When I’m depressed, angry, and ready to quit, I get this little red book out. Sometimes I have to get it out every day for months; other times, months pass without needing it.
It’s my gratefulness journal.
It was inspired by Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts (here’s her website). I read the book and bought this moleskin journal. My gratefulness is different from hers, but when I’m depressed, angry and ready to quit, I choose to write a list of what I’m thankful for.
Some entries are really mundane, like
Mornings. . .
Red. . .
Chocolate. . .
Sleep. . .
A Snow Day
And others are more meaningful, like
Resilience in my marriage. . .
Answered prayer for decreased anxiety. . .
Epiphanies about life. . .
Accepting my desire to be a working mom. . .
Writing those words, and reading them the next day or months later helps.
And the reason I’ve not used it for a while is not because I’m never depressed, angry, and ready to quit. No, it’s because the discipline of gratitude has imprinted itself deeply into my psyche, and I’ve become a grateful person. When the negative feelings come, my mind is trained to concentrate on what I’m grateful for; I choose not to go down that negative spiral that always presses me against the hard floor at the bottom of a pit. I stop the spiral by my gratefulness.The discipline of gratitude imprints itself deeply into our psyche, and we become grateful people. Click To Tweet
Not only is my mind trained now, but so is my voice. When talking to a friend, I may state several items of frustration that plague me, but rather than leaving it there, I state that for which I’m grateful also.
I need a gratefulness journal because I tend to see what needs to be fixed and concentrate on it rather than to see what’s right and concentrate on that. Gratefulness trains me to see what’s right, changes my perspective, and makes me happier.
I still work for change; I am still perceptive and move forward. But there’s so much outside of my control and influence—gratefulness reminds me that the God who is sovereign is also good.
I used to think gratefulness was wimpy. Nothing like the strength of anger and dissatisfaction. But now I think it’s inner strength that rises to make me enjoy life, both when it feels full and when it feels empty.Gratefulness is inner strength that rises to make me enjoy life when it's full or empty. Click To Tweet
The discipline of gratefulness has changed my life. It’s a recipe for joy and happiness.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—
those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,
those he gathered from the lands,
from east and west, from north and south.
Check out my book, The Book of Womanhood