January 1, 2014

Gratitude and Good Things

It's the beginning of a new year, and true to my introverted, melancholy, dysthemic nature, I'm feeling a sense of dread. I know, I know...some attitude, huh? 

So, in the spirit of Veggie Tales' Madam Blueberry--"a thankful heart is a happy heart"--I thought I'd start a "Gratitude and Good Things" project...really just a list of things I'm thankful for that make me feel more contented and less fearful. This mirrors the "blessings jar" that many (my own sweet Lydia included) have started, but saves me having to make the jar--which feels too much like a craft. I'm starting this list on January 1, 2014, but will add to it throughout the year. Nothing is going to turn me into an optimist, but maybe this list will convert me to a more grateful realist! Happy New Year, mamas!

Elizabeth's 2014 Gratitude and Good Things List

1. Snow and cold. Real winter already, and only officially about 10 days in (from January 1, 2014). I know I'm the only person in the world who feels this way, but everyone else will have to start their own blog and put "90 degrees and humid" on their list in July. 

2. A clean shower. Comet "Lavender Fresh" with bleach smells lovely, is cheap, and deals with shower unpleasantries. Forgot I had cleaned with it yesterday and got a nice surprise gift when I stepped in this morning.

3. Hot water. 

4. Wood heat. And a wood-burning fireplace.

5. An MSU Rose Bowl victory! (And the very happy husband that comes with it.)

6. Good grades on a regular basis for both my girls. They have to work hard to get them, but that's a lesson in and of itself, and I'm thankful they have keen minds capable of learning. Learning (and even caring about grades) is a struggle for so many kids; I'm truly grateful my girls generally want to do well and are able to do so if they put in the effort.

7. Proverbs 32 women's Bible study...and our wild and wonderful journey though the book of Daniel!

8. Dark chocolate-almond Dove candies. (Mental) health food. Oh my.

9. (From Anna) When someone scratches your back and gets at just the right itchy spot. Ahhhh....

10. (Also from Anna) Chapstick--especially when your lips are like little deserts and you can't think of a thing in the world you want more than a tube of relief. 

11. On-line banking. I was late to the party, but I'm so glad I finally showed up. 

12. A new Scripture memory/meditation project. Always feel I should "listen" to/for God after prayer time during my morning walk. Alas, my own thoughts get in the way. Need something God-centered to keep my brain otherwise free in case He is trying to tell me something. Also need to memorize more Scripture. Ta-da! Mentally and/or verbally "chant" a portion of some chunk of the Word I'm trying to memorize. This will: 1)keep my mind from straying to what to make for dinner or finances or other troubling matters; 2)help me sharpen my sword (see Ephesians 6:17); 3)keep my mind/spirit available to hear God (I figure He can interrupt my replay of His own Word to tell me something else if He wants to). Current list of Scriptures I'm working on:

  • Daniel 2:20-23 ~ "Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are His. He changes times and seasons; He sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden things; He knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with Him. I thank and praise you, O God of my fathers."


  1. Can't join you on the thankful for snow/winter thing, but applaud you for being purposefully grateful. Congrats to Chad on the big victory yesterday!

  2. Thanks, Laura! I should probably clarify that I do not love driving in snow, and I hate to be cold. But sometimes winter weather means stuff gets cancelled, and I can just stay home. And as the world's #1 homebody/introvert, this is makes my heart happy! I really should start or join a support group for misunderstood, antisocial, homebody introverts, but I'd have to leave the house and talk to people to do it! Oh, the irony!:)

  3. I'm not sure you actually hold the #1 homebody award, but maybe we're tied for it...late to the party for online banking? Might you also be another "dumb phone" owner? I can get texts on mine (only just this past year), but it CAN'T receive group texts, photos, or get on the internet.

    1. Lisa, I will gladly share the homebody award with you! While we're staying home, we can send very brief texts back and forth on our dumb phones. Lots of :):):) and ;););)s and that sort of thing. :) ;)

  4. Hahaha, that's hilarious! And would you believe my husband and I only JUST got texting added to our plan last year? And it's only because it came free, because what we really use between us is Google Voice on our computers...

    1. I believe it because my husband and I rarely text. When I need him, I just call his office, and they put me right through. He's the boss, so that helps. ;) Being self-employed has its downsides--private health insurance being one of them, as in: are you SURE you need to go to the doctor for that?--but getting through to the main man straight-away is definitely an upside! :)


I'd love to hear from you! Feel free to tell me what you really think. Years ago, I explained to my then-two-year-old that my appointment with a counselor was "sort of like going to a doctor who will help me be a better mommy." Without blinking, she replied, "You'd better go every day." All of which is just to say I've spent some time in the school of brutal honesty!