Many people during the month of November take the time each day to say what they are grateful for that day. A Facebook group I am in the host she has done a gratitude post for every day this month and we write a response to that specific gratitude question. It goes beyond just a quick response.It gets you thinking. So I am going to share what my responses are to these questions she has posed.
If you as a woman would like to connect with a wonderful Facebook group of women who are connecting in many ways. If you want to discuss your successes or even get tips/ideas this is a great group. https://www.facebook.com/groups/shehasaplan/
The wonderful and beautiful creator of the group also has a web page you can go to. So please visit this link and her page. http://momschoosejoy.com/
Here is the link to the gratitude challenge itself. http://momschoosejoy.com/30-day-gratitude-challenge
The first day of the challenge and a perfect day for the challenge set out for us “How will you practice gratitude today? Share up to 3 things you are grateful for today?” I don’t remember how I practiced gratitude that day and I didn’t put it on the post. I did comment on 3 things I was (and still am) grateful for: 1.) grateful for the opportunity to work on my blog, 2.) my 4 wonderful kids: 1 in the military, 1 a Junior in college and my 2 miracle babies, 3.) a great job… I do have 3 step kids and a hubby I am grateful for also.
This is one I think we should always be practicing. I mean it should be basic manners in my mind. But I think it is also something we do in reflex not something we saying with meaning. It is one we say out of politeness vs. saying with true grace and gratitude. This challenge was “Thank someone for something they have done for you.” Also to comment “Who are you grateful for today?” I am thankful for my co-workers, some of them are amazing and make the work day fun.
How often do we actually truly thank people by sending them a note in some way. The gratitude challenge here was “Send a thank you note to someone via text, email, postcard, etc.). Also to comment on the post “Who or what you are grateful for today? How will you practice gratitude today?” This day I was grateful for a wonderful Church family and a great service. I practiced gratitude by praying and thanking God for all the wonderful things in my life.
This was a good day for this challenge I think. It was one I think many of us could really use in our lives too. It was “Spend one minute in appreciative silence.” Then to comment “What did you appreciate.” Having kids we all know that getting that a minute of silence is not easy. I will usually go out on a walk just to get a few minutes of appreciative silence. This day my youngest turned 6 years old and I honestly appreciate the great co-parenting relationship her dad and I have. We split the time with her equally and it makes it awesome raising her in a 2 different household situation.
This is something I think I have started in some way so many times but never make it past a couple days. The challenge here was to “Start a gratitude journal.” Well I have so many notebooks that I have started various journals for different things. I still have not really got one going but it is part of what I want to do for the next year to give to my family at next Christmas. I want them to know what I am grateful for through out the year. I did not share on that post because we were tasked with sharing our first entry and since I didn’t start one I had nothing to contribute.
While this challenge is easy it is still one that can make a person step out of their comfort zone. Or maybe you are like me and would rather text. Yes I am one of those I would rather text someone. The challenge on this day was “Call someone and tell them why you are grateful for them.” We also commented “Who we called.” For me on this day it was someone who I do not tell no where near often enough how grateful I am or how much she means to me. I definitely don’t call her enough….. This person is my mom.
Do you ever take a day just to reflect on the last week or any period of time? You know just reflect on what had happened, what you did, how the time period went, what you learned or what you took away from it. This day’s challenge was simple and easy as that (which I love but find a little hard) “Reflect on the last 7 days of practicing gratitude.” Comment on the post “What are you grateful for this day?” When I finally sat down to do this I realized I didn’t have much to reflect because I wasn’t as committed as I should have been during the week. For me I was and am grateful that God is there for me, he does and will forgive me…. I am also grateful for my daughter who was born on this day, November 7th.
Today’s challenge for some could be easy and for others could be difficult. This one would depend on how comfortable a person is with putting themselves out there either in the spot light or even behind the scenes. Today’s challenge was “How can you help someone today?” Who or what are you grateful for today?” I work in a job where i am kind of helping people on a daily basis but to me this challenge would mean putting myself out there beyond my job. But I have to admit I did not help anyone outside of my job on that day. Now on the following Monday I did give my car to my mom to use for a few hours. Today I am grateful for home gym I have. It gives me the opportunity to workout when I want to and i am able to workout.
This was such an easy challenge to a point but I wonder how many really did the challenge and not just the comment. This one was to practice self-compassion and to comment “I am thankful for being me just as I am.” I commented it but did I actually practice self-compassion… No I didn’t I was just hard and critical of myself as I normally am. To be honest I am my own worse critic and I am very hard on myself. i tend to bring myself down almost on the daily.
We have probably all heard of vision boards, you know that thing we do to put our dreams and aspirations on. The challenge this day was similar it was “Consider creating a gratitude board.” Then to comment “who or what you are grateful for that day.” I created a private/secret gratitude board on pinterest. There are some things in life we do need to keep to ourselves and to just reflect on. I was (and still am) grateful for the opportunity to serve at my Church in the kids ministry. It may drive my anxiety through the roof some days but I still walk away each time grateful that I pushed through and served while other parents got to sit through an amazing Church service.
This challenge is one I am going to do for the month of December, using a Christmas gift bag though. Then on New Years Eve we will sit down as a family to read each slip. The challenge was to “Consider creating a gratitude jar” Then to commit on the post “Who or what are you grateful for today?” I am grateful for my husband who honestly puts up with a lot from me. He handles my depression, anxiety and mood swings with unbelievable patience and grace.
This was a day off of work for me even though it was a Monday. It was Veterans Day for me this is an important day as I am a Veteran and I have many friends and family members that are Veterans. Its not that I need a day off just because I am a Veteran but hey who doesn’t like having a paid day off that you don’t have to use leave for. This day’s challenge was “Tell the children in your life that you appreciate them.” And to comment on the post “Who are you grateful for today?” I know I didn’t tell my kids that I appreciate them…. I am terrible at that. I tell them all the time that I love them but to let them know I appreciate them I don’t even know the last time I told them that I do.
How many pictures do we snap on average daily or maybe weekly? I know for me there are times when that is a lot and sometimes when it is almost none. The challenge for this day was “Consider taking a picture of something you are grateful for.” then to put that picture on the post. For me on this day I used my lunch break to walk. It was a beautiful day out, we had a little snow on the ground but barely any as it had melted away. The geese/ducks were out and some even on the pond since it was iced over in places. It was a day of quiet as I walked. I am grateful to have a place pretty close to my work that I can walk and just have some time to be alone.
Not sure how many can easily complete this challenge. It was to “Write yourself a letter of appreciation” and then to comment on the post “What is one thing you appreciate about yourself?” I failed at writing a letter of appreciation to myself, it is something that is scary to me. I am not one to show myself appreciation, grace, gratitude or any real compassion. I am very hard on myself and any mistakes I make. But I did write how I appreciate that I quit smoking 5 years ago and that I haven’t looked back.
I can say I am a giving person so this gratitude challenge is one that fits me pretty good. This day’s challenge was “Make or give something to a neighbor or friend.” and to comment on the post “Who did you appreciate today.” Normally I would be one to make something to give to a friend or neighbor but I failed at it. I did appreciate my co-workers though as we work good together in my building. We help each other out and try to have each others backs.
Today’s challenge is probably one that is the hardest for women I think. Today’s challenge was “Do something that brings you joy?” Then to comment on the post “What joyful thing did you do today?” It is not that we don’t want joy but we are usually so busy doing things for others that we don’t think about ourselves. I am not sure about anyone else but Friday’s are usually my busiest and craziest days especially since this Friday happened to be a pay day. Work keeps me busy because I am wrapping up the work week and making sure all is done that has to be done before Monday, this day is also a day to pay bills and get groceries and all that good stuff. So finding time to bring joy to myself is not always easy. But this day I chose to take the evening off from doing all the crazy busy stuff. I sat back at home and relaxed. I chose to read, crochet and just be with my family.
This challenge was pretty easy one for me. The challenge was “Consider going on a nature walk today.” Then to comment on the post “What is one thing you appreciate about nature?” I am huge on getting outside to run or walk whenever I can. I have taken to walking a 2 mile loop around a local park on my lunch break or walking a 2 mile loop around my 6 year old’s school neighborhood while waiting for her to get out on a Monday. There are many things I appreciate about nature but for me the biggest thing is the peace, the quiet you can easily experience in nature. When I walk I put on a podcast and listen to something uplifting or enlightening and when I run I put on some music so I lose myself in what is around me in the beauty.
Today’s challenge while fun is one that can make a lot of people uncomfortable. I know many people are not touchy people. We don’t like others in our personal space or even touching us. Many people don’t like the show of affection in anyway. Today’s challenge was “Give someone a hug today.” Well for me I hug my kids and my husband daily so that is who I hugged. I will hug some of the ladies at the Church I go to but since this was a Saturday I wasn’t at Church to hug any of them. I am one of those people who are not touchy. I am not big on people touching me. I don’t mind my husband, my kids and a few select friends to touch but not many people are allowed to touch me.
Now this challenge may seem silly and maybe a little crazy by many. But if you think about it only you would know. This day’s challenge was “Give yourself a hug.” Now i have to admit giving myself a hug while something simple is not an “easy” thing to do. Yeah I only have to put my arms around myself and give a slight squeeze so in essence that is simple. But to allow yourself to give yourself a hug which is in all rights an act of showing love, appreciation and gratitude is something we or at least I know I do have trouble doing.
This day’s challenge was probably one of the harder ones. This was probably more of a right in your face challenge. Today’s challenge was “Let go of a thought that is causing you present-day pain.” Then to write “What is that thought?” on the post. This by far is not an easy one. I have to be honest and I did not write it down on the post. This one made to really ponder things. I am one of those that keep those thoughts to myself. I don’t like to share them because I like to put on this false aspect of being so strong and that I don’t have those kind of thoughts. So here it is.. me getting real on this thought. My thought is that I am not good enough, I am a failure at anything I try to do.
Honestly this is one I think we should be doing on a daily basis. This is one most of us could easily do on a daily basis too. I know that there will be some exceptions out there for it. Today’s challenge is “Consider thanking a Veteran or service-person in your life.” To me I don’t think it would just have to be someone your life. You could easily thank any veteran or service-person that you come across. For me I am thankful for my son who chose to join the Army. He is struggling with his commitment to the Army right now mainly due to where he is stationed. I am thankful he chose to do this though even if he is only in for a short-time. I am proud of him and love him beyond words. He is my only son and my oldest child.
This was Thanksgiving day. A day so many of us spend with our family and friends enjoying the company and lots of good food. The gratitude challenge for this day was to “Call/visit a family member or friend and just listen.” This day I did all the cooking and had my mom, my best friend, her daughter, my husband and 3 of our kids at my table. I wanted to bless my friend and my mom with a wonderful dinner that all they had to do was enjoy the meal. I wanted time to hang out and visit. I wanted time to laugh and just enjoy the company. I think by far this was the easiest day because I got to cook good food which I enjoy doing, I got to spend time surrounded by family and friends which I enjoy and I got to feed a group of people.
Today was one that played into something I have been trying to do for weeks now. I think this is one we all should be doing monthly at the least. It is something that can help us all in regards to recharging ourselves. Today’s challenge was “schedule time to spend with a new or old friend”. My best friend and I use to get together weekly for coffee and Bible study. Then due to job situations we couldn’t get out our schedules to converge enough to get time together. We still struggle to do this. But we started planning for Thanksgiving weeks ago. We got our friend time on Thanksgiving day. Yes it was put off by one day on the challenge but it was still done. I still miss our weekly get together’s and I hope some time in the future we can get where we get together if not weekly then every couple weeks.
This gratitude challenge was easy I think in aspect of doing something. It was “Breathe in your favorite scent and appreciate it”. I have many favorite scents as a lot of time it depends on my mood, what I am doing and even the time of the year. As we are just entering the holiday season and my favorite time of year to bake there are so many wonderful and even delicious smells out there. After spending Thursday cooking I didn’t want to bake on Saturday to get those yummy smells. So instead I went to my favorite standby to get those yummy smells. I pulled out my pink zebra sprinkles and set up my warmers with Brown Sugar Cinnamon and Homemade Gingerbread. So my house got to smell wonderful while I got to enjoy the smells without having to cook. Here is the simmering light and shade that I use in my home office.
A Sunday no better day to have this gratitude challenge “Thank your Priest, Pastor, mentor, advisor”. This Sunday at Church we had a sermon on giving graciously. We did a special offering to give to a local charity who works with the homeless people in our community. I thank my pastors every week for all they do for our Church and our community. We use the month of October to really show our pastors how much we care and are thankful for them. This day’s gratitude challenge reminded me how much I appreciate all of the grace I have been given by my Church and the Pastors within it. There is no way I could only thank one of them as with each one I have different reasons to be thankful for them.
How many of us sit down for dinner as a family and talk about our day anymore? This I think is in a roller coaster in how many families do, Some families do this, some want to but have to “busy” of a schedule to do it, and other families actively choose not to sit down as a family. In my house we sit down together to eat dinner every night. Now most nights (every night) we say the best and worst part of our day. Occasionally we will throw in other questions to mix it up.
Today’s challenge was one you would think is simple enough but I bet most would fail at it. I know we didn’t do it. It was “Practice gratitude with your family.” And to write on the post “What you are thankful for today?” Well for me every November 26th I am grateful for the same thing. She is my beautiful, smart, funny and wonderful oldest daughter who happened to turn 21 years old this year.
Today’s challenge was one that had you get that phone out “Try using a Gratitude App for your gratitude practice.” “What are you grateful for today?” So yes I downloaded an app and just started using it. I made my first entry recently and have reminders set up. I think this will take time to make a habit but I am looking forward to putting entries into and just reminding myself of all that I am grateful for. On this day I was grateful for the time I got with my 2 youngest daughters while my husband was out of town for work.
This is one where you could use an app on your phone or go the old fashioned way of pen and paper. “Consider starting a Gratitude Journal” “What are you grateful for today?” Well the app I downloaded for yesterday I can use as my gratitude journal. I think for me the phone will be the easier way to write in a gratitude journal as I can do it as I think of it verses having to wait till I am home and able to sit down and do it. On this day I was grateful for an evening of baking with my 10 year old daughter in prepping for the Women’s Christmas dinner on Friday night.
Have you really thought about the quotes and/or verses that really speak to you, that mean something to you or just make you think? Well today’s challenge was “Choose a quote or verse on gratitude and meditate on it.” Then to write it down in the group. Well I am one who is looking for new quotes all the time as it is, so today was fun to do. I found a few that really struck me but I wanted to find just the right one to share with the group. This is the one I meditated on because it just struck me as being so spot on:
When we focus on our gratitude, the tide of disappointment goes out and the tide of love rushes in. by: Kristin Armstrong
This day was an easy one to do but I think it was one that makes you think and ponder. I mean we had to write “I imperfectly, beautifully, and gratefully completed this challenge”. But when you reflect on that it is different. I feel before writing it you need to truly think about it and get it in your mind and heart.