Key to More Gratitude: Be Specific

By Carol McClain @carol_mcclain

My husband’s love language is gifts. He loves to give. If an organization he’s passionate about needs a contribution–he donates. When friends need something, he’s there.

He is a wonderful husband to have at Christmas.

My love language is cheaper. I love language. Specific images, words, details. When I’m feeling needy, I ask Neil, “Why do you love me?”

He gets annoyed. “Jeepers, you know why.”

After sixteen years together, he still hasn’t figured out what I mean when I ask that question is: “Tell me specifically what’s good about me.”

That I’m good or pretty or another generality doesn’t help. I need specificity.

In building your gratitude journal, try being specific. It helps. You may have written you’re grateful for your mother, your parrot, your car that works, a nice day.

With the general statements, you’re done and wondering what you’re missing in life.

Dig down. Why do you like your mother? What is it about your parrot, your car, the weather, your church, the Bible verse et al that makes you thankful? It’s more than their existence.

Being specific shows you how very blessed you are.

Today I’m grateful for my husband.

  1. I’m thankful for his generosity. Never will someone in need go untended. He always digs down and finds a way to help. As I said above, Christmas rocks at this house.
  2. I’m thankful for his calm nature. I’ve never met anyone so patient and kind. I get frazzled easily. His soft voice and patient demeanor always settles me.
  3. I’m thankful for his help. I’ll be working in my studio down the hill and need help. Maybe my grinder bit is stuck again. I can call him, and he drops whatever he’s doing and comes down to help me. He’s never called me stupid or told me to leave him alone.
  4. I’m thankful for his thoughtfulness. Recently we had electrical work done. In his toolbox, he had an electric meter he inherited from his uncle. He asked our electrician if he could use it. It turned out the electrician could. Neil gave it to him.
  5. I’m thankful for his faith. We pray together, and he prays by himself. He trusts God and lives his life for Him. My man is the real deal.

See what I mean? You may be grateful for your husband or wife, for your son or your daughter. When you enumerate their good qualities and savor each one, our cherished people shine so much brighter.


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