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THANKFUL OR GRATEFUL – THERE IS A DIFFERENCE!

“Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: It must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all” – William Faulkner


It is almost fall! Fall is my favorite season of the year for many reasons. The weather is cooler, the trees display Autumn colors, and we find ourselves thinking about what we are thankful for; I am big on thankfulness. I spend time daily finding three things to be thankful for, which has changed how I see life.


Being thankful is not a once-a-year thing. When asked what we are thankful for, a person may envision a Thanksgiving table with all the trimmings and family taking turns expressing thankfulness for blessings received. However, I have found that giving thanks daily for our blessings to flourish in life is essential. On some days, you may find many things to be thankful for. On other days, the only thing you might be thankful for is waking up.


In my past two blogs, I wrote about not being at peace with the surgery I was having and the importance of trusting God. Then I wrote about how well things went with the surgery and how trusting God, the doctors, and the medical staff helped me find peace. Today, I am thankful that my arm is no longer in pain (a little pain, but not excruciating pain), and my family and friends who supported me during that time and now while I am recovering. Also, I am thankful for the medical doctors and staff that went to school and have the heart to care for others.


Looking for things to be thankful for has become a part of my life, and this practice has made me a better person. However, there are days that I struggle to find anything to be thankful for and will mindlessly write things down until I realize what I am thankful for is all the mindless things I am writing.


I have always thought that thankfulness and being grateful were the same thing. However, after doing some research, I found that they are different. What is the difference between being thankful and grateful? The Oxford Dictionary defines the word grateful as “showing an appreciation of kindness.” This is where the difference lies; being thankful is a feeling and being grateful is an action.


For example, I like to send out Thank you cards for gifts I have been given or something someone has done for me. If I understand the definition correctly, that is gratefulness.


Putting together this blog has changed the way I look at thankfulness and gratitude. My goal is not only to be thankful but find ways to show gratefulness for all my blessings.


5 Ideas for Expressing Everyday Gratitude

  1. Keep a gratitude journal – This is an act of writing down and acknowledging what you are thankful for.

  2. Remember to express your gratitude in person.

  3. Be respectful and treat others with the level of courtesy you would like to receive.

  4. Remember to smile, be patient, listen and express kindness whenever possible.

  5. Try not to complain.


I encourage you today to find reasons to be thankful and practice gratefulness!



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