Taking the Time to be Grateful

Today the sun peeked out for a few hours this evening and I was reminded once again of the joy and peace that is felt when you are truly grateful for a moment.  If you have spent any time on this blog you know that I struggle often with feelings of discouragement, anxiety and depression.  However, I am practicing the art of gratitude and have been so challenged since reading “One Thousand Gifts” (that’s for another post) to really be aware of the GOoD all around me.  See what I did there??? 🙂 I am thankful for so, so much.  Praise be to God that He captured my heart AND my stomach and that now I can live a life, a I Thes. 5:18 life, of continual gratitude.   Here’s a gratitude per pound (as of today).

My Gratitude List:

  1. A relationship with God through Jesus Christ.  My life is different because the Holy Spirit drew me to Him and I have given my life to God through Christ.
  2. A loving husband, Nathan, of 19 years (this month).  Marriage hasn’t been easy, but it is OH so worth it.
  3. Five amazing, unique, fun, challenging and inspiring children.
  4. Four boys that are rough, tumble, and someday WILL eat me out of house and home.
  5. A precocious tomboy named JoyAnn who is at the brink of young womanhood.  One day she wants to wear her favorite football jersey, the next, her dresses and cowgirl boots.  I love that girlie!
  6. Living in America.  As screwed up as our country is, it is in many ways SO wonderful.
  7. A faith family at Restoration Church Mukilteo.  Although things in our body are not easy, and look and feel differently than I had expected, I’m still glad to be a part of this assembly.  I’m praying BIG changes, big things, deeper love, compassion and faith for my RCM family.
  8. The experience of being introduced to inductive Bible study and having the opportunity to become a Precept Ministries trained leader.  I am falling in love with the Word of God afresh and anew on a daily basis.
  9. The gift of a humbling journey to empty myself of pride and anger and do the work to lose 105 (ish) pounds.  Although I am embarrassed to have allowed myself to become so morbidly obese, I am so glad to have been given the chance to live again!!!
  10. Good hair and good teeth.  I’m 39 and have never had a cavity.  I’m also blessed with thick hair. Just ask Nathan (since he has to clean the drains).
  11. Having grown up in a military family.  By being exposed to diversity, multiculturalism and very good academic opportunities, I feel more rounded than some of my friends.
  12. A college degree (even though I really didn’t want to finish).  I’m so glad I had the chance.
  13. A sense of humor.  Although I have learned the hard way quite often about my sarcasm and its hurtful tendencies, my dry wit has come in handy over the years.
  14. Good skin.  My complexion usually doesn’t give me any trouble.
  15. The gift of growing up in a home with TWO parents.  So many people I know come from broken homes.  I love and appreciate my Dad and Mom.
  16. Qualified, patient and loving therapists who have worked with my son Joseph, who is on the autism spectrum.  Machelle, Bernie, Darren, Karen, Martha,  Mindy and Michael have all played a role in Joseph’s improvements over the last years.
  17. Peanut Butter
  18. Movie theater popcorn with extra butter
  19. Learning to move more and eat less.  So grateful to have learned to jog and really enjoy it.
  20. Music that stirs my soul and causes me to weep with joy, pain, contemplation, desire, etc.
  21. Thick milkshakes that leave a mustache after you drink them.
  22. A wonderful woman named Nell Williams, my Nannie, that loved me gently and completely for 33 years of my life.
  23. Pizza.  Even bad pizza is still good pizza.
  24. Chiropractic adjustments.
  25. A warm cup of coffee with half and half.
  26. Laughing until your sides hurt.
  27. Watching my children sleep and learning to trust that they are safe in the care of their Creator.
  28. Celebrate Recovery.  The ministry of God’s Word, the 8 principles and the 12 steps has reconciled my marriage, changed my heart and allowed me to say for the first time in my life (at the age of 33) “I like myself”.
  29. Duct tape
  30. The feeling of slipping on a pair of jeans in a smaller size and being able to pull them up, and zip them comfortably.
  31. Picnics
  32. The variety of colors God created.  Especially when visible in the covenant rainbow.  Double rainbows are the BEST!!
  33. Warm bubble baths
  34. Feeling the sand between your toes during a walk on the beach.
  35. Having the ability to read, study and memorize the Word of God.
  36. Snow
  37. The majesty of sunrises and sunsets.  The creativity, beauty and unique splendor of each new day.
  38. Books.  Reading is such fun and a gift to be able to obtain knowledge in that way.
  39. Friendship
  40. Christmas music.  I could listen to it everyday, all year-long!
  41. Date night!  I’m so blessed that my husband still makes time to be with me and counts it joy.  I love our moments together, if even brief.
  42. The opportunity to have helped lead/facilitate worship for the women’s Bible study at the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove for 9 years!!!
  43. Having had the chance to live on the East Coast and to live in the West.  I’ve seen lots of the country and have loved the unique qualities of each climate.
  44. The absolute gift of being a part of Elah Moriah Massey and her brother Asher Emmaus Massey’s births.  Totally different experience than giving birth.  I LOVED it!
  45. The ability to type.
  46. Clean water to drink, cook, bathe, prepare food.
  47. The knowledge and talent to read music, create music and appreciate music!!!
  48. Flannel sheets
  49. Live Christmas trees
  50. The chance to start all over again.  No matter what the situation.
  51. Nathan’s homemade apple pie.
  52. The crispness of the air in Fall and the splendid color of the leaves in the mountains of Western North Carolina.
  53. Warm summer evenings filled with nostalgia.
  54. Pictures that help to restore, relive and revive memories.
  55. Lifting heavy weights and putting them down….a LOT, and in repeated succession.  😉
  56. A mother and father-in-law that genuinely love and respect me.  They pray for me and help me in ANY way possible.  Oh how fortunate and blessed I am.
  57. Smoothies
  58. The BRIEF moment when your house is clean.  Granted when the children wake up or return from their outing that will change.  Yet, there is that moment when all is well.  😉
  59. Big breakfasts.  Biscuits, gravy, eggs, fruit, bacon and/or sausage. Maybe hash browns, cheese grits, and cinnamon rolls or other pastries.  Coffee, milk and juice top it all off with a glazed over smile.
  60. Butter.  Real butter.  Not this margarine crap.
  61. Men of God that have taught me and brought me into the TRUTH over the course of my life.  Praise God for pastors, teachers and counselors.
  62. Unexpected blessings
  63. Learning from my mistakes and the gift of trying to help my children not make the same ones.
  64. Singing/playing at countless weddings and funerals and being a part of such sacred moments.
  65. The fact that my husband can SING!!!  His voice still moves me, after all of these years.
  66. The gift of home educating, although incredibly trying at times.
  67. Blogging and journaling.
  68. Good food accompanied by fabulous company, preferably topped off with great music.  That’s my idea of an evening well spent!
  69. Fresh strawberry, spinach salad with stinky cheese and a poppy-seed dressing.
  70. Ginger ale and Saltine crackers during/after a stomach yuck.
  71. The feeling of having your teeth cleaned by the dentist.
  72. Having the privilege of a nice uninterrupted day at the hair salon.  A wash, cut, set/style and wax does a girl’s heart good.
  73. Receiving/partaking in communion with fellow believers.
  74. The joy of encouraging another.
  75. Giving AND receiving love.
  76. That moment where you feel brave enough to do something that you’ve never done before.
  77. Sleeping outside (I’ve done this exactly once.  Sad I know).
  78. Sharing life with a small group of people who love you, encourage you and hold you accountable.  Conversations that challenge, inspire and lead you back to the cross are a true treasure.
  79. Having had the chance to worship in a variety of settings/denominations.
  80. Kisses.  Long, short, passionate, flirty, gentle.  Kisses.  All kinds 😉
  81. The internet
  82. Raw cookie dough.  Oh and baked cookies too I guess!!!
  83. A good back scratch.
  84. Obsessive list making 😉
  85. The fact that my children have a GREAT relationship with BOTH sets of grandparents!
  86. Three brothers.  All different.  All wonderful!
  87. Cheesecake.  Red Velvet cake.  Pumpkin pie.
  88. People that are gifted in different areas.  For instance my trainer, Leslie Raper, who knew exactly how to inspire, challenge, encourage me to enter the race to life, health, wholeness and healing.  I’m 100+ pounds lighter today because of her care/concern/knowledge.
  89. Prayer!!!!
  90. When someone sends you flowers or surprises you by bringing them over to your house.
  91. Late night phone conversations that last into the wee hours of the morning.
  92. Krispy Kreme donut runs at crazy hours of the night.
  93. Learning to “accept hardship as a pathway to peace”.
  94. The smell of soup or chili simmering on the stove or in the Crockpot.  Knowing that you are going to top it with cheese, pair it with Fritos, crackers, bread and feel full, happy and blessed!!!
  95. Smiling
  96. Knowing that there is a difference between “first” love and “lasting” love!!!
  97. Crossword puzzles, word searches and other brain testing fun activities
  98. Hugs!!!
  99. Good movies.  Good books.  Good music. Good art.  Good poetry.  I LOVE the fine arts and am grateful for each genre.
  100. Grilled cheese sandwiches with high quality bread and cheese selections.  These are especially fabulous paired with tomato basil soup!
  101. Looking “girly”, feeling “girly” and being noticed by your husband for being HIS “girly”!!!!
  102. Social media and the chance to meet new people and connect with friends from the past.
  103. A sound mind
  104. A firm, foam roller after a good, hard jog/run.

Thank YOU for taking the time to read my list.  Have a great day tomorrow and keep practicing gratitude!!!


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A woman on a journey. I'm blessed to be a wife to a gentle, hard-working man and mother to five unique, amazing and very busy children. Learning to live a full life, and dream again. Resting in reality and finding my beautiful.

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