If you read blogs at all you’ve been seeing a lot of people in the homeschool/Christian/Mommy blogging world talking about gratitude, primarily in response to Ann Voskamp’s new book One Thousand Gifts. I haven’t read her book yet, although I have it on my to be read list. Ann’s blog is inspirational and she writes about gratitude beautifully. I have to admit that I feel a bit like someone who’s come late to the party having chosen gratitude myself as the word of the year.
I’ve never really been a fan of the idea of a gratitude list, it’s always seemed a bit Oprahesque to me. Too self-centered, too touchy-feely. What I’m finding though is that in focusing on gratitude, I’m focusing less on myself. And I’m learning that it doesn’t really matter when I came to the party since the party isn’t really about me. That in itself is a good thing.
I thought that keeping a list would be too artificial, especially a public list. I figured I’d be tempted to put things that sounded pretty or interesting or just to list things to have things to list. What I’ve found is that there are days like that. But thinking about what to put on the list makes me look at my life more closely and in a new way. That’s another good thing.
I’m finding that gratitude is a discipline. There are days where I can see blessings around every corner. Where I’m genuinely thanking God for the small ordinary things in my life. And there are days where it’s just another thing on my checklist but not really much about my heart. My hope is that the discipline itself will mold the heart.
So far, for me this experiment in gratitude has been a very good thing. But I’m not sure it’s such a good thing for my blog. My motivation for blogging is a mix of personal and public. It’s been the best way I know so far to make myself sit down and write. It makes me think. It’s something I do primarily for myself. I somewhat think of this blog as a personal journal, just one that other people can read.
I try not to think too much about those readers. I appreciate every single person who reads (and comments) but I don’t want to spend time obsessing over things like site stats and ways to increase my traffic. However, I do want what I write to be well-written, to be interesting, to be worth someone else’s time. And although the daily gratitude list is good for me, I’m guessing it’s only marginally interesting to read again and again and again.
So, I’ve decided to stop posting daily lists. I’ll still keep my own list daily for my own spiritual discipline. But I’ll post weekly instead, on the Sabbath.
However, if you are a reader, indulge me with one more addition to my list:
122) All of you who take your time to read my words.