10,000 Reasons Challenge
Gratitude isn't easy. My go-to emotion is worry and fear. It's easy for me to see the negative or to think about what I want that I don't have. I see this in my kids too. They get something and immediately just want more.
Recently, I have been reminded that I am a tone-setter for my family. God has blessed me with an amazing role and I get to decide how our home is run and what kind of household we have. Though of course there is a lot that I can't control--I can't make my kids be grateful or destroy every shred of entitlement in them. But, I can model gratitude for them. I can show them a life transformed by praise. I can choose to worship in the pain, to see light in the dark, to be someone who stops to notice and say "Wow! Thank you God!"
This is exactly what my mom did for me. Over 30 years ago, my mom lost her husband and daughter, my dad and sister, in a horrendous car wreck. She has suffered with chronic pain ever since and just had her 9th surgery last week! She's gone through so much heartache in her life, and yet she is the happiest person I've ever met. You can't spend 10 minutes with her without hearing her praise God for something. She notices every flower; she loves every bite of food. It's not because she's just wired that way. It's because she chose it.
I love telling this story because it has impacted me so deeply. After the car wreck, my mom went to church around Thanksgiving time and a Pastor told the congregation to turn and tell someone what they were thankful for. She turned to the woman next to her and whispered, "I have nothing I'm thankful for." She meant it. She was crushed and alone.
She went home that day and heard God's voice. He told her to make a list of what she was thankful for. He told her she could choose to be sad and bitter for the rest of her days or she could choose to be grateful. She obeyed and filled up a page with everything she could think of to praise Him for. She hasn't stopped praising God since. She chose joy.
When I was in high school, I went through a period of time where I was discontent, anxious, and sad. That year for Christmas, my mom gave me a journal with a spot to write a few lines each day. She encouraged me to write down something I was thankful for or a miracle I observed each day. I did and it actually changed my entire life. I became more joyful. I became less selfish as I started noticing what God was doing around me and I was so blessed.
I don't know about you, but for me, high school was a long time ago. I need to do this again! I was inspired by a sweet girl from our high school youth group who has a journal she calls "10,000 Reasons." She is working on writing down 10,000 reasons to thank God based off of the worship song by Matt Redman.
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing Ten thousand reasons For my heart to find
I loved this idea so much that I bought a new journal and started with number 1.
Friends, it's already changing everything! I am stopping and I am noticing. The other day, I actually thanked God that my kids had the stomach flu. Well, not exactly because that would be ridiculous. What I mean is, I thanked God that I got to be the one to comfort my kids while they were sick. When they are older, they will remember the saltines and the ginger ale and the hugs that came from mom! It changed my thinking. I had moments of, "why is this happening to me? I hate this! I am so over it," but then I remembered to choose to see it a different way.
Will you join me? I am only on number 568, but I'm excited to get to 10,000 soon. I just write down the month and year whenever I am writing in a new month. I start with things I am thankful for about who God is and then I move on to things I am thankful for on that specific day.
You can keep your list on your phone or in a journal. Here is a link to some of my favorite cute floral journals from Rifle Paper Co.
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