gratitude challenge

They say it takes 21 days to make or break a habit…

I was encouraged by my friend and yoga instructor, Elise Joan, who is an ambassador for Zico Coconut Water, to participate in a 21 Day Challenge – to do something, anything, that will better your life. Elise made some suggestions to our class, one of which was to take a few minutes first thing in the morning and write down everything for which we are grateful.

I love that idea. I am starting my 21 Day Challenge of gratitude today. For the next 21 days, I am going to start and end each day by filling a page in my journal with a list of things for which I have to be grateful.

2014.7.24 gratitude challenge

This afternoon I happened to read a passage that almost frightened me with the coincidence of its words:

On the twenty-third day of the seventh month he sent the people to their homes, joyful and glad in heart for the good things the Lord had done…” – 2 Chronicles 7:10 (my emphasis added)

Um. Yeah. Today is the twenty-third day of the seventh month. July 23. And this passage is talking directly about gratitude. Eerie, yes. But also very cool.

I don’t know about you, but it’s easy for me to get caught up in my day-to-day grind, to obsess over my “to do” list, to try so hard to accomplish things myself. I have to constantly remind myself that it’s not all up to me. Not only do I not have to do it on my own, I can’t do it on my own. God is so much bigger than anything I can try to do myself. He will do with my life what he wants to do with my life.

And as far as the things I want, well, He knows what I need.

I also came across this verse today, Proverbs 19:21:

“Many are the plans of a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”

As I surrender myself to the Lord’s purpose for my life, I am going to focus on all the things for which I have to be grateful. Today. Instead of focusing on what I want, I am going to focus on what I have.

What better way to start and end each day than with gratitude?

The truth is – no matter what we are going through, what we are striving to achieve, what we are struggling to overcome – we all have much to be grateful for. It’s a spirit of gratitude that helps put life into perspective – our trials, our hardships, our hopes and our dreams.

They say it takes 21 days to make or break a habit… The habit I am hoping to adopt is one of a genuine spirit of gratitude. To not just speak it or write it, but to truly live it.

John F. Kennedy so wisely said:

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” 

So today I begin my challenge. And I will share with you what stood out to me most in my list of things for which I am grateful today, Day 1: that I am saved by grace through faith and not by works. 

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