Gratitude is a Feeling, a Capacity, and a Choice & Friday’s Fave Five

. at . 11 comments

fff winter buttonWhen you learn something new, like a word, concept, or famous person, do you seem to run into it in many areas of your life?

I sure do especially in regards to gratitude. I frequently find quotes, songs, research studies, and whole chapters on gratitude in media that is not necessarily about gratitude.

Below is my latest find from this book, The 4:8 Principle: The Secret to a Joy-Filled Life by Tommy Newberry. Newberry states that gratitude is a feeling, a capacity, and a choice (pages 179-180).

The Nature of Gratitude

“Gratitude is a feeling. It is a sense of joy and appreciation in response to receiving a gift, whether that is a concrete object or an abstract gesture.”

Since I believe that EVERYTHING I have or receive is from the hand of God (directly or indirectly), ALL that I have or receive is a gift. So I want gratitude to be a natural and ongoing feeling.

 “Gratitude is a capacity. It is the learned skill of uncovering and creating meaning and value in everyday situations and relationships.”

This is why Friday’s Fave Fave (FFF) is such an important “report” to do each week. It gives me the weekly assignment of looking at the past 7 days and looking for the value in people, events, and things. Doing this helps me to not take people, events, and things for granted.

 “Gratitude is a choice. It is a conscious and deliberate decision to focus on life’s blessings rather than its shortcomings. Life will always have shortcomings, and it will always have virtues. When you focus on your blessings, your life feels abundant. When you focus on what’s missing, life feels incomplete.”

Writing my FFF post helps me to dwell on life’s blessings. And I do feel rich! So without further delay, here are five blessings from this past week.

ONE. I am on vacation and have been since last Friday. 2 days left before back to work. On Sunday my daughter had a party for my son, Tim. I gave him his birthday present: a remote controlled helicopter. I liked blessing him with a gift, card, and my presence. I certainly have been blessed by him.

TWO. A group photograph with our small family. Last year’s photo is the last one at this post.

Photograph of the family: Elizabeth (daughter), Daniella (daughter-in-love), Timothy (son), Susan (me)

Photograph of my family: Elizabeth (daughter), Daniella (daughter-in-love), Timothy (son), Susan (me – mom)

THREE. Since a grandbaby is about to make her debut, I hunted in the garage for the items I’ve kept since mine were infants. I found the baby blanket that Elizabeth’s great-grandma made for her. With Elizabeth’s blessings, I gave it to Daniella and Tim for their sweetheart

FOUR. Gardening at Elizabeth’s home. Each day of vacation I spent hours in the rest of the yard pruning. I am sore and I sure slept well. I have missed gardening and so this was a real treat for me.

Elizabeth and I went to the nursery to get plants for thee beds. 20 minutes and 2 flats later we were on our way home to put these lovelies into their new home.

Elizabeth and I went to the nursery to get plants for these beds. 20 minutes and 2 flats later we were on our way home to put these lovelies into their new home.

This post is about me being a gardener and why I enjoy gardening. I bought more daffodils this week in honour of Chip’s one year anniversary in Heaven. I MISS him a lot!

FIVE. I read five books. I am trying to empty my bookshelves and so took time this vacation to read. Besides being a wonderful way to pass time, I learn, get encouraged, and have fun.

  • Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe. I was surprised that this book had so many positive references to God, salvation, and the Bible. I was also surprised to find ONE sentence that was a whole page long!
  • The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder. This Newberry Honor Book for young readers is a book I’ve had on my shelf for years and years. It was a fun, quick read and made me want to study Egypt again. Anyone want to do a unit study with me?
  • The 4:8 Principle: The Secret to a Joy-Filled Life by Tommy Newberry. I wrote about this book at the top of this page.
  • Traveling Light: Releasing the Burdens You Were never Intended to Bear by Max Lucado. Lucado’s book on the 23 Psalm was a quick read with a good study guide. I would love to do this book in a group.

Here are some posts I’ve written that have to do with books. . . . I am a Declutterer of Books  . . . .  How Good Books Aid in a Child’s Growth . . . .  13 Benefits of Reading.

Your Turn . . .  Read what other have posted. Or better yet, write about your own blessings and link up for this week’s Friday’s Fave Five.


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Entry filed under: Friday's Fave Five (FFF), Gratitude List, Main. Tags: , , .

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11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. nicole  |  . at .

    Beautiful post and beautiful family! How nice that you got to garden in that awesome space! Sounds like a great vacation!

  • 2. Melissa  |  . at .

    Gardening, reading, and spending time with family sounds like a wonderful vacation! I agree with you about gratitude. When we’re in a dark place it’s easy to let that take over. Only when we deliberately find blessings can we see light.

  • 3. Simply God's Girl  |  . at .

    I love your garden! I miss being able to have one with this crazy drought in our area. Looks like you had a relaxing vacation time to be able to read five books. That is great! Thank you for sharing your Five today!

    Simply God’s Girl

  • 4. Barbara H.  |  . at .

    Sounds like a lovely vacation in every respect! Books HAVE to be a part of vacation for me. :-) So nice you could be there for the birthday.

  • 5. Kathie  |  . at .

    A lovely time with your family – a party, gardening, books and celebrations. The best kind of holiday! Love your thoughts on gratitude – practising it makes all the difference in the world. Happy weekend!

  • 6. Laura Lee Groves  |  . at .

    We share a lot of the same affections, Karen — gratitude, books, family. Blessings, blessings! (Funny, my quote is on gratitude today!) Enjoyed your FFF today. Have a great week ahead.

  • 7. Susanne  |  . at .

    I love what you learned and shared about gratitude from the Tommy Newberry book. So true!

    Such a nice looking family you all are! And what a sweet gift to your grandbaby coming.

    It’s been two years since our Samson passed away and I still really miss him. Thinking of you during this one year anniversary.

  • 8. Ellen  |  . at .

    Great quotes to ponder. Looks like you had a very rewarding week/vacation. Enjoy the rest of it!

  • 9. willowknits  |  . at .

    That’s my kind of back yard–all garden! Did you enjoy The Egypt Game? It was one of my daughter’s favorites. I’m a huge fan of reading Newbery Award books.

  • 10. Brenda  |  . at .

    How wonderful to read 5 books in a week! I love it when I can do that!

    Congrats on the new baby! I saw it on FB, you must be ecstatic!

  • 11. nikkipolani  |  . at .

    Good for you, for tackling that reading list! How fun to have a back yard garden to play in. God bless you and your little family.


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Pie Record – 55 Pies in 52 Weeks

1. Raspberry Freeze Pie
2. Derby Pie
3. Apple Pie
4. Dark Chocolate Cream Pie
5. Strawberry Yogurt Pie
6. Toll House Pie
7. Tamale Pie
8. Turtle Pecan Pie
9. GF, DF Apple Crumble
10. Upside Down Apple Pie

Creative Endeavors – 55 in 52 Weeks

1. Planted Spring boxes.
2. Played Scrabble in Spanish.
3. Created Salt Clay Crosses.
4. Making Mother's Day gifts for the ladies in our church.
5. Copied 2 cards at a card party.
6. Wrote rough draft.
7. Cut a hardback book into a Kindle cover
8. Boiled cans of sweetened condensed milk to make dulce de leche twice.
9. & 10. Met 2 more times to make Mother's Day gifts for church ladies.
11. Hemmed pants - Hey, it involved a thread & needle.
12. Sewed a lime green felt piggy bank. Filling it with quarters. This is for Women' s Retreat 2015.
13. Made Chai ice cream & ginger cookies for India DInner Fundraiser. (Thanks, Gillian.)
14. Researched & prepped initial dragonfly project for CM at work. (Thanks Trudy for doing the rest!)
15. Built a table (with my daughter).
16. Decoupaged the table.
17. Assembled candy bar with specialized wrappers.
18. Baked Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars
19. Decorated my daughter's Christmas Tree
20. Decorated a wreath
21. Made thumbprint snowman ornaments
22. Decorated my Christmas tree
23. Cooked up bottles of fudge and butterscotch sauce
24. Created a melted crayon picture
25. Baked Earl Grey Cookies
26. Created Sharpie art on my white mug
27. Made a candle in a tea cup
28. Whipped up some cream cheese mints
29. Hand sewed 6 heart shaped tea bags to hold Russian Morning #24.
30. Hand sewed 6 heart shaped tea bags to hold Masala Chai.
31. Baked Lemon Marshmallow cookies
32. Put together a mini teacup pincushion
33. Hand-tied a no-sew fleece baby blanket
34. Decoupaged eyeballs to bottom of glass
35. Glued together a teacup birdfeeder.
36. Designed a diaper bag name tag holder (for nursery at church).
37. Hand tied a no sew fleece baby blanket
38. Weaved 4 ribbon book markers
39. Made another teacup candle
40. Designed and helped assemble magnets for the Women's Annual Tea
41. Sewed 7 teabags for Earl Grey Tea
42. Chalkboard lids for cute jars

Book Record – 55 Books in 52 Weeks

1. Fearfully & Wonderfully Made by Dr. Paul Brand & Philip Yancey
2. Acts of Love: The Power of Encouragement by David Jeremiah
3. Plan B by Anne Lamott
4. The Mysterious Voyage of Captain Kidd by A.B.C. Whipple
5. The Summer of the Swans by Betsy Byars
6. Mister God, This is Anna by Fynn
7. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
8. The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning
9. Johannes Kepler: Giant of Faith and Science by John Tiner
10.The Quest for Character by Charles Swindoll
11. Masters of Mystery: 56 Short Stories of Mystery, Intrigue, & Suspense (by different authors)
12. Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller
13. The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
14. Secrets of the Vine for Women: Breaking Through to Abundance by Darlene Wilkinson
15. Out of Solitude by Henri Nouwen
16. Wholly Sanctified by A.B. Simpson
17. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
18. Teaching Kids Authentic Worship: How to Keep Them Close to God for LIFE by Kathleen Chapman
19. A Shorter Life of Christ by Donald Guthrie
20. Whole Prayer: Speaking and Listening to God by Walter Wangerin Jr.
21. Carpe Mañana by Leonard Sweet
22. Sadako and the Thousand Paper cranes by Eleanor Coerr
23. Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling
24. In His Steps by Chalres Sheldon
25. Chicken Soup for the Soul: 101 Stories to Open the Heart and Rekindle the Spirit Written & Compiled by Jack Canfield and Mark Hansen
26. Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent
In My Father's House by Corrie ten Boom with C. C. Carlson
27. Abba's Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging by Brennan Manning
28. The King in the Window by Adam Gopnik
29. In the Eye of the Storm by Max Lucado
30. Valhalla Rising by Clive Cussler
31. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
32. Unleashing Your Potential: Discovering Your God-Given Opportunities for Ministry by Frank Tillapaugh
33. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
34. Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
35. The Telling by Ursella Le Guin (library)
36. The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov (library)
37. Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan (library)
38. Traveling Light by Max Lucado
39. Hinds' Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard
40. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhug h
41. The Accused by Nancy Rue
42. Daniel Boone: Wilderness Scout, A story of the greatest frontiersman by Stewart Edward White
43. Seven Guides to Effective Prayer by Colin Whittaker
44. Prayer: Life's Limitless Reach by Jack R. Taylor
45. The Magnitude of Prayer by Kermit R. Olsen
46. Prayer Changes Things by Charles L. Allen
47. How to Make Prayer Exciting! by Bill & Pam Malone
48. If God Already Knows, Why Pray? by Douglas F. Kelly
49. Praying Together by Rosalind Rinker

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