When I was sad or disgruntled as a kid, my mother used to say, “You sit down and write a list of all of the things you have to be grateful for.” It really irked me. I WAS a grateful kid but sometimes I wanted to just vent and be heard.
As an adult I have days when I dwell just a little too long in the land of disgruntledness. Fortunately, I still have friends who remind me to sit down and write a gratitude list. It irks me less than it used to. Yesterday someone suggested a manageable way to write the list. “Think of fifteen things in the last twenty-four hours for which you are thankful.” I like the idea of a set number in a short span of time because I don’t have to wax cosmic and list the most important things in my life. The thanksgivings are down-to-earth, specific and timely. I have been away from home for about ten days, so my gratitude list is like a thanksgiving diary entry of my trip.
Drawing the list helps me to spend time with each thanksgiving, to make it a prayer. (I opted for a dozen things because that’s how many fit into the zigzag grid on the paper.)
Pray diligently. Stay alert, with your eyes wide open in gratitude. (Colossians 4:2–The Message)