• Coach Lisa Strei

Fill Your Cup With Gratitude Rather Than Wine

I love journals. Give me a journal with a good cover, and I’m a happy camper. I fell in love with my fitness journal last April. And, I did really good writing in it daily for a while. Then, as happens often, I started to slack. I saw it laying on my fireplace today as I went to sit down to lunch and felt called to write in it.

Now, one thing I like most about this journal is that each page starts out with a section heading that says “Today I am grateful for…”, followed by 3 bullet points. Gratitude is something that we all should practice daily. It makes us better people. It makes us appreciate those little things that we’ve been blessed with. I find that truly reflecting on what I’m grateful for makes me happier. In the spirit of sharing gratitude, here’s what I wrote today (keep in mind there are only 3 bullet points provided in the journal—I went over. It’s a wonderful thing when that happens—it’s when my heart is so full!):

Today I am grateful for…

  • Progress and focus in my work; and knowing when I need to say no, so that I am able to say my “best yes” (an amazing book by Lysa TerKeurst--I highly recommend you read it).

  • Sunshine and this truly beautiful day, no matter what the weather.

  • My beautiful children—they are growing up, and things are seeming easier than they did when my children were little. I love them and their unique gifts. Are they perfect? Definitely not, but I wouldn’t change any of them.

  • Inspiring music and my parents for never limiting my dreams of wanting to learn a musical instrument. They always encouraged me to follow any dream I had, and for that, I am eternally grateful. Music was a huge part of my life growing up—music gave me a sense of belonging. It gave me self-confidence. Looking back, I don’t know if I would have had that if it had not been for music.

  • My sister—she always gives me encouragement, even when I’m doubting myself.

  • My husband—for loving me, supporting me, believing in me, seeing my worth, and staying with me through anxiety, depression, student debt, and everything else. He is a wonderful man who loves, honors, and respects me. His faith, values, and morals amaze me.

  • God, Jesus, Mary, the Saints, my faith, and parish community. I’m blessed with an amazing church, amazing parishioners, and an amazing Priest who came out of retirement to serve our church.

  • My home and the city of Cedar Falls, IA! I have made so many friends here throughout the years—it is HOME!!

  • For all of the paths that this life has taken me down. Have they been bumpy? Of course! But it’s been amazing when I think about it. And wonderful.

  • Friendship. I am always humbled by the willingness of my friends to help each other out during hard times. I’ve been blessed with the generosity of friends while recovering from a recent surgery. Everything from meals for my family, bringing me coffee, taking me out of the house for friendship time, bringing me Holy Communion when I couldn’t make it to mass, and just coming over, calling, or texting to check in and chat. I believe that those acts of kindness and love helped me to heal quicker!

This is just what I thought of during this particular journaling session. It’s amazing how once you get going, things just start to fall out of your head and onto the page. How wonderful is that!?

As we’re all well aware, this week is Thanksgiving. So, if you haven’t reflected recently or taken part of a social media gratitude challenge, let this be a friendly invitation to take a moment each day this week and write down a few things you’re grateful for. They don’t have to be big things. I’ve been known to write “snuggles with my child”, “chocolate”, or “an easy bedtime” repeatedly in my daily gratitude list. Don’t stress about the number or finding the “right” thing to be grateful for—there are not right or wrong answers here. Just reflect on your day and write what’s in your heart.

Try it for a week and observe how your heart fills. I wish you all a blessed Thanksgiving, friends.

Peace & Wellness

~Coach Lisa

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