Gratitude Journaling

Today, January 23, 2016, I began my 2016 Gratitude Journal in an empty book that I hope to fill up with thanks for God’s abundant gifts given daily. Last week, while on a Prayer/Study Retreat at Mount Angel Abbey in Mount Angel, Oregon I bought a blank journal with a crow and red sun on the cover, artwork by Alistar Bell, a 20th century Canadian printmaker. At Cannon Beach Community Church, the Staff, Elders and Deacons are all studying a book written by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun, Spiritual Disciplines Handbook through 2016. During our monthly meeting for spiritual direction we plan on sharing with one another how the practice of various disciplines and patterns for spiritual growth have encouraged us and deepened our life in Christ this year. This book opens with seven “Worship” disciplines, including “Celebration” and “Gratitude”. In my study on gratitude this morning, I found several helpful ways of practicing giving thanks in all circumstances, “for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”, as Paul writes in 2 Thes. 5:18. One of these ways is to give thanks in writing, taking time to write down my thanks in a gratitude journal, and also to send hand-written thank you notes to people weekly. One of the ways I practiced gratitude today: I looked up author/pastor Adele Calhoun’s address at the church where she works in Wellesley, MA, and wrote her a letter of thanks for writing Spiritual Disciplines Handbook. How do you give thanks, especially when your heart is not thankful, and your mind seems filled with negativity, criticism, or resentment? Consider a gratitude journal, and spend a little more time in 2o16 giving thanks. Thanks for taking time to read and consider with me this basic God-given pattern for spiritual growth and fruitfulness.