A Month of Gratitude

November is upon us and it is notoriously a month focused on thanksgiving, gratitude, and of course the Thanksgiving holiday.  I think this is a great time of year to truly reflect on all of life's blessings, but I also believe in focusing on this every day of the year.  Even in the midst of our trials we can find many things to be grateful for!

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Some ways that you can incorporate being thankful this month include focusing on the little day-to-day things we often overlook as well as the larger blessings in life.  I've listed below some things you may or may not think about regularly that you can add to your list to reflect on.  These are ten of the more serious items I think about:

  1. Freedom of choice & speech - God gives us free will to make decisions in how we live our lives, and our government as well. Many live under government or religious rules that restrict what they do, say, or wear.
  2. Our jobs - even in its momentary drudgery at least you have a job while others may be searching for one.
  3. Education - we are provided with education in our country that other countries cannot afford, and the ability to choose higher education if desired.
  4. Our family & friends - even the ones you may not get along with. Each person serves a purpose of learning in our lives.
  5. The roof over our heads - whether it's your dream home or not, many people in the world do not have shelter or a structure to call home.
  6. The food we eat - healthy or not, it is a luxury to have food within our reach while so many people are starving around the world.
  7. Health - all of it. What you may have happening may be miniscule to what someone else is tackling with their health.
  8. Love - can you imagine a life without it? Knowing someone truly cares about you unconditionally provides comfort within the heart.
  9. Laughter - smiling, joy, laughing until you cry. Those moments fill your heart with energy.
  10. Animals & babies - because their innocence is pure and not only do they do funny things as they're learning & growing, but they also humble us to see the world through their eyes when we've often been jaded by life experiences.
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Now, here are ten silly items that I am also grateful for:

  1. Makeup - I appreciate natural beauty on myself and everyone else, but I am sure grateful for foundation to cover my Rosacea and eyeliner for helping me look awake.
  2. Coffee - Caffeinated deliciousness. Sometimes utilitarian and sometimes a treat.
  3. Chocolate - Because chocolate you guys. It helps everything...and so does...
  4. Wine - The taste, the feel, the magic.
  5. Email - I remember a little too well when I wrote letters to my friends and mailed them across the country. It is so nice to receive electronic communication promptly.
  6. Flats - Heaven help our feet after a night in heels.
  7. Date nights - Because what girl doesn't like a special evening planned for her that she gets to get dressed up for?
  8. Airplanes & pilots - Forever grateful for the risk takers who figured out how to fly a jumbo, mechanical bird across the sky allowing us to travel to other places quickly. Travel changes your perspectives in life.
  9. Scarves - They're my favorite accessory ~ if only I lived where I could use them more frequently.
  10. Christmas music - It helps my sanity in an instant for relief.
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Some ways to be thankful daily that are also great to promote an atmosphere of gratitude within your family are:

  1. Write it on a sheet of paper and put it into a jar to read on Thanksgiving.
  2. Write one thing about each other that you're thankful for each day.
  3. Write something you're grateful for on a leaf or leaf shaped paper and tie/pin/glue it to a tree to make a pretty craft out of it.
  4. Write something you're grateful for on a paper feather and pin/glue/tape it to a turkey each day.
  5. Say a prayer of thanksgiving each night of the month, allowing each family member the opportunity to speak.
  6. Begin a 365 day journal that you write something you're grateful for in life or about your loved ones.

What are some things you're grateful for that are out of the norm that might help enlighten us to reflect on?  There are so many thing we overlook each day!  Comment below!  I look forward to learning of new ideas.