Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Eye

Christmas day is over. While we put away our Christmas trees, stockings, and ornaments, we can keep the important parts of Christmas to our lives every day:  faith and gratitude, love and caring for family and friends, and friendliness and compassion for those meet.

This New Year's eve I join you in welcoming in 2013.  I plan to share the Top 7 blog posts of this past year over the next couple weeks.  Here's your chance:  which of my blog posts were your favorites?  Please let me know so I can add them to the Top 7 list.  Thanks. 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

How do we begin practicing gratitude?

We have learned about gratitude this holiday season, I hope you join me in recognizing the great benefits we can gain by practicing gratitude.  How do we begin to practice gratitude?  In his book, Thanks, Dr Emmons offers several suggestions on how to add gratitude into our lives. 
·        Get a journal and pen/pencil (whatever type of book and pen you want to use) and write every day.
·        Be mindful of bad times in the past.  Keep the perspective that “it could be (and has been) worse”. 
·        Consider the positives you see in your life.  Think on these things. 
·        Learn and use prayers which include gratitude. 
·        Make a vow to practice gratitude. 
·        Utilize visual reminders. 

I liked what author and practicing psychologist Dr Brenda Wade has to say about gratitude at

I recommend Thanks!  How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier by Robert A Emmons, PhD to those of you who would like to read a scholarly discussion about gratitude,.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Who needs the benefits of gratitude? We all do.

65 couples participated in a University of North Carolina at Chapel 

Hill study which looked at how gratitude affects relationships.   

“Feelings of gratitude and generosity are helpful in solidifying our 

relationships with people we care about, and benefit the one giving 

as well as the one on the receiving end.”  Showing Gratitude for Partner’s Generosity Strengthens Bonds,

Todd Kashdan, associate professor of psychology at George Mason 

University questioned whether gender plays a role in being able to 

express gratitude.  His research found that women feel “less burden

and obligation and greater levels of gratitude when presented with 

gifts.  In addition, older men reported greater negative emotions 

when the gift giver was another man.”  This researcher went on to 

say that our society teaches men to conceal their softer emotions 

which may limit their well being.  Key to Happiness is Gratitude and Men May be Locked Out,

Gratefulness benefits teenagers.  A study followed 700 New 

Yorkers ages 10 to 14 over a four year period.  They found that 

“grateful teens are more likely than their less grateful peers to be 

happy, less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol and less likely to have 

behavior problems at school.”  Growing Up Grateful Gives Teens Multiple Mental Health Benefits,

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas to you and yours

I wish you and your loved ones a wonderful Christmas day.  I am grateful for the Christ child, God’s son who came to earth as a baby.  Because of Jesus, we have the gift of forgiveness and salvation offered to us.  I hope you enjoy this youtube video of “Mary Did You Know” by Mark Lowery.