Living the Theme: Gratitude


“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson


Cultivate a grateful heart through practice by recognizing the blessings that surround you everyday.

Remain open to receiving gratitude from others.

Look for the opportunity to practice gratitude in times of difficulty.

Taking It Home

Gratitude is a spiritual practice. Begin each day with a grateful heart.

Express your gratitude to those who share their talents at Live Oak, including staff members. Thank you is a gift to both the recipient and the giver. Be grateful for the natural beauty that surrounds our church, the open hearts that enter our doors and the sanctuary from your everyday world that Sunday morning may provide.

At home, start a Gratitude Journal for the family or yourself. Each night before dinner, reflect on what you are thankful for and record each answer. At the end of the month, review your journal entries. Add a grace before each meal and give thanks for the food that is on your table. Get out in nature and explore the wonders of autumn, giving thanks for the beauty of the Earth and your ability to enjoy time together as a family or in solitude.

Four Questions. A great way to bring things that you’re grateful for to the forefront of your mind is by asking yourself questions.  At the end of each day, ask yourself the following four questions:

  • What touched me today?
  • Who or what inspired me today?
  • What made me smile today?
  • What’s the best thing that happened today?

The harder act is to express gratitude even in the face of struggle or gratitude for the people in this world that challenge you or that you disagree with. Practicing gratitude when faced with difficulty opens your heart and presents you with a different world view. Acknowledge one ungrateful thought a day and turn it into a grateful one. 

Our RE Stories for the Theme

“The Day the Turkey Walked” by Joshua Searle-White, What If Nobody Forgave?, ed. Colleen M. McDonald

A Helping of Gratitude” by Jennifer Maddy

Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are by Dr. Seuss

Maddi’s Fridge by Lois Brandt

Gratitude Soup by Olivia Rosewood