If you don’t think you can think of 100 things you’re grateful for take this 30 day challenge. It will change your life!
I am always excited to start 100 gratitude challenge, but I get about 35 things on my list and then put the list down and never finish it. This year, I thought I’d take a different approach and take a more guided approach to writing my 100 gratitudes. So this November I am going to challenge everyone to join me completing our 100 Gratitudes together. I have created a 30 day guided gratitude journal that focuses on a topic a day. If you can keep up with the journal for the month of November, you‘ll have your 100 gratitudes on November 30th.
And of course since you know me, the Gratitude challenge comes with lots of doodling and just a little writing. The gratitude challenge journal is called Count Your Blessings.
- To complete the gratitude challenge you will need:
- 32 sheets of 5 x 11 standard blank paper, preferably index (65 lb paper) or card stock (110 lb paper)
- 1 sheet of ¼” cardboard (sometimes called chip board)
- Paper punch
- Ribbon to bind the books
- Permanent black pen
- Colored pencils, markers, or gelatos, water colors….
Here’s the full 32 page booklet – there are two CYB books to a regular letter size page.
- Print this ONE sided for best results count-your-blessings-idd
2. Then you can print a dot grid on the back if you want to expand your journaling for the day or add more gratitudes.
Dot grid – dot-grid-letter
The journal is designed to be printed on right side of the booklet. Therefore the back of the page will be blank. This is to allow you write longer posts, write down more gratitdues or just doodle more. To this end it might be helpful to have a grid printed on the back of the sheets.
Keep your completed pages in an envelope or folder. Binding instructions are below.
Here are some helpful hints for your 30 day gratitude challenge if you get stuck when thinking of things to doodle about:
- Don’t worry if you are unable to think of to complete all the gratitdues on the day it’s published. Sometimes you have to let your brain work on these you can always come back and finish that page later.
- Your gratitudes don’t have to be deep and profound. Often God reveals himself in the now and in the little things. So write down the things that come to mind. If you think of other things later you can add to your list or start a new list on the blank page opposite of the page you’re working on.
- If you are going to use a wet medium on you pages, tape them down with Frog tape on a hard surface before using water colors. Be sure to let is dry completely before removing the tape.
- I encourage you to do this gratitude journal with someone else so you can share your blessings with each other.
- The Count Your Blessings journal would make a great stocking stuffer. Just bind the book of blank pages, and then add a box of colored pencils. It makes a great gift!
Instructions for Binding:
My Completed Count Your Blessings Journal
Today let’s start our gratitude list with 10 things you love. Maybe they’re things or maybe they’re experiences. Choose those things that totally delight you. Don’t think too hard – just doodle what comes to mind. Try to draw a little doodle about these things. Keep your pics simple and if you think of more than 10 things use the opposite page to add to your list. There’s no rule that you can only list 100 gratitudes in this journal. The sky is the limit. If you can’t think of all 10 things at once, you can always come back to this page.
Day 2 is about focusing on the people that the Lord has put in your life that you cherish. Draw simple faces, I drew my family as snowmen, because I just don’t do faces all that well. I also added a little element of their careers to each picture. Take time to pray for each person specifically today. If you have more than 4 loved ones use the opposite page to draw more frames and faces. If you have less than 4 folks, then just doodle patterns in the blank frames.
There are more than 4 folks in my life that I cherish, but I decided to list my dear husband and three awesome sons. They all love the Lord and as a family we love to spend time with each other. As the boys’ careers take them to different places we really cherish the time we get to spend all together.
For the technique, I drew each in pencil first then outlined in a permanent black marker. I used a limited palette of color pencil to color the frames blending the blues and greens. I chalked in the background and used a Kleenex to smooth the color around. I then used a silver color pencil to draw the stripes of the wall papered background to add interest but nothing too overwhelming.
It’s Day 3, so let’s think about where you live. What are you thankful about your home or where you live? I love my house and the fact that I live within 10 miles of family. I feel so blessed to have our home. It’s not the house I originally wanted, but I can see that it’s the house that the Lord chose for us. It was a crazy time in our life, with a birth and a death. I had my heart set on the other house; but the contract fell through and with a baby due in 6 weeks we had limited options. I see that this is the house that the Lord had for us. I have tried to live 1st Peter 4:9 and cheerfully share my home with one another. I tried to make our home a refuge for kids to come when life in their home is tumultuous. They know there was always something in the fridge. What’s special about your living circumstances? Has God blessed you to meet your needs? Are you close to loved ones? Or work? Journal about how you can bless others with where you live?
Just a week or so ago a friend called to say that one of the international students was unexpectedly in town and could we have lunch here tomorrow? HERE? Like Tomorrow? Oh well, why not? It was a fun time. I love being able to serve others and hope we blessed this student who got to see lots of old friends.
I used markers on this page so I used cross-hatching to create shades on the roof for more interest.
Psalms 96:11-12: Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;Let the sea [a]roar, and [b]all it contains; Let the field exult, and all that is in it.
Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy. (I just realized that I did not include the verse reference on the printable, so you might want to add that somewhere.)
Experiences make great memories and often traveling can create meaningful memories. The Lord has made a magnificent earth for us to experience. Where have you been that has been memorable? My son might say Haiti. He went a Mission trip when he was 16. He was so moved by the need and poverty that he gave up soda and has not had a drop of soda since 2009. My memories are about lovely times away with my family. I was able to go with my husband on a business trip to London. It was a great couple of days to see that great city. And as I love the beach so much, we took two family vacations to San Diego and St. Augustine Florida, both were wonderful; although we did lose our 6 year old at Sea World for a few minutes in San Diego.
And finally, I added Fargo ND because God has a great sense of humor. I was looking at a map of the United States and realized I still have 18 states to visit. I remember thinking that I would probably never go to North Dakota because there was anything we’d want to go see there. The very next day, my son came home and told us he was being transferred to Fargo North Dakota on temporary assignment. So we went to Fargo over the July 4th. It was good to see where he lives and the big construction project he’s working on.
It’s day 4 and you’re already at 21 things you’re grateful for.
Day 5 – Proverbs 16:3 Commit your plans to the Lord and they will be accomplished
Do you have any goals written down? The Lord gives us a short life and expects great things of us; what three things do you want to accomplish? Write down your goals and then doodle something about your goals. They can just be simple things. You don’t have to solve global warming, just identify things in your life that you want to change and write it down. Writing detailed action plans with dates helps goals to become reality. Writing things down creates a sense of accountability. Pray about what plans the Lord has for you.
I am sharing my goals. First and foremost on my goals is to lose 100 pounds. At this point in my life any weight loss would be great, I desire to be healthy and able to serve. So far I am down 10 lbs., 100 to go. Next I’d like to visit all 50 states, I have 17 left to visit. And finally I want to reclaim my house; declutter and figure out to how to stay that way so ultimately, I can do more art.
What things do you take for granted? We are so used to our create comforts that we take them for granted. Personally I hate the cold and the Lord reminded me that I take my warm house for granted. So in the winter months I purpose to say thank you for my warm house when I come in from the cold. We are so used to electricity and the internet what would we do if we did not have easy access to either. A friend of my son’s went to Brazil for 6 months. She was in a several miles away from a large city, but not in a remote part of the jungle. On average they got electricity for about 6 hours in the evening. And all in all she goes used to it and found the experience of working at a missionary school was such a blessing in her life, the electricity was just a gnat.
Take some extra time today to be thankful for the things on your list.
1st Thessalonians 5:16-18 says Pray without ceasing. I am not sure what the Lord means by that – how do you get anything else accomplished? But I take Him at his word, and try to lift up little prayers throughout the day for the things He puts on my heart. The Lord is so faithful to me in the little things that it’s a constant reminder of His omnipresence. He helps me find my keys, gives us safe travel and are blessed by the people He puts in our life.
One big answered prayer I’d like to share is the story of my brother-in-law, Bruce who was diagnosed with a rare blood disease. This disease caused his body to not produce platelets. For two years the doctors tried all kinds of chemo and other experimental drugs, and to no avail. The doctors had given up hope and scheduled a bone marrow transplant. The Lord was gracious to find a donor that was a great match for him, Bruce prepared for the transplant. But two weeks before the transplant his body miraculously began producing platelets again. This is nothing short of a miracle to show that our God can do anything. God answers prayer. If God can heal Bruce, then know He’s as equally concerned about the challenges in your life.
Journal about a time when God answered your prayers.
Can you believe it’s only day 8 and you’ve already written 36 gratitudes? I’m thinking of other things that I want to capture, so my list will be over 100, how about you?
Today let’s have a little fun and list your top 5 favorite movies or books. I might have to do both. My favorite movie is the Princess Bride, what’s yours? I also love Cary Grant and my other favorite movie is North by Northwest. Followed by Apollo 13 which I love because of the way everyone pulled together to get the astronauts home.
I love to read. So far this year, I’ve read 67 books and being the nerd girl I am, I keep a record. I love learning new things, and always learn something from a book I’ve read. So far this year my favorite fiction book is the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Ann Barrows. The book is about life in Guernsey, an island in the English channel that was occupied during the war. And finally, I loved Francis Chan’s, Crazy Love. I finally got around to reading it this year and it was really a blessing to my soul. I can’t wait to see what you all share and what’s on your list.
Have you ever been in the belly of the whale? Did you feel alone? We spent 9 months in the belly of the whale. Our oldest son got a rare abscess in his kidney when he was 7. It took the doctors a few weeks to figure out that it was an abscess and not a tumor. We were in and out of the hospital over the next 9 months taking some big doses of some powerful antibiotics. Every time we’d take him off the big gun drugs it would come right back. Finally the doctors said if it comes back again the part of the kidney is coming out. All through this ordeal we felt the gracious hand of the Lord at every turn. It was a tough ordeal but we never felt alone. We had just recently started attending a new church and they surrounded us and loved us. They babysat, brought us meals, pick up the car from the shop…. Looking back it was clear that God directed our path to this safe harbor to for the coming storm. When Dan went off the antibiotics the last time, the abscess was gone. Today he’s a very healthy young man who’s crazy about Crossfit. The Lord answers prayer.
What blessings did you have during your time in the belly of the whale?
I used Copic markers for the background colors. I tried to do a little sketchnoting with a few little images in my story.
So far this has been the hardest page. Do I pick people I know or famous people who did courageous things? I admire Malala the Pakistani girl who was shot, but continued to speak out about treatment of women in Pakistan, or famous people like Eleanor Roosevelt or artists I love like Mary Engelbreit? I decided to stay close and pick a few people who awe me just by doing their everyday stuff. Jen has some health challenges, always has praise for the Lord on her lips, Becky is a tireless servant tending to the needs of everyone the Lord puts in her path and for Joan and Janis who left the comforts of their home to serve as missionaries. These ladies inspire me to be go deeper, serve more and be a better person.
My spiritual gift is service, to that makes it hard for me to accept help from others. I have to stop and humble myself to accept a meal or other help when I know I can do it. When my oldest son was sick when he was 7, our church really ministered to us; the head kidney doctor came in at 10:30 at night to assess Dan when we transferred to Cardinal Glennon. My sister-in-law that lived with was just an unending source of support. Sometimes it’s the small things that are just kindnesses. And I wanted to lift up first responders. I’ve set my stove on fire more than once. The fire department was quick to respond and they didn’t laugh at me either. It was hard to limit my list to just three. How about you?
I love music, it moves my soul; I especially love worship music. This was a very hard choice as I have lots of song I love for one reason or another; narrowing it down to two was tough. However you can use the opposite page and write down more songs and add more gratitudes to your list.
Draw something you love about every season.
I love summer. I love the heat and the sun and playing the water. The flowers are in bloom, it’s just a glorious time for me. In always think the summer flies by too fast and all of a sudden the weather is cooling and it’s autumn. We have summer fun days were we take a day off to do something fun. This summer we went to Circus Flora; a St. Louis exclusive.
The fall colors are great. The weather is cooler so it’s easier to get out and wrap up garden duties. I love the fall colors. Winter is my least favorite season because I hate the cold, but I love to look out of the window in my warm house and looking at a lovely snowfall. I love to see everyone’s creative snowmen. Spring is a winner with all new blooms with the bulb flowers. There’s no better promise of spring than seeing a Daffodil in bloom in a snowfall.
No matter what season, I see His glory and majesty in every season, and I take time to thank him for all the blessings of the season – there are beautiful days in every season.
What’s on your mind? I am grateful that the Lord is concerned about the things wer’re concerned about. There’s nothing too small in our lives that He is not interested in.
Currently, health Insurance is on my mind. My husband is now retired so we purchase our own insurance. Our monthly premiums are twice what our house payment used to be. This plan is only available for another year and I worry about the finding a new plan that meets our needs and is yet affordable. I’d love to keep my doctors, but that might be too hopeful. Therefor my health and weight are key on my mind – losing weight will make me healthier and hopefully reduce premiums.
Read Matt 7:7-21 – the Parable about the Talents. Many people feel that this parable is about managing money and investing wisely. Certainly there are applications there, but I also think it can apply to our talents and abilities. I think we need to push ourselves to develop out talents and try new things to push out of our comfort zone. The more we are able to do the more we can do to serve Him and serve others.
It’s hard to toot your own horn, but when we acknowledge our talents we are really acknowledging that our talents are God-given. We need to thank Him for our talents. And then further find ways to use our talents to bless others and find ways to glorify Him.
I am by no means a fine artist or do I even particularly draw well, but I love design and doodles. I can’t help myself. A blank piece of paper is just an opportunity to doodle it up. I realized that when I started doodling during my quiet time, I went deeper and my quiet times were meaningful. I have tried to journal many times but I do not like to write – truth be told, writing blog posts are hard for me. I realized that if doodling during devo time was good for me, maybe it was good for others as well. My speaking and workshops have been so rewarding as I see others love doodling too and using it in their quiet times.
Service is my spiritual gift. I love to help with service projects. I especially like to volunteer for the clean up duty. Everyone is around to help set up but then after the event people are tired and want to get home. I like to show up at the end to clean up and help the organizer get home sooner. And finally I love teaching. Surprisingly I teach accounting. I think because I am so not wired as an accountant, this is actually a plus to explain accounting to future managers who are not going to be accountants.
What talents has God blessed you with?
Something I hope for
I hope that some way we wake up as a country and be a people that loves the Lord.
I hope that we as a country find our way of our financial mess and reduce our spending and our debt.
I hope too that my boys find their best purpose to serve the Lord.
My hope is in the only one who can do anything about these things. My hope is in You Lord.
What are your hopes?
What’s on your essentials list? Things that you keep near you – are any of these things luxuries? Like Kleenex? I keep a box in every room – it’s a luxury that I don’t want to take for granted. I also never go anywhere without lip balm and a book. I am dependent on the Internet and as the weather is getting colder, I am thankful for warm socks and a warm jacket. What’s on your essentials list?
Today (my birthday), illustrate your favorite verse. What does this verse mean to you. My life verse is EPH 3:20 God can do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine. This is such a great verse to help me remember what a Big God I serve. One who loves me endlessly and has a perfect plan for my life (Jer 29:11) so I know I can trust Him with everything little and big thing in my life.
In case you don’t have a favorite verse, Erika at Felicity Bee posted a 30 day bible reading plan listing out 30 verses on gratitude. If you don’t have a life verse, you might look up a few of these verses to find one you want to doodle. Thanks Erika for this awesome list of awesome verses!
It’s the little things that bless me. To me it shows me that God is so focused on me and my life, and He delights to bless me in small ways. My oldest son has an out of town assignment and I only get to see me once every one or two months. Through a series of unusual events, I’ve gotten to see him three times in the past six weeks. It’s for a short week end, but it’s a precious time none-the-less. I also just found out that my birthday twin who lives in Ohio is passing through St. Louis this week; it’s been a bit since we’ve connected, so I am looking forward to seeing her. And finally this Count Your Blessings Gratitude challenge is touching more people that I ever imagined and the feedback so positive and touching I am so blessed that everyone is participating.
I really had to give this one some thought. There’s a business magazine that interviews an influential person and they ask they their three life lessons. If you’ve never thought about it it’s a good exercise to think about. What truths has the Lord taught you in your life?
- Its best to be obedient and be in the center of God’s will that fighting a fight you’ll never win.
- Do more than what’s expected.
- Be a life learner – challenge yourself to learn something new everyday. Although a formal education will open doors otherwise closed to you, being a life learner will open your mind up to new possibilities and new ways of thinking.
People who have influenced my life was another tough one. There were a lot of people on my list. You of course can always use the opposite page to add more gratitudes about people who have influenced your life. I also thought about people who have made me better or stronger with both positive and negative influences. First on my list is Randy, my dear husband. He has over the years provided a lot of insight, wisdom and guidance. Curtis Hail, who is with I am Second Ministries. His influence on my life is a longer post, but he was the one who the Lord put in my life to chip away at my cold heart that enabled me to hear the Truth. And finally I have had several bad bosses in my life and I hope I have endured well and learned much on how not to treat people and manage in a different direction.
Who has influenced your life?
Money isn’t everything, but having a little money or a good income stream can certainly reduce stress. First and foremost let’s remember that James 1:17 says that every good gift comes from My hand. Everything we have is a gift from the Lord. You may think you bought your house or you landed that job, but in reality He provided it for you. We are all stewards of the stuff we possess. It’s really all His.
So looking around financially, what are some financial blessings that you have and are maybe taking for granted? Your job? Savings? Your ability to save for retirement? Take a moment and find something to be thankful in regards to finances.
My husband and I both teach on line which can have a sporadic schedule. Recently, we were both offered two classes to teach that we were not planning on. As we both only work part time, this was a huge blessing. And finally we got a small rebate in the mail –totally unexpected, so I used that to get a few things for the kitchen.
How has God blessed you financially?
What brings you joy? What is Joy? I think it’s that quiet, peaceful feeling that sooths the soul. The dictionary defines it as “a feeling of pleasure or happiness”. I think having Joy in the Lord gives us an underlying peace and contentment to handle whatever life brings. It is more permanent that happiness. Clearly the Joy of the Lord is our strength.
Today, journal about what brings you joy. My children bring me an unending source of joy. I love every minute I can spend with them. I also love to doodle and draw. I worship with my pen. And finally I am joyful when I can be out on my bike strengthening my body and enjoying all the beauty of nature.
What brings you joy?
Maybe today being Thanksgiving will create good memories. It’s always a memorable time seeing people you don’t often get to see. But my recent memorable meal was very impromptu. My brother was in town and I found out that our nephew and his sons were also in town. So we splurged and went to an escape room. An escape room is where you are locked in a room where you have to solve puzzles to get out in 60 minutes. We escaped with 39 seconds to spare. We came back to the house and we ate whatever was in the fridge. I think we had macaroni and chicken paninis. It was simple meal, but it was great to visit and get beyond the “how are yous?” that I tend to only have time for on holidays.
What’s on the menu for your memorable meal?
4 things you bought recently
What are 4 things you recently purchased? God is gracious to give us everything we need so what have purchased recently? I ordered my son a t shirt for Christmas. He went to this store, but it was closed so he could not get it. I ordered it and he’ll have it for Christmas – so it’s a secret, so don’t tell. I also purchased a turkey for Thanksgiving and I ordered exercise bands and replaced the mini blinds in the kitchen. After 35 years it seemed like a good time to replace them.
So I am thankful for the funds to get the things I need and want. I feel very blessed as I write down over 80 things I am thankful for. What about you?
What are 4 quotes that speak to you? For me there were a lot of quotes that I really like and limiting them to four was tough, so just grab four and you can add more later. I love being creative, so I listed a quote about being creative. I also value kindness and service, so I added quotes from Gandhi and Aesop. And finally when I have set a goal, I live by the quote from Tom Peters, (management guru of days gone by) who says, “What gets measured, gets done.”
What are some quotes that speak to you?
I wanted to give you the opportunity to list other things that may be dear to you, so here’s a free page to list 6 more things/people,/events you might want to note. I listed:
- Overdrive the library phone app where I can download books on my phone.
- Thankful for a good heart and being relatively healthy.
- Soft Pretzels.
- Lemon in my iced tea
- Earrings from Chainspriations. My sister takes old greasy bike chains and cleans them up and makes totally cute jewelry from the chains an rollers. I love wearing her stuff.
- Adagio – my China. I only use it once a year, but I love my pattern – Adagio by Mikasa. I’d still pick it if I had to choose a new pattern. Adagio means “at ease” – so I hope that people feel at ease when they come over to have a meal at the Bakers.
What 6 things are on your list?
On my journal page I noted a time we had a flat tire, but today instead I think I’ll talk about this year. We supposed to go down home today, but my son and I woke up with a bad tummy bug. I was very disappointed that we could not go down home to see everyone, but I was more thankful that the tummy bug didn’t happen while we on the road. I am further grateful that we were hope when my mom called and had the same thing. My awesome husband and sons went over to take care of her since I was still running a fever. Had we been in Springfield, we could not have helped her. I am thankful for God’s wisdom to have us be where we needed to be.
Think back about 4 precious gifts you were given. There is no more precious gift that the gift of salvation from Jesus Christ, but today let’s focus on times when other people blessed you. What things do you treasure?
My husband surprised with a beautiful set of pearls on the Valentine’s day after we were married. I so treasure them; they are so beautiful. I also got a ring from my grandmother when I graduated from college which was her mother’s ring. My husband bought me by bike which is over 20 years old, but its so comfortable and easy to ride. And finally one of my treasures is a tree swing. My mother taught at a local collage; the campus is really beautiful. They have tree swings all over campus. When I was young I would swing waiting for her to finish her class. I was driving by a crafty/antique store out in the country one day and saw a swing. I showed up for Mother’s day that year. We still use is a lot and it’s still treasure.
What are some memorable gifts you have received?
Day 30! You made it!
Today document your last 4 gratitudes of memories. I decided to go back through my calendar this year and picked things that happened this year. We were blessed to go see Moses in the Sight and Sound theatre in Branson, MO. I got to go to El Paso to see my brother; it was a lovely time. One week end we all went to an escape room. It’s a room full a puzzles that you have to solve in an hour to “Escape”. It was very fun and we had 7 minutes to spare. And finally almost every week end I get to go play Bridge (a card game) with my parents. It’s a sweet time and such a blessing.
Look through your calendar this year and note four memorable times.
You made it! You have your 100 gratitudes.
Instructions for binding