So often we talk of cultivating a garden. Have you ever intentionally and with purpose cultivated an attitude? I am working on a plan for this year that will cultivate an attitude of appreciation. Or gratitude. Or gratefulness.
I chose the word cultivate because I want to be intentional about this. I don’t want it to be haphazard. I don’t want it to be something I think about once in a while. I want it to be something I try hard to do each day. Cultivate implies that you are conscientious about what is being done and working hard at it. When you cultivate something, it flourishes, grows, and becomes something that benefits everything around it.
So, I want to cultivate an attitude.
The attitude I want to cultivate is one that can have so many names – gratitude, thankfulness, appreciation, gratefulness. There are probably more. These are the ones that came to mind while I was writing this.
A sermon I was blessed by at the beginning of the year mentioned a 1902 essay by William George Jordan. He wrote “Ingratitude is a crime more despicable than revenge, which is only returning evil for evil, while ingratitude returns evil for good.” This is in an essay titled “The Power of Truth: Individual Problems and Possibilities.” You can find it through The Project Gutenberg.
The first part of my plan is to read this essay fully. I am also going to listen to some podcasts based on this essay. This quote struck me. It is so easy to think that I am not harming anyone when I don’t show appreciation or gratefulness but really, I am discounting what that person has done for me. When I do not intentionally show gratefulness, it is hurtful, even when I don’t intend for it to be so. And when I show gratefulness that someone is not expecting, that blesses the person doubly. Why wouldn’t I want that to be what happens daily?
The next part includes writing out passages from the Bible each day this year. I am starting in the beginning of Psalm for now but I do expect that will change after a bit. I have a goal of six verses a day.
I was blessed by a basket from the blog The Sparrow’s Home. I am going to use the note cards, pens, and pretty basket as a place to keep my materials so that I can write more notes of thanks this year. I have a goal of four a month, or one per week.
The final part of this cultivation, for now, is that I am going to be praying specific prayers of thanks. I am going to find something in particular each day for the purpose of giving thanks.
My hope is that I will see more of the good in everything. I also hope it will rub off some on those around me. But really, I hope it changes my heart in ways I cannot imagine.
So this is my “word” for the year. I am cultivating an attitude of gratitude.
Lori, At Home.
Linking up with the Homeschool Review Crew and their Word for the Year Ahead link-up.