Feelings and Thoughts

When it’s hard to feel thankful.


No one wants to talk about it, but many of us are so overwhelmed with the busyness of our schedules and the urgency of situations right on our doorsteps each day, we either forget to acknowledge the blessings in life, or it feels really hard to find something.

Maybe your marriage is hard right now…or nonexistent.

Maybe your kids challenge you so much, that you feel lost and hopeless.

Maybe fear of tomorrow robs today of peace.

Are the bills more than you can manage?

Maybe something painful is causing your heart to ache.

Oh friend, I’m sorry for your hurt.

Turning our focus outward to the things for which we are thankful takes time. It’s like any new habit.

But it will change your life.

I read somewhere once:

What if all we had today were the things that we thanked God for yesterday?

Churns your stomach, no? It is a necessary feeling of conviction.

Life does have challenges that can blind us to the good that is around us. God tells us that there will be difficult days…but when we shift our focus to the beauty of what’s in front of us, we can enjoy the present.

How can we feel more gratitude?

Start Simple

Recognize the littlest things that make you feel thankful. It might even seem a little silly.

  • A soft blanket
  • Cooler weather
  • Coffee

It’s amazing not only to see how quickly your list grows, but how those feelings of thankfulness grow as well.

Write it Down

Create a prayer or gratitude journal. I have shared how I do my bullet prayer journal ,and it has truly helped me to become more aware of the things for which I am thankful. When you’re writing your prayers on paper – it’s impossible not to notice how the length of your thankful list compares to the length of your request list. You then see answers to your prayers which become reasons for gratitude!

Side note: I got that hot pink beauty in the photo below at the Dollar Tree for $1. This doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive. Don’t wait for perfection – start writing on a napkin if you must!

Say It 

It might feel unnatural for some – but I really try to tell those in my life that I’m thankful for them. Say thank you for little things. Find ways that are unique to your personality to show others that you are grateful that they are in your life.

Get the Family Involved

Talk about gratitude each day at dinner or bedtime (or whenever you’re all together.)

Make a Thankfulness Chain with your family. We do one every year around this time.

Make kids write thank-you notes when it’s appropriate. You write them too!


Do it no matter what life looks like!

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 1Thessalonians 5:18

During a time of year when chaos abounds but we are to be thankful anyway, allow your spirit to be encouraged by focusing your heart on gratitude.


Linking up with Home Matters,  Thoughtful ThursdaysTwinkly Tuesday.

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6 thoughts on “When it’s hard to feel thankful.

  1. Spot on! Being thankful can require discipline and doesn’t come naturally all of the time. I like the idea of writing down a gratitude list and also starting small and being thankful for the small things we often take for granted. I know for myself that there are days (and weeks) were I lose focus on the good things God has given me and I forget to be thankful because of my own hurts and disapointments. Starting small each day is a good way to get out of that rut.

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