Tag Archives: gratitude

I Challenge You To…

Start a gratitude journal.  A journal, steno book, three-ring binder or anything else will work.  Decorate it anyway you want.  Anything that will help encourage you to write in it.

Take a few minutes every morning and write a list of 10 things.

For example:  If you live in Northeastern Ohio, every winter’s day you see the sun shining you would list that as something for which you have gratitude – most likely in the # 1 spot.

The idea is to further develop your grateful attitude.  Hopefully doing this each day will help you find other items you are grateful for that you might not ordinarily consider.

Up For More of a Challenge?

Then at night, write a list of 10 things that happened during the day that filled you with gratitude.   It might be tough but it will force you to reflect back on your day.

After keeping this journal for a while, email me and let me know how this has changed you.

Wish I could take credit for this idea but I stole it from my Pastor’s wife.

Thanks Cathy.



This post was published  “a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.”

{ Day 13 } 31 Tricks to Scare Away the Grief Monster – THANKS

Welcome to Thankful Tuesday!

Scripture Meditation

give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

This is one of the most misunderstood verses in the Bible. People most always forget the key word “in” and replace it with “for.”

You are not to give thanks for the pain and anguish grief brought but give thanks in your grief. The grief monster is scared of you giving thanks because that proves you are not stuck in the muck, which is where he wants you.

There is a lot in your life for you to be thankful for, even while grieving. In the beginning of your grief journey, you can be thankful for the people who helped you plan the funeral, all the lasagna (the most common casserole brought to people), and all the people who took the time to send you sympathy cards.

As you continue through your journey, you will find numerous other items for which to be thankful:

  • Sunrises / Sunset’s
  • People who help with your children
  • Hot ( or cold ) showers, whichever you prefer

Open your eyes and you will see a multitude of items.

Keeping Track

One of the way to keep track of your blessings is with a gratitude journal. Write down 3 things in the morning and / or 3 things before bedtime. This way you start and end your day on a positive note.

I’ve also read in order to challenge yourself more, write down 5 or 10 people, places, or things in your gratitude journal every morning and night. The night time is to focus on 5 things that happened during the day for which you give thanks.

The amount does not matter, what matters is that you are writing down your thanksgiving. Writing makes it more personal, more tangible and more appreciated.

My Way

My favorite way to keep track of my blessing is to write each one on a slip of paper and put it in a clear vase. Keep the vase on the dining room table or other highly visible place and you will see your blessing grow throughout the year. I started this practice this year.

Then on December 31st, empty the vase and read what your wrote during the year. Reading them will jog your memory and prove just how much you have for which to give thanks. I thank my friend Ferree Hardy at Widow’s Christian Place for writing about this idea last year.

The slips of paper can then put them in a keepsake box, paste them in a journal or make them into confetti. At midnight, start the process all over again for the new year.

Thankful for Grief

Yes, one day you will give thanks for your grief because God used something hideous to grow you and bring some good out of your circumstance. He brought me through mine and equipped me to help others through this blog and being a GriefShare Co-Facilitator for 6 years.

I believe grief to be life’s greatest self-improvement course and pray you will see how God is growing you through your grief, so one day you will say

“Thank You, God for using grief for my growth.”


Resource: Grategy.com – A business my friend Lisa Ryan built on and about gratitude. Sign up at the bottom of her page to join me and others who receive her weekly gratitude email. You can also check out her books here and her Kindle books 52 Weeks of Gratitude: Transformation by Appreciation ($2.99 as of 10/12/15) and 52 More Weeks of Gratitude: Thank Your Way to Happiness ($2.99 as of 10/12/15) on Amazon. (All links are non-affiliate links) I have both books along with a couple others.

Quote Meditation 

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.

Meister Eckhart

What are you thankful for today? 

10-10-2011_3by5Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She encourages widows and educates society about grief and life as a widow by sharing her widowhood adventures. A graduate of Kent State University with a degree in communications, she has used her skills in the banking, collections, outdoor products and social media industries. Michele is a bookworm, lover of golden retrievers and an amateur photographer. You can see more of photography at OgleOhio.com, where she is running the series 31 Days of Autumn in Ohiobecause running a 31 Day series on one blog is not enough insanity. 

How To Not Be The Same Person 2 Months From Now

Now that all the pies are baked and the turkey is ready for the oven, it is time to give thanks.  However, some of you may believe you have nothing for which to be grateful.

I know some of you are working your way through the grief of:

  • loss of loved one
  • unemployment
  • the holiday season
  • all of the above

Gratitude still has a place even in those awful circumstances. I know it is tough as I have gone through all of the above separately and at the same time.

Not Home Alone

For those of you going through unemployment, you are not alone.  I am right there with you as I am unemployed once again.

On November 13th, my job as a loan officer, teller and collector ended.


The credit union and I were simply no longer a fit for one another and fit is the number one thing potential employers look at in a candidate.  Seeing you working at their company is more important than your ability or experience.

So while I am not thankful for being unemployed, I am thankful for the opportunity unemployment brings, along with the blessings bestowed upon me since unemployment began.


One of the ways I am working on keeping my mood up is a gratitude journal.  No matter what the cause of your grief, a gratitude journal will help you shift your focus. Your journal does not have to be anything fancy.  It can be something as simple as a legal pad.  This is something I wish I had done during my first year of widowhood.

“For Your Eyes Only”

Grab a cup of tea or coffee and write down 5 things you are thankful for every morning.  It is alright to write the same thing for different days. There does not need to be any rhyme or reason for that which you are thankful.  This journal is for your eyes only.

Doing your writing first thing in the morning will help you face the day with the right mindset.  Keep writing and you will slowly but surely beat back the grief monster. You will be taking a little chunk out of him with every gratitude statement. The grief monster does not want you grateful he wants you wallowing in self-pity.

There does not need to be any rhyme or reason for that which you are thankful.  This journal is for your eyes only.

Two Months From Now

My friend Lisa Ryan’s favorite quote is:

“You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you.” — Sarah Ban Breathnach

I understand why it is Lisa’s favorite quote. Sarah is right.  You will not be the same person when you consciously give thanks every day because your mind is focusing on gratitude and not grief.

Michele’s Gratitude Journal

Here is a page from my journal.

I am grateful for:

  •  My friend Lisa Ryan
  • God’s Faithfulness
  • Chocolate
  • Rommie
  • My Car

 Your Turn

 So write in a gratitude journal as a way to work through this holiday season no matter what is causing you grief and continue through the cold bleak month of January.

Who knows, by keeping a journal you just might find that Spring comes early.

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