UPDATE: WE HAVE A WINNER! Katy G. won the GIVEAWAY! It's never to late for gratitude...so feel free to download the guide and go at your own pace (even though the GIVEAWAY portion is closed!)
You are most certainly aware Thanksgiving is two days away. I haven’t done my final grocery shopping trip yet (heaven help me), probably because I absolutely despise going to the grocery store this time of year. My daughters have been asking to decorate for Christmas for months now, so our tree will make its way into the living room any day now. Just in case you didn’t feel pressure to deck your halls just yet: Turkey Day, and then 31 days until Christmas. THIRTY ONE.
That's just enough time for us to lose our minds.
Last year, about 100 of you joined me for a daily gratitude challenge, so I thought we should make it an annual thing. I was honestly shocked by how many people wanted to join me for this fun little tradition. Together, we put a stake in the ground, a declaration of sorts, to fix our hearts and minds on what is true and right instead of all the chaos that can consume us. It’s easy for everything to be so nice and sparkly on the outside, while we become hurried and grumpy on the inside. If we had a mantra (which we didn’t), it would have been: Say yes to gratitude and no to grumpiness!
Let’s reclaim our holidays with a little gratitude. Are you with me?
Join me for 31 Days of Gratitude:
Step 1: Download and print the Gratitude Challenge below. Get your pen ready and keep it handy because we start November 24 (the day after Thanksgiving). Side note: Mine is going on our refrigerator this time so it can become part of my family’s morning routine.
Step 2: Share this opportunity with 5 people! Like right now. Copy and paste the link to this blog post and shoot 5 people a text or email, asking them to join you! Get your family, friends, co-workers, and anyone else you can think of on board. Don’t you think we ALL Would benefit from a little more gratitude? You can also find me on social media and share the posts about this challenge.
Step 3: WIN A PRIZE! Your name will be entered to win a super fun prize when you download the Gratitude Challenge AND when you share my social media posts about this Challenge (yes…if you share on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter…that’s 3 entries)! After the challenge is complete, I will draw ONE winner to receive a copy of “Freeway: A Not-So-Perfect Guide to Freedom”, one of my favorite Bible studies (and so much of it happens to fit perfectly with our theme). You’ll also get a gift card for a cup of coffee on me!
Why gratitude? Well, practicing an attitude of gratitude does 3 things:
- Reminds us there is a “Giver.” When we are thankful, it’s because we recognize we’ve received something. James 1:17 is pretty clear about where every good gift comes from. It helps us remember we aren’t alone and haven’t been forgotten.
- Makes normal days meaningful. Noticing even the smallest blessings can turn the mundane to meaningful. Our toddler's uninhibited laughter. A crackling fire. Hot chocolate with extra marshmallows. A friend that’s always there. Quiet moments to read. The privilege of a power nap.
- Reframes difficulties as opportunities. Gratitude moves us to appreciate difficult days, not because they were difficult, but because God is powerful enough to bring purpose and beauty from our darkest and most difficult days. It’s part of His character as our Redeemer. No difficulty is too small either. From minor frustrations to tragedy - He’s in it with us.
Studies show people who practice gratitude sleep better, have higher self-esteem, are healthier, have more empathy, don’t get angry as easily, and have more meaningful relationships. Convinced? I can’t think of a good reason not to do this challenge.
For 31 days: We will write one thing we are grateful for (no repeats), read scripture to focus our minds on the truth of who God is, and note why that scripture is meaningful to us. It’s that simple. If you get a day behind, catch up! This isn’t about perfection. It’s about cultivating gratitude.
I want to hear your thoughts - please comment below! Who are you sharing The Gratitude Challenge with? Why did you decide to jump on board?
*Freeway photo cred: People of the Second Chance