Today I’m grateful for two groups of people. One, the people over at Oriental Trading who sponsored this post by providing me with supplies for my fall home decor. And also, my new blogging friends who are getting together to host the “Thankful at Home” blog hop! Scroll down to see links to all the other blogs joining in. This post is a little outside my normal post but hang with me for a minute… I usually blog about crafts or DIY projects. In doing my research and sharing on social media I spend a LOT of time on Pinterest. Which is usually fun. But sometimes it gets a little depressing. Do you know what I mean? I see all these bloggers with large, beautiful homes and wearing the latest fashion. They’re always wearing makeup and their kids are happily creating fun little projects. Doesn’t look like my home… even though I AM a blogger. It’s not long until I’m complaining about my dark, little townhouse, my clothes, or my kids.
That’s one of the reasons I started celebrating the 30 Days of Thanksgiving years ago. It was a time for me to readjust my thinking, from complaining back to contentment. You’d think I’d be better at it by now but I still need that one month out of every year to focus on being grateful.
So today I’m going to share some things that have helped me be more grateful and show you some of my inexpensive fall home decor. Remember, most of this came from Oriental Trading. And, if you’re interested, I’ll share a photo at the very end of what my house looked like BEHIND THE CAMERA! Do I dare?
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Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name. Hebrews 13:15 (NASB)
We Thank Thee by Ralph Waldo Emerson
For flowers that bloom about our feet;
For tender grass, so fresh, so sweet;
For song of bird, and hum of bee;
For all things fair we hear or see,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee!
For blue of stream and blue of sky;
For pleasant shade of braches high;
For fragrant air and cooling breeze;
For beauty of the blooming trees,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee!
How to be More Grateful
Get Your Eyes Off Yourself || This is sometimes more easily said than done. So the rest of the list will be more practical things that you do. But just realize that sometimes when you aren’t feeling or being grateful it’s because you are concerned about what’s happening to you. When I start to have a pity party I have to remind myself that there are always people who are hurting more than me, going hungry, don’t have a home, etc, and that they’d love to be in my place. Pretty soon I ask myself, “Why are you complaining?”
Start a Journal || Start a Thanksgiving or Gratitude Journal. Set aside a time every day to list 3-10 things that you’re thankful for. Make it a goal to write 5 things every day for a month. Don’t just write “my kids” or “my mom” every day. This will make you really think about everything in your life. Thank God for some things that you’ve NEVER thanked Him for before! Looking back at my last thanksgiving journal I included things like “rain”, “Skype”, and “my refrigerator”.
Also, thank God for the things He will do in the future. And if you’ve had hard times in the past, thank Him that He brought you through it.
If you’re still having trouble, here are some links to articles I wrote about things I’m thankful for. I was trying to think outside the box for these!
- Dirty Dishes
- My Hair
Would you like to see some of my old thanksgiving journals?
Do Something for Someone Else || This doesn’t have to be something huge. Here are a few ideas:
- make a meal for a family with a new baby or sick kids
- visit someone in the hospital
- visit a senior center and read books or paint fingernails
- babysit for a tired mom
- take someone who doesn’t have a car shopping
- take a family member you haven’t seen in awhile out to dinner or coffee
- help someone clean their house or clean out their garage
- mow someone’s grass or rake their leaves
- put together a basket of goodies, leave it on someone’s doorstep, ring the bell, and run!
Pray for Others || Set aside a few pages in your thanksgiving journal to pray for other people. Thank God for them and pray for their needs.
Give Your Stuff Away || I’m not sure it’s possible to be ungrateful and truly generous at the same time. Go through your closets and donate to your local thrift stores or if you see something that reminds you of a friend or family give it to them.
Read Bible Verses Focusing on Thankfulness || There are so many verses to choose from. Here’s a list of Scriptures for you to get started on. Read them, memorize them, and copy them into your thanksgiving journal. I also like to write verses on cards and leave them in places where I’ll see them often.
Listen to Music || Psalm 69:30 says, “I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify Him with thanksgiving.” Create a playlist of songs that point out things to be grateful for. They could be hymns, choruses, or secular songs. I listed a few of my favorites below but there’s a list of 30+ Thanksgiving songs HERE.
- Great is Thy Faithfulness
- The Doxology
- Jesus Thank You
- Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep (from White Christmas!)
Take a Walk || Sometimes you need a change of scenery. Listen to your “thankful playlist” or maybe leave your phone behind and just look at nature. Specifically, look for things to be thankful for. Here’s an example.
Write a Thank You Note || Yes, physically WRITE… with a pen… and your hand. It’s super easy to send an email, text, or Facebook message to someone to say thank you but if you mail them a simple card they will feel extra special. Be specific in your note, let them know why you’re thankful for them.
Read Historical Biographies || Very often we tend to think that all famous people had a wonderful, easy life. I’ve collected a few examples below. If you’re not a reader, look for audiobooks and listen in the car or while you do housework.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you know that I keep a small Christmas tree out all year long. I mostly use it to photograph the ornaments I make. But I also like to decorate it for other holidays, too. So I made a few decorations for it and now it’s a Thanksgiving tree!
Thanks for sticking with me through such a long article! I hope you got some ideas that will help you be more grateful AND decorate your home for fall at the same time. Please leave a comment and let me know if any of this was helpful. Thanks!
Oh, yeah… I promised to share a photo of what my house REALLY looks like, didn’t I? Well, here it is. Whenever I take a photo of a beautiful finished project this is what the OTHER side of the camera looks like. Along with my little friend, Maowie, who loves Amazon as much as I do because she gets to play in the boxes!
- Walk around your house and look for things that you’ve never thanked God for. List them in your thanksgiving journal.
- Share what you’re thankful for with a friend.
Giving thanks… even for my messy room,