I invite you to start keeping a “gifts journal” of your own, and have provided a simple Abundant Gifts eBook Journal for your to download for free. ! I believe that as you take a few moments each day to recall and record the things that felt like gifts to you that day, your life will slowly but surely be transformed.
I believe this because of how keeping a gifts journal has transformed my own life. Whenever I regularly jot down God’s good gifts, it refocuses me more on God and his character-goodness, grace, generosity, mercy, kindness, wisdom-and less on my own problems.
Some people believe that what you focus on expands in your life. I would take it a step further: What you focus on is what you become. Paul the Apostle exhorted his readers to dwell on whatever is positive and true (Philippians 4:8), promising that if we do that, the God of peace will be with us.
In the Old Testament, God repeatedly tells his people to “remember.” Remember his wonderful deeds, his kindnesses, his miracles. When they remembered, they were blessed. When they did not remember, they fell into sin and often judgment followed.
In fact, the entire Bible is a history of how God acted in the lives of his people as a whole. When you keep a gifts journal, you begin the record of how God works in your life as an individual.
When you remember and record God’s goodness in your life, you can go back to it later, during the times when God doesn’t feel so near or active or real. At those times, reading your own history of God’s goodness to you personally will bolster you to believe that he is with you even now, though at the moment a cloud might block his warmth and light from reaching you.
How to Keep a Gifts Journal
It’s not difficult to keep a gifts journal. Here’s what I suggest:
1. Print out the pages, 3-hole punch them, and put the pages into some kind of binder. Or, you could keep it on your computer and write in it that way. Or, you can use the Digital Personal Journal and record your blessings in that.
2. At the and of each day, take 5-7 minutes of quiet time to reflect back over the day. Jot down the date, and think: What was difficult? Did God help you with that difficult situation in any way? What joys pop out at you? Was there anything that had seemed difficult at one point, but now you see that it was really a gift in disguise? Were there any simple pleasures you savored? Any gift you gave another person that brought joy to their heart and yours? Was there something you heard, or read, or something someone said to you that seemed especially meant for you at that moment?
Whatever blessed you, jot down the kind of gift it was, and describe it in just enough words that you will remember it later. This is totally subjective-that’s okay. We’re talking about your heart and your personal relationship with God, your loving, heavenly Father.
3. Added suggestion: Sharing the gifts of the day is a wonderful way to connect as a family as well. Explain to your children that you are going on what Karen Mains called a “God hunt.” You’re looking for ways God shows up in your lives, and you want to share those as you gather for a meal. You can easily create a “family gifts journal” as well by adapting the Abundant Gifts eBook Journal and adding a place for the person’s name on the top of the page.
I promise you that if start recording gifts, as an individual and/or as a family for even one week straight, that will be enough to change your perspective. Once you begin to look for God’s gifts, his tokens of that generous spirit that loves to bless his beloved children, you will begin to feel loved unconditionally.
And that, my friend, is what God intends: that you know just how generous your heavenly Father is, and how much he loves you.
Remember, and be blessed.
Please enter your email address and name below, so that I can follow up with suggestions on how to best use your gifts journal. (You can get off that list at any time, and I keep your contact information strictly private.) You will then be taken directly to the download page.