Being a positive person does not come naturally to me. It is a constant battle to keep my mind going in the right direction. My mind would rather focus on what could go wrong and what went wrong over what went right. My husband and I were married very young with extremely limited savings to start our marriage with– I’m talking a $50 type of limited. Since the beginning of our marriage, money had been a struggle and focusing on the positive has been a learning curve with ups and downs.
So how do we stay positive? How do we stay positive when there is war, death, sickness, famine, financial crisis, and heartbreak in this world?
My first and foremost go-to solution is prayer.
Prayer is a powerful tool that God has given us to communicate with Him and it often goes underrated. If you’re not utilizing the power of prayer, stop what you’re doing right now and use it!
If you’re having trouble knowing where to start with your prayer life I recommend Stormie Omartian’s series “the power of a praying”. I read The Power of a Praying® Wife about a year ago and literally watched my marriage change in front of my eyes (for the better).
Here are some of the other books in her series
Sometimes our prayers are answered in a way that we did not predict or hope for. Sometimes God’s response to our prayer is by leading us to a door, opportunity, or situation. The answer is not always a clear path with a clean fix; it requires work. I ask and God delivers; sometimes not the way I want but He does deliver.
However, sometimes I lose sight in what God has actually given me because of my sinful need for “more”.
For example: My husband and I prayed for over a year to provide a way out of the current job he was in. And you know what? God did eventually get my husband out of the job and even went as far as providing a smooth transition into a new job. However, I was so caught up in our new problem of an income change that I never fully realized that God had given us exactly what we have prayed for.
My husband and I decided to create an answered prayer frame display to help remind us of all the things that God has blessed us with.
Although this prayer frame has served as a good reminder for my family, I found that because I am such a detailed person that I needed something on a grander scale that would keep me thinking positively.
I needed something that I would make me stop my daily hustle temporarily to focus on the good. I needed something that would make my brain think and contemplate. I also needed something that didn’t cost me money.
I needed a gratitude journal.
I’m not much of a journalist. In fact, I tried multiple times throughout my childhood to jot my feelings and thoughts down but found myself giving up soon after I started. However, I decided to give this journaling thing one more chance because of my desperate need to keep my mind on a road towards being positive.
Here’s what I found out
After writing down my blessings and the things I’m grateful for each morning, I noticed that my attitude was beginning to change. I began to notice that I was grateful for things that would have gone unnoticed beforehand. All these things are expected, right?
What if I told you that God used this journal to find the areas in my life that are lacking and needed my attention.
Well what if I told you that I began to see areas in my life that needed prayer.
What if I told you that after I had fervently prayed for these areas in my life that I began to notice drastic changes in my parenting, marriage, and finances.
Keeping a journal is such a simple idea and yet it changed my life for the better.
So, how do you keep a gratitude journal?
The main idea is to make sure you’re writing in it every day. Set a designated time– every day– and make a habit out of writing in it. Don’t hold out when writing down your thoughts and feelings; write the good and the bad but remember to reflect on the good. Always try to find something good out of every situation and write it down in your gratitude journal. These habits are teaching your (and my) brain to think positively.
It doesn’t really matter what format you use to keep a gratitude journal. It can be as simple as jotting down some notes in a notebook or as advanced as purchasing your own gratitude journal. If you’re wanting to buy one, I recommend Crystal Paine’s Choose Gratitude journal. I haven’t bought the journal but I have heard wonderful things about it! Plus, everything Crystal produces has been fantastic so far; I expect no different with this colorful journal.
However, if you’re on a strict budget and need something free but cute… I made these printables below with you in mind! All you need to do is click the picture to print and you will have your very own gratitude log journal pages. They are simple but are a perfect start to help you start seeing your life with a Godly perspective and a positive light.
Above is an example of my gratitude journal doodles for today! Examining your life and journaling does not have to be ONLY words, you can doodle or use pictures to express your feelings as well.
I highly encourage you to print out just one week of these printables and look at how your life changes! If you are not inspired, at least you tried and you don’t have to do it again.
But I am hoping that you ARE in inspired. I am hoping that it leaves you feeling good about yourself and your life.
Please print these printables off at your hearts contend. Enjoy!