I am blessed. I truly am. I do not express it often enough. Sometimes I find it easier to dwell on what is going wrong in my life (or at least in my limited vision of things is wrong.) I believe the Bible to be the word of God. In the book of 1 Thessalonians 5:18 we are told:
“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
2012 is my year to follow the ‘Will of God’. 2012 is the year of Gratitude. My friend Chery is the one who brought up gratitude. We were discussing Activity Day Girls and she expressed the desire to teach the girls gratitude. My brain and my heart spun. I knew that teaching gratitude to our girls was necessary this year…I also knew that gratitude and expressing it are essential to me and that the lesson was for me. Many times I find that God communicates to me through my friends. I am grateful to friends who speak to me honestly and earnestly, who support me and drive me to be a better person.
For our Activity Day Girl lesson we chose a rather bold plan. We gave each of the girls a journal to use as a gratitude journal. We also gave them a canning jar which they decorated. In that canning jar we asked them to write 100 things they are grateful for. It’s a journal prompt jar. We then also gave them a sticky note pad with thank you stamped in the corner. Here is the challenge: to write in their gratitude journal all year and use up all 100 journaling prompts. A second challenge is to use their thank you sticky note pad to write thank you notes, each note needs to go to a different person.
I want to challenge each of you (very small amount of readers) to also ponder gratitude and implement it in your life in 2012. Now for references…because I always research before I do anything. There are such fabulous resources out there confirming and teaching about the benefits of gratitude.
The title of my post comes from a ‘Brite Music’ book/CD/(tape) from a series called ‘Standing Tall’ Gratitude. In this very exciting digital era you can download the story and music as an MP3. My mom used to sell these and I grew up listening to them (well, actually I was older…like 12 when she did but it still stuck in my head). Check out this fabulous resource if you have young children to teach gratitude to).
Now, of course I am LDS so the first thing I did was consult the ‘Ensign Magazine’. In december of 2011 President Henry B. Eyring wrote a beautiful article about gratitude titled “The Choice to be grateful”. Not only is this a beautifully written article but there are ideas at the end for teaching young children and adolescents about gratitude. We got our idea for the 100 things journal prompt jar from this article.
Last but certainly not least I encourage you to read the article “Up your Gratitude” in the January 2012 Parade Magazine by John Kralik. He details a year of writing thank you notes and it’s profound impact on his life. He wrote a book about his experience ” A simple act of Gratitude: How learning to say Thank You changed my life“. I haven’t read this book but I very much want to.
So, please do more than just read this and think “well, Hope’s on a tangent..” I ask you to please contemplate gratitude and implement it in your life in 2012.