A woman writing in a journal

30 Days of Thanks and Giving


In the quiet moments between the chaos of family life I’d like to say that I pause to think of all I’m thankful for, but honestly, a lot of the time it feels like I’m in survival mode. Amid the frenzied days of PCSing, job hunting, making friends at the new duty station, deploying, parenting, and all the other things we do, it’s easy to forget to take time to be grateful for all you’ve been given. So, for the next 30 days I’m going to make it a point to pause, give thanks and give back. Will you join me?

Giving thanks isn’t always an easy thing. You must purposefully stop and assess what is right in your world. Even when everything seems wrong, there is always something to be thankful for. Here are some ways that you and your family can work together to make this challenge a success:

  • Be mindful. Pause daily to think about what you’re thankful for. Sometimes the little things are the best ones: hearing your kids play, using a dishwasher instead of handwashing or surprise flowers from your spouse.
  • Document it. Each day, write down five things that you are thankful for. Start with basics if you don’t know what to write: a place to sleep, food to eat, water to drink.
  • Practice kindness. Tip more than 20% in a restaurant, make dinner for a military family whose loved one is deployed or help neighbors with yardwork…just because.
  • Count your blessings. Dinner time is a great time to share what you are thankful for. Make it a nightly ritual to do a round-robin at the table.
  • Pay it forward. Find a charity that you believe in and donate your time or make and distribute care packages for the homeless in your community.

With the holiday season drawing near, there’s no better time to start infusing gratefulness into your daily life. So, grab a friend, prep your family and let’s get going! Share your 30-day challenge with others in the comments below – you might just inspire someone else to get started. Good luck!

Julie Dymon
Written By Julie Dymon
Navy spouse

Julie raised her family through PCSes, deployments, earthquakes and hurricanes during her 12 years as a Navy spouse. Give her a cookie — for real.

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