Thanksgiving is here— the official kick-off of the holiday season. It’s now a race to the new year. Our wallets and waistlines are stretched as the season of feasting and giving begins. Schedules are as tight as our jeans, packed with to-do lists, holiday parties, and travel. In all the looming holiday cheer this anxiety-inducing season holds, taking time to reflect on what you are thankful for is often limited if not completely neglected.
Maybe you sit around the table on Thanksgiving Day and share what you are thankful for or maybe you post on a social media and share the blessings of the year. It’s just a moment and it passes all too quickly as we clean dishes and prepare for Black Friday. How do we foster a grateful heart that extends further than just a day?
This year has been hard. It’s been heartbreaking. It’s been scary. Natural disasters, mass shootings, celebrity scandals, political strife, on a large scale the world can seem like a cold and dark place. Maybe this year has been hard for you on a personal level–death of loved ones, depression, illness, broken relationships, the day to day struggle of life can be overwhelming. How do you foster a grateful heart in the midst of struggle and heartache?
Fostering gratitude requires intentionality. This Thanksgiving and this holiday season, regardless of your situation, I encourage you to intentionally foster gratitude in three ways:
- Intentionally reflect. Take some time with paper and pen or even on your phone, to write down your blessings from the year. Write down what you are thankful for, what you’ve learned, how you’ve grown, and where you’ve been challenged.
- Intentionally speak. Once you have compiled your gratitude list, don’t stop there, share your gratitude with others. If a friendship has blessed you, share with that person how they’ve impacted you. If you have been served by family, pick up the phone and say “thank you. “
- Intentionally act. Look for ways to live a grateful life. Write encouraging notes, speak kindness to strangers, take the time to do something you love. Get inspired by participating in our 7-day gratitude challenge.
What are some ways you foster gratitude? We would love to hear from you! Post in the comments below or share on our Facebook page.
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