Counting Your Blessings/Giving Thanks


 The Holiday season is right around the corner and I’m already feeling the stress. Meals to cook, families to host, presents to buy, work to wrap up before vacation. This time of year that should, in theory, be relaxing and a great time to reconnect, tends to be more stressful than almost any other time for me.

One reason the end of the year may seem more stressful than most is that I’m reminded of all the things I was supposed to do this year and never did.  So, instead of looking forward to some time off with friends and family, I find myself worrying about all that I still need to get done. 

One goal of mine this year was to write down things I was thankful for. I have read that keeping a gratitude journal has many benefits to both your physical and mental wellbeing. The bible is not shy about telling us to be more thankful as well. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Unfortunately, that does not sound like my typical thought process throughout the week. 

White Printer Paper on White Surface

As part of our fall fitness challenge a few weeks ago we offered bonus points for anyone who wrote 5 handwritten letters. Needing all the bonus points I could get, I decided to put pen to paper. As I wrote and thought of encouraging and fun things to say, my mind switched gears. Instead of focusing on the stress of the day, I was thinking of all ways I could encourage or thank someone for what they meant in my life. It changed my whole outlook and attitude for the rest of the night. It took about 15-20 minutes of actual time to write but the process of “rejoicing” and “giving thanks” stuck with me for several hours after. 

My challenge to you is this: instead of waiting until next Thursday to start giving thanks, take a minimum of 15 minutes and write down where you have been blessed and what you are thankful for this week. If one of those blessings is a person, feel free to let them know. I am going to try to do this each week through the end of the year to set my mind right. 

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