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Last Christmas I received a gratitude journal in my stocking. It was from my daughter. This special gift launched my obsession with not only practicing gratitude, but studying, sharing, teaching and coaching others about gratitude and its benefits.

It is a very simple daily ritual that takes less than 5 minutes, but delivers a robust and tangible harvest.

Our culture today often compels me to make numerous task lists, goals and plans that keep my mind and body moving, moving and moving.

When was the last time I stopped, looked up and noticed how beautiful the sky is? How often do I list all the blessings in my life, beginning with the very breath I breathe? Do I take the time to write a thank you note to someone I love for being in my life, or for remembering my birthday? I wonder if these practices are becoming a lost art in our fast paced, performance driven world.

My quadruplets just turned 19. They practice a yearly ritual of sitting down together and hand writing thank you cards for their gifts. My mom called me and told me she saves their cards and reads them over and again. What seems out of date, or somewhat laborious is actually a blessing to another.

I started last January with writing 3 gratitudes each morning. Now, I list up to 10 a day. Research shows that as I develop this daily ritual, my brain develops an acute awareness of things to be thankful for. The seed of gratitude multiplies and I reap the benefits from the harvest!

I have noticed now, after 9 months, that gratitudes’ “cousins”, contentment, peace and joy have come along. They have found a place in my heart and soul. I have found rest in the midst of a full and challenging life. For this, I am grateful.

"Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His faithful love endures forever."

Psalm 107: 1

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