Being thankful is sometimes not as easy as I think. It requires focus, determination and, may I say, planning. Yes, planning. Otherwise, it easily slips from my conscious behavior and becomes a trinket of my imagination. I play with the idea but never put it to practice. For instance, taking a moment here and there is easy for me to be thankful or grateful. I may be sitting on the couch, behind my desk or driving my truck in the quiet of my early morning commute and recall all I am grateful for.
The more difficult yet fulfilling task is creating an environment where thankfulness and gratitude are visually present and require time and effort.
Often, we delegate these efforts to children when they can be just as meaningful to enhancing our adult character and deepening our appreciation for what brings real value. For example, take the resource I list below of making a gratitude table cloth. You may find that a bit cheesy or childlike but think about it. We may spend a great deal of effort behind a whiteboard creating a list of items for our business, brain dumping or scheming on how we can take our ideas to the next level. What if we took a moment and on that same whiteboard, wrote out all we are thankful or grateful for? You get the point. Gratitude and thanksgiving can be an adult activity just as much as one for children.
Starting tomorrow for Thanksgiving and with a few tweaks, I’m creating my own version of the gratitude jar. Each day, through my Christian season of Advent, I am going to add at least one thing, one person I am thankful for. Who knows? I may cram it so full I will need a second.
How about you? What works for you?
Check out the resources below or take some time to make your own creations:
Remember, the best things happen to our hearts and heads when we look back and remind ourselves of what has been good.