You must take time to remember: a lesson in gratitude

I have been blogging for several years now and my blog has often taken on a life of its own. There are days and weeks when I feel so inspired that I write and write and write… then, there are the other kinds of days and weeks. Today was sort of one of the “other” kinds of days. I found myself asking, “Where is my passion? Where is the wild innovation I often feel bubbling under the surface?” I found the answer in an unlikely place; I found it in reading my own blogs posts! It is crazy, but I went back and started reading some of the things I had written and all of the sudden it was like a fog lifted and I felt inspired. I thought, “wow! Did I write that?” So if you ever find yourself in a funk, here is a bit of encouragement: Keep a journal, start a blog, keep a diary, do something that keeps a record of your thoughts and doings. It is a powerful way to look back and see how you have grown. It shows how God has been faithful even in our unfaithfulness. It will encourage you and it will help you remember where you have been.

One of my favorite ways to remember is by counting “gifts” along with Ann and the thousands of others over at her website. Her book truly has changed my life.

So join me and take the challenge. Start small. No perfectionist legalistic rules, just start to take note of the joy and gifts around you everyday. This is a crazy, fast, and wild life we are living. Go ahead and take the advice of an old saying:

Stop and smell the roses!

the first sign of spring in my flower bed...

full of life Friday…

walk across the street in the RAIN to pray with a friend going in for surgery

make peppermint tea and muffins

listen to Mozart as Greg reads the libretto to the kids

eat breakfast with the front door WIDE OPEN (no bugs!)

study the Constitution with Em

listen to Col’s presentation on 3 branches of gov’t

watch Eth take his last high school history test EVER! (senior 2012!)

have a friend over to talk music theory and music history with Greg

hold his precious baby as he joins the family for lunch; homemade potato soup and my savory parmesan herb biscuits

receive an exciting text from a friend; she got me a signed copy of Ann Voskamp’s book !

They say she prayed a blessing over me as she signed it!

listen to guitar practice, piano practice, plans for a short film, and drink coffee

sit down to a meal of Green Chile Enchiladas made with the last of our “mild” Santa Fe roasted chiles

bake a pumpkin cake

decorate the house for fall

thoroughly enjoy the precious life God has given

1000 gifts list continues…

To say that learning about grace and gratitude has changed my life would be a understatement. My life is fuller and richer just because I am more aware. Oh, most of the things I express gratitude for have been there all along, its just that I rarely took time to notice and appreciate them. So, here is my list as it grows and grows…

#101 – #120

#101 Monday morning phone calls from my hubby
#102 acting in Community Theater
#103 mountains of laundry, washed and put away
#104 beets roasted, fresh from our garden
#105 summer
#106 being on a budget
#107 being debt free
#108 my trainer Mandy
#109 friends to workout with
#110 cool breezes on the back porch
#111 moments of maturity in my kids
#112 being called “the singer” again
#113 midlife reinventions
#114 weight watchers
#115 The Reading Promise
#116 church family
#117 possibility
#118 mercies that are new every morning
#119 talk radio
#120 The Splendid Table

gifts are everywhere… we just have to notice them

I’ve been counting my way to joy. Learning that truly the only way to true joy is a heart tuned into God’s grace and His limitless love gifts. Grace, contentment, and gratitude lead to joy… glorious undeserved, fulfilling, life sustaining, strength producing JOY! Join me as I count my gifts


#76 rain
#77 covered patio
#78 peppermint tea
#79 love of my life

#80 sounds of laughter as my kids wash dishes
#81 watching my oldest make a mature, selfless, and wise decision
#82 inside jokes
#83 words of encouragement whispered in my ear
#84 unconditional acceptance
#85 another homeschool year put on the books
#86 grace
#87 dreams that overshadow doubts
#88 weeding the garden
#89 florescent green life poking through rich dark soil
#90 clean folded laundry
#91 guitars around the campfire