Friday, December 5, 2014

Gratitude Week #1

Every Thanksgiving our family does an activity of some kind to help us to focus more on gratitude.   We've done gratitude trees, a blessing box, going around the table, etc.   Although the actual activity varies somewhat from year-to-year, the concept has always been very similar.   This year we decided to try something a little more personal.

Shortly before Thanksgiving, Glen and I issued a challenge to our family to keep a daily gratitude journal through the end of the year.   Being a person who has always enjoyed keeping a journal anyway, I  have found it to be a surprisingly exhilarating challenge!   I think most of us are pretty good at listing off the obvious answers of family, God, and home when asked to name the things we are grateful for, but I have loved the challenge in finding something note-worthy in each and every average day.  Even the days when I am so busy I can hardly think straight.    Or I'm hormonal and grumpy.   Or  just plain tired! 


Here's a glimpse at my  journal:

Day 1--(11/24/14)--I am grateful for a gorgeous day with unseasonably warm temperatures.   The kids and I went on a long walk and enjoyed being outside together.  

Day 2--(11/25/14)--I am grateful for Spencer’s good check-up today at the oncologist.  This appointment marks almost 30 months in remission and I am thrilled for his continued health.

Day 3--(11/26/14)--I am grateful for the beautiful snowfall and the opportunity to get a lot of things accomplished around the house.  

Day 4--(11/27/14)--THANKSGIVING DAY--I am grateful for a beautifully peaceful day, a family who loves to cook,  and lots and lots of delicious homemade food (made by the family who loves to cook).  

Day 5--(11/28/14)--I am grateful for leftover pie, which if you didn’t know makes for a great lunch!  It was also fun to see the excitement of the kids as Glen put up the Christmas tree!

Day 6--(11/29/14)--I am grateful for the opportunity I had this afternoon to help someone in need.   I am also grateful for good friends and the time we spent with them this evening.   

Day 7--(11/30/14)--I am grateful for the testimonies of those around me.   I’m not one to get up to bear my own testimony very often, but I am inspired by others and always leave testimony meetings with a stronger desire to do better.     

I am also grateful to live very near one of the best hospitals in the DC area.  It was a HUGE blessing when Spencer was sick and proved to be a great blessing today too, when I took Glen to the same hospital to address his odd symptoms.


Day 8--(12/1/14)--I am grateful that all of Glen’s medical tests have come back normal and that he can return home from the hospital this evening.   It was a stark reminder of how hard it is to have someone in the hospital and I am extremely grateful for Spencer’s, and everyone in our family’s health.  

Day 9--(12/2/14)--I am grateful for our ward’s book group and the opportunity it gives me to stretch my mind to read great books that I probably would never naturally be drawn to.   We read “Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President” by Candice Millard, a nonfiction book interweaving the lives of James Garfield, Alexander Graham Bell, and to a lesser extent Garfield’s murderer.   It was a fascinating read and I am ever in awe of authors who can present nonfiction material in an engaging way that draws you into the story so fully.   I thoroughly enjoyed the discussion and left with  a newfound appreciation for how far the medical field has come, as well as for some great men and women, none of whom I previously knew much about, who have made our country and world a better place.

Day 10--(12/3/14)--I am grateful for the opportunity to take a 20-minute nap this afternoon.  It’s not often that I let myself check-out like that, but today it was a necessary evil so that I could continue functioning on an even minimal level.   I consider early morning seminary to be a huge blessing, but boy does it make me tired!

Day 11--(12/4/14)--I am grateful that we got to spend time with Matt and Karey and family today before they took off this evening for their 3-year stint in England.  We will miss them very much.  

Day 12--(12/5/14)--I am grateful to live so near so many amazing places--both cultural and historical!  Today we saw a performance of the Nutcracker performed by the National Ballet at Catholic University.  Although I was somewhat familiar with the story through the kids’ storybooks, this was the first time I’d ever seen it performed.    We all agreed it was cool to watch, but even already knowing the storyline, the story was very confusing to follow without any words

I am also grateful to have wonderful ladies to work with in YW.   We had a presidency meeting today and once again I am in awe of their hard work and dedication to not only serving the young women of our ward, but also to living the gospel every day!

Day 13--(12/6/14)--I am grateful to have gotten caught up on some housework.  After a couple of “off” weekends, our house was pretty much thrashed.  I’ve been a step-behind the housework all week! I finally got a bunch of laundry done, the kids finally did their Saturday chores, and I’m hoping that the dishes are done with overflowing out of the sink.  

I am also grateful for good friends who not only are kind, but thoughtful too.  

Day 14--(12/7/14)--I am grateful for a wonderful day at stake conference, for the opportunity we had to take long (and brisk) walk around Burke Lake.  I am also grateful for the two bald eagles we saw as we were walking!

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