4 simple Tips for Keeping a Gratitude Journal

As a busy mom of 3 kids, I am always hearing someone complain. This shirt is too scratchy, the food isn’t good…….you get the idea. But, any time I hear complaining, I always remind my children that thankfulness is a choice. Everything around us has been given to us by God and we will always feel better if we choose to be thankful. One way to practice thankfulness is by keeping a gratitude journal.

A picture of a white tray holding 2 books, a pen and a cup of tee. Beside the tray is a white knitted sweater. Under the picture is the One Determined Life logo. Under the logo are the words 4 tips for keeping a gratitude Journal.

Keeping a gratitude journal has shown to have a positive effect on people’s lives. Studies have shown how keeping a journal is beneficial for mental and physical health.

Starting a gratitude journal is very simple and can be done with very little cost.

3 Things you need to start a gratitude journal

1. Writing implements

To write a gratitude journal, you will need some sort of writing implement. You could use a pen or pencil but can increase the fun and creative aspect of your journal by adding colour and even texture.

Different coloured pens or pencils, as well as different styles, can make your gratitude journal not just a record of thanks but also a really creative endeavour.

2. Notebook

To write, you have to have something to write in.

You could use a piece of paper, but keeping a special notebook for your thankfulness journal ensures that you will know exactly where you are writing and allows you to review previous entries.

Your notebook can be a plain and simple one or you could splurge a little bit and get a leather-bound journal.

To make your gratitude journal a bit more personal, you can take a plain inexpensive journal and decorate it.

By decorating a plain notebook or making a book from scratch you are making a greater commitment to the project itself. Your notebook will mean more to you and you will feel a greater connection to it when you use it.

I prefer pen and paper, but in today’s age, it might seem old fashion. If you prefer digital records, you can grab your phone, tablet or any other technology you have and create a folder or document for your journal entries. You want to make sure that you label your documents clearly so that they can easily be found for future reference.

3. Time Alone

As a busy mom of 3 kids, I rarely have time alone, so I have had to be creative to have dedicated time to write in my gratitude journal.

By taking time out for yourself, you are giving yourself space to think, relax and write. You’ll also find that you enjoy the experience of being alone and celebrating those things you are thankful for.

Pick a time each day that you can dedicate 5 minutes to writing in your thankfulness journal. 5 minutes does not sound very long, but it’s amazing how much I can write in such a little time.

Setting small goals will make your journalling an easier habit to keep.

Now you know what you need it’s time to discover how to do it.

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3. Steps to writing in your gratitude journal

  1. Collect your journal and whatever you’ve chosen to write with.
  2. Find somewhere quiet and that you know you won’t be disturbed. Your journaling time should be a time for reflection and celebration free from outside distractions for the best results.
  3. Ensure you are committed to gratitude journaling and that you want to feel more grateful as a result. There is no point in just going through the motions of journaling without creating a positive meaningful emotional experience.

4 Tips for Success

1. Make a date

To make sure that you have as much success as you want for this, make yourself a reminder to write in your gratitude journal.

While you could journal every day, it may be more beneficial to create a habit of writing in your gratitude journal once a week. This will allow you to plan for it and enjoy it.

Set yourself a weekly date to write in your gratitude journal. I know that for me, there is always one day a week that I have more time to write than other days. This would be the perfect day to start a new habit.

2. Don’t just make a list

When you write, instead of creating a long list of things you are grateful for, take some time and put some real thought into it.

Take time to write about a particular event and describe in detail why you are thankful for it. Remember to record how you felt and why.

The more detail you include, the greater connection you will create. You will also be able to look back and read all the details of events you are grateful for and why.

3. Include people

When writing in your gratitude journal, try to include people you are thankful for as much as you can, not just events.

By including specific people and the reasons you are thankful for them you will create a greater emotional impact. It becomes more personal.

Make sure that you also include any surprises or unexpected events that have happened that day/week. Doing this will create a stronger sense of gratitude and have a more significant emotional impact.

4. Use prompts

If you have read of all this and still have no clue or where to start, that’s ok. Starting something new can be intimidating.

So, to help you kick off this journey, I have created a Free 10-day gratitude journal for you. This journal contains some more details about the benefits of journalling and 10 prompts you can use to help you focus on something specific when journalling.

To get this free journal, click here or on the link below.

You can also check out this link to get more prompts.

There are no right or wrong ways to keep a gratitude journal. Everyone’s will be different. However, it is important that you are committed to the process and the outcome, as well as make time for it on a regular basis.

In the comments below, share any tips or tricks you use when writing in your gratitude journal.

A 5 minute thanksgiving devotional

As Thanksgiving draws near, it’s important to take a minute and remember everything The Lord has done for us. Giving thanks to The Lord is a great way to worship Him and encourage each other in the works He has done. Our family always takes the time to read a short 5 minute thanksgiving devotional at dinner. It helps us focus on the real reason we take a day off.

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A 5-minute thanksgiving devotional

Thanksgiving is a day we take aside and give thanks for everything we have. Some people just share with each other what they are thankful for, but for Christians, this day is so much more. 

Psalm 100:4-5 10 5 minute Thanksgiving devotional

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. 5 For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations

Psalm 100:4-5

As I read the verses above, there are 3 things that stand out: 

1. Enter The presence of God 

As Christians, we have the privilege to enter The presence of God. 

One of my dreams is to one day walk the halls of Buckingham Palace and have a self-led tour of the place. I want to check out all the nooks and crannies, look for secret passages and sit at the Queen’s desk. 

I know that my dream will never come true. And even though the truth makes me a bit sad, I know I have access to something far better. 

Jesus is the King of the universe, the King above every other King!

And since I’m saved, I have access to His throne room! I can be is His presence as often as I want. 

Not only that, I get to spend eternity in heaven. 

As Christians, we often forget God’s power and don’t take advantage of the privilege we have to be in His presence every moment of the day. 

So let today be a day where you enter into His courts, and may the reality of who He is lead you to praise His name! 

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2. Our Posture towards The Lord 

Psalm 100:4-5 reminds us that even though we have access to God, we should approach Him with gratitude and praise. 

According to the Oxford dictionary, Praise is: the expression of approval or admiration for someone or something

A few nights ago I went on a date with my husband to a steak house. As we sat down to eat, we couldn’t help ourselves from commenting on how good the food was. 

If praise comes so easily when we eat good food, how much more praise should we give to The Lord? 

He is the creator of all things and we should remember to thank Him for His goodness as often as we can. 

3. What we can thank The Lord for

I have met many women who have a hard time knowing what to thank The Lord for. Psalm 100:4-5 tells us 3 things we can thank The Lord for. 

  • The Lord is good 
  • His mercy is everlasting
  • His truth endures to all generations

On this Thanksgiving day, I hope you take some time to enter God’s court and give Him praise for who He is and what He has done for you.

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You are a Christian woman who is dedicated to living a life for Christ. You want to read your bible every day, but sometimes you get distracted or are too tired to collect all the resources you need. 

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10 Best Bible Verses about Thanksgiving

Canadian Thanksgiving is right around the corner. It’s a perfect time of year to take some time and thank God for all the things He has done, for who He is, and what He has given us. To help us do that, today I share with you 10 Best Bible Verses about Thanksgiving.

A picture of a paper cut up with a group of people over the words thank you. To the right are the words 10 Best Bible verses about Thanksgiving. www.onedeterminedlife.com

10 Best Bible Verses about Thanksgiving 

1. Grace causes Thanksgiving

2 Corinthians 4:14-15

And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak, 14 knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you. 15 For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.

2 Corinthians 4: 13-15 

I love these verses because it highlights God’s work in people and the church. When we see good things happening in other people’s lives or churches, it should cause us to give thanks to The Lord.

Seeing God’s work in others is a sure way to increase our thanksgiving and gives us more opportunity to see The Lord work around us.

2. Sing about what The Lord has done

1 Chronicles 16: 8-10

Oh, give thanks to the Lord! Call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples! 9 Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; Talk of all His wondrous works! 10 Glory in His holy name; Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the Lord!

1 Chronicles 16: 8-10

I love to sing and love to sing to The Lord even more. When I’m not sure what words to use or how to express myself to God, I know there is a song I can sing that will help me do that.

Singing can be used to help us remember what The lord has done and what His words say. But, singing can also help us worship and praise The Lord. So let’s lift up our hands together as we sing to The Lord.

3. Praise The Lord

Psalm 146:1-2

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul! 2 While I live I will praise the Lord; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.

Psalm 146:1-2

This verse reminds me that it’s always a good time to praise The Lord. Regardless of what is going on around us, we can take time to praise The Lord.

4. Enter The Presence of God

Psalm 100:4-5

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. 5 For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations

Psalm 100:4-5

Even though I’ve been saved for many years, I sometimes forget that when I pray and worship The Lord, I am in His presence.

We have access to The Throne of Grace, we can stand in the presence of The Most High God. Do we take advantage of that? I know I don’t as much as I want to and is an area I can grow in.

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5. Rejoice Always

Philippians 4: 4-6

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;

Philippians 4: 4-6

I’m a huge fan of psychology and it is well known that stopping a certain behaviour is almost impossible to do. (That’s why the campaign to “just say no” to drugs didn’t work) The best way to stop a behaviour is to replace it with something else.

We see this in scripture. This verse is telling us to replace our worry and anxiety with thanksgiving. This is harder to do than to say.

But, the next time you are feeling anxious, don’t force yourself to stop, just refocus your thoughts on all the things The Lord has done for you.

Over time, you will notice your anxiety is less and you have a heart full of gratitude.

6. Thanking God for others

1 Corinthians 1:4-6

I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, 5 that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge, 6 even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you,

1 Corinthians 1:4-6

As I grow in my faith, one of the things that brings me so much joy is watching others grow in faith and walk with The Lord. It’s such a blessing to see others choose to follow The Lord and obey Him.

We have the opportunity to turn to The Lord in thanksgiving- thanking God for the work He has done in other people.

7. The Lord enriches us in everything

2 Corinthians 9:10-12 10 Best Bible Verses about Thanksgiving

Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, 11 while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God. 12 For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God,

2 Corinthians 9:10-12

If you have been saves for a while, you may have heard this saying: you can sow the seed, but it’s The Lord that makes it grow.

Meaning, that we can put the work in serving and obey Him, but He is the one who brings fruit and life from what we do.

The Lord can take our offering and multiply it in ways we may never know.

8. The Lord has heard our voice

Psalm 28:6-7 10 Best Bible Verses about Thanksgiving

Blessed be the Lord, Because He has heard the voice of my supplications! 7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him.

Psalm 28:6-7

This verse is one of many that reminds me God is a living God. One who hears us, knows us, and wants a relationship with us.

What an amazing God we have.

9. A sacrifice of thanksgiving

10 Best Bible Verses about Thanksgiving
Psalm 116:16-17

O Lord, truly I am Your servant; I am Your servant, the son of Your maidservant; You have loosed my bonds. 17  I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, And will call upon the name of the Lord.

Psalm 116:16-17

When we come before The Lord and give thanks for who He is and what He has done, it’s a form of worship.

We are giving back what The Lord has given us and turning His good work into sacrifice and thanksgiving.

10. We are rooted in Him

10 Best Bible Verses about Thanksgiving Colossians 2: 6-7

As you, therefore, have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.

Colossians 2: 6-7

Salvation is needed once, but walking with The Lord is choosing to listen to Him and follow Him every step of the way. As we grow in our faith, we can grow in our thanksgiving to Him.

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10 Best Bible Verses about Thanksgiving
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