Monday, November 16, 2015

Gratitude: A Quiz, A Printable and a Practice Video

With Thanksgiving a little over a week away, I wanted to offer a few things to assist you in celebrating this wonderful holiday and in practicing gratitude throughout the year.


Take the gratitude quiz below yourself, or make it a fun Thanksgiving meal game.  The answers and explanations are at the end of the blog, and they may surprise you! (no peeking)!


We are hosting family and a few friends for Thanksgiving this year--the total is 21 and counting--so I put together a gratitude printable to use for napkin rings that people can take home and put on their refrigerators if they want.  There is a large size in case you want to frame it, or a page of small ones here.


Most of us are truly grateful, but often fail to express gratitude or experience the amazing benefits that come from a focus on being thankful.  This short video teaches a quick and easy way for you to practice gratitude more intentionally.  In the process you will alter your brain's neural pathways for optimum emotional, physical and spiritual benefits.


I can't leave out the turkey recipe I have used for the past ten years, the one that never fails to produce a beautiful, golden, moist, delectable turkey and one that everyone raves about.  It is very easy, but you do have to plan ahead and buy the turkey several days out in order to thaw it.  This year I am going to use the same recipe, but cook it on the smoker!  Check it out here

Have  blessed Thanksgiving everyone--I am so thankful for you!!!


1. False: scientific studies show that people who tend to compare their situations to others do not reap positive benefits, even if they express gratitude.  Instead, those who were simply grateful for what they had, without comparison, experienced positive changes in behavior, emotions and attitudes.
2. False: Studies have shown that even writing in a gratitude journal once per week alters the neural pathways in our brains.
3. True.
4. True
5. False.  Studies show that grateful people are less materialistic than ungrateful people.
6. True.
7. False.  Gratitude can actually be an unhealthy motivation for obedience.  John Piper helps us understand why—see the article at
8. False.  Studies show that gratitude for inanimate things like material possessions etc. does not produce the same positive benefits that gratitude related to people and our connections do.
9. True.  See Ephesians 5:14
10. True and false.  Giving thanks produces positive changes in our brains including all the other benefits above, regardless of how we direct our gratitude.  But according to Romans 1:21, people who don’t honor God as the giver in their gratitude become futile in their thinking, having foolish hearts that lead to all kinds of sinful behavior.  Giving thanks to “the universe,” or our own bodies (thank you legs for carrying me through the day) or inanimate objects (thank you chicken for giving your life for my dinner), does not honor God as the one who reigns over all and is thus the true giver of every grace we ever experience.

The Grateful Brain; the Neuroscience of Giving Thanks, by Alex Korb, Psychology Today, November 2012, accessed at:

Counting Blessings Versus Burdens: An Experimental Investigation of Gratitude and Subjective Well-Being in Daily Life by Robert Emmons & Michael McCullough, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology Copyright 2003 by the American Psychological Association, Inc. 2003, Vol. 84, No. 2, 377–389 accessed at

Is Gratitude an Alternative to Materialism? by Emily L. Polak, Michael E. McCullough, 2006, Journal of Happiness Studies, accessed at

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