The month of November receives a lot of attention about being thankful. But what about the rest of the year?
It’s easy to lose sight of gratitude in December simply because how busy the month is. There’s shopping and wrapping to be done, as well as baking and decorating, Christmas parties and plays, and so on.
None of those are bad things, but it’s easy to lose focus on the reason we celebrate Christmas at all. Not to mention how tough it can be to stay thankful as we enter stores full of people pushing and shoving (and can we talk for a second about how someone always seems to get the parking spot you have your eyes on right before you are able to pull in?).
Even the good things can get stressful. You might try to volunteer at your church, or go Christmas caroling, and it can easily turn into madhouse of corralling children into the car hoping that traffic is light so you’re not late.
Even blessings can be burdens without looking through Christ’s lens.
So I have a December Challenge for you.
For the whole month, start a Gratitude Journal. Focus on 3 things that you are grateful for each and every day. They can be broad or specific. It’s up to you! Even during the darkest of times or seasons, there is always something we can be thankful for.
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Grab a notebook and write them down. And spend a moment in prayer of thanks to God for these gifts. That’s just Step 1 in the December Challenge.
Step 2 is Scripture Writing. Take a moment to quiet yourself from the busy-ness of the season and listen to God’s Word. I’ve carefully selected a different Bible verse for each day of the December Challenge.
We’re instructed to “hide God’s Word in our heart” and this is an easy way to commit a verse to memory by writing it out. Write it in your journal, write it on a 3×5 card, or write it on your bathroom mirror. Just take a moment to write it down and practice saying it throughout your day. I’ve decided to write each verse 2-3 times in my Journal each day. (Repetition is my best teacher.)
And then wrap up your day with Step 3. This is something I would encourage you to do at the end of your day. Take a moment to reflect on your day and write out a memory. What was your Favorite Part of the Day? This is another way to stay thankful. This could be anything from an event that happened that day or as simple as your child picking up their toys without having to be asked. Try to look for the good.
Maybe you’ve heard the old hymn that says to “Count your many blessings, name them one by one.” That’s what we’re doing. The more we focus on the goodness all around us, the less time we have to be negative. But also, it gives us the chance to reflect on all that God has done. As time goes on, take a second to flip back to the beginning of your Journal and see the ways that God has answered prayer and given to you in abundance! (Just another thing to increase your gratitude too!)
And to complete the December Challenge, let me know how it’s going! I’d love to hear what you’re thankful for on my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/sincerelyanchored. Post a photo of your days. I can’t wait to hear about what God is doing in your life!