Posts tagged ‘gratitude’

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.

. at . 1 comment

Friday’s Fave Five – October 19, 2018

“Our favorite  attitude should be gratitude,” Zig Ziglar.

I agree. So I am going to spend a few minutes listing five of my gratitudes from this past week.

Join us at Susanne’s place for this meme.

ONE. Naps. Last week was particularity busy and energy was lacking. Most days I had a nap after work. Ahhh, those wonderful, restorative naps make such a difference to my mood and productivity.

TWO. New small group leaders. I spoke with a couple (Mike and Lina) from church who will be leading a study on marriage. I am so excited as it has been years since we’ve had such a small group. They will start in January and use a video curriculum. If you have a suggestion, please let me know. I visited their group last Sunday and I was impressed with how they interact as a couple, their familiarity with the material, and how they included the group’s members. They are fun and godly.

THREE. Bucket List achievement. Can you believe I’ve never been to a corn maze? A small group of our seniors from church did just that. All 6 of us were first timers. We tromped through the corn maze (lost for only 30 minutes), went on a hay ride, ate piping hot apple cider donuts, and visited. The warm day was filled with laughter and friendship.

Here is photo proof we made it though the maze. Gail was our photographer.

FOUR. Pot of chili. One morning before work, I put together a pot of chili. We ate it for 2 dinners and one breakfast (with eggs). Yummm. It was NICE to have this easy meal after a busy day. I used to do once-a-month cooking. I REALLY want to get back to that.

FIVE. Celebrated a niece’s birthday. As per our routine, we had waffles and ice cream for breakfast and then a dinner as a family (and time around the fire pit). Besides concentrating on spoiling Emily, we had laughs and conversation was like getting an emotional snuggle.

Happy birthday to a talented (music and athletics), god-loving, funny, enthusiastic woman I am THRILLED to know and even more thrilled to be related to. … Because of the angel, the waffles look bigger than they actually are.

. at . 6 comments

Friday’s Fave Five October 20, 2017

“Old age is dark and unlovely, Sally” said Mrs. Adams.

“Still,” said Sally, “you have much to be happy about.”

“True,” agrees Mrs. Adams.

~ (This short conversation came from an episode on John Adams.)

Yes, old age is dark and unlovely. And yes, there is still much to be happy about. Right now I am going to list five things that gets my gratitude. Join us here to do the same.

ONE. Celebrated Emily’s Birthday breakfast and dinner. My niece turned 16 and we had the required birthday waffles and ice cream breakfast and then the birthday person’s choice for dinner (lasagna, bread and salad with cheesecake for dessert.) Emily is smart, athletic, funny, loving, godly, and dedicated. I am blessed to have her as a niece.

TWO. Completed another 5K Fun Walk. Mary and I have finished four 5K’s now. This one was along the American River. There were only 40ish people – mainly running. At least we weren’t the last folks done. It was a lovely day and the money went to a cause we both believe in: the Children’s Receiving Home.

THREE. Decluttering is still going on. The thing I am happiest about is that the porch is empty. It is supposed to rain tomorrow so I had a huge incentive to get this area done.

FOUR. Car was donated. I’ve been trying to figure out what is wrong with my old car but wasn’t having any luck. With some help from my daughter, my car was donated today. It feels good to help a non-profit. And it feels good to cross off a majour item on my to-do list.

FIVE. Decorated a bulletin board. Cheryl helped me to put up new information on our PEP 55+ bulletin board. The gal who normally takes care of changing out the advertising. is not feeling well. So Cheryl helped me and we think we did a nice job. Plus it was fun spending time with Cheryl. And we even got in a few minutes of prayer together.

Your Turn . . . Please share something from your list.

Related Post . . . 43 Days of Gratitude JOURNAL Prompts

. at . 8 comments

Friday’s Fave Five October 13, 2017

“Praise God even when you don’t understand what He is doing.” ~ Henry Jacobsen

This week certainly brought uncertainty and questioning with all the fires in Northern California and the horrendous mass murder in Las Vegas. So it is even more important that we recount our blessings! Join with Susanne and others at Friday’s Fave Five.

ONE. Monterey Trip. Last weekend my daughter, Elizabeth, and I visited my niece, Kadie, at University in Monterrey. We walked the beach, cooked fresh trout, strolled through a Salvador Dali Museum, chatted, drank tea, and made food together. It was a FUN, delightful time.

TWO. Reading. Threads of Suspicion is a book fellow FFFer Barb recommended. I don’t recommend you read this book until the 3rd book is in print. Unless unlike me you can wait patiently to have some questions answered.

THREE. Project Piles. I am decluttering 31 minutes each day in October. My newest kick is the craft/art supplies. I am sorting this table full of stuff into project piles and then putting them into see-through, large, ziplock bags. It will be much easier to see what I have. And it will be much easier to grab a bag and start because everything is there. … I have been able to release some projects. 🙂

FOUR. Small Group. We had our 3rd meeting last night. And again it was a lot of laughing, probing discussion, some tears, and vulnerability. I am honoured to partner with these gals as we do life together and grow closer to each other and God. I shared this link about taking an online quiz to discover your love language. Knowing this information might help us to love on each other better.

FIVE. Hair cut. I have been trying to grow my hair into a different style, but after 4 months, it is clear that style is not for me. I must have shorter, layered locks. So I had my hair cut like it usually is. And it looks so much better.

Your turn . . .  Share what you’ve been grateful for. In these times of devastation, it is more important than ever to capture those things and treasure them.

What I wrote this week . . ..

. at . 7 comments

Grateful 43 – TV Series

 I don’t watch any TV. This is  because the only thing my TV is good for is DVD’s and VHS tapes. You read that right, VHS tapes. However I have friends who have working TV’s and use them to watch series, past and current.

Todays prompt, I am grateful 4 three TV series. These are from this year (2017).

  • Call the Midwife
  • The Good Witch
  • When Calls the Heart

I watched these three shows with two different friends. I watched the first two series with Marsha. And the last one with Julie. We had dinner and conversations. So the shows were made even more meaningful because of the friendship time surrounding the TV watching.

I could watch some of these shows on my computer. But the main thing that makes these shows so special is that they are LINKED with time and food to two special ladies in my life.

Your Turn . . . What TV shows are you grateful for and why? . . .  Do you recommend any shows?

I am writing a gratitude series titled Grateful 43. I will do this for 43 days. And I will write three things for which I am grateful 4 each topic. Do you see the play on the words 43 and FOR THREE. Some prompts will be light-hearted: I.e. I am grateful 4 3 TV series. And some will be heavy: I.e. I am grateful for three challenges. Go here for the 43 Days of Gratitude JOURNAL Prompts

Related Posts . . .



. at . 3 comments

Grateful 43 – Bible Verses

Today, I am grateful 4 three Bible verses. I must say, it was hard narrowing down my favourite verses to only three.

ONE. Romans 12:12: “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

This is my life verse (right now anyway). I know if I follow these commands, I will live a God-directed, peace-filled, effective life. And I know if I live this way, I will not be embarrassed when I get to the end of my life. I will have lived well.

TWO. Isaiah 46:4: Even to your old age and gray hairs
    I am He, I am He who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
    I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

Sometimes I get fearful, timid, or fretful about handling the events of life without a partner. This verse has been a comfort and a foundation for such times. God always intervenes in such times. He does this by changing the situation, empowering me, or sending someone to help.

THREE.  John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

This verse describe God’s great love for all mankind. And it describes how ALL can be saved from eternal separation from God. Salvation is not something we deserve or can get on our own merit. God’s love is too wonderful to comprehend, but I keep trying. And I stay grateful.

Your Turn . . . What is your life verse? . . . What verse helps you when you are afraid? . . . Do have a favourite verse about God’s salvation?

Related Posts . . . 

Go here for the 43 Days of Gratitude JOURNAL Prompts


. at . Leave a comment

43 Days of Gratitude JOURNAL Prompts

I like to do a gratitude practice at least once a year. The times I typically choose are one of the following . . .

  • March (because it is my birthday month)
  • July (because it is America’s birthday)
  • November (because of Thanksgiving).

I haven’t done any official thanks giving this year and I am running out of time. I am going to consider/write about 43 prompts. I got this idea from this post of about 30 gratitude prompts.

I wanted 43 day’s worth of prompts because I wanted to start on September 13 and end before October 28. On the 29th I am going on vacation and won’t be back until mid November. I doubt I’d be able to clearly think about this practice then. Therefore I am starting my thanks giving early.

This post is an introduction to my intention and a landing page for the prompts. The days/links are after the jump. As the links go live, I will hot link them. AND I reserve the right to change any of the prompts. I HOPE you join me in this 43 days of gratitude.

To learn more about who I am, go here.

Your Turn . . .  I hope you join me for at least a few of these days. I bet you will have a different attitude by the end, if you do. I bet I will, too. That is my goal. Answer on the linked post, here, or at FaceBook or Twitter.

Share a gratitude journal prompt in the comments.

I am linking this to ABC Wednesday.  The Facebook Group is here. Today’s letter is “J.”

Related Posts . . .

List of the 43 gratitude posts is after the jump. Click on the MORE button. I will hotlink them on the day they go live.


. at . 24 comments

Friday’s Fave Five September 8th, 2017

The week is over but we get to look back and reflect on 5 blessings. Sometimes, it is hard to find the blessings, and sometimes like this week, it is easy.

ONE. Decluttered. My decluttering efforts continuedI simplified the items in my bathroom and one bedroom closet. I came across this quote about clutter that makes a lot of sense. “Clutter is postponed decision-making,” Barbara Hemphill.

TWO. Safe home. I am grateful that my home is safe from natural disasters. I have asthma and the air quality right now is BAD on account of the multiple fires in my state. But my home is safe for me because I have a working air conditioner, 3 salt lamps and a portable air purifier. All these things helped me cope well.

THREE. Rest day. Monday was a holiday in the States, Labour Day. And this year, I took it as a rest day. I stayed home all day to nap, write, and read. Nap, write, and read. I was able to get the following book as an e-book from my library: Traces of Guilt (Evie Blackwell Cold Case #1/2) by Dee Henderson Thanks to Barb from Stray Thoughts for the book review that led me to this series.

FOUR. Shopped from my pantry. As I mentioned I didn’t go out on Monday and I was low on food. So I shopped from my pantry for meals that day. For one meal I made salmon burgers with avocado humus. I’ve had the can of salmon for a while and I have to admit I procrastinated because I thought it would be gross. But i wasn’t. It was tasty.

My daughter is modeling a dress that was made for the 10-14 year old group.

FIVE. Packed boxes. A small group of the Operation Christmas Child group (from our church) met to pack up the supplies we’ve been collecting and sewing. Our closet (at church) was full and it was hard to determine what we still needed. We packed 48 boxes! Some of the boxes still need a couple of things. But this is a great start as they aren’t due until mid November.

Your Turn . . . What events captured your gratitude attention from this past week? Express your gratitude in the comments below. Or write your own post and link p at Susanne’s place for Friday’s Fave Five.

What I Wrote This Week . . . 

. at . 15 comments

Friday’s Fave Five September 1st, 2017

“Gratitude is riches. Complaint is poverty.”  Doris Day

I believe that I am rich. I am not rich by way of money, but because of friendships, family, health, and many other things, I am RICH.

Today I will recount 5 things for which I am grateful. Why don’t you join us at Friday’s Fave Five.

ONE. Cleaning out the garage. I am on a mission to finish decluttering my house. Right now, the garage is the focus. I spent 2 1/2 hours one day and then I had to stop because the temps have been in the 100’s. But I made a GREAT start. And so that I could stay motivated, my daughter took several trips to the thrift store with my cast offs and brought out water so I didn’t dehydrate too much.

This table top BBQ was easy to assemble & fun to use. And it only cost $1.50.

TWO. National Toasted Marshmallow Day. And yes, my daughter and I did celebrate, gluten-free style. We made tabletop BBQ’s (with clay pots). Go to this link to see how we did this. In case you can’t tell, I like to celebrate national holidays.

THREE. PEP Thursday Breakfast. Every Thursday there is a standing invitation for PEPers (our senior 55+ group) to meet at Perkos for breakfast (or just a cup of coffee). Today I attended and I was the 17th (and last) person to join the group. What a GROUP we were. Besides having a lovely breakfast (2 easy over eggs sitting on top of a dinner salad), I got to visit with a couple that I didn’t know very well. I got full on good food and good company.

Some of our Boggle boards. Do you like to play word games? Set the timer for 3 minutes & see how many words you can create on the right hand board.

FOUR. Boggle. I have no idea where my game box is. I imagine I will find it once I am done decluttering. This week I had a HANKERING to play Boggle. So my daughter made us paper Boggle boards. Do you know that if you are tired, and you play this game, you WILL wake up. I won one night and my daughter won one night. Now we’ll have to have a championship round.

FIVE. Inside Out Movie. On the 5th Tuesday of the month, PEP watches a movie at the church. We watch one of Pastor Mike’s favourite movies. This time it was Inside Out. Have you seen it? If not, do! It was about how important it is to have a full range of emotions especially sadness.

It was a great way to beat the HEAT. There were some tears, and laughs, and lots of good discussion. And someone brought homemade chocolate chip cookies.

Your Turn . . . Did you have to escape the heat or sleepy eyes this past week? . . . What movie would you recommend? . . . When was the last time you had s’mores?

What I Am Reading  . . . Mrs Dalloway (out loud with my daughter)

What I Wrote This Week . . . 


. at . 8 comments

Friday’s Fave Five August 25th, 2017

“Find the good and praise it.” ~ Alex Haley

That is what I am doing tonight. I am looking over my past week for the good. I am praising it and I am thankful. Join the rest of us here for Friday’s Fave Five.

ONE. Finger pin cushion. I’ve had these supplies and this pinned post for a long time. I finally made it. Even though I crafted for only 12 minutes, it was a satisfying feeling and a useful end product.

One. Upcycled project. My daughter gathered all the “beauty supplies” to one spot. She kept finding tweezers and nails clippers in multiple areas. Instead of putting these in the beauty basket, Elizabeth made a container from an empty, round tube of kleenex. Wahoo for creativity and organization.

THREE. Visited family in Berkeley. I got to spend two days with some of the Berkeley family. We had park time, craft time, cuddle time and lots of talking. Being with them never gets old.

FOUR. Found a charger cord. Somehow I lost my home charger cord for my iPhone. I kept borrowing my daughter’s cord because I didn’t want to buy another one.  I was sure that as soon as I did, I would find the cord. … BUT – while I was taking a walk in Berkeley, I found one in a scattered pile of trash on the sidewalk.

FIVE. Given two 3 tiered-serving stands. Every year we have a Tea during Missions week at my church. And every year we have to borrow 12 of these stands. In January I decided that I would scour thrift stores for some of our own. On Monday one of our volunteers donated these for our collection! We now have six (and four 2-tiered stands).

Your Turn . . .  Share something good from your week.

What I Finished Reading  . . . small great things: A Novel by Jodi Picoult . . . The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

What I Wrote This Week . . . 

. at . 18 comments

Friday’s Fave Five August 18, 2017

Wow – this week has flown. I didn’t even make time to write. But today, right now, I WILL make time to recount five blessings from this past week. I am linking this to Susanne’s meme, Friday’s Fave Five.

I made more chia seed jam, blueberry this time. For breakfast I had it with yogurt and Qi’a. I made one pint of jam and used only 3 tablespoons of sugar.

Mary and I walked our monthly “professional” 5k: The Susan B. Anthony Fun Run/Walk. We improved our time by 2 minutes. There were fun, free additions like a goody bag, massage and raffle. Mary won that colourful striped bag.

6 weeks ago my daughter lost her copy of my car key while we were camping. This past weekend she found it while hiking in the same area. Elizabeth didn’t find it on the ground. She found it in her jacket pocket.

This week I decided in addition to walking a 5K monthly, I want to also walk one each week. My daughter and I did that one evening. This photo documents our last steps of that 5K. (I want to “step up” my commitment to health.)

I have been craving Lemon Meringue Pie for 3 weeks. Tuesday was National Lemon Meringue Pie Day, so I resisted no longer. I always think of my Grandma Ruby when I think of this pie, so she was the unseen, missing guest at our table. … Now take a moment to reflect on your favourite blessings from this past week.

. at . 10 comments

Friday’s Fave Five August 4, 2017

It is time to look back over a busy week and share five highlights.

It isn’t too late to sign up.

ONE Month of Austen. In 2015 I participated in the Austen in August Reading challenge. It was the first time I had read any books by Jane Austen.  I am doing it again this year because I had such a great time. Here is my post on what I hope to read. #AustenInAugustRBR.



TWO Baptisms. Last Sunday I had the extreme honour and pleasure to baptize two people: Andy and Lucy. It was an emotional and memorable time for each of us. It was special to be able to hear their story of faith and about their commitment to Christ.





THREE Photos for August Break, 2017.  Susannah Conway is hosting this community photograph meme with daily prompts.  The Facebook group is here.  You get to determine how often you participate this month. No stress so come on and join us on Instagram and/or Facebook. Use this hashtag: #augustbreak2017. My instagram account is SusanIZwright.





Kadie (niece), Elizabeth (daughter), Susan (me)

Red bean cake, onion & sausage roll and kelp, mung been soup (Pegasus)

 Progressive Taiwanese Dinner at FOUR Spots: Pegasus Cafe, Snowbee, Vampire Penguin and Gong Cha. My daughter, niece and I spent an enjoyable evening in Little Saigon.

Taro Snow (Vampire Penguin) Most Beautiful.

Avocado fluffy ice (Snowbee) – TASTIEST!

It was fun having “snow,” chicken on skewers and bubble tea (to name a few things). It reminded me of my trip to Taiwan (with Elizabeth) to visit Kadie last January.

5K Fun Run/Walk. This past year I have been walking a WHOLE lot more, in part due to my trip to Taiwan. We walked a LOT every day and there were tons of stairs. So I kept up that pace once I got home.

I liked that this Fun Run/Walk was done to support the Alzheimer’s Association

1,407 people signed up.

Our real time was 1:02:52. It took us a few minutes to get back to the finish line time clock and find a spot where we weren’t in the way..

About a month ago I decided to walk a 5K. I thought I could do this because when I went to the ocean last month, I didn’t have trouble going from the car to our beachside spot.


Part of the Fun Run/Walk was in a cemetery .These morning glories were on an outside fence.

And I was inspired to do this because of the example of two people. MJ Towns is from my church and frequently runs races. And the other person is hiking champ, Faith (blogging friend from FFF). Month after month after month, I’d see their example until I finally decided to follow that example.

I didn’t know you could have such a sign on your back. Next year I will walk in honour of several folks.

Your Turn . . . I linked this post to Susanne’s meme, Friday’s Fave Five. Join us at her place or in the comments down below.


What I Wrote This Week at Fruitful Words . . .

. at . 9 comments

Older Posts

60 Acts of Kindness, Intentional & Random to do my 60th year

The Finish Date.

Latest Tweets

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 779 other followers

Stuff I’ve Written and When


%d bloggers like this: