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VonNoble

Writing it down mattered

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The first year our little church was in existence.... our funds were at rock bottom.   Since we did not take up a collection”...of ever even remind people about donations; initially people just didn’t think about it.

 

So the liturgy committee has exactly what they were willing to pull out of their own pockets to work with....and they hit upon a plan that we repeated every year after.

 

They literally emptied their pockets and came up with just under fifty bucks.   We had twenty members at that point (four months old).....

 

    They brainstormed searching for a tangible item they could tie to the Refection I was about to offer to the congregation and came up with an item.   We DID NOT originate journaling.    We certainly did not invent the idea of a gratitude journal.

 

What they did organize was a system of making the ideas real and part of their day.

 

Every person received a journal ....even the kids.    We were tasked to list three and ONLY three specific reasons we were grateful before going to sleep each night.  Grateful for events of just that one day.

 

We were to share them with the family at breakfast the next morning.

 

COUPLES.....were to include one specific reason to thank their partner each day.    Kids were to include a thank you to a parent each day.

 

We hit a home run.   People LIKED hearing reasons they mattered to their partner.... and liked hearing thx from the kids.   often the reasons were inside jokes or funny.     They ends up saving the journals and insisted those little holiday books be an every year event.   We still get letters about that.... 

 

i suspect writing it down solidified the thoughts...

 

Anyone else doing gratitude journals?

von

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I've done gratitude journals off and on over the years, usually during a hard period in my life.  Sometimes there doesn't seem to be any good thing on what seems to be an endlessly terrible day, but it does help when done regularly. 

 

There can be so many negative things that stress us or cause real problems in life; politics, medical and financial stress, work, retirement, buying things ... and we can sometimes focus so much on that elusive future where we envision everything will be better, then when we finally get there, sometimes it wasn't the great happy thing we'd hoped for.

We can get so caught up in the future or stress now, we might not appreciate what we have and who we have in our lives now. 

 

I'm also a little bit lazy, so once I get over the bad patches of life, I usually stop the gratitude journal, but it does help retrain your mind's way of thinking and perspective in looking for the good things, those little incidents that happen, or the people who, maybe just by a smile or word of encouragement, brought a moment of reprieve and brightness in what seemed like a bad day. A gratitude journal collects those good moments, and when you can start flipping back through pages and see those good things, it teaches you the optimism to look for those few good things that happen or be thankful for those people right now, during every day. 

 

You can't change the past, and though it seems like there is so much we always have to worry about the future - later today, tomorrow, next week, in the next few years - what we do have is now, today, and find the good, today.

 

I like the idea of husband, wife and kids all sharing their gratitude for each other, I'd never heard of that as a process of keeping a gratitude journal.

In Rational Hedonism we have a mini-Thanksgiving the 20th of every month where we remind friends and family how important they are.

Kids and spouses so often hear only griping about each other, so the idea to share with kids or grand kids what positive things they do might be especially important nowadays to inoculate them against a world of cyber bullying and peer pressure that causes so many teen suicides. 

 

Do you still keep one?

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, Dianna said:

 

Kids and spouses so often hear only griping about each other, so the idea to share with kids or grand kids what positive things they do might be especially important nowadays to inoculate them against a world of cyber bullying and peer pressure that causes so many teen suicides. 

 

Do you still keep one?

 

 

 

Thanks for your additional insights!

 

Yes, like the other church members we follow the tradition once we receive our booklet.    Usually it has around fifty pages.     At the end of the booklet we quit writing.

 

When we had kids...the rest of the year our family reverted back to announcing one reason we are grateful today.     One of our foster kids announced the same one everyday.   He was thankful to whomever invented ice cream. :D

 

we never found a reason to budge or to nudge him off being stuck on that one.     He really did love I’ve cream!    :lol:

 

Now that the kids are gone.    It is back to just the two of us.    And at every meal we select our favorite reason to feel grateful.

 

I used to battle depression by keeping a journal.  

 

I would get writers cramp now as my cup runneth over with blessings.... it takes several minutes to pick the best one of the hour.    NICE PROBLEM TO HAVE....finally!

von

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15 hours ago, VonNoble said:

Thanks for your additional insights!

 

Yes, like the other church members we follow the tradition once we receive our booklet.    Usually it has around fifty pages.     At the end of the booklet we quit writing.

 

When we had kids...the rest of the year our family reverted back to announcing one reason we are grateful today.     One of our foster kids announced the same one everyday.   He was thankful to whomever invented ice cream. :D

 

we never found a reason to budge or to nudge him off being stuck on that one.     He really did love I’ve cream!    :lol:

 

Now that the kids are gone.    It is back to just the two of us.    And at every meal we select our favorite reason to feel grateful.

 

I used to battle depression by keeping a journal.  

 

I would get writers cramp now as my cup runneth over with blessings.... it takes several minutes to pick the best one of the hour.    NICE PROBLEM TO HAVE....finally!

von

I envy you now, Von.

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