“GRATITUDE IS THE HEALTHIEST OF ALL HUMAN EMOTIONS. THE MORE YOU EXPRESS GRATITUDE FOR WHAT YOU HAVE, THE MORE LIKELY YOU WILL HAVE EVEN MORE TO EXPRESS GRATITUDE FOR.” —ZIG ZIGLAR

As we slide quickly into the holiday season it is so easy to become overwhelmed with what you need to do, what you don’t have but want, what you feel like you have to do verse what you want to do, and frankly feeling overwhelmed by what you are not. “I wish I was a mom that ____________”… said so many moms.  We see others effortlessly making life look effortless…

For me, I always seei amazingly cute holiday decorations and meticulously crafted sugar cookies (displayed perfectly of course) and know without a shadow of a doubt that I just won’t do that. For one, I don’t have the time and two, mine would never turn out looking good.

So in a time that we feel pushed to our limits, overworked, and maybe a little under appreciated starting YET ANOTHER project may seems a little counter intuitive. But it is in this times that a gratitude project makes the most sense.

It is so easy to let the rush of the season steal our joy. We worry..oh do we worry. We try to keep up… usually unsuccessfully, and finally we judge ourselves by others highlight reels.  This project will let you slow down and seek the amazing gifts that are in your life. The simple joys of seeing a sunrise, or the sweet freckles that you know your daughter got from you or maybe you see your husband working hard to chop wood so your home will be warm this holiday. We are all blessed…if we look.

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Start. Just start. Give yourself a “general” timeline, say a month. We suggest you do this daily (but don’t give up if you miss a few days…after all…. we are going into the busiest time of the year!)

Pick a topic…or don’t. When our family was going through a really rough time I set out every morning to take a picture of the sunrise. I don’t remember what made me start, but every morning before my kids would get up I would go out, say a prayer, and watch with hope and faithfulness the sun again rise up and bring light to my otherwise very dark and scary world. Those pictures I took were just of the clouds. Some mornings it was brilliant and others were moody and dark. When I put them together though, the truth could shine through…. every morning the sun would come up again and all would be ok.

HERE ARE SOME “TOPIC” INSPIRATION IDEAS

  • Nature: This time of year there are lots of beautiful colors and changes. You can’t go wrong with going outside, enjoying the brisk air, and finding beauty.
  • Your kids: You can do this anytime of the year, but we often don’t set time aside to take pictures of the small things we love about our kids. Frame one of your favorites for them for Christmas and tell them how the picture is special to you.
  • Holiday events: This time of year is jam packed with parties, families, crafts, and traditions. Take a picture from each one that reminds you of joy and gratefulness.  It would be fun to create a set of holiday thank you card from your images. Or makes personalized cards for people letting them know how important they are to you.
  • Food: My kids start planning thanksgiving dinner in May…lol..not really, but it is their favorite. At family gatherings take a picture of a  meal and the maker. Write down why you are grateful for them. It would be great to get the recipes and makes family cookbook!
  • Join in our Photo a Day gratitude challenge. We will post a weekly word challenge list!

We have done gratitude projects in both stills and video and would encourage you do whatever is easiest and speaks to you more. If you are doing a gratitude project in stills we want to encourage you to write down what about this image reminds you about the grace you see in your life.  If you are doing a video project think about just grabbing a second a day.  One little second each day. Put them together in iMovie…

No matter how you create one when you see it all together you will see how rich you truly are.  We hope you will find that chasing perfect or more will never leave you full.  Rather embracing the simple joys and abundant gifts we already have will bring you the greatest gift…contentment.

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