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Searching for Gratitude: Why You Should Create a Daily Practice

From the Monday Mission, November 30, 2020

Do you want to be thankful but struggle to feel it?

When we see people post online about giving thanks it can leave a sour taste in our mouths. Because our hearts aren’t there. Maybe we feel shut down and removed because of what we’ve been through, or because we are simply out of practice. Our natural instinct is to turn away from gratitude.

I often don’t feel gratitude, so in those times I do gratitude anyway. It’s a practice more than a feeling. It’s like reciting math facts. I’m sure this example comes to mind because I spend time doing math facts with two kids most days. It’s like pulling teeth for all of us. It’s laborious. But the fruit of knowing your facts well is that it begins to feel easy and provides a strong foundation for future math.

Same for gratitude, right? We cultivate our hearts like hard packed soil knowing that in the future there will be a harvest from that labor.

Here is my suggestion for gratitude practice in this time. Anchor it to the moment. Instead of wracking your brain for things you (don’t actually) feel grateful for, find the small thing right in front of you.

This is what gratitude looked like for me the other day…
“Thank you God for this washing machine so I don’t have to launder my clothes by hand.”
“Thank you God that I can drive my daughter 45 minutes to ballet, because  that means she has that opportunity.”

When we face hard times we often forget that every single good thing in our lives was established and hand delivered from a gracious Father. Practicing gratitude daily helps us keep that perspective.

Here’s your Monday Mission: Determine to practice gratitude every day this week throughout the day. See how it shapes your mind and heart, and impacts your day. It’s possible it will even rub off on the people around you.

If you don’t already have a gratitude practice, one way to start is to download my morning routine guide. In the guide I share my 10 minute morning routine that includes space for gratitude. (I find this particularly helpful when I’m struggling with depression or anxiety.)

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