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Monday, November 28, 2016

Gratitude Journal

It's just after Thanksgiving here in the US. For me, it's a time to gather with family, a time to reflect on my blessings. This year, we are far from most of our family. I will miss them, but I am grateful for all the ways we have to keep in touch. The internet has been a tremendous blessing for us. It's easy to keep in touch, to stay updated with family and friends, even those who move far away.

I've considered keeping a gratitude journal. My friends who have done this say it makes a huge difference in their lives. It's time for me to step up and start.

The idea is simple. Every day, write down a certain number of things you are grateful for that day. It can be small, simple things, such as, "I'm grateful for indoor plumbing" or "I'm grateful the checker at the grocery store was friendly and smiled at me today."

Amazon sells Gratitude Journals, fancy books designed for this purpose. I think I'll just use the little handy notebook I picked up in a three-pack at the dollar store.

So, from now until the end of December, I will write three things each day that I am grateful for. I will take a few minutes to reflect on how truly wonderful my life is. I live in a marvelous world filled with incredible things. It isn't all happiness and sunshine, though. Bad things happen. Life isn't always comfy and happy, but that's part of the beauty of life. Without stretching and squeezing and reaching and pain, we cannot grow. Without sorrow, we will never know joy.

Each day, I will reach out with faith and gratitude. Each day, I will look for God's hand in my life. And I know I will find it. I will fill my heart with thanksgiving. I will find joy in the gift of life. I know this because when I focus on the negative, all the bad things around me, I fill my life with fear and anger. When I focus on being grateful, and some days that comes hard, I find my heart more open, my life more filled with joy and love and peace.

I challenge you to start a gratitude journal. Pick a number, of days and items to list, find a notebook, and start today. Let's work together to make the world a better place by starting with our own hearts and attitudes.

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