Posts tagged ‘NoBloPoMo 2021’

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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Apps Make it Easy to Document Gratitude

On this 22nd Day of Thanks Living, I choose to use my gratitude app.

There is an app for everything. I.e. Measuring health successes … Keeping on top of financial goals … Mastering language acquisition … Cementing habit formation.

Apps are a wonderful way to stay on track or helping new goals stick.

  • Some apps ding us when it’s time to check in.
  • They provide a convenient place to jot down our stats.
  • They provide motivation.
  • And some apps even have a communal aspect.

So, at the beginning of the month, I researched gratitude apps. I found one that was free and easy to use: Gratitude Garden. It has the following …

  • Dedicated space to list things I am grateful for.
  • I can email this list to myself.
  • I can back this up to iCloud.
  • Every time I post, I get points which can be redeemed to grow/populate my garden.
  • I can receive gratitude cards after I journal. These cards have a gratitude quote and then an action item associated with it.

I am liking this app more than I thought I would. Here are some reasons why.

  1. Easy. I usually know where my phone is and so it is easy to journal. (When I lose my phone, I activate my Tile which helps me find my cell.)
  2. Reminder. To remind myself, I have an alarm set (on my phone) That lets me know when journaling time is.
  3. Small space. Because the space is limited, I don’t feel pressure to write a lot for each “thankful” item.
  4. Accountability. It is my accountability partner. I like looking at the calendar and seeing all the spaces filled in.

I’ve enjoyed going back to reread things that happened these past 3 weeks. It brought a smile and a sense of satisfaction besides more gratitude. I can see myself continuing with this practice.

Your Turn . . .

  • What apps do you already use?
  • What benefit do you most appreciate that apps provide?
  • Consider down loading Gratitude Garden and giving it a go.

Related Posts . . .

·       11 Ways to Use Facebook in Your Ministry

·       Does Making a List Really Make a Difference?

·       Recounting Blessings from a Reluctant Heart Improves My Mood

 

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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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