Confession: Gratitude doesn’t always come naturally to me. Maybe you can relate? If giving thanks sometimes feels a little tricky, you’re not the only one.
Research shows our brains have a negativity bias. We look first for what’s wrong or a threat. This helps us survive. I am typing in a nicely lit, espresso-scented coffee shop. But should an angry, caffeine-deprived gorilla walk up to the counter and order a latte I would shift my attention to this phenomenon.
So we don’t have to feel guilty when it’s hard to give thanks. We can let go of the pressure we put on ourselves to feel grateful all the time. Being humans means embracing our blessings takes some intentionality and preparation.
If we sit down at the table on Thanksgiving (or any other day) and expect to immediately get into a grateful mood, we’re likely to be disappointed. Especially with the twins throwing peas and the dog barking and Uncle Erwin doing political commentary.
So here’s a little list of gratitude prompts for you and your people…
1 – Who is one person you’re thankful for today?
2 – What is one memory that brings you joy?
3 – How have you seen God answer a prayer?
4 – When was a moment when you felt loved?
5 – Where is a place you enjoy being?
6 – Why do you still have hope, even when life feels hard?
7 – Bonus: Think of one more small thing you’re grateful for today.
You can simply ponder these prompts, pull out a pen to record your answers, or ask them when you’re with your people.
We don’t have to feel guilty if thankfulness doesn’t come easily. God knows we’re human and He loves us that way. He’s the Giver of all good things — including the grace we need on the days when our attitude tries to compete with our gratitude.
p.s. Good pie certainly helps too. 😉
More for You
More than Small Talk: We’re doing a series on loving people like Jesus. So far we’re talked about Loving People Who Are Different Than Us and Loving People Who Disagree with Us (more coming soon). If you’re going to be with people at the holidays you love yet find challenging, these episodes can help! You can find them on your favorite podcast app or at KLRC.com.
In case you missed it, I have 5 free devotional plans on YouVersion for you–including one that’s brand new!
My online course, Be a Kick-Butt Writer by Friday, is on sale for the holidays. If you told yourself, “This year I’m going to write” then it’s not too late! Get started today, go at your own pace, and finish by the end of the year.