Monday, July 11, 2011


A few years ago, a friend of mine invited me to be a part of her email gratitude list. Here were the guidelines:
1. List 5 things you were feeling gratitude for today (or that minute)
2. Leave names out of it - initials only
3. Conclude with your prayer for the day

Once I started receiving it, I knew immediately that it would be a powerful tool for me. For years, I had made sporadic attempts at gratitude lists, and liked the change in attitude it could bring. This took that to the next level. By inviting other people to see it, it allowed them to know what was going on with me, and strengthened my ties with them. It also made my triumphs and struggles "trackable", to me and to my friends that were on the list.

One of the best side effects of these gratitude list emails is that when I get one from a friend, it's a reminder to stop and take stock of what I am grateful for. In order to be ready when that happens, I find myself going through the day, taking note of things that happen that I feel gratitude for. It's an awesome way to travel through a day: looking for things that make my life a little bit more amazing.

Prayer has always been tricky for me - not because I don't like doing it, but because I never felt like I could be "me" when I did it. I thought it had to be loaded with "thee's" and "thou's" - and that it had to be very formal. I know a little different these days. The God that I know is just happy that I am praying - He doesn't care what language I use. A lot of times, I am pretty informal; it's not uncommon for to address Him as "Dude". He doesn't seem to mind!

This past weekend, I read "Quitter" by Jon Acuff, and in it, he shared about starting his blog "Stuff Christians Like". After reading his book, I felt inspired to start this blog - as a way to do my list more regularly, and hopefully, to encourage others to try this practice. If you try this, please feel free to share your list with us here!

I am under no delusions of grandeur here - I don't pretend to be a gratitude guru or a spiritual giant. I am a very flawed human being, and these gratitude lists are my attempt to stay aware of and grateful for the things God grants me, in spite of my flaws. God is working in my life all the time, and when I pay attention, I can see the Big Guy's work everywhere. I hope, by sharing this with you, that you can too!

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