Small Changes–Big Improvements

Today’s guest contributor is Hannah Wingert, fellow mom & Christian writer. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with practicing gratitude, Hannah!

My gratitude journey

About 10 years ago, I decided to start a gratitude journal. I’d heard that writing down three things you’re thankful for each day could have a positive effect on a person’s attitude, and I figured an attitude adjustment wasn’t a bad idea.

I dug a mini spiral notebook out of my desk drawer and moved it to my nightstand right next to my water bottle and my asthma inhaler. Every night before I went to sleep, I spent a few minutes writing down three things I was thankful for that day. Every night for about a week, that is. Exhaustion from parenting young children and sheer forgetfulness soon made that short-lived habit fall by the wayside.

Recently though, I’ve picked the habit back up, but this time, I modified it so it works better and is more realistic for me. Just making three small adaptions completely changed how I view thankfulness and gratitude. Maybe these tips will help you, too!

I started focusing on WHO I’m thankful for.

Sure, it’s great to write down things in your life that you’re grateful for, but who are you thanking for those things? My gratitude journal is now a place where I write my blessings from God.

I no longer have a dedicated notebook for my gratitude journal.

Instead, I write the three things I’m thankful for each day right in my devotional notebook I use each day. This keeps me more focused on God and makes it part of my regular routine without adding anything. If you don’t have a notebook you use for devotions, you can definitely start a gratitude or blessing journal specifically to help you be more grateful.

I write my blessings down in the morning rather than at bedtime.

I used to think that I couldn’t do it that way because it was supposed to be things I was thankful for from that day, but then I realized that doing it in the morning kept me from skipping it because I was too tired at night. Also, it gets my heart focused on gratefulness before I dive into my crazy busy day.

I’ll be honest with you. Sometimes, it’s extremely hard to find things to be grateful for. There are some days when I have to really think hard to get that third or even second spot on my list filled, but it’s getting easier with time, and it helps me focus on the little things in life I have to be thankful for.

Gratitude and parenting

I’ve also started encouraging my kids to be more mindful about their blessings. All four of my children love these gratitude & devotional journals for kids from Gratitude and God that incorporate thankfulness right into a guided biblical devotion for kids.

Lately, I’ve really enjoyed Volume I (and am excited to read Volume II when I’m done!) of Mama Meditations: Devotional Book and Gratitude Journal by Bethany Wallace. I love that the gratitude is built right into the devotional for each day.

How do you find ways to encourage gratitude and thankfulness in your daily life?

You can find Hannah at SunshineAndSpoons.com or on social media:

Website: www.sunshineandspoons.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/sunshineandspoons/

Instagram: www.instagram.com/sunshineandspoonsblog/

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/sunshineNspoons

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