“I’ve discovered that gratitude truly is my life-preserver.
Even in the most turbulent waters, choosing gratitude rescues me from myself and my runaway emotions. It buoys me on the grace of God and keeps me from drowning in what otherwise would be my natural bent toward doubt, negativity, discouragement, and anxiety.
Over time, choosing gratitude means choosing joy”
– Nancy Leigh DeMoss in “Choosing Gratitude”
There are many ways that I have found to increase my heart of gratitude and thankfulness. Some of these suggestions have come from books, and others are just activities I tried spontaneously! I would definitely encourage you to try doing all of them, and see what works for you. You will soon find that having a perspective and stance of gratitude will change your life.
- Once a week, on your “quiet” day, like Saturday or Sunday, sit down and write a thank you note or letter to 1 person that touched or impacted your life that week. If you cannot think of someone from that week, then think of someone who has made a positive impact in your life (i.e. high school teacher, boss, neighbor, extended family relative). Keep it simple, yet sincere. Then, stamp and put it in the mail.
- Memorize Psalm 103. There was woman interviewed on Revive Our Hearts radio broadcast several years ago. She had memorized and meditated on Psalm 103 for over 50 years. The psalm is full of all the different blessings God has bestowed on us. She confessed on the show that she never really felt depressed, because when those feelings arose, she would begin to recite and dwell on this psalm. It is definitely worth trying!
- Go on a gratitude or prayer walk every day. These walks do not have to be long, just a 10-15 minute stroll around the neighborhood or nearby park. During the walk, put your phone or music away and just take notice of the different things around you. Begin to notice and thank God for the little things that you see, feel, touch, and experience.
- Thankful Thursdays. Every Thursday, I take time to sit down in my comfy, quiet time chair and jot down 10 things I am grateful for in my journal. These things could be finding Honey Crisp apples on sale at the grocery store to having a good diagnosis from the doctor that week. Try to be specific and really think through your week. You will be surprised to find that after a while keeping it to only 10 things will become hard.
- Read books on gratitude. There are some really good books out there on what is gratitude and how to develop a more positive and thankful view in life. Three I would recommend: Choosing Gratitude, The Good and Beautiful God, and 1000 Gifts (See “Book List” tab for more information).
This year, I have been convicted and inspired by reading this book, “Choosing Gratitude: Your Journey to Joy.” I have found myself looking for ways to be grateful and creative ways to thank others around me. Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Founder of Revive Our Hearts ministry, has created a 30-Day challenge.
Start experiencing the joy that has eluded you!
Start seeing the world and people in a different light!!