Thankful, Grateful, Blessed

I have a stack of quote cards that I keep in my bathroom.  Each week or so, I move the one on top to the back of the stack and read the next one, trying to keep it in my thoughts throughout the day and coming week.  Right now, the one on top says, “How quick we are to find the rainbow before being thankful for the rain.” (Dieter F. Uchtdorf)

As we develop an attitude of gratitude, we are better able to weather the storms of life.

So often, we are looking for the rainbow or the light at the end of the tunnel because we just want to get through whatever we are facing and just be done with it so we can move on to other, happier things.  And don’t get me wrong.  It’s not like I think we should enjoy going through hard things or that we shouldn’t feel relieved when they are over.  I like feeling happy and strive for it.

I’ll be honest: my life is pretty easy most of the time.  My husband has a job that supports our family, which means I’m able to stay at home with our kids.  We have a full fridge, freezer and cold storage.  My children have clothes to wear and shoes on their feet.  When they grow out of them, I can easily go buy more.  My family is healthy and strong.  My list of troubles is fairly short and for that I am grateful.

But I’ve been thinking about gratitude a lot lately and how easy it is to forget to show gratitude.  I mean, sure, I regularly say thank you to my family and friends and people who hold the door for me on the way in/out of a store.  I say my prayers and thank God for my home, my family, my husband’s job and food on the table.  But what I mean is, it’s easy to be thankful when things are easy.  When things are going well.  Nothing major is going on.  Nothing that makes me stop and think about what it is that I have in my life because it’s just part of my life, you know?

As we move into the holiday season, I am making a more concentrated effort to look for the things I am thankful for and write them down.  I want to take special note of what I am grateful for in my life.  And by doing these things, I hope to better remember how very blessed I am.  My hope is to establish a habit and attitude of gratitude that carries beyond the holiday season and becomes a deeper part of me.

Here are a few ways I’ve thought of to help myself.  Maybe one of these will ring true for you as well:

Gratitude Journal:  I have a journal that only has lists of what I’m grateful for in it.  As I look back through it, I can see that I get more specific with what I’m thankful for the most consistently I write things down and it often reflects what was going on in my life at the time.  I have also seen people write down one or two things they are thankful for in their planner, which I think is a neat idea as well.

Thankful Tree:  Last year, we started a Thankful Tree as one of our Thanksgiving traditions.  I made a tree out of brown paper sacks and cut leaves out of construction paper.  Each day, we would write down what we were thankful for and put it on the tree.  By the end of the month, the entire tree was covered by all the things we were thankful for.  Definitely one of my favorite traditions we’ve started.

As we develop an attitude of gratitude, we are better able to weather the storms of life.

Say Thank You (Be Specific):  This suggestion steers away from writing things down, but I think it’s equally important to say out loud what we are thankful for and to tell people what about them we are thankful for.  Try thinking of one person each day that you are thankful for and then think of something specific about them that you are thankful for and then tell them!  I’m sure it will make their day.

To help celebrate the season of thankfulness and gratitude, Cents of Style has designed this cute shirt that simply says “thankful, grateful, blessed” on the front.  It is perfect for any time of year, but it’s getting quite a bit cooler here in Utah so I’m layering it.  You can get this shirt in 2 colors: gold/white and wine/white.  I had the hardest time deciding which one to get but ultimately chose the darker color.  Another thing I love about this shirt is how long it is!  I am tall (5’9″) and sometimes I have a hard time finding shirts that fit my long torso but the size small fit great with a little bit of breathing room.

As we develop an attitude of gratitude, we are better able to weather the storms of life.

If you’d like to grab one of these shirts for yourself, Cents of Style is running a promotion from 11/4/16 to 11/6/16 where you can get either shirt (or both!) for FREE with any $25 purchase using the coupon code THANKFUL1.  And, as always, they offer free shipping!

As we develop an attitude of gratitude, we are better able to weather the storms of life.

Click HERE to go to their website and see what great stuff you can find.  (And I promise you that finding $25 worth of clothing and/or accessories is not hard.)  Did you see the Remi Swing Dress I wore a couple of weeks ago?  Or the ‘uplift’ bracelet from their tribe jewelry collection?  The ‘Thankful, Grateful, Blessed’ shirt normally sells for $29.95 so you could even grab one in one color and then get the other one free with the coupon code.

As we develop an attitude of gratitude, we are better able to weather the storms of life.

Before you leave today, share a comment below about something you are thankful for, grateful for, or blessed to have.  I’d love to hear from you!

Have a great weekend!

I received this shirt in exchange for my review and promotion but all thoughts and opinions are 100% mine.

This post contains affiliate links, which if you click on them and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Happy {Day After} Thanksgiving

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving holiday!  I know we sure did.  I loved starting new traditions this year and we will definitely be continuing them for years to come.  One thing I especially love about these new traditions is that they can be used in any situation or circumstance and they can be adapted to your own family and resources.  You don’t need money or time to share what you’re thankful for.

My daughter has really enjoyed doing her “thankful leaves” every day and she has been a great reminder to me and my husband to do ours.  It was so neat to be able to hear what/who she was thankful for.  Our thankful tree really filled up fast, even with just three people to add to it, and seeing it each day in our front room filled me with happiness.

Our Book of Thanks turned out even better than I had imagined.  Everyone there was able to take a little bit of time throughout the day and write as few or as many words as they wanted about what they were thankful for.  I really enjoyed looking through it at the end of the day and I know it will be a treasure now and in the years ahead.  As I was putting it together, I decided to include the coloring pages my son, daughter and I did at the end of everything else.  I think it will be fun to see how their coloring skills change over the years.

Did you do a Thankful Tree or Book of Thanks this year?  What was your favorite part of your Thanksgiving celebration?

Traditions I’m Starting This Thanksgiving

Traditions I'm Starting This Thanksgiving--New traditions to start this year that remind us to be thankful.

Family.  Food.  Football.  The three F’s of Thanksgiving.  In three weeks, families all over the U.S. will be indulging in these activities in abundance.  Homes will become full of the smells of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, warm rolls and three different kinds of jello salad.  Growing up, I attended Thanksgiving dinners with family and friends in their homes, apartments and camping trailers, with no two years being the same.  Each year holds special memories of talking and laughing over food, napping in the afternoon and, of course, football, both on the TV and out in the yard.  And with Halloween past and Christmas coming up, there’s Thanksgiving–tucked right in between the two.  I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a forgotten holiday.  I think that pretty much everyone celebrates it in some form or another.  But I do think that it gets overshadowed by Christmas and that has always bothered me.

I grew up in a family where traditions were a big deal and we had at least a few for each holiday (Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s, Easter, and so on.)  But I’ve been thinking a lot about traditions lately and I realized that I don’t have any non-food, non-sports related traditions for Thanksgiving and that makes me sad.  I take full responsibility for this and I haven’t really felt the need to start any until recently now that my daughter is getting old enough to understand the reasons we celebrate certain events.  Many traditions at Thanksgiving deal with food or football and while those are both fun things, they are not the reason we even celebrate Thanksgiving in the first place.  There’s nothing wrong with having those traditions but I want to make sure that the element of ‘thanks’ isn’t forgotten among everything else.  So this year I am going to be implementing two new traditions into our family.

Get this free printable at Remodelaholic!

Book of Thanks 
I know a lot of families who go around the table before Thanksgiving dinner starts and say something(s) they are thankful for.  I don’t find any fault in this in and of itself, but when you’re having dinner with 20+ people, it can take a while to go around the table!  And it can be hard to say what you want when you’re in a group and put on the spot like that.  I also feel like not everyone can participate, especially the little kids.  Which is how I came to the conclusion that I wanted to create a way for everyone to share what they are grateful for through what I’m going to call The Book of Thanks.  (My Book of Thanks tutorial can be found here.) 

Here is what I’d like to do:

  • For the adults, they can take a minute at any time during the day to write as much or as little as they want.  
  • For the kids, they can draw a picture or write what they are grateful for.  
  • Take a group picture of everyone who was there.
  • Include the menu and location.
  • Have a place to write down memories of Thanksgiving past and present.

I will have blank printer paper for everyone to write/draw on and then I’ll put it in a plastic sleeve in a binder.  I think this will be a great way for everyone to share their thanks with others as well as a fun way to be able to look back at previous years and remember who was there and the memories that will be shared with each other.

Thankful Tree 
I love this idea.  I’ve seen it around on Pinterest and have been waiting to start it until this year.  My daughter is old enough now that we can ask her what she is grateful for and she can tell us.  So what better way to put us in the thankful spirit than to have each family member take a moment each day to write a few words about what they are grateful for?  It’s not going to be anything fancy: a construction paper tree with construction paper leaves.  We are a few days late starting and while I’d love to do something a little more crafty, it’s more about the purpose than the prettiness.  There are some really cute ones though like this and this if you are feeling like you want to do something more.  (You can see how ours turned out on my Thanksgiving Day 2015 overview.)

What are your favorite family traditions for Thanksgiving?