How to Be Thankful Throughout the Year
by Stephanie Nickel
One of my Facebook friends took a challenge in 2013 to list 1,200 reasons to be thankful. When my mother-in-law gave me a journal for Christmas, it didn’t take long to decide what I would use it for.
I got a jump start and listed the first 100 reasons in December.
If you need a little direction, below are some ideas to get you started:
The first month of the year is typically a month of new beginnings. What “new beginnings” are you thankful for? (i.e.: the events surrounding your new birth in Christ; the start of your family; new jobs; new homes; etc.)
The month the world is focused on love is a great time to think of the people you love. Don’t just list their names. Also list specifics about what you love and appreciate about them. (You may even want to take the time to touch base with them and let them know they’re on your mind and in your prayers.)
No matter how you feel about winter, you may be getting tired of the cold, grey days. Recording why you’re thankful for winter can help turn your thinking around. (i.e.: clothes, a warm home, places to go even though you have to brave the elements, your favourite hot drink, etc.)
Springtime, a time when new life bursts forth in the Northern Hemisphere, is a wonderful time to look to creation and thank the Lord for things you may not usually notice. (I never watched the progress of budding trees before my hubby pointed them out to me.)
The nicer weather is upon us. Like a warm hug, it reminds us of those things that bring us a sense of peace and security. What a great springboard for gratitude!
School is winding down for the summer. Parents and teachers are encouraging children to end strong. Let’s think about “the golden years” and ending our lives strong. What are you thankful for now that you’re “older”? If you’re not considered a senior yet, think of those who are. What reasons to be thankful come to mind?
Sunshine. Blue skies. Warm weather. What reasons do you have to be thankful this summer – and from summers gone by?
August means holiday time for many. Even if you are not able to get away, think about how you can step back from the busyness of the day-to-day and think of the many things there are to be thankful for.
Back to school . . . Think back over your years in school. What are you thankful for? Plus, we never stop learning (or we shouldn’t, at least). What new discoveries “blow your mind”?
Autumn is my favourite season. I love the colours, the nip in the air, the smell of fallen leaves. It takes me back to my childhood. Childhood memories—though some may be difficult—still bring many reasons to be thankful.
I read a very good argument about why we shouldn’t say, “It was a God thing.” Since He is sovereign, everything that comes into our lives was ordained by Him for His purposes. Though it can be extremely difficult to be thankful for challenging situations, it is a wonderful discipline to look for those reasons to praise and thank Him through it all. Trust Him and thank Him for working in even the darkest seasons of life.
As the year winds down, why not record 50 things that stand out about 2014 and 50 things you are looking forward to in 2015?
Find out countless reasons to be thankful. #UTCOP (click to tweet)
Here is a free PDF 0f Countless Reasons to be Thankful if you wish to print out Stephanie’s ideas of how to be thankful.
Steph Beth Nickel
Steph Beth is a wife of over 30 years and the mother of three grown children. Steph’s eclectic interests include writing, editing, fitness, and childbirth (she is also a labour doula).
Steph’s was honoured to co-author former Paralympian Deb Willows’ memoir. Living Beyond My Circumstances is scheduled for release at the end of November 2013.
Steph edits for Christian Editing Services under the leadership of Karen Burkett. She is a long-time member of The Word Guild and a recent member of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship.
Steph blogs at Steph’s Electic Interests. Her new author website, Steph Beth Nickel , is a work-in-progress.