disciplines of gratitude


For the last few years I’ve kept a “thankfulness jar”. 


The last thing I do each night before getting into bed is to pause and write a couple of sentences of gratitude for something that happened during the day. 

Some days it is really easy. I list off fun activities, great Ministry moments, joyful interactions with friends & family, experiences of wonder, tasks accomplished or things learned. 

Some days are harder. When I’ve been sick, when work has been hard, when I’ve spent the day alone; when my heart is burdened, these are the days I want to get into bed as fast as I can to bring them to an end! 

However, when I stand before the small piece of paper with a pen in hand, looking at an ever-filling jar of other moments of gratitude, I never fail to find something to write. 

Sometimes I’m just thankful that tomorrow is another day and another chance to do better. Sometimes I’m thankful that those days that are hard are offset by many days of joy and hope. Sometimes I’m thankful for specific people who God brings across my path to bless, inspire, encourage and support me. Sometimes I’m thankful for stewed apricots or a house full of people or God’s grace or a great movie I’ve watched or sore cheeks from laughing or new stationery or a new experience …the list is as diverse as it is endless. 

The discipline of gratitude is a necessary part of grounding my heart and mind in the truth – particularly when I am weary or despairing. It resets my internal dialogue – interrupting any negative thought track by forcing me to consider something positive. 

In moments of celebration and joy this discipline draws the attention of my heart to reflect on the source of those blessings, growing my faith and deepening my trust. 

What about you? Do you have any practices of gratitude that you regularly do? Maybe a daily discipline like this could be a place to start?

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3 thoughts on “disciplines of gratitude

  1. I really like this idea, especially the visual aspect of it. I’m sure seeing the jar fill up over time can really emphasize that there is so much to be grateful for. I’ve been keeping a simple morning gratitude journal for about a year. But I may add this to my nightly routine as well.

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      1. I just write down five things I’m grateful for every morning. It’s mainly to get myself it a grateful mindset for the rest of the day. But I do like the idea of having a more reflective gratitude practice as well.

        Liked by 1 person

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