Intentional Gratitude

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Happy Memorial Day.  Amongst all the sun and BBQ and parties and summertime celebrations, let’s not forget what – and who – this holiday is really about.


Patriotic breakfast:


Greek yogurt

Anne P’s peanut butter bar




I hope everyone has something special planned for today!  The Husband is off golfing, and I have a BBQ to attend.  The weather is warm and breezy – perfect all around.


Intentional Gratitude


A few days ago, I mentioned that my friend Tonya stopped by and we discussed Christian author/’prayer coach’ Marilynn Chadwick.  I’m not religious but I found Tonya’s description of Marilynn’s prayer method to be very intriguing and want to apply it to my own life and beliefs.  Now, I haven’t read Marilynn’s book, so my understanding of the method is based purely on Tonya’s interpretation of it, but it seems like a great idea for ‘organizing’ gratitude.  While I’m sure some people would argue that daily prayer or gratitude (I like the term gratitude more because it seems more secular) should be spontaneous, let’s face it – lots of good-intentioned habits just don’t happen if you don’t plan for them to happen… well, at least for me!  That’s why I like this method.


Anyway – this is how it works.  You list several categories; each categories is basically a community that you’re a part of, starting with your immediate family and working your way out to the world.  My categories may include:  immediate family/closest friends, extended family/other friends, people I know through work and charity, people and issues that are important to me on a state or national level, and people and issues that are important to me on a global level.  Under each category, list all the people/issues that you’d like to be grateful for – doesn’t have to be in order of importance.  Then, number each person/issue #1 – 7.  You may only have two people or issues in a category.  But if you have 8 or more people or issues in a category, restart numbering them with 1, 2, etc.  Everyone who is a #1, you are grateful for and pray for on Mondays; everyone who is a number #2, you are grateful for on Tuesdays, continuing on through the week.  Every day, you can also do a ‘prayer on demand’ for someone who needs special attention or thankfulness on that day. 


Creating this intentional gratitude chart is my goal for today.  I figure Memorial Day is as good as a day as any to start trying out the method.  I’d really like to be more intentional in my gratitude and do it on a daily basis, so here’s to hoping Marilynn’s method works for me.


What are you intentionally thankful for today?  Me – this gorgeous weather, our service men and woman, and a day off from work!



  • Valerie at The Year of Living Healthfully May 28, 2012, 10:45 am

    I like this method. Spontaneity is useful of course, but having an intentional method is also great for building discipline so that prayer or intentional gratitude practices become something to rely on daily instead of just an afterthought. Thanks for the great post!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat May 28, 2012, 10:48 am

    Wow, I’ve never heard of this method but for people like me who like to be organized and have lists, it sounds very appealing! Today I’m thankful for sunshine, finally getting to see a physio about an ankle injury, and of course, the service men and women in the US. Even though I’m Canadian, they still deserve mucho thanks. Have a great day Caitlin! 🙂

  • Maura @ My Healthy 'Ohana May 28, 2012, 11:01 am

    I love this idea…going to start putting together my list this evening 🙂

  • jen May 28, 2012, 11:17 am

    I’m intentionally thankful for the beautiful area I live in (only for two more months, though!), my two cats, my husband, and for all the things I learned about myself and improved my life in the last couple of months.

  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats May 28, 2012, 11:18 am

    That’s an interesting idea! Before I went home for some vacation time I would make a thankful list every morning, I need to get back into that!

  • Jo May 28, 2012, 11:48 am

    Hmm, that’s a pretty interesting “method”. I don’t follow a specific religion either, but I was raised Christian Orthodox and used to study this religion in school, where one teacher once taught us the “proper” way to pray. This way was: every night before bed, praising and thanking for what you have received and finally asking for what you want for you or others. She was a great explainer and emphasized the importance of being thankful for what you have – a concept that has stuck with me beyond the fact that I’m not religious.

  • Stephanie C May 28, 2012, 1:16 pm

    This is really interesting, because we do something similar at my church during the Divine Liturgy. We start with the world, though and end with ourselves. Each priest will say something slightly different (for instance, one of our priests prays for the ending of suffering of palestinian, serbian, and lebanese christians), while our other priest makes it a little more general.
    I think it’s a good idea for me to start doing that on my own, so thanks for the reminder!

  • Ramona May 28, 2012, 1:55 pm

    GIrl, this is a great short post. I’m going to start doing this today!

  • Amber K May 28, 2012, 2:38 pm

    I have to plan things in my life or they just don’t get done. My husband and I learned a long time ago that we suck at being spontaneous.

  • Marilynn Chadwick May 28, 2012, 3:21 pm

    I kinda like being called a “prayer coach”…that’s a new one. So glad you like my prayer method, and yes, gratitude is a key part! Since hearing you speak at the Women’s Leadership Forum, I am sticking post-it notes all around! FYI, I’ll be doing an online prayer challenge in late June, if anyone cares to join me.

  • How-To-Be-Happy-Again May 28, 2012, 3:49 pm

    I like your organization idea for gratitude! Thanks!

  • Danielle May 28, 2012, 5:52 pm

    Thank you for this great post – this is an example of why your blog is one of my favorites. Your posts have social significance, and you always look at the bigger picture. Thank you for using the internet as such a positive space!

  • Earthy Nicole May 28, 2012, 6:27 pm

    So glad to see you post something like this. Gratitude seems to be lost on most people and it’s really an important key to happiness. I’m grateful for my family, my friends, and the little moments in life I get to spend with them.

  • Lexi @ You, Me, & A World to See May 28, 2012, 9:18 pm

    That my friends, family, loved ones, and even myself are in good health and good spirits! Sometimes, that’s all a girl can ask for in a world. 🙂

  • Dental Consultant May 29, 2012, 5:26 am

    What a memorable way to spend memorial day, so to speak. In this fast-paced world, sometimes people forget to express their gratitude to others. And it’s still sounds more sincere if you say it in person, right? Rather than online virtual means that anyone is accustomed to.

  • Mel May 29, 2012, 9:42 am

    Oh, I love this idea! I like the idea of expressing gratitute for people with intention, it seems to serve as a constant reminder of all that we have to be thankful for (Which I could definitely use sometimes when I’m feeling down in the dumps).

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