Five Simple Things #9 {Acknowledging Gratitude}

Another week has passed and it’s time for some reflection to continue my practice in expressing gratitude for the many blessings I have in my life. For those reading this for the first time, you can see where this series began here.

It’s Fall and with that time of year comes a natural tradition of expressing thankfulness. And while, we should be doing it year round, I know it is a struggle for some.

gratitudeAre you more analytical requiring a scientific definition? If so, Hannah at The Lemon Hive, did the research for you! Or do you see gratitude as an emotion, something you can only feel and not explain? Would you describe it as faith or your faith in a higher power?

What does gratitude mean to me? Gratitude is definitely an emotion, a sense of love, relief, happiness, inspiration and awe all wrapped up into one overwhelming feeling that is most difficult to describe. It shines the light on my darkest days and reminds me of the beauty in life. It helps me slow down, stop and embrace those few seconds of wonder that you otherwise miss during these fast-paced lives we have created.

grateful heart

How do you practice gratitude? In no way am I an expert on this subject, but if you are looking to start practicing more gratitude in your life, I can share with you the things I do that have made a difference. Be present. Stop spending so much time on the phone, internet, tv, or what not and be truly present in the moment. When you are, you notice the little things and it’s the little things that make the world so special and unique. Acknowledge. When you notice these little things that make you feel good inside, acknowledge them. Stop and mentally note it. Make a conscious point of realizing how lucky you are, how thankful you are, how wonderful something/someone is. Document It. Use a journal (one specifically for gratitude or otherwise) and write it down.  During those dark days, you will enjoy having a physical place where happy memories are kept.  These weekly Five Simple Things posts, are my journals that I share with all of you. I look back on them when I need to or just because. They serve as good reminders of both harder and easier times, how I waded through rough waters, how I found the beauty in my life and how blessed I am with these precious gifts I have been given.

With that, I leave you with some pretty awesome reflections of gratitude for last week.

  1. I survived one of the hardest teething weeks to date….and so did my monster.
  2. I spoke {texted} with a fellow expat blogger who is having a very difficult pregnancy and helped give her some support and positive energy. She told me I helped her have hope. Wow.
  3. My stepfather (who just recently got out of the hospital) has been home, feeling better and returned to work.
  4. My wonderful friends back in Las Vegas, on short notice, went and helped my mother move some furniture. I can’t even begin to express gratitude for this. It’s so hard to be away from family and not be able to help them.
  5. M told me he has a 4 day weekend coming up. A 4 DAY WEEKEND! I haven’t spent that much time with my husband in months. I’m thankful for that, even if we both wished we could do something more amazing with the time. It will be nice just to be with him and spend time as a family.

Hope you enjoyed my take on gratitude and hope it helps give you direction, if you were looking.

I would love to hear what you are thankful for! Leave a comment about something for your previous week (or this one)!

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About Deanna H

Successful toddler chaser. Avid wine lover. Aspiring writer. Maybe or maybe not in that order.
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21 Responses to Five Simple Things #9 {Acknowledging Gratitude}

  1. Hannah Teej says:

    Wow! I got a mention. I am so humbled by this.

    I also love, love, love your quote about increasingly grateful hearts and the correlation (see, always analytical) between complaining. This is so true for me. I used to be so grumpy - all the time - when I decided to start being positive and counting the good stuff life just became smoother. I love it.

    Congratulations on making it through another less than ideal week and well done little boy for not letting teething get the better of you!


    • Of course! I loved that post of yours that took to actual definitions and theory. I wished I had thought of it! :-) I love that quote too. I want it to made into a cool wall hanging for my house!

      Thanks :-) still a long way to go with teething but at least we made it through last week!

  2. bevchen says:

    Great quote :-)

    This week I am grateful that my grandma is out of hospital and that Wednesday is a public holiday… Ithe long weekend is sooo welcome!

  3. I love your gratitude posts! Always reminds me to focus on the positives. It reminds of that old Cherokee saying about the battle between the two wolves inside each of us: good and evil. The little boy asks which ones wins, and his grandfather replies “the one you feed”. Such wisdom in that! Good on you for “feeding” the good! Plus, I love your images! Are you making them yourself?

  4. Allison says:

    I love this idea of purposefully posting something positive every week to make yourself see those moments as well. I may need to figure out a way to do something similar :) I have a kind of worry journal where I write when I’m worrying so much I can’t be productive or think about anything else. Some experts say you shouldn’t do that, but it helps me to get it out of my system, to move on to other things. But maybe I should also start a positive journal alongside it.

    • I think that worry journal is a great idea especially if you’re at a point of excessive worry. You have to do what works for you. But I do think if you enjoy journaling, you should consider a gratitude journal. It seems so simple but it really does help. It is a great aid at reframing your thinking into a positive direction. If you try it, let me know!

  5. I love this! I have been making an effort to practice gratitude, and my attitude has definitely improved. My blog is my way of documenting all of the great things I have going on. I’m happy to hear that you made it through such a tough week with your sanity still intact!

  6. Ace says:

    What a wonderful list of blessings! and yay for 4 day weekends! It will be great for you all to recharge. =)

  7. Expat Eye says:

    I’m thankful I survived a 12-hour work day and hope to do so again tomorrow ;)

  8. Detroit to Deutschland says:

    Your posts about gratitude are really nice. Have you ever watched the documentary/movie thing called “The Secret”? If not, it’s about the laws of attraction and you attracting either positive or negative things into your life. My wife and I thought it was interesting enough to actually sit down and create a wall of signs in our bedroom with random things for which we are grateful. It still hangs in our bedroom and we look at it all the time. Things listed on the wall are “our health, our financial situation, our jobs, the fact that we get to be together every day after being separated for so long”, etc. Also, beside our “wall of thankfulness” is a wall of wishes that includes things like “a new car, continued health, success”, etc. It is just something that reminds us to be thankful for those things we do have and to focus on our goals. :)

    • I have seen that! I watched it years ago and I still find myself trying to maintain positive energy. :-) I love your wall hanging concept. My husband isn’t good at being positive and not that he’s negative, he just expects the worst all the time. Lol I’m glad you enjoyed the post! It’s funny…..just as I was thinking of stopping this series, I get such amazing support!

  9. Kate says:

    Wow, how kind of your friend to do that for your mum! I love stuff like this :)
    I hope you guys enjoy your 4 day weekend!

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