A hiker looking out at the mountains

We are bringing “Darling Letters” from your inbox to the blog! We love the art of letter writing and believe it helps build authentic community. Our editors and contributors have thoughtfully written encouraging letters to cut through the busyness and speak straight to your heart.

In 2018, I started my very first gratitude journal. It was a simple, black and white speckled journal with lined pages. It was nothing extravagant or over the top. Yet, each morning when I reached for it, my gratitude journal was my saving grace.

Each morning when I reached for it, my gratitude journal was my saving grace.

We all have years or seasons of our lives that are particularly difficult. 2018 was that for me. It felt like I was out at sea, watching as wave after wave came barreling down on top of me. I’d barely catch my breath before the ebb and flow of the tide engulfed me once again.

Choosing gratitude became my daily practice. Although, circumstances around me felt largely out of my control, the one thing I could choose was gratitude. So I began to fix my eyes and search for things to be grateful for: a warm cup of coffee, a phone call with a friend, a roof over my head, a midday nap, the sound of the rain, rest, the sunset and the sunrise. Slowly but surely, I watched as my perspective began to change. As I fixed my eyes on gratitude, I began to find joy and hope. 

This holiday season, whether you are surrounded by loved ones or having quiet days of solitude, I encourage you to look for things to be thankful for. As we keep our eyes peeled for things and people to appreciate, our hearts grow lighter. Developing the discipline of gratitude is not only important for the good days, the fun days and the holidays, but it’s vital for the hard ones too.

As we keep our eyes peeled for things and people to appreciate, our hearts grow lighter.

With hope,
Stephanie Taylor, Online Managing Editor

What is the value of regularly taking inventory of our blessings? How does gratitude shift your perspective?

Image via Raisa Zwart Photography

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