Oh So Grateful!

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As I write this post, my precious almost-two-year-old granddaughter is sleeping soundly in the room next door. I know without a doubt it’s soundly because she fell asleep in my arms while I rocked her, while I carried her upstairs and lay her down, covering her with a soft blanket, and ten minutes later when I dropped a jar of blackberry jelly on a tile floor. For those who aren’t as graceful as me (a little sarcasm there) and have never done that, let me tell you it makes an earth-shattering noise that could wake the dead and sends tiny glass shards spraying across the entire kitchen floor. Shards so tiny that a broom will not sweep them and a good vacuuming is required. After which, I peeked in on my granddaughter and the angel hadn’t stirred a muscle. I can’t remember the last time I slept that well. She’s staying with me while we eagerly await the birth of her little brother or sister.

Given the magic of grandchildren, I thought this was a good time to do a gratitude post. My top three things I’m grateful for this past week are:

1.)  My grandchildren. Seeing the looks on the faces of three precious grandchildren when they wake up early in the morning to see me there because their mommy and daddy went to the hospital to give them a new little one. Time spent one-on-one with one of those precious little ones, in whose eyes and behaviors I see glimpses of her daddy, giving me the joy of memories when he was a child. And little arms that circle my neck as she presses her forehead against mine. Watching her dance with all she’s got to the song Let it Go from the movie Frozen.

2.)  A visit from my other son telling me the details of his day with such enthusiasm and passion, leaving with a hug and an “I love you, mom.” Those words are priceless.

3.)  Watching the sunrise, a crisp white blanket of a recent snowfall around me, the mountain backdrop, from the beautiful heat of a hot tub.

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What tops your gratitude meter this week?

***Update and addition to number 1: My three granddaughters have a new little sister and I have a new granddaughter. 

Child of my child, heart of my heart.
Your smile bridges the years between us…
I am young again, discovering the world through your eyes.
You have the time to listen and I have the time to spend,
Delighted to gaze at familiar, loved features made new in you again.
Through you, I see the future. Through me, you’ll see the past.
In the present, we’ll love one another as long as these moments last. ― Author Unknown

 

Gratitude…for All and for One

Bill Wilson

Sometimes I get so caught up in being the best at something I lose my focus on what’s really important. Of course, being the Type A that I am, I’m usually killing myself striving to be the best at everything. And it’s here that I get into trouble.

Striving to be my own personal best and striving to be the best is the difference between the scenic journey of healthy living and the fast lane to insanity.

When I’ve accomplished something in my writing career, I find I want to be better. After all, J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, Patricia Cornwell and J. R. R. Tolkien have all topped the lists, so why shouldn’t I be able to?

When I’m doing my day job well, I find myself thinking of those who make millions at their job and wonder why I’m not able to be that successful. (Think Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg.)

When I see other blogs that have thousands of followers to my 354, I doubt my ability to be “good enough.”

And on and on and on…and thus begins the proverbial squirrel cage thinking, the squirrel being fed from comparing myself to others.

Gratitude, pure and simple, is the answer to putting the squirrel to rest.

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Gratitude that I’ve accomplished something that I love to do so much, appreciating that I’ve been blessed with a talent that breathes life into me.

Gratitude for having a day job with work that I enjoy, and pay that allows to me live comfortably, while experiencing satisfaction at being able to make a positive difference to victims of crime at a time when their entire world has been turned upside down and inside out.

Gratitude for each and every person who my blog has touched, each one individually. As long as I’ve been writing, which has been since the age of four when I wrote “words” on the living room wall with crayon :), my goal has never been to make millions, but to make a difference. If even to just one.

Every life touched, every one, matters.

In the words of Spock, played by the late, great Leonard Nimoy (may he RIP):

The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.” — Spock, Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan

But may we never forget the needs of one for the needs of the few or the many.

Carpe Diem

Living with Intention

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Life is often lived in such a rush, as if we’re racing to get somewhere, that so many blessings go unnoticed. The only place we will get by racing through the day is one step closer to the end. I don’t know about you, but I want to experience all that I’m given, tasting and savoring every morsel of the day, every sip as if it’s the finest, most luscious cup of coffee (perhaps wine for those of you who partake).

I want to feel the cool breeze through my hair and the raindrops splash against my cheeks.

I want to feel that lingering stretch in each muscle upon awakening in the morning, right after I’ve lifted my spirit to my God and given Him my day to orchestrate as He will.

I want to feel the sweat bead on my forehead as I feel the invigoration of a good workout.

I want to hear the birdsong of early morning, the doves calling out peacefully.

I want to hear the crunch of the leaves beneath my feet as I drink in the beauty of the fall colors.

I want to hear the crackle of the fire in the fireplace and feel its warmth on a cold evening, snuggled beneath a fleece blanket and cup of herbal tea or sea salt caramel hot cocoa.

I want to feel my lungs expand with each breath, as my heart expands with gratitude for that breath.

I want to feel the arms of my husband circle around me unexpectedly as I stand at the kitchen counter preparing dinner, his lips warm on my neck.

I want to savor that first sip of coffee each morning as I revel in the stillness of morning, when all the world around me is peacefully asleep.

I want to feel the miracle of truly living each moment of each day.

I want to take nothing for granted, but swell with gratitude for each gift given, no matter how insignificant it may seem.

And for all this, I don’t have to do anything. I simply have to be. A human being rather than a human doing.

“Live with intention.
Walk to the edge.
Listen Hard.
Practice wellness.
Play with abandon.
Laugh.
Choose with no regret.
Appreciate your friends.
Continue to learn.
Do what you love.
Live as if this is all there is.”

— Mary Anne Radmacher

Carpe Diem

T.G.I.F. – Gratitude Friday

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My Top Three for the Week:

3.)  The first juicy red tomato from my patio tomato plant. Yum!

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2.)  My sister and nephew visiting from Minnesota, one of my sons being here as well, and the four of us sitting around the kitchen table late into the evening reminiscing and laughing so hard we were in tears. I think my sister and I lost some parental credibility with our sons as they learned about the pranks their mothers participated in as our stories unfolded of when we attended International Band Camp. Yup, I did say band camp!  🙂 She played the clarinet and I played the flute.

1.)  An early morning run, at a time when the world is quiet and still, and the sun is beginning to rise, giving birth to brilliant pink and white clouds. Truly a blessing to witness such intense beauty.

What are you grateful for this week?

May peace be yours this next week.

T.G.I.F. – Gratitude Friday

Thankful

My top three for this week:

3.)  A beautiful long bike ride filled with conversation with God and abundant blessings.

2.)  My dad telling me on the phone how much he’s enjoying my novel and how proud he is of me. (Do we ever outgrow the need for and joy of our parents’ approval?)

1.)  A youtube video brought to my attention by my blogging friend, Marie, that totally supports my decision to take a partial leave of absence from electronics. Watch here.  (Thank you Marie.)

“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.”  -Denis Waitley

What are you grateful for this week?

And now it’s back off to Camp! 🙂

Back off to the wilderness.

Back off to the wilderness.

TGIF – Gratitude Friday

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The top three things I’m especially grateful for this past week:

1.  My sweet nephew, a man of God, integrity and a heart patient miracle, sailing through a serious brain surgery, sense of humor intact. He’s my inspiration.

2.  Finishing the final revision of my novel, The Inheritance. OMGoodness! I’m not sure if I’m thrilled, scared to death, or relieved. 🙂

3.  Going on a long bike ride on a gorgeous, sunny, warm day with my husband, keeping my thoughts on prayer and gratitude as I cruised along the wooded trail.

May gratitude be contagious to others as you share what you’re grateful for this week. 🙂

Peace.

TGIF – Gratitude Friday

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Top three things I’m especially grateful for this week:

1.)   A good report from the Hematologist after more than a week of needless worry. Amen!

2.)  Taking a nature walk after said news, my heart filled with renewed appreciation for my health, and noticing the little things that bring me joy, like two prairie dogs (yes, I know they’re rodents, but so darn cute), one chasing the other, jumping on him and rolling together in one tangled ball, disentangling and starting the game over again.  And over.  And over… 🙂

3.)  After “studying” gratitude for as long as I have, coming to the realization it’s not a feeling, but a choice. And that’s GREAT news.  We have control over our choices, but not always our feelings.

Please share your gratefulness this past week in the comments section. 🙂

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Have a beautiful day!