A few years ago I read a book called A Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. Good read. Not to mention her website and photos are amazing. (Check Out: http://annvoskamp.com/). Two things from that book stood out to me. One was that gratitude was a learned practice. Much like when my counselor was trying to teach me the benefits of meditation and my internal reaction was, what this is weird, make it stop! The same reaction can occur with gratitude. To look for things daily to be thankful for can not only feel weird but it can be so hard too. The second thing that stood out to me that was before the miracle when Jesus fed the 5,000, he took the bread that he already had and gave thanks. Ms. Voskamp pointed out that before the miracle happened Jesus showed gratitude and so, we must also give thanks as well before a miracle comes. I believe Ms. Voskamp was correct, we must give thanks before a miracle but we mus give thanks for what we have and trust God to provide. Jesus only had 2 loaves and five fish. To anyone that would not be sufficient for a crowd of 5,000+. But, when Jesus gave thanks for what was already provided God supplied abundantly beyond what was needed.
At the beginning of the year, I started with a thankfulness jar. For a few months, I wrote on a sheet of paper at least two things I was thankful for that day. I loved it. When the jar got full I took the pieces of paper out and glued them to larger pieces of computer paper and put that in a binder. After a few months passed someone introduced me to the “Five Minute Journal” App. It was good, but for me typing things into my phone didn’t have the same feel as writing them down on a piece of paper. Not to mention one of the last questions for the day in the App is “what could have made today better?” For some reason, I could never seem to leave the line blank (The App doesn’t require the question to be answered). I hated ending the day on a negative note, there seems to always be something I could have done better. Needless to say, I stopped using the App altogether. So, my gratitude practice stopped. I have decided that for the rest of the year, I will write the things I am thankful for on the little pieces of paper again and put them in my binder. I am going to end this year in gratitude.
Today I volunteered to help my job with their “safe Halloween” event. Trust me, after this last week at work the last thing I wanted to do was volunteer for my job for six hours. Then, I got over myself. volunteering has nothing to do with boosting my position at work. I honestly volunteer for two reasons, to give to others (I do not have money, so I give of my time) and to hone my skills. Today was all about little kids, I do not do children. They scare me. Mostly because I don’t want to hurt a child ever and I know I am pretty messed up so who knows what an interaction with me would do to a small child?! But I will also be volunteering with the Boys and Girls club where I grew up. That will be more up my ally, teaching job skills, leadership skills. etc. to High School aged kids. I’m excited about that! I’m sure it will bring back memories of Peer Leadership.