Tag Archives: gratitude

Gratitude


swallotail butterfly

Giant Swallowtail grateful for the butterfly bush in my yard!

It’s been awhile since I wrote a blog. I just haven’t had any ideas and have lacked motivation. Odd, that, since folks seem to like what I write. But finally today, my muse is working again. Thank God.

Being grateful is the last thing we think of if we’re going through hard times. It doesn’t matter how old we are, what our circumstances are, or what our level of education is. When times are tough, all we can think of is “Poor me;” “Why is this happening to me?;” or “This isn’t fair. Life isn’t fair to me.”

Of course life isn’t fair. It seems as if it takes forever for us to learn that simple lesson. Life is not a court of law where God metes out a sentence for us to serve.  Life is, well, just life. We can take it as it comes and try to make the best of it, or we can complain our way into old age and then look back wondering what happened.

But gratitude is such an incredible feeling if we will wrap our arms around it, embrace it as if it is our soul mate, and look up to Heaven believing that we are blessed.

When I feel blue, I make a gratitude list. I start out with three things per day and keep it up for as long as two weeks. The things I’m grateful for can be typical, ordinary things that I often take for granted: arms, legs, fingers, toes (even if they do need a pedicure!), eyes to see, ears to hear, and a voice to speak (some may think I speak the wrong thing at the wrong time, but that’s on them!).

I move to other things like having a roof over my head, a bed in which to sleep, and food in my fridge. Once I get going on my list, it’s really hard to stop and to limit it to three things a day. I take my list, look at it each morning and concentrate on being grateful. And, of course, the people in my life: family, friends, strangers I haven’t met yet!

It’s amazing how fast my feelings of self-pity disappear when I stay in an attitude of gratitude. God has blessed me beyond belief. When I remember that, I’m much more likely to have a smile on my face.

What are you grateful for today? I’d love to read the beginning of your list.

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Puff


Puff. What do you think about when you see this word? A simple little word stands for many things. If you’re a child of the a60’s, you may remember Peter, Paul and Mary’s song, “Puff the Magic Dragon.” If you click on the link, you can listen to it while you read! Everyone always said the song was about marijuana, but I still just think of it as a cute children’s song for kids of all ages.

Cream puffs melt in your mouth. In the South, custard is the standard filling for cream puffs. But when I was a child, I remember them as having fluffy whipped cream inside.

A puff of cigarette smoke is anathema to someone who is allergic.

You can make beautiful  bubbles by puffing your breath at some soap on a small plastic wand with two open circles in it.

As you’re walking into the post office, a woman walks by. She’s dressed to the nines and you detect a puff of sensual perfume as she passes.

Puff on a dandelion, and it’s tender feather-like blossom blows apart and scatters to the wind.

What other definitions or uses of the word do you know? I’d love it if you’d share with me and my readers!

Today is December 22, 2012, and the holiday season is in full swimg. In nine days, this year will be over. What has it brought to you? What have you learned? How have you grown? What have you done for others? What have you done for yourself? How is your relationship with God? Do you even have one? Do you want one? Why or why not? Hmmm…lots of questions. I always raised my hand when I was in school; I always asked lots of questions. It drove some of the students nuts, but the teachers mostly liked it because it told them I was engaged in the learning process.

I’m still engaged in the learning process, but not academically. Every day I learn something new or see a  fresh way of looking at someone or something in my life.

My life is slower than it’s ever been before, and that is somewhat disconcerting at times. On the other hand, it gives me more time to think and plan, reflect and pray, and to just rest. Did you take five minutes out of your day to thank God for something or someone in your life? Have you ever made a gratitude list when you’re under stress, angry or confused?

Gratitude lists have a way of clearing the mind from negative thoughts. When you’re concentrating on the positive, it’s impossible to also dwell on the negative. You should try it sometime. Just put three things a day on a piece of paper and do it for two weeks. When you start feeling sorry for yourself, being angry or just feeling restless and discontent, look at the list. You’d be amazed at how changing your thoughts improves your life in such a short time.

Puff – a magic word with many meanings. Puff, a whole new day begins. Puff, 2012 comes to a close. Puff, we are here today and gone tomorrow. Puff…just sit with the word. It’s so special. It’s soft on your lips, has a sing-song ring to it, and looks really neat in writing. Grab a cream puff and gobble it down. It’s okay. The diet can start in a few days or a week or two. There’s no hurry really, is there?

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