Accepting the challenge
And in an attempt to live a more grateful life,
And in an attempt to live a more grateful life,
seeking the sacred in the ordinary,
I begin a list of common blessings.
Everyday things that I don't want to take forgranted.
Little miracles mixed in with the daily routine.
All gifts from a Heavenly Father who loves me.
1. Feeling the sunshine on my face, little rays of God's love.
2. The affectionate company of my cat, Journey and dog, Dave.
3. Faces happy to see me, tight hugs and kisses from my grandchildren.
4. Fresh, clean, available water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and bathing.
5. The sense of community and family in my "little church with a big heart."
6. A safe place to call home.
7. Four children who each have chosen the perfect person to spend their lives with.
8. Friends to share food, stories and laughter with.
9. The gift of creativity from the Master Creator.
10. Hummus and Tabouleh with crackers.
11. Finding common ground with my brother over which we can grow a relationship.
12. Being in a room full of people who share a passion for something bigger than themselves.
13. Morning toast with butter and raspberry jam.
14. The opportunity to serve those who are experiencing homelessness in my city.
15. The hope of new life that comes with Spring.
16. A friend who has been thinking of me and calls to say hi.
17. Homemade chicken soup warming my chilled body.
18. Acts of service in simple tasks as washing the dishes.
19. Conversations with someone living a life I doubt I could ever live.
20. Anxiety fading as it is replaced by joy and peace.
21. Friends who encourage you in your journey.
22. Movies that inspire.
23. Photo prints that come in the mail.
24. A healthy body that enables me to do all the things I need/want to do.
25. New opportunities for learning and growth.
26. Hearing from old friends.
27. Friends who share cool quotes.
28. Hearing God's whispers and knowing His voice.
29. Birds at my feeder.
30. A friend who persists in reaching out until the "Yes" comes.
31. My trip to Haiti where poverty in the material often means wealth in the spiritual.
32. Morning coffee made smooth and weighty with creamer.
33. The gift unwrapping in "One Thousand Gifts."
34. Families who open their homes to orphans.
35. First day of Spring sunshine through my bedroom window.
36. Church acquaintances who are becoming friends and family to me.
38. A decent car to get me where I need to go.
39. Afternoon naps.
40. The coos of mourning doves.
42. My art room.
43. Flea markets.
44. Antique malls.
45. Outdoor art fairs.
47. A day off from work in the middle of the week.
48. Nag champa incense burning.
49. Fresh starts, second chances and new beginnings.
50. Finally learning who I was created to be.
51. Open windows.
52. Dark, raw, local honey.
53. Ranier Maria Rilke's Book of Hours: Love Poems to God.
54. Van Gogh's Starry Night Over the Rhone and Cafe Terrace at Night.
55. Home grown tomatoes.
56. Roasted walnuts.
57. Baby rabbits in my garden.
59. Prayers whispered in the darkness.
60. Kolbe Marie who celebrated her 5th birthday today.
61. Coconut Cake.
62. Dinner with old friends.
63. Learning from my mistakes.
64. Front doors painted red.
65. My "cabin" home.
66. Down days that make me appreciate the good days so much more.
67. The smell and feel of beeswax.
68. Sweet and salty Kettle Corn.
69. The freedom I have from working at home and a flexible schedule.
72. Acoustic guitar music.
73. Grilled asparagus and crusty bread with olive oil.
74. The ones who stay positive and determined in the face of overwhelming odds.
75. Walks in the woods that reconnect me with my Creator in the midst of His creation.
76. Spiritual teachers who share their wisdom.
77. Laughter in the midst of tears.
78. Facebook: for the reconnections with lost friends and family.
77. New friendships forming.
78. Four children who love me unconditionally and occasionally still need me.
79. Friends who can share the sadness of life.
80. Life itself. Another new day full of possibilities for beauty and even terror, embracing it all.
81. Knowing that it is "okay to feel and show love to anyone."
82. Australian Shiraz.
83. Argentine Malbec.
84. Drunken Noodles.
85. "Market" dates with my friend.
86. Conversations about life and love and faith.
87. Answered prayers.
89. Cool finds at estate sales and flea markets.
90. Laying in the hammock under the trees.
91. Saving money.
92. Dinner out with my son and his wife.
93. Sweet ice tea.
94. Unexpected phone calls.
95. The feel of "sacred space" in the prayer room at my church.
96. Relief from a headache.
97. Ginger Chews.
98. Settling into acceptance of an unwelcome circumstance.
99. Living in truth, sometimes painful and disappointing, but knowing it is what it is and it's okay.
100. Sleeping with a gentle breeze blowing through the windows all night.
101. Green things coming up in my yard~ lilies of the valley, hostas, columbine, coral bells, hydrangeas and more!
102. Windchimes tinkling.
104. Knowing my children (all 8 of them!) are here for me when I need them.
105. Someone to talk to about life and meaning and purpose.
106. A friend who knows how to make you laugh.
107. Unexpected gifts, just because. Thank you!
108. Becoming real friends with my children.
109. Knowing that relationships are THE MOST IMPORTANT part of life.
110. A community of faith where I feel loved and accepted.
111. God's gifts of restoration and reconciliation to Himself.
112. Finding His grace in the most menial of tasks.
113. Morning tears of gratitude.
114. Elizabeth, Jodi, Eric, Josh, Steve and Nick! Growing in Christ's love with you all!
115. Making it through two 90 degree days without my A/C.
116. Cool breezes coming through the windows at night.
117. My loving church family.
118. Being a mother to 4 (nearly) perfect children!
119. Ice cold diet A&W root beer.
120. Ice cold peach tea.
121. Ice. :o)
122. Oatmeal raisin cookies.
123. Working at home.
126. Celebrating birthdays.
127. Growing friendships.
128. Pink sunsets over water.
129. Finding exactly enough of what I needed in my cabinet.
130. God's provision.
132. A comfortable bed to sleep in.
133. Being called an "outdoorsy girl." Love that.
134. Mrs. Meyer's cleaning supplies.
135. The scent of lavendar and vanilla.
136. A sense of wonder about life.
137. A child-like faith.
138. My camera.
139. Knowing that everything that comes into my life is filtered through God's loving hands.
140. Waking to a symphony of birdsong.
141. Older folks with great stories to share.
142. Truth even when it may sting a bit.
143. Unexpected days off.
145. Friends with generous spirits.
147. Opportunities to "pay it forward."
148. Hiking unfamiliar trails and the discoveries that brings.
149. Healing of my foot so I can go hiking.
150. Cool southern breezes that bring relief on a very hot day.
151. My special friendship with Keith.
152. My beautiful, loving sister friend Darlene.
153. My generous, spiritual sister Robbie.
154. My dear friend and partner in prayer Jaye.
155. A church that prays.
157. Root beer floats.
160. Abundance enough to share.
161. Warmth when it's cold outside.
162. New paintbrushes.
163. An abundance of creative ideas.
164. A fireplace with a cozy fire.
165. Gentle spring rains.
166. Cool breezes through the window at night.
167. Quiet days to spend playing with paints and paper.
168. Women like Junelle Jacobsen, Christy Tomlinson and Melody Ross who share the treasures of their hearts with others.
169. Feeling at peace.
170. Sketching my life.
171. Pretty watercolors.
172. A loving community of faith.
173. Family game nights.
174. A meal shared with loved ones.
175. Raspberry Passion tea.
176. Learning to go inside so I can come out a better person.
177. A Betta fish named Picasso.
178. A dependable car.
179. New adventures.
180. Darjeeling tea with honey.
181. Morning smoothies with bananas, pineapple and coconut yogurt.
182. Juicy tangy sweet mangos.
183. Cool, dark, quiet rooms when I have a headache.
184. A community of faith that supports one another
185. Paints and inks and papers and canvas coming together in divine creation.
186. Long, hot, sunny summer days.
187. A garden space to grow fresh veggies.
188. Rain to give my garden a long much needed drink.
189. Grandson who loves to play pranks on his MeMe.
190. Those you clothe, feed and embrace the poor at a personal sacrifice.
191. Southern accents.
192. Warm fall afternoons with multi-colored leaves.
193. Children's birthday parties.
194. New opportunities to learn and grow.
“Gratefulness is the key to a happy life that we hold in our hands, because if we are not grateful, then no matter how much we have we will not be happy — because we will always want to have something else or something more.” — Brother David Steindl-Rast
“Can you see the holiness in those things you take for granted–a paved road or a washing machine? If you concentrate on finding what is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.” — Rabbi Harold Kushner