“To be grateful is to recognize the love of God and what he has given us. And he has given us everything.”
There are only three days left of the 30 days of gratitude. Josie Robinson and her son Lucas have been engaged in the activity for 27 days. Coming up with new 'thankful things' is getting harder for the four year old. He’s started to be thankful for his headboard and now the wooden balls at the end of the bed. Josie tries to reel him in. She begins to discuss what she’s thankful for.
“I’m thankful for Daddy,” said Josie. “Because of daddy, I have you and baby Davis.” Lucas said, “That’s very, very good Mommy.”
As the 30 days is nearing the end, Josie starts to get nervous. She wonders if she’ll fall back into the black hole again. Though, she believes it probably wouldn’t happen, there's still that fear. But by all accounts, she’s joyous, content, and alive.
She begins to reflect on the journey. Thinking back to when she fell down on her knees and prayed for God’s intervention. She thought back to how she used to feel. But now, she has gratitude for everything. “God answered my prayers with a psychic, a jar, and a four year old,” said Josie.
Day 27: Lucas is thankful for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And, he really likes PB&J. Josie said, “It’s good to be thankful for food. Tonight I’m thankful for mother earth because she brings us food.” Josie made a notation that she’s often thankful for food. Sometimes when she’s having trouble thinking of a ‘thankful thing’ food will come up.
There were two major shifts, other than showing basic gratitude, that happened over the past several weeks. Josie’s taken the time to notice earth. Something she’d taken for granted. The beauty of it all. Something she had noticed after the first slip of paper landed in the gratitude jar. She was seeing earth as never before. Sometimes she would pull the car over on the side of the road to sit and marvel at the glistening water on the lake or a tree blowing in the wind.
The second shift she felt was the presence of God. He was with her all of the time. She was touched by a presence greater than herself. “This is the day the Lord hath made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalms 118:24.
Josie found that saying ‘thank you’ to God was easier than the way she used to pray. Before the gratitude jar she would always pray for help or ask God to fix it. “Love God not for what he can do for me but what he simply was.”
“I would spend the rest of my life thanking God. I was free of myself at last,” said Josie.
Day 30: “What are you thankful for today?” asked Lucas. “I’m thankful for this awesome Easter Sunday,” said Josie.
The 30 days of gratitude is the perfect amount of time to turn a practice into a habit. A few minutes everyday is all the required time to rid yourself of destructive thinking. “A little goes a long way,” said Josie. It’s best to choose the same time everyday...to schedule it in. Are you ready to change your life?
T Think about what you’re grateful for (have a daily routine. Same time every day)
H Have an open mind (Let yourself be free. Don’t judge what comes up)
A Allow yourself to feel gratitude (discuss reasons why you chose it)
N Note your gratitude (Send it into the world and the world will send it back)
K Keep it in a jar (find a prominent place to see the slips of paper)
S Share it with someone else (happiness shared is happiness doubled)
Sharing this activity is what makes it different than most other exercises. Share it with a child, make a phone call with your mom, put it by your bedside and share it with your partner, try mealtime, during church group, the book club, a team building exercise...just find someone to share it with.
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38.
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