The Challenge of Gratitude (and Gratitude Challenge)

Vacation has thrown me off. Not just a little bit. A lot. A whole lot. Thanksgiving is next week. It’s too early, and I’m not the only one thinking that. One of my coworkers told me she’d made reservations at their favorite campground for Thanksgiving—except she made them for the following week rather than THE week. To say the least, it’s been challenging for a lot of us to get our head around the Holidays starting so early this year.

Giving thanks this year may also be a challenge as well. Lots of us have faced loss, maybe that of a family member, a friend, a job, a house, or something else that means much to us. Gratitude can be hard to come as a result.

I get that. Totally, I do. I’ve had years of great loss where it’s hard to remember one of the important parts of Thanksgiving is giving thanks for the blessings in our lives. When we do, it can calm us, show us that truly, we have much to be thankful for. Each year, to remind myself of this, I do what I call a Thanksgiving Gratitude Challenge.

Here’s how to do it. Grab a notepad and pen. Use that rather than a computer or tablet to spark your creativity. Number from 1 to 100. Then, go through and list 100 things you’re grateful for.
Is it hard?

It is. Even in the good years, I feel like I’m running out by 20 or 25. But keep going. Think hard. It doesn’t have to be complex or huge, like gratitude for family. It can be as simple as giving thanks for each sunrise, or for the rain, or for the sun after long periods of rain.

Regardless, I know you have one hundred things to be thankful for. I do, but I also know it’ll take time to figure those out because once again, I’m doing the challenge. I’m sure that by taking on this challenge together, we’ll move from a state of stress to a state of gratitude.

May God bless you this Thanksgiving.

If you would like, I’d love to see a sampling of your list in your comments.

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