Monday, December 29, 2014

project gratitude

earlier this year, i read about Sarah's gratitude journal that she kept about her husband. basically, she realized that she had a tendency to focus more on what her husband didn't do rather than what he did, who he wasn't rather than who he is. so, for a year she wrote down moments, words, actions that made her grateful for him. 

i love journaling and sentimental gifts, plus i realized that i have that same tendency & this would be a great project to help my heart keep the right focus. i started in June, but wanted to use this as a Christmas gift so i decided on doing a 6 month journal instead. 

i obviously never blogged about this journal and that's because my husband reads this blog! it was challenging to keep the journal a secret at times. on weekdays i could just journal in it at work, but on the weekends or vacations i had to get more creative! 

i didn't want him to see me writing in it & ask what i was doing because there would only be two options - tell him and ruin the element of surprise, or not tell him and have him wonder what i was hiding for a year. he actually did see me writing in it a few times & it was extra tricky to get out of it! i'm sure he thought something was up but he must have just brushed it off!

finding time to secretly write in the journal really was the biggest challenge. when i first started the journal, i wondered how i could possibly have 182 different things to write down. i thought maybe some days it would be hard to write something down, especially days where i didn't even see him. 

but you know what? that is exactly the opposite of what happened! most days i had to debate about what to write because there were so many moments to choose from! some days it was so hard to pick just one thing!

this project helped me to see my husband in a new light, appreciate him for the amazing man he is, and it got me in the habit of recognizing what i'm grateful for each day! it also helped me see that even if i am annoyed at something, if i look closer then i can be grateful for it! it brought a renewed gratefulness to our marriage - simply by changing the way i think & see him! 

and now, even though i'm no longer keeping the journal, this project has forever changed the lens through which i look. even though i am not writing it down, i am still noticing. noticing how much of a blessing he is, noticing the little things he does, noticing the joy that exists between us, noticing the beauty of life and our life together. it's good to notice. it's good to remember.

i wish i could share the entire journal with you, but i know it's not as interesting a read to someone that isn't married to my husband! ;) so instead, i will just highlight my favorite excerpts from the journal!


July 6, 2014 
we stayed overnight at the hospital (with Thomas's grandpa & got little to no sleep) but Thomas still went to run sound at church early because no one else could do it. he's a dependable man!

July 19, 2014
Thomas sent me pictures of our pets since i'm away & miss them! he knows how much i love our pets!

August 15, 2014
Thomas runs errands on his lunch break so we don't have to do it after work & it gives us more time together! he's very thoughtful.

August 20, 2014
Thomas is always so patient with me. he encourages & challenges me in that.

October 5, 2014
Thomas takes an interest in other people & makes them feel included.

October 30, 2014
when we go on trips, Thomas thinks of EVERYTHING to pack!

November 6, 2014
Thomas is always very quick to apologize. it's an admirable trait!

December 7, 2014
Thomas helps me with crafts i make & the passport to fun dates.

are you inspired like i was when i first heard this idea? i challenge you to keep a gratitude journal of your own! it could be about your husband, your family, your friends, or just all of the everyday moments God gives you! look for the beauty, it's there.

have you ever kept a gratitude journal or something similar?


  1. I love the gratitute journal concept! I was inspired by one of my all-time favorite people, Tricia from -- she kept a secret journal daily for about a year. She gave it to her husband on their anniversary and he read it cover to cover -- and within the year, he unexpectedly passed away (the full story is in her book, and life comes back). I kept a graditute journal during a busy season in my husband and my dating relationship. I would love to do it again. It really changes your perspective and daily focus. Thank you for sharing!

  2. What a great twist on the gratitude journal!! I LOVE this idea!!

  3. what a beautiful idea, and such a sweet gift. i would love to do this as a couple - maybe over dinner reflect one what why we're grateful for one another? make it an ongoing discussion?

  4. I so want to do that for my husband next year!!... & then what a Christmas gift to give him!!!! :)

  5. oh my goodness. i'm not anywhere near being married, but i am tucking this away for whenever that happens because this is wonderful. i bet he really appreciated it :)

  6. I love this idea! I might need to do this to surprise my own husband. It sounds like you've married a great man!

  7. best Christmas gift! :) it means a lot & costs $0 so you really can't go wrong!

  8. that is such a great idea! keep the conversation going between each other! :) love it!

  9. thanks Lauren! as soon as i read about it i was convinced!! i loved doing it! :)

  10. oh wow! that is such a neat story!! it really does wonders to your perspective & focus! i see this being an ongoing thing! :)

  11. he loved it! it was a gift to me also as i was doing it! i will probably do a more general one in the future! :)

  12. thanks Brita! :) it was really a gift for both of us - i gained a lot during the 6 months i did it!

  13. Awww! I love that you did this for your love. I'm sure he was so encouraged by it.

  14. he loved it & i got so much also from doing this for 6 months! :)

  15. This is such a great idea! I have a friend who wrote down fun memories, grateful moments, etc. and put them in a mason jar throughout the year to read at new years. Although I'm not married, I think this is something I would like to do this year, writing down moments where I see God working and moments of gratitude.

  16. I agree, Robyn! Such a treasure of memories as well!