The Thank You Experiment Revisited

A long time ago, after reading a blog post from Michael Hyatt, I decided to purposefully thank one person every single day. It was work at first–I really had to think who I was thankful for, and then make an effort to thank them either by email, or with a phone call, a letter, a small token of my appreciation.

Over the months, this little exercise changed me. I started to open my eyes more to find people and things I was thankful for. My smile grew a bit, my attitude lightened. I began to see the blessing of the Lord on my life in a new light. It was good.

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But then, just like it can happen with anything else, my exercise in thankfulness became stale. It became routine, another thing to check off of my to-do list. A burden. And I never believed in doing things just so they get done, you know? I think our hearts should be completely involved in what we do. We want and need to be sincere. That’s the only way to go.

So I stopped looking for places to be thankful for. And life went on just like always.

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It took several weeks for me to notice the difference. A grumble or two hanging around in my soul, a judgment about someone, a not-so-nice thought crossing my mind, a thickness around my heart… My eyes lost their skill at finding the good; my smile wasn’t quite as bright; my attitude got heavier. Sadness crept in. Not so good.

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I had never realized the boomerang effect of thankfulness–I had practiced it for the sake of those I am thankful for, but it found a way to give me eyes to see the goodness of God all around, and it fed my own heart good meat, and potatoes, and vegetables; it made it healthy.

This thankfulness stuff is amazing.

And I wonder how many places we starve in our lives, or feed poison to, because of  ramifications we don’t even see?  Like bitterness, or looking for fault in everything?

And I wonder how many places we feed vegetables to in our lives, or grow without knowing it, because of ramifications we don’t even see? Like smiling, or looking out for someone’s good, or refusing to pass judgment.

God certainly knew what He was saying when He declared, “Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.” Proverbs 4:23

Our lives truly are a weaving, each thread completely affecting the next and the entire design.

The quilt tells the whole story, doesn’t it?

I started my thankfulness practice again.

Sometimes, I link up with any or all of these wonderful writers: Hearts 4 Home,SDG, Hearts Reflected, WLW, EOA, Things I can’t say, Growing Home, Play Dates with God, Monday Musings, Hear it on Sunday,Inspire Me Monday, Tell me a Story, The Better Mom, a Mama’s Story, Into the Word, In and Around Mondays,OYHT, Gratituesday,Titus2Tuesdays, Extraordinay, Lessons from Ivy,Denise in Bloom, Sweet Blessings, Faith Filled Friday, Finding Joy,WholeHearted Home, Mom’s the Word, Reclaiming a Redeemed Life, Still Saturday. Wildcrafting Wednesdays, WFMW

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16 comments

  1. It is amazing the difference thanking people can make in our own lives. For Lent, rather than giving up something, I determined to do something – I wrote one thank you card for Lent. Grateful for the reminder to do it all year long 🙂

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  2. I love that idea of intentionally thanking one person a day. I need to try it! I definitely think it would give me more of a sense of purpose in my days and would grow relationships as well. Thanks for sharing! #RaRaLinkup

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  3. What a great reminder that we need to look for the good things in life and not focus on the bad. Thanks for the reminder today – I will be thankful !!! Visiting from Count Your Blessings.

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  4. Thankfulness and gratitude are so important, more important than we realize, I think. You experienced it in a very tangible way. Glad you are back to thanking someone every day. I think I shall join you.

    You are my first “Thank you”. Thank you for sharing your life and experiences. I enjoy reading about it and I like it when you challenge me to change my thoughts and perspectives.

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  5. Lovely. I know what you mean about the boomerang effect. I hate how I start strong and end weak, I guess that is why Paul calls it a race! Thank you for speaking truth today. Cheering you on from the #RaRalinkup with Purposeful Faith.

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  6. I love your post and a life of gratitude does give us a better attitude ! How sweet to notice the difference, and to make that turn around for good. Thank you for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story.

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  7. I just love this! It’s amazing how perspective and focus can change our whole lives, isn’t it? Our family has been keeping a thankful jar for the past two years-I believe it’s been the catalyst for change in all of our lives. Every night, we each take a slip of paper and write something (or someone) we were thankful for that day and put it in the jar. On New Year’s Eve, we read them and relive the year. 🙂 I think it has really shaped my kids be the thoughtful and grateful children they are. Thanks for sharing this- I hope it inspires more people to try to be thankful every day!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

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  8. This is wonderful! It’s amazing how thankfulness and perspective can change our whole lives, isn’t it? Our family has been keeping a thankful jar for 2 years now and it’s been the catalyst for great change. Every night, we write down something we’re thankful for that day and put it in the jar. On New Year’s Eve, we read them and relive the year. I often credit this idea for molding my children to be the thoughtful and appreciative children they are today.

    I hope this inspires people to live a more thankful life! 🙂 Have a great weekend!

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