance to show that appreciation on a grand scale. That is what Wallace and Davis did; they arranged it so that they and many of the soldiers in Waverly’s company could gather to show their appreciation.

Lesson: We all need appreciation. Those who are powerful and those who have a humbler position in life need reminders of the positive results of their actions. Whether it’s on a grand scale or a simple gesture/words, express gratitude to someone today.

Your Turn . . .

Read this post, Ten Movies That Teach Gratitude by Leanne Sowul.

Did you watch one of the above movies? What gratitude idea was impressed on you?

What movie would you add to the list?

Related Posts . . .

3 Reasons to Watch Christmas Movies (By FruitfulWords)

Grateful 43 – Movies (By FruitfulWords)

Making Gratitude Permanent (By FruitfulWords)

The Five Things I Learned from George Bailey (By The Pioneer Woman)

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Sing Your Way Into Gratitude

On this 23rd Day of Gratitude I will sing.

Singing brings many benefits. It oxygenates blood, helps express emotions, builds a sense of community, and it is fun. I like playing DJ for my daughter. Every couple of months we’ll sit in the living room and I will play various songs for her from my past.

I ask, “Who is singing this?” She usually replies, “The Beatles.” That is usually the wrong answer.

Time spent this way bonds us …… reminds me of events and people, so I share some stories …… and it leaves us feeling happy.

I also feel grateful. I am grateful for the time with my daughter, for the memories of my past, for the beauty of the music, and for feeling content.

DJ for God. Sometimes I will hunt on Youtube for songs that praise God. It’s like I am playing DJ for Him. Although I never ask, “Who is singing this?” This time spent singing brings me all the above benefits. Things like ……

  • Some songs remind me of ways God has interacted in my life
  • I feel closer to God after spending so much time thanking Him.
  • My trust, faith, and love for Him grow.
  • I am also reminded of the character of God and what He’s done for me.

My three favourite praise songs are In Christ Alone, Reckless, and Great is Thy Faithfulness. My favourite secular song is James Taylor’s You’ve Got A Friend.

All this truth makes me think differently. My thoughts become more centered.

Whether I am feeling down or upbeat, singing praise songs make me feel differently. Singing nudges (and at times PUSHES) my mood towards a more peaceful and joyful emotional state. And I am MORE GRATEFUL

Your Turn . . .

  • How does music impact you?
  • Have you ever DJed for God?
  • What songs help you thank God?
  • Or change your mood to a happier, peaceful, more grateful one?

Related Posts . . .

Grateful 43 – Songs

Songs Can Deliver Some Of The Best Sermons

Songs for the Soul – My Sunday Night Worship Time

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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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What We Don’t Need For a Happy Holiday

Melody Beattie once said, “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”

Gratitude says we have enough. We are enough.

Because I am gratfeul, I have enough.

Commercial advertising says the opposite. It leads us to believe we need stuff, lots of stuff, in order to have a happy holiday and satisfaction with our bodies. Advertising says we need things for a happy life.

Acceptance for our current life leads to contentment. Contentment is the foundation of gratitude. However, for some, gratitude is the foundation for contentment.

However, gratitude living is not being blind to the situations around us. “To have a positive impact, [gratitude]  cannot be indiscriminate – it must be “gratitude with discernment”. ~ Alex Wood

There are times when something different is needed to have a happy life. This something different is taking the healthy steps of making healthy changes.

Truth be told, stuff is easier to acquire than real change. Too many times we use stuff to buy our way into relationships, to dull our senses to what we really need (like forgiveness, reconciliation, and telling the truth), and to keep us too busy to see what needs to be done. These last two actions (dulled senses and busyness) keep us from investigating, meditating, and examining our lives.

This holiday season we don’t need more things, more food and booze, and more over-the-top activities to have a happy holiday.

What don’t we need for a happy holiday? Stuff, activities, overindulgence.

What do we need? 

Gratitude. It is as simple and as hard as that.

We need gratitude for what we have in terms of relationships, material things, and our physical body, just to name a few. There is a quote that says, “What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?” That experience would certainly highlight how grateful we’ve been.

  • Think about your most important relationships? Why are you grateful? Express that gratitude.
  • Think about your material things? Why are you grateful?  Express that gratitude.
  • Think about your body? Why are you grateful? Express that gratitude.

Gratitude will never be a result of your next purchase, success, or accomplishment. It is available in your heart right now. And you will never find gratitude in life until you intentionally decide to choose it. ~ Joshua Becker

Your Turn . . . 

  • What was your initial thought when you read the title of this post, “What We Don’t Need for a Happy Holiday”?
  • What was your answer?
  • What do you think about the answer I gave?
  • What will you do differently (Today? This week?) as a result of reading this post?

Related Posts . . .

Related Scripture . . . 1 Timothy 6:6But godliness with contentment is great gain.” Read all these Scriptures for a fuller picture: 1 Timothy 6:6-10; 1 Timothy 6:17-18.

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Friday’s Fave Five – October 19, 2018

“Our favorite  attitude should be gratitude,” Zig Ziglar.

I agree. So I am going to spend a few minutes listing five of my gratitudes from this past week.

Join us at Susanne’s place for this meme.

ONE. Naps. Last week was particularity busy and energy was lacking. Most days I had a nap after work. Ahhh, those wonderful, restorative naps make such a difference to my mood and productivity.

TWO. New small group leaders. I spoke with a couple (Mike and Lina) from church who will be leading a study on marriage. I am so excited as it has been years since we’ve had such a small group. They will start in January and use a video curriculum. If you have a suggestion, please let me know. I visited their group last Sunday and I was impressed with how they interact as a couple, their familiarity with the material, and how they included the group’s members. They are fun and godly.

THREE. Bucket List achievement. Can you believe I’ve never been to a corn maze? A small group of our seniors from church did just that. All 6 of us were first timers. We tromped through the corn maze (lost for only 30 minutes), went on a hay ride, ate piping hot apple cider donuts, and visited. The warm day was filled with laughter and friendship.

Here is photo proof we made it though the maze. Gail was our photographer.

FOUR. Pot of chili. One morning before work, I put together a pot of chili. We ate it for 2 dinners and one breakfast (with eggs). Yummm. It was NICE to have this easy meal after a busy day. I used to do once-a-month cooking. I REALLY want to get back to that.

FIVE. Celebrated a niece’s birthday. As per our routine, we had waffles and ice cream for breakfast and then a dinner as a family (and time around the fire pit). Besides concentrating on spoiling Emily, we had laughs and conversation was like getting an emotional snuggle.

Happy birthday to a talented (music and athletics), god-loving, funny, enthusiastic woman I am THRILLED to know and even more thrilled to be related to. … Because of the angel, the waffles look bigger than they actually are.

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Friday’s Fave Five October 20, 2017

“Old age is dark and unlovely, Sally” said Mrs. Adams.

“Still,” said Sally, “you have much to be happy about.”

“True,” agrees Mrs. Adams.

~ (This short conversation came from an episode on John Adams.)

Yes, old age is dark and unlovely. And yes, there is still much to be happy about. Right now I am going to list five things that gets my gratitude. Join us here to do the same.

ONE. Celebrated Emily’s Birthday breakfast and dinner. My niece turned 16 and we had the required birthday waffles and ice cream breakfast and then the birthday person’s choice for dinner (lasagna, bread and salad with cheesecake for dessert.) Emily is smart, athletic, funny, loving, godly, and dedicated. I am blessed to have her as a niece.

TWO. Completed another 5K Fun Walk. Mary and I have finished four 5K’s now. This one was along the American River. There were only 40ish people – mainly running. At least we weren’t the last folks done. It was a lovely day and the money went to a cause we both believe in: the Children’s Receiving Home.

THREE. Decluttering is still going on. The thing I am happiest about is that the porch is empty. It is supposed to rain tomorrow so I had a huge incentive to get this area done.

FOUR. Car was donated. I’ve been trying to figure out what is wrong with my old car but wasn’t having any luck. With some help from my daughter, my car was donated today. It feels good to help a non-profit. And it feels good to cross off a majour item on my to-do list.

FIVE. Decorated a bulletin board. Cheryl helped me to put up new information on our PEP 55+ bulletin board. The gal who normally takes care of changing out the advertising. is not feeling well. So Cheryl helped me and we think we did a nice job. Plus it was fun spending time with Cheryl. And we even got in a few minutes of prayer together.

Your Turn . . . Please share something from your list.

Related Post . . . 43 Days of Gratitude JOURNAL Prompts

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Friday’s Fave Five October 13, 2017

“Praise God even when you don’t understand what He is doing.” ~ Henry Jacobsen

This week certainly brought uncertainty and questioning with all the fires in Northern California and the horrendous mass murder in Las Vegas. So it is even more important that we recount our blessings! Join with Susanne and others at Friday’s Fave Five.

ONE. Monterey Trip. Last weekend my daughter, Elizabeth, and I visited my niece, Kadie, at University in Monterrey. We walked the beach, cooked fresh trout, strolled through a Salvador Dali Museum, chatted, drank tea, and made food together. It was a FUN, delightful time.

TWO. Reading. Threads of Suspicion is a book fellow FFFer Barb recommended. I don’t recommend you read this book until the 3rd book is in print. Unless unlike me you can wait patiently to have some questions answered.

THREE. Project Piles. I am decluttering 31 minutes each day in October. My newest kick is the craft/art supplies. I am sorting this table full of stuff into project piles and then putting them into see-through, large, ziplock bags. It will be much easier to see what I have. And it will be much easier to grab a bag and start because everything is there. … I have been able to release some projects. 🙂

FOUR. Small Group. We had our 3rd meeting last night. And again it was a lot of laughing, probing discussion, some tears, and vulnerability. I am honoured to partner with these gals as we do life together and grow closer to each other and God. I shared this link about taking an online quiz to discover your love language. Knowing this information might help us to love on each other better.

FIVE. Hair cut. I have been trying to grow my hair into a different style, but after 4 months, it is clear that style is not for me. I must have shorter, layered locks. So I had my hair cut like it usually is. And it looks so much better.

Your turn . . .  Share what you’ve been grateful for. In these times of devastation, it is more important than ever to capture those things and treasure them.

What I wrote this week . . ..

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