Consider walking the 12 months deeply rooted in changing your mindset. I had a strong visual of a beautiful tree–blooming and flourishing– because the tree was deeply rooted. Strong, assured, courageous, and providing beauty and joy to all who happen by to enjoy the shade. Then I saw 12 strong roots, or 12 months, or 12 words to embrace. Our first word or root is gratitude. The month of January will be a daily concentration on the word gratitude. Changing a habit can take approximately 21 days of constant practice.
I recently happened upon a video on gratitude and living in the moment. As I watched the scenes change from the beauty of the earth to a baby awakening to a new day, I pondered the practice of gratitude when gratitude is hard. The moment at work in which you feel overlooked, incompetent, or exhausted. The continued relationship struggles you’ve danced around for years. The flat tire, lost keys, or baby sick again days. As I pondered this discussion with my faithful friend, she reminded me that the practice of gratitude and mindfulness prepares us for the chaos.
Living intentionally with gratitude is truly a daily and sometimes moment by moment practice.
Jesus tells us to give “thanks in all things” and “with prayer and thanksgiving to offer our requests to God”.
Brene Brown, researcher and social worker, reminded us of the connection between gratitude and joy. When we are filled with gratitude we experience joy. Ann Voskamp in One Thousand Gifts shared here life changing discovery of “giving thanks” and making it a practice by taking a picture, writing it down, and giving thanks, like Jesus did when He broke bread with the disciples at the last supper. Her book and work offers an app in which you can take pictures of your one thousand gifts.
It’s the arms that hold you, the small touch on the back, a smile, a mother singing to her baby, and the breeze that catches your breath when you step outside from a long day of work.
After watching the video, I imagined in my mind what my video would be like during the course of a given day. This intentional practice created an opportunity for me to stop, look, and go. I noticed the beauty in a moment, took a mental picture, and moved on to the next moment.
I encourage you to start your new year watching this video:
Practice gratitude intentionally through your thoughts, words, and consider keeping a gratitude journal.
Print this book with your family and practice together: https://www.simplemadepretty.com/download/5363/
My husband and I went to see the movie, Downsizing. At the very end, the main character, took the time to stop, look, and go, a practice noted on gratefulness.org. I love when connections are made. If you’ve seen this movie, it’s when Matt Damon rushes to feed someone who lives in poverty with significant health concerns. Instead of checking it off the list, he stopped, looked him in the eyes, smiled, and noticed the gratitude of the friend–his need being met. He didn’t linger, but moved to the next moment–go.
When we see each moment as an opportunity, we will be filled with peace and joy knowing that God, in His love and mercy, holds each moment.