I’m so thankful for November and for the opportunity that this month gives us to intentionally count our blessings. Intentional thankfulness is something that I truly believe in. Actually, I’d go as far as saying that I believe intentional gratitude can be life changing. This thankfulness thing is like a hidden secret I’m trying to fully grasp. I want to get it so fully that it becomes part of me— that I would be able to breathe in and breathe out thankfulness instead of complaints or grumbling.
My children need this lifestyle of gratitude to be part of them as well and we’re working on it. One thing we often do, especially after a crazy morning trying to get out of the house, is to go around and name 3 things for which we are thankful. Even if we’ve had an awful morning, a quick thankful list helps us turn the day around. It always works!
Another way we practice gratitude in our home is by writing in thankful journals. Both my 4 and 5 year old have a notebook and I love having them sit at the table and write or draw what they’re currently thankful for. It’s so fun to watch them think of their blessings and take their eyes off themselves as they fill out the page.
For November, my family will be placing leaves on this tree, with our blessings written on them. Each day, we’ll talk about something we’re thankful for, write it on the leaf, and then tie it to the tree. It’s a simple way to intentionally talk about our blessings and an easy way to involve the kids.
To be prepared for the month, I went ahead and cut out 30 leaves from fall colored paper. This way, we’re all prepared and I won’t run out of time to go cut out our leaf for the day.
As this month continues on, consider keeping your camera handy and taking photos of ordinary, messy and blessed life. Look around your room and ask yourself what is the most special thing you see right now. Is it a book? A blanket? A special mug? This is something that really helps me keep gratitude present in my everyday normalness. Through the lens of my camera, the daily chaos stands still and it reminds me of how much I really should be thankful for.
If you aren’t a photo person, consider buying a pretty notebook and keeping it on your counter. Fill it up with lists of gratitude. When we look closely, there are gifts everywhere.
One time my Pastor said that if you can’t think of anything to be thankful for, be thankful for silverware.
What are you thankful for right now? How do you practice intentional gratitude with your family?