Practicing gratitude. (Yes, another post on giving thanks)

You guys.

It happened again. And I can’t make this stuff up.

I was journaling this morning and actually being diligent to write down things I’m grateful for. When I couldn’t think of anymore for the morning I put down my pen and literally thought to myself “I have a little bit of time left this morning, I could write a Thankful Thursday post. Should I? No. I said I wouldn’t participate in the monthly social media thanksgiving hooplah. I’ll read my Brene Brown book instead.” So I opened up The Gifts of Imperfection for a quick read.

Do you see it coming?

Of course. The entire stinkin’ chapter is on gratitude.

111. The beautiful colors of the pumpkins on my table, that I could find them here, that I can enjoy their uniqueness

111. The beautiful colors of the pumpkins on my table, that I could find them here, that I can enjoy their uniqueness

I practically highlighted the whole thing so I’m pretty sure it’s illegal to share it all…but man she got me.

“Without exception, every person I interviewed who described living a joyful life or who described themselves as joyful, actively practiced gratitude and attributed their joyfulness to their gratitude practice.

People were quick to point out the differences between happiness and joy as the difference between a human emotion that’s connected to circumstances and a spiritual way of engaging the the world that’s connected to practicing gratitude.

When it comes to gratitude, the word that jumped out to me throughout this research process is practice.”

112. No rain. Hallelujah. Beautiful, actual Fall, weather.

112. No rain. Hallelujah. Beautiful, actual Fall, weather.

I don’t know about you but I most commonly associate the word practice with athletes and sports. We don’t become a body builder after just one workout, and no one becomes a soccer player by simply buying a soccer ball. There are weeks, months, years, lifetimes of practice and work that go into making them and their bodies the athletes that they are.

In the same way, one day of throwing up thanks isn’t going to change my perspective all that much, and buying a gratitude journal without filling it isn’t going to make me a joyful person.

115. Open Mountain tops free of shepherds, sheep, and cows, for the pup to run around on.

115. Open Mountain tops free of shepherds, sheep, and cows, for the pup to run around on.

It takes practice..

…time.

…lifetimes of intentional numbering.

118. Dunkin Donuts coffee and the hands that bought it for us and brought it to us.

118. Dunkin Donuts coffee and the hands that bought it for us and brought it to us.

122. Chances to look beyond myself (even when I'm tempted not to) and to be builders of young men (and women.)

122. Chances to look beyond myself (even when I’m tempted not to) and to be builders of young men (and women.)

So here’s to more of practicing giving thanks. To a joyful life.

What about you? What do you do to practice gratitude? Is it something that you’ve been training at for years, or a practice you need to get back into?

I’m linking up with the Secret Blogger Club and Thankful Thursday.

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14 thoughts on “Practicing gratitude. (Yes, another post on giving thanks)

  1. Hey Stephanie! Thanks so much for linking up. I’m reading One Thousand Gifts and Voskamp talks about “practicing’ thanksgiving too. As well as “learning” it. It’s not something you can just do. It’s something you have to learn and practice. This whole concept is very interesting to me because I’ve sort of always just done it. But it wasn’t enough. And I’m learning that. I’m so glad you decided to share!

    • Thanks, Charlene. I definitely love Ann’s take on giving thanks. I know there are seasons of life where it’s either more natural or harder to be thankful. I like the idea of strengthening my “thanksgiving muscles” so that when the hard times come, I’m equipped, prepared and trained up…strong enough to continue giving thanks.

  2. it is so, so, so true that we have to practice gratitude!!! but i rarely think of it that way like you said… normally practice makes me think of skills and sports, etc.

    i love your little snippets of gratitude that you shared! i did a similar thing last year where i wrote down something i was grateful for about my husband everyday for 6 months, then gave him the gratitude journal for a Christmas gift… so he’d know! 🙂 and it really helped me get into the practice (yep!) of searching for things to be grateful for!

    • Thanks, Robyn! That’s such a cute idea! My snippets may seem vague but every one of them is a time where I know the Lord was meeting me during the week…I am enjoying seeing Him and His provision more as I seek and practice gratitude.

    • Thanks, April! That’s my favorite mug, it’s Polish Pottery from Poland, and my current obsession. 🙂 I didn’t plan on it being so, but it seems like Thankfulness is my theme as well this Fall! 🙂

  3. Great quote! I agree, it definitely takes practice to be grateful! I really loved Ann Voscamp’s “One Thousand Gifts”. It inspired me to start my own gratitude journal and within 13 months (from 2013-2014), I journaled 1000 things I was thankful for. Now, this month, I am doing a gift journal with my husband and it is such a good way to practice thankfulness because it refocuses our thoughts to the all the blessings we have in our lives, little and big.

  4. Pingback: Thankful | The Circle Link-up November 2015 | The Cunningham Two

  5. I am reading Brene’s book Daring Greatly and I’m loving it. Practicing gratitude daily has definitely changed the way I respond to all situations. Thank you so much for linking up with us!

  6. Pingback: If you want your friends to pray for you, then buy them candles. (And other musings) | The Cunningham Two

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