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30 Ways to Show Gratitude When Life Gets Hard

Updated: Nov 27, 2019

A lot could change in 30 days. To break it down even further, I'd say a lot could change in a second...for better or for worse.

I feel like that's something we don't think about often enough. We spend days wishing, hoping, and working for better and more, thinking about our future and what we want it to look like, without a single thought that maybe what we already have is enough, the present moment is precious enough, and in the blink of an eye what little we have right now can be stripped from our grasp. Altered. Changed. Just like that.

I'll speak for myself and say it's not something I personally think about often enough.

One year ago from today, I had no clue that one month later my world would be changed. l'm still uncertain of the outcome of those changes, but life as I knew it had shifted, which I'm sure was always a part of the plan. I just wasn't prepared. To be honest, I wasn't welcoming of the change that God had allowed to take place in my life because it wasn't a part of MY plan. Ha! How silly of me to think I had that much control.

We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.-Proverbs 16:9 NLT

It makes me wonder: if I knew the life I had created would soon be drastically changed, would I have enjoyed those last thirty days a little bit more? What if my life had ended after those thirty days? Would I have been more grateful and intentional with my time?

Gratitude. It's something I say I want to practice on a daily basis, but if I'm being completely honest, it's also something I allow to slip through my fingers. Life gets hectic, and things in turn get a little stressful. The stress quickly turns my attention to the problems I'm dealing with in my life and away from the blessings that God has already placed before me.

Anybody else have this issue?

I'm on a serious mission to change my mindset. I don't want another major life change to occur before I have the opportunity to truly bask in the blessings God has so graciously allowed me to have right now! I've been consistent in reading my devotionals and burying myself in the Word, and now I want to take it just a little step further by starting a gratitude journal. There was a time when I would write down 1-3 things I was grateful for daily, and I found that it really changed the way I enjoyed my life. It was when I stopped writing about the great things in my life that I began to take notice of everything that was going wrong. This can be unhealthy for you mentally, emotionally, and even physically.

I searched Pinterest for some of the best journal prompts for practicing gratitude and compiled a list of the ones I will use for the next 30 days. In no particular order, here are the things I will respond to along with supporting reasons on why:

  1. What am I most grateful for today?

  2. What made me smile today?

  3. What is something that made me laugh until my belly hurt today?

  4. What is my favorite thing when I wake up?

  5. What is something I do exceptionally well?

  6. What childhood memory am I most grateful for?

  7. What is something I am looking forward to?

  8. What three people in life am I most grateful for?

  9. What do I love most about my family?

  10. What is something I love about my home?

  11. What is something I am happy it was created?

  12. What bill am I most grateful to be able to pay?

  13. What is a recent small success I had?

  14. What act of kindness shown by someone else am I most grateful for?

  15. What challenge have I overcome that I am most grateful for?

  16. What food did I enjoy today?

  17. What Bible verse touched my spirit today?

  18. What prayer have I witnessed being answered?

  19. What is a happy memory that I can still recall vividly?

  20. Which one personality trait am I happy to have?

  21. What is something I accomplished today?

  22. What is something I like about my job?

  23. What is a difficult part of my life that contains a hidden blessing?

  24. What basic need has been met today?

  25. What part of my spouse am I most grateful for?

  26. Who is a person who brings the most joy to my life?

  27. What are five things that immediately bring a smile to my face?

  28. What positive changes in my personality/character have I made this year?

  29. What business ventures did I successfully accomplish this year?

  30. Where have I seen God move in my life?

Even writing this list reminded me that I have so much to be grateful for!

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, many of us will probably begin to think about some of the things we are grateful for. Many of us will also have more opportunities to slow down and enjoy some of the simple things as the holiday season allows for breaks from work and time well spent with family.

If you're in your own tough season, you can make it lighter by identifying anything you can be grateful for in this circumstance. Do you notice anything in your environment that feels like a gift from God? Take some time to really think about this. And if you're into journaling, join me in going a little bit deeper with a gratitude list.

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. -1 Thessalonians 5:18 NLT

As I close this post, I'll end it in saying I'm grateful for you. I am forever grateful for your support.


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