We are two weeks into The Thankfulness Experiment. I'm so glad you decided to join me on this journey... not only because I need the accountability, but also because I love reading your lists. It's touching to see you choosing to be thankful for tough situations by shining some sunshine on them with your thanksgiving... it makes me smile to see your sense of humor and appreciation for simple things... like llamas, for example. It's inspiring to see you give thanks for people in your lives... people who have touched you or people you love dearly. I so appreciate how you are using this blog to put your thankful thoughts out there... to make known among the nations what He has done (Psalm 105:1). We have no idea how God is using our thankful lists to encourage or inspire someone else who's reading through the comments.
I had a teachable moment with my son tonight. He was working on his homework and was stumped. Unfortunately, the nature of the homework would not allow me to help him without doing it for him. I gave him some examples, but by that point, he was beyond frustrated. So, I told him to take a break, eat a snack and we could revisit it after some TV time. About 45 minutes later, he was ready to start again. And this time, he knocked it out quickly. I asked him what he learned from this experience, and he said "Sometimes you need to take a break and try again later." Lesson learned.
This same lesson applies to us. I wonder if any of you have days where you sit down to write your thankful list and you completely draw a blank. Nothing comes to mind. Your day, quite honestly, stunk. We all have days like that... so maybe taking a break and reading through other comments - not only on the current day, but also on previous posts (and maybe even reading your OWN lists on previous posts) - will give you the "break" you need to start again, newly inspired. Be faithful, dear friends. We're on our way to making thanksgiving a habit, one reason... and one day... at a time.
Today, I wanted to take some time to address a question I was asked yesterday. What inspired you to start The Thankfulness Experiment? It all began in March, 2011 when I read 1,000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp. This book gives an incredibly raw, honest account of Ann's journey to joy through thanksgiving. There were times where I wondered if she had read my thoughts... because I could completely relate with her struggle. And the transformation began with a simple challenge from her friend to keep a journal of 1,000 gifts, or 1,000 things she was thankful for. Writing that list changed Ann's life. Her story inspired me and I began keeping my own list of 1,000 gifts. Remember how I told you I needed accountability for this experiment? I discovered this need for accountability while writing my own gift list. I would get started and be diligent - even up to 44 days in a row... and then I would fall off the wagon. I did reach 1,000 gifts in February 2012, almost a year after I started.
After reading Ann's book, thankfulness was on my heart. I felt like God wanted me to do something with it, but I didn't know what. Maybe a Bible Study, I thought. But each time I tried to start studying, I would quickly lose motivation. This Fall, I was encouraged to start using social media, and God used that encouragement, combined with some thoughts He planted in my head over the summer, to bring The Thankfulness Experiment to life. So here we are, 14 days into this 66 day Thankfulness Experiment. I'm noticing positive changes in me already, and I hope you are experiencing positive changes too.
Thanks to those of you who shared your favorite praise and worship songs along with your thankful lists yesterday!! If you're looking for some new worship songs, check out the comments on Day 13. I look forward to listening to them so I can continue to put Psalm 105:1-2 into practice: Give thanks to the Lord; call upon His name; make known among the nations what He has done. Sing to Him, sing praise to Him; tell of all His wonderful acts."
And now for today's thankful list... I am thankful for:
1. Two loads of laundry washed, dried and put away
2. Another organization project completed - this is a major breakthrough! Three this week!!
3. Fuzzy socks that keep my feet warm and cozy (I'm not a fan of cold feet)
4. Bedrooms clean and vacuumed (I was on a domestic roll today!)
5. The sounds of childhood laughter filling the house
Here's to 10,000 reasons... Only 8,240 to go...