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Let’s Start Early Counting Our Blessings

This month, we celebrate Thanksgiving, a holiday that’s all about recognizing our blessings. Many of us will probably ask for blessings on us and our turkey dinner—without even giving it a second thought. Here are some other suggestions for ways in which we can remind ourselves that we are truly blessed:

Name your blessings. Sometimes even though we may know we are blessed, we don’t take the time to recognize those blessings. Take some time to name your blessings out loud. At dinner tonight, have everyone in your family name one way in which he or she is blessed.

Accentuate the positive. Focus on the blessings you do have rather than those you don’t. For instance, I could have basked in the shadow of those gorgeous giant sunflowers, but instead I focused on the things that didn’t grow.

Write it down. I recently reread Sara Ban Breathnach’s book Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy (Warner Books). In the book, she urges readers to keep a gratitude journal where every day you write down five things for which you are grateful. I was surprised at how quickly I started recognizing things for which I am grateful.

Pass the word. If you consider someone to be a blessing in your life, let that person know. Tell your kids, parents, siblings or friends how much they mean to you and why.

Be a blessing. Try to do something nice for someone today. It doesn’t have to be something big. Bake some cookies, give a card with a personal note or a framed picture of you and the recipient, or make a CD of some favorite songs. You’d be surprised how much such blessings will be appreciated.

Recently, I was having a particularly bad week and my friend dropped off dinner and dessert for my whole family. Not only was it a thoughtful gesture, but it saved me from having to cook. And my family and I had a wonderful meal for which we gave thanks!

from http://www.americancatholic.org/Messenger/Nov2006/Family.asp