Spiritual Practice


Erin Burke & Sierra Klotz

When I was in college, I spent my summers as a camp counselor. One week, the chaplain hung a sheet of butcher paper on the wall of the dining hall and invited campers and staff to list the things for which they were thankful. The exercise inspired me to keep a personal gratitude list.

On difficult days, coming up with even one or two things to write on my list helps me to change my attitude. I start noticing not only the obvious blessings, such as family and friends, but also the little things I tend to take for granted, such as sunshine or a sweet-smelling candle. When I take time to thank God for a few blessings, even on rough days, my eyes are opened to more. God has given us so much for which to be thankful; keeping a gratitude list helps me to notice and to give thanks for all of these blessings.

—Erin Burke


I will give thanks to you, Lord,
with all my heart;
I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
Psalm 9:1 (NIV)

TRY IT FOR A YEAR: I decided to write down one good thing that happened every day for a year. At the end of the year, I was blown away by all the good that had happened. Now, realizing that many good things happen in a typical day, I have begun to see small things—things I never noticed before—that I can be happy about. This yearlong practice not only gave me something fun to do but also taught me to be grateful.

—Sierra Klotz, 18

—from devozine (July/August 2014). Copyright © 2014 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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