thankfulness, just in time for the holidays

"The effect of a grateful outlook on psychological and physical well-being was examined. In studies 1 and 2, participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 experimental conditions (hassles, gratitude listing, and either neutral life events or social comparison); they then kept weekly (study 1) or daily (study 2) records of their moods, coping behaviors, health behaviors, physical symptoms, and overall life appraisals. In a third study, persons with neuromuscular disease were randomly assigned to either the gratitude condition or to a control condition. The gratitude-outlook groups exhibited heightened well-being across several, though not all, of the outcome measures across the three studies, relative to the comparison groups. The effect on positive affect appeared to be the most robust finding. Results suggest that a conscious focus on blessings may have emotional and interpersonal benefits. (From the study below.)"

In our house, we practice gratitude. For those of you who go to DCF, this post actually was not inspired by KT's series, although the timing is clearly perfect. Loving it.

I'm thankful for so many things, and gratitude is practiced in our household. Gratitude is a choice, and sometimes it comes easy, and sometimes it doesn't. 

I am grateful that I came from the family that I did. I'm grateful that all of my siblings, even those gained through marriage, know and love Jesus. (A rare and lovely thing to experience considering I have 8 of them.) I'm thankful that I have never experienced homelessness or hunger. I'm thankful that I have the ability to carry children and be Ellie's mother. I'm thankful that I have a sister who gave up comfort and privilege to serve the needy in Africa. I'm thankful for my sweet husband who daily teaches me, by example, how to love unconditionally and how to serve others well. I am thankful that he speaks to me in a gentle and kind and honoring way all of the time, even when he's angry. I am thankful that our household is home to many and a place of peace and not of conflict. I am thankful that I can talk to my parents about anything and everything, and that they continue to love me through it all. I am thankful for the ability to see and smell and taste and touch, and I am thankful for God's creativity. I am thankful to experience joy that surpasses all circumstances. I am thankful for my education and for all of my teachers who shaped me and encouraged me. I am thankful to attend a church where there is no real danger of being attacked or killed simply for going. I am thankful that God is so much bigger and better than I will ever know.

What are you thankful for?