Intentionally Thankful

There are several things I’m grateful for which I rarely think about. Having a bed to sleep in at night, clothes, food, you get the point.


I was listening to Mark Batterson speak a few months back and he talked about how he had started listing things he was thankful for every single day in 2014. I don’t recall where he got the idea from but I have heard this idea before. I thought it was interesting at the time but never did anything about it until last month. I decided I wanted to write down 365 things I was thankful for this year.

I wasn’t going to write something every day but rather compile a list that equaled a minimum of that number by the end of the year. As you might be able to read above I am behind. I took this picture Sunday and due to the ice storm we have had I have had a lot of time to add to it the past few days. When you are stuck in your house for multiple days you can come up with a lot of things you are thankful for.

In Jon Gordon’s book, The Energy Bus, he writes, “it’s physically impossible to be stressed and thankful at the same moment.” How much of your time do you spend stressed out? I believe the answer to that question is different for all of us but the majority of us would agree it is too much. Being intentionally grateful can help.

It’s not as much about the actual writing down of what you’re thankful for as it is to sit and think about it. When you sit down and think about what you are thankful for you will be overcome with gratitude. We spend most of our days thinking about everything we don’t have. We long for a new car, new house, nicer clothes, etc. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. However, we have to understand there will always be a longing deep inside us for nicer things. Someone will always have more money, a bigger car, and a bigger house than us.

It’s great to strive for bigger and better things but we can’t let our happiness depend on that because we will never amass enough.

Being thankful in the present is not about being content. It’s about understanding life isn’t about what we have or what we desire but how much we have been blessed.