I've wanted to do something to contribute to the "Light the World" campaign; there have been so many people who have created and are doing some amazingly, fantastic things. I have heard of quiet acts of service that have blessed the lives of one and I would suspect there are many, many more things being done that will never have fanfare, but have made all the difference. It's these quiet acts that move mountains. On Sunday as I was looking over the suggested week activities I knew what wanted to do. Today, December 22 says:
This is the perfect project for me. I love gratitude and journals and writing blessings one paper. You can download a few of the gratitude pages first group here, second group here, and the third group here. After contemplating how I wanted to add to, I wanted to create something that could be used long term. I had already purchased a 5-year journal after making a goal to record three ways I saw God's hand and mercy in my day. That would be 1,095 blessings recorded in one year and 5,475 in five years. What humbling record this will be.
The writing space is small, so I will only be able to write three short sentences if I write small. I can't wait to see where this new goal will lead.
I have done something like this before in my regular journal and found that some days it was very challenging to find something; to see God's hand in my life. I know it was there, but my selfishness keeps me from seeing how truly blessed I am. So I knew this is where I could help because I don't think I am the only one. It's easy to find the big blessings, but we have so many tiny simple things that we forget are truly blessings in our lives. Even the challenges and trials can bless our lives with added growth and perspective.
So I scoured the internet and found list after list from experts on what we can be thankful for. Some suggestions I tossed, some I kept, a few I added just because I could as I was creating the list. 365 broad themes later I'm hoping I didn't duplicate any. I found a few and fixed those, but it's hard to say after looking at the list for so long.
I squished them all into one of my printables because I wanted to see the visual of what 365 looked like. The font point is tiny, but it was a fun exercise. You are welcome to print one out as well if you would like. I apologize in advance if there are any spelling mistakes. This list has been edited more times than I can remember now, but I'm sure we missed something.
Because I have other journals I knew this project would have to be something easy, a list each day, bullet points; simple. I decided to create some quick labels that I could throw into a space and just write. I chose my Moleskine planner. Yes, I am trying out a new planner, but more about that later. Because the planner is the 18-month format, I have a bunch of extra room and am just writing a few quick memories, ideas or thoughts about that blessing or theme down in the empty spaces. It might not all fit, but it will be fun to try. Remember I'm going for simple here, but I think there is something bigger with these themes.
As I was creating the labels, I thought of memories and stories that I had forgotten or not anticipated. With each word or theme, I realized that I had inadvertently created the simple beginnings of a personal history project and you know how I love a personal/family history project. I have a few more ideas coming soon; this one was just a happy accident.
There is no order, rhyme or reason to these 365 random themes, but I found that in some way I could relate to them. Each had a story to tell; a memory, a thought. Perhaps the simple little thing I write will lead to something bigger in the future, but for now working on keeping it to 5 minutes a day. I will turn on a Christmas movie and cut out the labels that I printed on shipping label stickers and put them in an envelope that I can just carry with me if I need to. I have included a blank label sheet for you to create your own themes as needed.
"How much better it would be if all could be more aware of God’s providence and love and express that gratitude to him. Ammon taught, 'Let us give thanks to (God), for he doth work righteousness forever.' Our degree of gratitude is a measure of our love for him." (Russell M. Nelson "Thanks Be to God", General Conference, April 2012)
Download Akimball_365blessings (zipped jpg files)
Download Akimball_365blessings_labels (pdf), Please note that my printer was not able to align the labels to the label paper in this format. I'm not sure why, but this has always been the case. I always have success with the jpg files (included above), drives me a bit batty, but there it is.
Download Akimball_365_blessings (pdf) basic list.