I started my first gratitude journal years ago. I’ve watched Oprah for years (sad her show is off the air) so when she spoke about the benefits of a gratitude journal, I decided to keep one. Each night before bed, I would make a list of three things for which I was grateful. The practice eventually died out as the need for sleep ruled supreme. Of course, there was always the good intentions for ‘tomorrow’, but since tomorrow never comes, I think the journal eventually ended up in the place that all my filled notebooks retire to when their pages are used up – a large Rubbermaid tote in my basement.
Life has dished out some of the tough stuff recently, so it’s time once again to think about and record what is good in my life. God has blessed me abundantly, but my gratitude can fade in the light of emotional pain and stress. When I’m down in the dumps, everything is wrong. Which, of course, is NOT true. Counting my blessings balances my ‘all or nothing’ thinking.
I hesitated to start this journal. What happens if I don’t write in it every day? What if I stop – again? Well… the world won’t rock on its axis. (That’s one thing I know for sure.) I’m not going for perfection. Listing all the good that is in my life is what I need now. If I stop, perhaps it’s because life has turned for the better and I no longer need a written record. And wouldn’t that be wonderful?
But tonight, I’m scribbling in my journal. Top of the list? A happy moment on the school bus when little Caleb sang out at the top of his lungs, ‘You’re a Grand Old Flag’.
Do you keep a gratitude journal? How often do you write in it?