Thankful vs Grateful.
Notice how a number of the definitions reference thinking and feeling.
A Few More Definitions of Thankful vs Grateful.
How Your Definition of Gratitude Impacts Every Day of Your Life
I had two choices:
“Who takes off their heals as a public speaker?”
“What will these moms think of me?”
“You have to look professional!”
“If you keep your shoes on you might not be able to walk, let alone finish!”
Did you catch what happened in my story?
What I was thinking influenced how I felt emotionally—and how I felt both emotionally and physically determined my actions.
The bottom line: your definition of gratitude determines what you do.
Partial Gratitude and the Alternative
Developing a Lifestyle of Gratitude
If you understand that your definition of gratitude impacts every day of your life, then the next best thing you can do is to think through how you would define gratitude.
If you have time, do it right now.
Sometimes all it takes is some prompting.
After I asked my colleagues to describe grateful and thankful, a couple of them remarked that they had never really thought about it—until I asked!
There isn’t a perfect definition of gratitude!
Remember, you will define gratitude differently than anyone else. Read back through the definitions my colleagues shared for more inspiration.
- Next write down some ways you can develop a lifestyle of gratitude.
How to Intentionally Grow Gratitude Daily
Create a gratitude journal.When I spoke on this topic of gratitude last month, the group ended up buying these journals to decorate as their gratitude journals. We also decorated these journals with markers and washi tape.This journal comes in a set of 6. You could make several or invite others to create gratitude journals with you. (I don’t have a picture to share because I was speaking that day. But I regularly pin ideas to my Pinterest board for journaling devotions and prayer.)If you don’t want to create a gratitude journal, here is one that I’ve not personally used yet, but I really like how it is put together. It most definitely is on my list to try.
Start your day with reading God’s Word.When I do this, I receive some pretty incredible benefits. That is why I make time. I have several bibles but currently I am reading the NIV Women’s Devotional Bible because that is the translation that our church uses. If you want to start cultivating this in your kids like I am, a good kid’s bible is The Beginner’s Bible. It’s the one we’ve used with our son since he was 18 months old.
End your day with reflection. Think about all the things your thankful for that happened that day.This is one thing that I learned from seasoned Christian mom mentors years ago. I used to just meditate and recall these things mentally—then I learned the value of writing things down and how it helps to transfer things from short term memory to long term memory.
Ending your day with thanksgiving by writing down the things you’re grateful for:
- makes a lasting imprint in your mind that brings closure to your day
- helps you to remember what happened
- and also to bring your focus back to how God has blessed you.
- It even helps you to persevere through difficult circumstances. It is this part of cultivating gratitude that has grown perseverance in my life. Anyone can make it through one day at a time—and God’s mercies are new every morning.
Need some more specific ways to get started?
I mentioned some more practical ideas to cultivate gratitude in my post thankful vs grateful—including The Ultimate Gratitude Challenge.