Thursday, April 18, 2013

Intentional gratitude (or positives or thankfulness or joys)

My dear friend, Val, has been sharing what she is thankful for in her blog. I think she got this idea from a book by Ann Voskamp called "One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are". My understanding is that Voskamp challenges her readers to name 1000 separate gifts they are thankful for. I'm not 100 percent certain about this since I haven't read the book (I'm adding it to my list of books to read one day).

Val has recorded over 1400 gifts that she is thankful for over the past 9 months or so...

My sister, Julia, started being intentional about recognizing and recording "Positives for the day" about two years ago when life was pretty dark for her. I'm not sure if she is still recording these but I know that this practice was a great reminder for her to find things that made her smile - especially when she didn't feel like it!

What a beautiful practice!

Can you think of someone who offers thanks intentionally?

On the other hand, complaining is so easy to do! It's like a competition to share with others how you have suffered more than others. I'm also noticing that more and more people (my youth included) are whining or complaining on social media. What's interesting is that a few have actually turned complaints into comedy - which seems to be encouraging them to figure out new ways to share their complaints and to make them funny.

Have any of you noticed a trend of recording complaints online?

What would it look like if we all intentionally looked for and shared ways that we feel gratitude. For everything happening in our lives. Even on bad days.

I work with teenagers. It's pretty important to me to do the things that I challenge/encourage my youth to try. Sometimes this actually helps them take the risk to try things because they know they aren't the only one doing it. At least I hope it does!!

I want to encourage my youth to give thanks.

I'm actually in between churches right now - I start with a new youth group in less than two weeks. Maybe intentional gratitude will be our theme this summer!?

But...before I get to the youth, I'm going to work on my own list. Of things that I recognize. And give thanks. Savoring.

Valerie, thank you for the reminder!!

1st Thessalonians 5:18 "...thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live."

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