Series Introduction: Gratitude

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BY: NIKKI MICHELLE CHARNSTROM

Ahh, November... the time of year we begin to feel all kinds of thankful. While it seems ridiculous to embrace gratitude for only one month out of the year, at least we take time to slow down and do so. Am I right? If we didn’t have November, would we truly sit for a moment, away from our busy schedules, to think about what it is we are thankful for? In all honesty, I don’t know if most of us would. So, while we might think it silly of us to only exercise gratitude to this degree once a year, let’s utilize every little bit of time we get to be thankful.

Over the course of this month, Crowned Chics is diving into all things gratitude. So, expect a bunch of really thankful ladies over here. Whether we decide to tell you what it is we’re most blessed by or even hand you a how-to on practicing thankfulness, you can expect it to stem from the most genuine places of our hearts.

I feel this is a topic that will not only bless you but us as well — no, but really. Sitting down in front of our keyboards (or journals) to hash out what we have to say about gratitude is an exercise. Iterating thankfulness might not come easy, especially if we are to communicate it with you in a poetically-versed narrative. But, we’re up for the challenge!

So, let’s begin with a little exercise... before we embark on this journey of gratitude why don’t we take some time to make a list of what we’re thankful for.

I’ll go first (in no particular order):

  • a healthy and able body

  • my loving, supportive family

  • a man who loves and encourages me to chase my dreams

  • this community of women I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to create

  • working with an incredibly talented group of people at my new job

  • the flexibility and empowerment that comes with said job

  • a reliable source of self-motivation to pursue all of my passions

  • my camera and the photos it allows me to capture

  • life’s travels and grand adventures

  • a comfortable home and roof above my head

  • the many doors my writing has opened

  • typewriters

  • music that makes my soul soar

  • simple moments

  • fall breeze

  • thoughtful texts from friends who truly care

  • a working, running car that gets me to and fro

  • happy hour

  • my mom’s cooking

  • the talents the Lord entrusted me with

  • the strong and healthy relationship Alex and I share

  • new clothes

  • a brother who embraces his skills and relentlessly utilizes them

  • manicures

  • my new goldfish, Dixie

  • God’s faithfulness


Now that you know a bit more about me and what I’m thankful for, I’ll tell you straight up this did take some time to flush out. I found it hard to pinpoint some of life’s most fleeting blessings and treasures — but, once I did I realized those things matter too. So, I challenge you to do the same and don’t be scared if it takes you a bit to write out. After you’ve made a list of gratitudes, I want you to share it with me if you feel comfortable because I think it’s important to know each other’s values. There is this greater sense of understanding when you begin to recognize a significant area in someone else’s life.

I look forward to reading your list and please, encourage your girlfriends to do the same — it’s an excellent reflection exercise. This month is going to be incredible and I am so very thankful to have you along for the ride — I mean it!

Nikki is the owner and founder of Crowned Chics. She lives in the warm desert of Phoenix, Arizona with her beloved family. If she's not ferociously clanking away on her typewriter, she's behind the camera capturing moments for her business Charnstrom Captures Photography.