Posts filed under ‘Gratitude List’

Using Photos to Document Gratitude

Cell phone cameras ae amazing. Since we almost always have a cell with us, we have multiple opportunities to take photos. This is especially great when outdoors.

Several of my friends are outdoor enthusiasts. They thrive – emotionally, spiritually, physically, and intellectually – from being outside. They are blessed by and grateful for nature.

One way they express gratitude is by taking photos. And then they share the best ones on social media. They show us photos of birds, flowers, mountains, insects, clouds, and fungi. Because of these photos, I can also feel grateful for nature.

On this second day of Thanks Living, I am purposefully choosing to document gratitude with my camera.

What do you think about this quote?

“God creates the beauty.
My camera and I are witness.”
~ Mark Denman

Your Turn ……

  • Do you photo-document your thankfulness for the natural world?
  • If yes, show us what you appreciate by sharing a photo.

Related Posts ……

5 Reasons I Love Fall

Grateful 43 – Things about the Ocean


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Making Gratitude Permanent

What comes to mind when you think of November? I think of the following ….

  • Crunchy leaves
  • Purple and orange anything
  • Fuzzy slippers
  • Hot chocolate with whipped cream
  • Flickering candles
  • and of course, Thanksgiving.

This month I am going to add something else, Thanks Living!

I will spend my month reading, crafting, saying, thinking, and doing whatever I can to promote an attitude of gratitude in me and in my environment.

On this first day of Thanks Living, I am purposefully choosing to be a thanks-giver.

I have a bossy Fitbit. Throughout the day, it reminds me to take just a few hundred steps. However, that small amount of movement done multiple times in a day adds up and helps me to get healthier. I’ve decided to pare my steps with thankfulness. Every time my Fitbit buzzes, I will get up and step my way into miles and speak my way into gratitude. I will say one thing for which I am grateful.

Your Turn ….

  • What comes to mind when you hear the words Thanks Living?
  • Will you join me this month as I build stronger gratitude muscles?
  • If yes, what is your first step?

Related Posts ….

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What We Don’t Need For a Happy Holiday

Melody Beattie once said, “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”

Gratitude says we have enough. We are enough.

Because I am gratfeul, I have enough.

Commercial advertising says the opposite. It leads us to believe we need stuff, lots of stuff, in order to have a happy holiday and satisfaction with our bodies. Advertising says we need things for a happy life.

Acceptance for our current life leads to contentment. Contentment is the foundation of gratitude. However, for some, gratitude is the foundation for contentment.

However, gratitude living is not being blind to the situations around us. “To have a positive impact, [gratitude]  cannot be indiscriminate – it must be “gratitude with discernment”. ~ Alex Wood

There are times when something different is needed to have a happy life. This something different is taking the healthy steps of making healthy changes.

Truth be told, stuff is easier to acquire than real change. Too many times we use stuff to buy our way into relationships, to dull our senses to what we really need (like forgiveness, reconciliation, and telling the truth), and to keep us too busy to see what needs to be done. These last two actions (dulled senses and busyness) keep us from investigating, meditating, and examining our lives.

This holiday season we don’t need more things, more food and booze, and more over-the-top activities to have a happy holiday.

What don’t we need for a happy holiday? Stuff, activities, overindulgence.

What do we need? 

Gratitude. It is as simple and as hard as that.

We need gratitude for what we have in terms of relationships, material things, and our physical body, just to name a few. There is a quote that says, “What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?” That experience would certainly highlight how grateful we’ve been.

  • Think about your most important relationships? Why are you grateful? Express that gratitude.
  • Think about your material things? Why are you grateful?  Express that gratitude.
  • Think about your body? Why are you grateful? Express that gratitude.

Gratitude will never be a result of your next purchase, success, or accomplishment. It is available in your heart right now. And you will never find gratitude in life until you intentionally decide to choose it. ~ Joshua Becker

Your Turn . . . 

  • What was your initial thought when you read the title of this post, “What We Don’t Need for a Happy Holiday”?
  • What was your answer?
  • What do you think about the answer I gave?
  • What will you do differently (Today? This week?) as a result of reading this post?

Related Posts . . .

Related Scripture . . . 1 Timothy 6:6But godliness with contentment is great gain.” Read all these Scriptures for a fuller picture: 1 Timothy 6:6-10; 1 Timothy 6:17-18.

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Friday’s Fave Five – February 21, 2020

“Gratitude is like a food group. It is essential for being alive.” ~Henry Winkler

Friday’s Fave Five reminds us to list five favorite people, activities, things, etc from the past week. My five are as follows . . .







ONE. We had a birthday party for a dear niece born on Valentine’s Day 24 years ago. Kadie is smart, funny, creative, loving, and fun to be around. We ate around the fire in the back yard. It was a wonderful way to celebrate her.

TWO. I received 10 Valentine’s Day cards from gal pals. I organized a Valentine’s Day card exchange. That way to could encourage each other with words of affirmation. And we, in turn, could get encouraged by the same.

THREE. I attended a princess themed dinner party with some single women. Scotti cooked us a Middle Eastern feast. We played a princess word search and a fill-in-the-blank game. There was also LOTS of laughter and getting to know each other better by telling/listening to stories of our lives.

FOUR. This week my daughter, Elizabeth, and I actually spent two evenings together. One night we played Boggle. This is my favorite game. I bought it from the thrift store for only $1. For the other night, we watched Independence Day. I haven’t seen that movie since it came out in 1996. It was as exciting to watch now as I remember 24 years ago.

FIVE. I spent many enjoyable hours working on cupcake fondant toppers for a superhero group birthday party. A local agency organized this for underserved kiddos.

Your Turn . . . What is on your favorites list this week? Please share in the comments or link up to Susanne’s weekly meme, Friday’s Fave Five.

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Friday’s Fave Five February 14, 2020

Looking through the lens of gratitude helps me see just how amazing the gift of another day is. “This is the day the Lord has made! We will rejoice and be glad in it,” Psalm 118:24

Happy Valentine’s Day and Happy Friday’s Fave Five. How fun that the two of them coincide this year. I am taking great delight in writing today’s post on five favourite things from the past week. I am linking this post to Susanne’s meme here.

ONE. Missions Tea. Last Saturday we had our annual Missions Tea. The (46) ladies got to eat tea foods, chat, sing (thanks, Andrea), pray, and listen to a missionary (hurray for Tammy) tell us how God has impacted the lives of people in their corner of the world. This time the “corner” was Papua Indonesia. It was a fun, entertaining, learning, and encouraging time together.

TWO. Missions Magnets. Every year, we always make a magnet to commemorate the Tea. This time we made sheep out of air-dry clay. Four of us spent time on this project. Thanks go to Rosemary, Scotti, and Gillian. Our verse was John 10:16.

THREE. Card Exchange. Valentine’s weekend 2001, my husband told me he wanted a divorce. So ever since then, I haven’t had a great feeling about this day (the whole week, really). Read this post, 3 Ways I Made My Day Special on Valentine’s Day,  to see what I’ve done about that. This year I arranged a Valentine’s Day Card exchange with some gal-pals. Tonight I am looking forward to savoring 10 Valentine’s I received in the mail. And I am looking forward to them opening thier card from me.

FOUR. Time off. I worked hard (alongside my team and a few other ladies) to get the Missions Tea just right. So I took time off this week. I slept, read, created some fondant superhero cupcake toppers (for a  Cake4Kids delivery next week), and watched Zumbo’s Just Desserts. I know I will return to work on Sunday feeling refreshed.

FOUR. Ecclesiastes. My evening Bible study is finally starting back up again. It was supposed to start on Monday, but, half the women were either ill or out-of-the-country. So, our new start date is Monday, February 24th. Because some ladies asked, I am also going to do this online, as well. I’ve been enjoying studying this book of the Bible.

FIVE. Telly Time. My daughter and I don’t normally spend much time watching shows. But this week, we decided to watch Next in Fashion. 18 fashion designers competed to become the next in fashion hottest thing. We appreciated the creativity and relative non-drama narrative. The two semi-finalists were two of the sweetest, most gentle people. A lot of the designers actually exhibited those traits. It was cool seeing them give helpful feedback to each other despite the fact that they were competing against each other.

I hope y’all have a heart-warming day today. And I hope you write your own FFF post. Comments are always welcome.

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Friday’s Fave Five – December 13, 2019

This is a busy time of year for all of us. If you are like me when it is busy simple, but, important things like concentrating on gratitude get forgotten. That is why I am glad to be part of this weekly meme that Susanne hosts: Friday’s Fave Five. Be sure to post your list in the comments or go to this link to post from your blog. Sorry about the formatting; not sure how to fix it.

ONE. Red glittery poinsettia.
I put red glitter gel on some of the leaves of a poinsettia plant.
It looked so sparkly and fun.
I then gifted this to a friend recuperating from surgery.
It was a short craft, but enjoyable none-the-less.
I am grateful to be able to take my friend an extra special Christmas plant.

TWO. Rain. We had rain on Saturday night that was fierce.
But it only lasted a short time and so the weather didn’t deter seniors from attending our annual Christmas dinner.
I am grateful that we were able to gather, eat, and have fun together.

THREE. Gift idea. I’m not usually one who finds great gifts.

But I found the perfect thing for a white elephant party I’m attending tomorrow night.

If no one else wants it, hope I get it.

I am grateful that I get to bring this gift that anyone would be happy to receive.

FOUR. Lying in bed. One of my physical therapy exercises is lying in bed for increasing amounts of time. Last night I was lying in a prone position for two hours before it became too uncomfortable to continue.

I am grateful to see progress.

FIVE. Bean soup. My daughter – Elizabeth – got a package of soup beans and made up a delicious soup. Instead of using water, she used bone broth. Every time I took a bite, I had to say, “This is so delicious.”

The bean soup was a perfect meal for a cold rainy week.

I am grateful for Elizabeth’s initiative in making this delicious soup. And, hurray, she bought another soup packet last night.

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Friday’s Fave Five – December 6, 2019

It is good for me to reflect on the blessings in my life on a regular basis. Right now, I do that weekly. That will have to do until I do this on a daily basis.

Won’t you ponder with us? Go to this link. I am grateful that Suzanne has this weekly meme that keeps us chugging along on the gratitude train.

Here are five of my blessings in no particular order.

ONE. Because of food poisoning, I wasn’t able to write/post last week’s FFF or even go to Thanksgiving dinner with the family. I am grateful for the texts of love I received. And I am grateful for the leftovers that I enjoyed for several days after I felt I could safely eat.

TWO. I found a great deal on beautiful, red poinsettias. So I bought a bunch to deliver to the folks in the areas of ministry that I oversee at church: small groups, women’s ministry, and senior (55+) ministry. I delivered the lovely plants and had an opportunity to chat with most of the recipients. I felt encouraged. I hope “my” people did, too. I am grateful for the dedication, godliness, and love each of these folks display in their work and towards the people they touch. And of course, I was delighted/grateful for the poinsettias.

THREE. A friend, Jeanette, took me to a Trans Siberian Orchestra concert. Despite a little vertigo, we made it safely up and down to/from our seats. While not very nutritious, we had a tasty hot dog dinner. And, of course, the show was spectacular. The lights! The orchestra! The songs! Spending time with my friend! I am grateful for this great way to start the holiday season.

Two of our ladies couldn’t make it. But it was still a fun, nurturing time.

FOUR. At my December women’s book club we had a cookie exchange in addition to discussing this book. It was helpful to discuss how we could reach out to some who are having a hard time this season. We also prayed for one of our members who is having a hard time. I am grateful for this group that has become close-knit. We’ve been meeting for 2 years now. I made these cranberry orange shortbread cookies and they were yummy.

FIVE. We are having our PEP 55+ Christmas dinner on Saturday. Rusty, one of the chefs, also created the shopping list and did the shopping. He dropped off all the food at the kitchen yesterday. I am grateful for his attention to detail and selflessness in taking on this holiday project.

Have a week full of pondered blessings, my friends.


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Friday’s Fave Five – November 15, 2019

Friday’s Fave Five is a space for thanksgiving. We recount five blessings from the past week. We are grateful for the big and small things, people, places, thoughts, etc. Below is my list.

ONE. Leaves. I think leaves are one of God’s wonderful deeds. This is especially true when I am taking a walk through layers and layers of them. “I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.” Psalm 9:1 … I am grateful for God’s wonderful deeds.

TWO. Music. Singing or listening to praise music leads me to thanking God for who He is and what He has done. “The Lord is my strength and shield. … I trust him with all my heart. … He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. … I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.” Psalm 28:7… I am grateful that music influences my moods and thinking; as well as being a way I can express myself.

THREE. Gratitude Mug & Muffin (M&M). On Saturday, 24 women gathered at my church to drink beverages out of our mugs, eat muffins (and other foods), craft, and listen to two women share how gratitude has impacted them. This was an encouraging morning and gave me much to think about. I am now more motivated to live in and express gratitude daily. Soon, I will post thoughts that the two ladies shared. … I am grateful for the example of others and how that changes me.

FOUR. Biscotti. Marsha and I baked biscotti for the M&M. We made pumpkin chai and dark chocolate orange. Both were good, but the dark chocolate orange was better than good. Here is a link to the recipe. … I am grateful for time with Marsha and trying new recipes 9especcially from Sally’s Baking Addiction).

FIVE. Harriet, the movie. Marsha and I also saw this movie. It was powerful. Such a dark time in our nation’s history. I keep thinking about this quote that Harriet said to her master’s son: “God don’t mean people to own people!” … I am grateful for people who do what it takes to eliminate evil.

What’s on your gratitude list?  Share in the comments. Or write your own post and link up at Susanne’s place.

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Friday’s Fave Five – November 8, 2019

Sometimes a week is so FULL that it flies right by without reflection. That is why I take time each week to look at what happened and then express gratitude for the big and little things. This quote reminds me why it is important to especially look at the small things like a to-do list and frozen yogurt.

ONE. Book Club. At our November meeting, we discussed The Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans. It was interesting to hear the different perspectives of the group. It was interesting to note how at the end of the project, Evans loved the Bible (more) and wanted to study/meditate more on it. There were two big takeaways for me. 1. Buy more ethical products, like fair-trade chocolate and coffee. 2. Cheer on the ladies around me; cheer on their big and small victories. Cheer them on just because of who they are. Well done, women of valor! I am grateful that we can read a diverse range of books and hear each other’s comments. I am grateful for my “sisters” and their valor.

TWO. To-do Lists. I love to-do lists. I love the actual writing of the list. And I love the actual accomplishing of the tasks on the list. This week, I was able to mark off most items from each day’s list. Using a to-list helps me to curb my “squirrel” tendencies. I am more easily able to remind myself what the TASK I am doing right now is. I am grateful that I am finally learning how to write a doable list for each day. I am grateful for the energy to get the tasks done. My shoulder injury is impacting me less and less each week.

THREE. Frozen yogurt and an early bedtime. This has been a week of long days at work since I was working on three projects. One night I came home TIRED and late. My daughter was also TIRED. So we went out to dinner – a dinner of frozen yogurt. Afterward, I went straight to bed. (This time change is kicking my behind!) I am grateful for the opportunity to eat frozen yogurt. I am grateful for eating it with my daughter. I am grateful for being able to go to bed early and sleep well!

FOUR. Packing Party. A group from church gathered to pack up shoeboxes. We collected all year long and had enough items for 53 boxes. Next year, we will make sure to have more of the following items: soap and soap containers, brushes, washcloths, and crayons. I am grateful for the folks who donated. I am grateful for the ladies who helped p[ack the boxes. While it was a lot of fun. You’d be surprised to know how hard it is on the body to pack for 2.5 hours. I am grateful that we get to impact the lives of 53 kiddos and their families.

FIVE. Driving with more ease. Hurray. The nerve pain (in my right arm) when I drive is almost gone. My shoulder is still stiff. But I am able to drive much more easily. Driving, as it turns out, is good physical therapy for my arm since I put the arm in positions that stretch it. This type of therapy is more exciting because I get an actual reward at the end (arrival at my destination). I am grateful that I finally have some transportation independence. And I am grateful that I am able to use my arm more and more each week.

Join us at this link, to share your five fave blessings. Or leave a comment on this post. Here is my list. Let’s cheer each other on in the big and small things we share.

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Fridays’ Fave Five – November 1, 2019

It is Friday, so it is time to share five of my favorite blessings from this past week. I do this to cultivate a grateful heart and to say thanks (especially to God). To join me (and others) in this weekly meme, go to Susanne’s blog.

ONE. Voice-To-Text. I am still using this technology to (mainly) express my written communications. It is a bit cumbersome, but it helps protect my hands and arm from too much overuse.

TWO. Skill. I have been tying my own shoes all by myself this past week. It is still hard to put on my socks, but that is progressing as well.

THREE. Car. My car has been returned and it looks good. No sense of it having been burned. And as a bonus, the whole process was seamless, especially when dealing with USAA.

it is too big for Emily, but it sure is cute.

FOUR. Another Skill. I am driving. There is still nerve pain in my right arm, but not enough to stop me. I mainly go between work and home (at most 12 minutes one way).

FIVE. Halloween. My granddaughters are now in VA so I couldn’t go with them as they made their candy rounds. I did get to Facetime them and see their costumes. Then I went to my sister’s home for dinner and a book discussion. I got to see the costume one of my niece’s wore. Afterward, we took a walk. It was a different way to celebrate, but it was lovely time.

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Friday’s Fave Five – October 25, 2019

Another week of events has passed; many mundane, some heart-touching, and one was potentially traumatic. But there is something to be grateful for in each one. There is always something in which to praise God.

Read on as I share five of my favorite blessings. To share your blessings list, link up at Susanne’s Friday’s Fave Five meme at Living to Tell the Story.

ONE. Wednesday was the first day I went without my shoulder brace and didn’t have nerve pain at the end of the day.

TWO. Also that night I was able to take an evening walk without my arm hurting and feeling fretful because I couldn’t find a comfortable position.

My daughter says it looks like my car has a cataract.

I am still being restrictive with my movements, but I am seeing great improvements these past few days.

THREE. On Sunday my car was in a fire. I need to replace a headlight, bumper, and grille.

My car is on the far left. No one got hurt (except a squirrel) and no structures burned. The fire was inches away from a row of garages. Only the tree and the fence were aflame.

The fire department is not investigating further: the cause is unknown.

My church is having a packing party on November 7th. It will be a fun & fulfilling time of loading up the shoeboxes with items from the various categories: hygiene, toys, school supplies, etc. We will also have a time of prayer for the recipients.

I am grateful for the community that pulled together finding fire extinguishers and using them to make sure the garages and other vehicles were not damaged. I am also grateful my daughter did not get hurt when moving my car away from the fire.

FOUR. A work colleague likes to cook and bake and then bring these items into the office for us. This week it was squash soup. YUMMM. I had forgotten my lunch that day and so getting this warm, filling, tasty treat was especially appreciated.

FIVE. Do you see the label on this cardboard shoebox? It is more than a reminder to fill up a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child. It is a STICKER label! I love stickers and I love this easy way to attach a label to the boxes I fill.

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Friday’s Fave Five – October 18, 2019

Finding and sharing favourite events, people, things, and places from our past week is a regular thing some of us do. This practice helps us tune into gratitude. We then post our top five at Susanne’s blog. 

Here is my offering. It is not very wordy since I am being extra diligent about not using my afflicted right arm and now left hand (due to trigger thumb).

One. Blankets. Warm, soft blankets which chase away the chill autumn nights bring.

Two. Volunteers. I appreciate volunteers who cook meals for others, make reminder phone phones, tackle the mound of copying, and attend to a list of other items. They are my right hand!

Three. Walking partners. Usually, my daughter is my solo partner, but this week I also got to have a long walk with my sister. While I like walking by myself, walking with others is a different kind of delight.

Four. Birthday celebration. One of my niece’s turned 18 this past week. It was a joy to celebrate her with both a birthday breakfast (waffles and ice cream) and a birthday dinner. We partied around the fire pit. Emily is definitely a woman of talent, joy, ideas, affection, and intelligence.

Five. Surprise. I was getting ready for work the other morning when there was a knock at the door. Jeanette came to drop off a box of Halloween baking supplies she bought for $4 at Falling Prices: cookie cutters, sprinkles and tube icing. And then she took me to work. That latter was a lovely surprise for my daughter as then she didn’t have to drive me.

As you noticed, it is hard for me to write only a few words.

Your Turn . . . Leave your own comment of gratitude or write a post and link up at Living to Tell the Story.

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