Each year at the end of the old and the beginning of the new I make a “thank you” list to show my gratitude to the Lord for all the ways He blessed me in the previous year.
This year my annual helpful habit is unfolding a bit differently.
In 2016 a good friend game me a gift of a gratitude journal. I waited for 2017, and each day of the year I wrote in this journal what I was grateful for in regard to the day that just passed.
So now instead of writing a new list of thank yous, I’m reviewing what I wrote over the past year.
Here are some entries from January 2017:
Thank You, Lord, for giving me strength to go on a bike ride. It was 70 degrees, sunny, and lovely.
Thank You, that Julie came over, and we had a nice visit. Thank You for her.
Thank You that I got a good report at the eye doctor.
Thank You that my dryer is fixed, thanks to Lance from Hanson’s.
Thank You, Lord, for a wonderful visit with relatives in Tallahassee.
Thank You, Lord, for strength to fast today.
Thank You, that my brother, John, called.
Thank You for my time at Marie’s Bible study.
As I review all God worked in me and through me, and how He blessed me in so many ways, I feel overwhelmed with gratitude. This journal reminds me of blessings I would easily forget if I didn’t write them down. When I keep track of blessings, it helps me to keep a positive attitude instead of focusing on all that seems to go wrong on a regular basis.
Somehow maintaining an attitude of gratitude through recording God’s blessings in black and white works to keep the enemy at bay.
Yes, I still have troubles and trials in my life and in the lives of my loved ones, but I learned over time to thank God for how He works in those situations. Here’s an example from my 2017 gratitude journal: “Thank You that you helped me not to have a negative attitude toward ________” (someone in my life who tends to lash out at me in harsh ways.)
Already, I started a new gratitude journal for 2018 in the journal my daughter gave me for Christmas. The outside cover reads this way: “Be Joyful Always; Pray Continually; Give thanks In All Circumstances 1 Thessalonians 5:18” These are excellent goals for this new year.
Here are a few entries I’ve written for 2018:
Thank You for a good day on Clearwater Beach with Carol, Bob, Amanda, and Destiny—despite the cold. (We booked a number of days in a condo on the beach with relatives who were here from Alaska, Illinois, and Louisiana.)
Thank You for a special dinner at Frenchy’s Saltwater Café with Bob, Amanda, Carol, Mindy, Tam, and Des.
Thank You for a fun time at Countryside Mall with Des, Amanda, Bob, and Carol.
My entries aren’t necessarily spiritual, but I do give God credit for all the good which happens in my life. I feel blessed to continue to have physical, emotional, spiritual, and financial health, and my entries in my journal reflect these.
I realize God bestowed many blessings upon me in 2017 that I’m not even aware of ie, protecting me from dangers I never saw.
I look forward to all the goodness God will show me in 2018. I celebrate His faithfulness over the years, and I feel glad to have a place to record it. My journals are just the tip of the iceberg as far as ways He blesses and all I have to thank Him for.
As I reviewed my journal, I felt led to make another list—an ABC list of ways God blessed me over the past year.
Affirmations, Boldness, Comfort, Direction, Energy, Freedom, Grace, Help, Intervention,
Joy, Kindness, Love, Mercy, Nearness, Order, Peace, Quietness, Restoration, Strength,
Truth, Understanding, Victory, eXcitement, Yearning, Zeal
Lord, thank You for the scores of ways You blessed me in 2017. I pray for help to maintain an attitude of gratitude in 2018. Keep my eyes open to Your goodness and let me continue to record the many ways You show Your goodness to me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
“Thank You, Lord” by Don Moen