Yesterday, I received an e-mail from a 10kreasons reader named Donna who said she was “struck” by the idea of being thankful for 27 things each day, but she was wondering if she could do it. Could she stay consistent? Could she think of new things to list each day? She said she wasn’t sure, but she was going to try.
With 353 days and 9,676 reasons under my belt, I thought I would offer her, and anyone else out there who has thought about making their own daily thank you lists some advice and some motivation.
As most of you know, the idea for this blog came about one night when I was chopping an onion in my kitchen and thinking about what we had been through a month earlier. I could see us in the hospital room waiting to deliver our son still born and I could hear us singing “10,000 Reasons” by Matt Redman. I remembered the day we got home from the hospital, that song still playing in my head, telling my husband that if we sat down and made a list we probably could come up with 10,000 Reasons to praise and thank God for. As I was recalling all of those moments I grew curious as to how many things you would have to be thankful for each day for an entire year to reach 10,000 Reasons. I sat down my chopping knife, washed my hands, and did the math on my iPhone. The answer was 27.39. I immediately felt challenged by the Holy Spirit to do that. To list 27 things every day for 365 days. So I went for it and it has forever changed my life.
The mindset I had to take on knowing that at the end of the day I was going to have to list out 27 things I was thankful for changed the way I looked at life. I knew I had to be focused on the good things, big and small instead of negative things. I was more attentive and more present in every moment because I was searching in every moment for something list worthy. Instead of being tempted to gripe and complain when a flight was delayed or while I was waiting at the doctor’s office with a ridiculously sore throat I was busy searching for God’s goodness. I can honestly say, that since I started listing, I’ve never had a bad day! It’s impossible to have a bad day when you spend so much of your time thinking about all that you have to be thankful for. Motivated? Good! Now, for the advice part.
Ask God for your number. My number was 27 for 365 days, but He might want to start you off listing 10 things a day, or 15, or 5, or 3! He might want you to list for a month, 6 months, or an entire year. If God hadn’t spoken to me specifically about 10,000 reasons I would have given up long ago, but it was an assignment from Him, so I knew I could do it.
List every night or every morning. Have a special notebook or a place you can list on your phone or computer that you can pick up and write in every night before bed or every morning before you get out bed, no matter how tired, how sick, or how unmotivated you may be. You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel after making the decision to end your evening or start your day by writing down some things that you are thankful for.
Makes notes throughout the day. Early on I noticed that if I didn’t make a note on my phone about a certain moment I was thankful for, that I might forget about it by the end of the night.
Share your list with someone. Sharing my lists every day with all of you kept me accountable. I made my mission public and there was no way I was backing out after that. Tell your spouse or your sister or your closest friend that you are listing however many things over however many days and ask them if you can email or read your lists to them every day once they are complete.
Be creative, but don’t be afraid to list the same things more than once. I am thankful for my kids every day, but instead of just writing their names down and leaving it at that, I try to write something about them specific to that day, a special moment I got to share with them that made me feel beyond blessed to be their mother.
I know there is something special to this listing thing. I know that God was looking for ways to make my list each day, and I know if you start your own list He will be looking for ways to make yours too. I’m not sure who said it, but I love this quote, “It is not happy people who are thankful; it is thankful people who are happy.”
If you want everyday to be a happy day, a joyful day, a good day, then make everyday a thankful day!
- 353 days of listing.
- 353 good days!
- I have formed a healthy, healthy habit of being extra aware of the goodness of God.
- God gave me an assignment and then gave me the grace I needed to complete it… almost. 11 days to go!!
- Beautiful sunrise this morning. The pinks and blues looked like the perfect nursery colors.
- I was so impressed with the pretty sky I did my Bible time outside and it was lovely.
- Praying for Sunny this morning and right when I laid my hand on my tummy she started moving around. She’s already so sweet!!
- Fridge and pantry are full!
- Realized I didn’t have my phone after I got in the car to head home from Target, went back in and found it pretty quickly. It was lying on the kiwi’s.
- Got a front row parking spot. Which was extra nice since I had to go in and go out twice!
- Overcast skies kept the temperatures down.
- Started my 20th week of pregnancy!!!
- 20 weeks left to go!!!
- Very productive work afternoon.
- Last day of Wacky Week was a success.
- Wacky Week is over!! Ready to have my husband home all day tomorrow!!
- Beau got to take some of the balloon decorations home with her.
- The fine people at Taco Bueno made dinner for me and the kids tonight.
- Gus and Beau got home tonight and started pretending Wacky Week. Gus got his microphone out and kept telling us to scream if we were having fun. He was the MC, the band, the drama team, and the teacher.
- Found a great little bag of army men at the dollar spot today.
- Teresa & Becca gave me their maternity clothes last year! Wearing one of their dresses today!
- 94.9 was playing Christmas music today. It’s impossible to hear Jingle Bell Rock and not smile.
- 5 months til Christmas!!
- We are going to have a new stocking to hang this Christmas.
- Josh got home a lot earlier than I thought he was going to get home. Tear down of Wacky Week goes by way faster than set up!
- Got to listen to Steven Furtick’s “Sun Stand Still Message.” Good stuff.
- In bed by 10:00! Looking forward to a good nights rest!