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.


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

Grow Your Blog Party CNC Will Serve Only Drinkable Tea on Saturday, February 23, 1-3pm in Rudat Hall

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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57 Thing To Do During my 57th Year

The Big DayMarch 12th, 2016
6 months to go.

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57 Things I’ve Done by March 2016

1. Bought Personalized 2015 Photo Calendar
2. Bought Personalized Stamps
3. Wrote 2 Blackout Poems
4. Movie Marathon: The Good Witch Films (7 of them) -watched with Marsha
5. Movie Marathon: Star Wars: Phantom Menace
6. Family Special Time (Lennon, Kadie)
7. Movie Marathon: Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship, The Two Towers, and Return of the King - watched with Lori
8. Gathered contents & sealed a time capsule to be opened July, 2018,
9. Made snowman 2015 ornament.

57 Books I’ve Read by March 2016

1. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo.
2. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
3. Inspiration Sandwich by SARK.
4. A Man of Grit and Grace: Paul by Charles Swindoll
5. Prayer: Life's Limitless Reach by Jack R Taylor
6. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
7. The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie
8. MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend by Rachel Bertsche
9. I'm Glad I'm a Mom: Inspirational Stories of Love, Laughter, and Everyday Life by Hearts at Home
10. The Great Divorce by CS Lewis
11. The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
12. Lay My Isaac Down by Carol Kent
13. A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
14. Living Oprah by Robyn Okrant
15. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
16. What's So Amazing About Grace? by Philip Yancey
17. Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter
18. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
19. The Blessing: Giving the Gift of Unconditional Love and Acceptance by John Trent & Gary Smalley
20. The Engine 2 Diet: The Texas Firefighter's 28-Day Save-Your-Life Plan that Lowers Cholesterol and Burns Away the Pounds by Rip Esselstyn
21. The Pursuit of God Paperback by A. W. Tozer
22.-25. Last Light, Night Light, True Light, & Dawn's Light (a Restoration Novel Series) by Terri Blackstock
26.. Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens
27. The Hope Quotient by Ray Johnson
28, One Thousand White Women: The Journals of Mary Todd by Jim Fergus
29. Joseph Andrews by Henry Fielding
30. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
31. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
32. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
33. Laddie; a true blue story, by Gene Stratton Porte
34. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
35. An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louise May Alcott
36. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
37. Miss Julia Lays Down the Law by Ann B. Ross
38. Persuasion by Jane Austen
39. A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter by William Deresiewicz
40. Emma by Jane Austen
41. Thrush Green by Miss Read
42. The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams
43. The Scent of Water by Elizabeth Goudge

Stuff I’ve Written and When

Book of Braille Sculptures

By Elizabeth Symington



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