So, a long time ago I received the Ayeina #AlhamdulilahFor series journal from House of Khair to review which I did (a little) on Instagram and then never went back to. This journal is meant to help you find the blessings in your everyday life and I love that.
I purchased a productivity journal from Ayeina before I got sent the one I’ve been talking about but due to the sad state of international shipping to South Africa, I received that journal a long time afterward.
A month ago, I was chatting to one of the sisters behind Ayeina and she asked me what I’d done with my journals. The truth was; barely anything. I talk all the time about being busy and lately, it’s gotten to the stage where I haven’t been devoting my time to anything but work, studying, and more work. I’d left my journals on a shelf and promised myself that I would eventually get to them.
My chat prompted me to take them out and play with them a little and I decided to do the #AlhamdulilahFor series challenge. I took my Instagram followers along with me just for some extra pressure to keep the challenge going and not let it taper off when life got busy.It was meant to be a thirty second thing every day – think of something to be grateful for, write it down, and photograph it.
Easy. Quick. Isolated.
Gratitude isn’t isolated though. It’s a mindset. I’d somehow managed to forget this and doing this challenge slowly reminded me of that. It’s easy to say Alhamdulilah for everything – and we should! But that catchall sometimes means that we don’t take the time to truly appreciate most of what we’re professing our gratitude for.
Out of the thirty one #AlhamdulilahFor entries, there have been some that resonated with me more than others. There are days when I’ve found it easy to hurriedly jot something down and others when I’ve had to pause and think (this is happening in the later days because I’ve already used up the ideas that I had at the beginning).
The other thing that’s been happening is that more things pop into my head to be grateful for. One day, I found myself thinking of my entry for the day and then almost immediately another blessing occurred tome as well.
That’s the beauty of gratitude – it grows and grows and grows.
I’ve been happier this month, somehow more at peace. It’s been good(Alhamdulilah) to take some time out of every day just to reflect and be peaceful, especially since I haven’t had time to journal much at all.
I’m going to be continuing this challenge for myself and I don’t plan to put an end date on it. Gratitude is a practice that doesn’t occur once – it’s perpetual – and I am so eager to see what else there is that I can appreciate.
My five favorite entries for this challenge were:
#AlhamdulilahFor being able to write.
#AlhamdulilahFor clear sight.
#AlhamdulilahFor a home.
#AlhamdulilahFor the chance that every moment represents.
I’ve elaborated on every one of these entries and you can see my thought process if you head over to the highlight on my Instagram if you’d like.
And now, I’m going to turn this question over to you. You don’t have to respond to this post if you’re shy, but do think about it: What are you grateful for? What immediately comes to mind and, what doesn’t?
If you’re struggling with finding the blessings in your life or if you just think that you want a little bit of a boost, try out the challenge. The Ayeina journals are stunning and they’ve got these beautiful illustrations that are so fun to flip through. The best part is that they’ve got discounted digital versions of their journals if you’re leery of trying to get a product shipped internationally or if you can’t afford a hard copy.
One thought on “Gratitude Challenge”
Jazakillah khairan katheera for this post. I loved how you progressed to THIS line: “That’s the beauty of gratitude – it grows and grows and grows”…& this feeling is a perfect way to describe the verse ” If you are grateful, I will surely increase you…” Today I am grateful for a downtime when the kids go to sleep. the quietness of the night. the calmness of the limbs. the stillness of the thoughts…
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