So for the past several weeks Britt and I have peppered y’all with fall and thankful themed posts…obviously because we’ve entered that time of year and it’s Thanksgiving week after all.
- I went a little science teacher on you with my post on why leaves change color…and Britt gave you some tasty pumpkin seed recipes to try out for yourself.
- Britt provided you a printable to help you with an I-Spy Walk with your family on Thanksgiving Day.
- She also provided you with instructions on how to make a family Thankful Tree…and by the way we’ve loved seeing the trees some of you have made. Thanks for sharing those with us…it’s such an encouragement.
But the post I really want to bring you back to is the one that I re-posted from my friend Kelly Flanagan’s blog UnTangled – Caution: Abusing Gratitude Could Be Life Threatening.
Essentially…in his thought-provoking post, Dr. Kelly challenged us to join him on a gratitude challenge…to carry around a little notepad to record all those things we’re grateful for throughout the day. And if you do, he hopes that…with a greater sense of gratitude…of recognized abundance, you’ll be able to shake off your fears…your old ways of looking at things, and move into a new space where you’re not only more content, but where you’re able to discover new things about yourself and others…finding new paths to where you want to go.
I have to confess, I don’t like carrying things around in my pocket and I’m not a disciplined rule-follower either. But I do love a good challenge…especially one that might help me get out of a funk. So for the past several weeks…when I try to calibrate my heart and mind each morning…with coffee in hand…I’ve made an effort to record those things that I bump into every day that I’m thankful for. Or at least I should be thankful for…but instead I often fly past them without a moment’s consideration…much less pausing long enough to appreciate them for what they really are.
So I thought I’d share a handful of things I’m thankful for…in hopes that they’d spark some thankful thoughts in you as well.
I’m thankful for … warm, soft cheeks
Britt and I didn’t have difficulty getting pregnant…but we did have a tough time staying pregnant. We miscarried twins before Brown, then had 2 miscarriages between Brown and Littlest One. And actually, we were told that we had miscarried Littlest One too because they couldn’t find her heartbeat during an ultrasound. But by the grace of God we had a second, more advanced ultrasound that led to the most beautiful words we’ve ever heard… “folks we have a heartbeat.”
So last week, in the sweet silence of Littlest One’s room when I bent down to kiss her warm, soft cheek goodnight, I paused and found myself thankful…so very thankful. Thankful for the precious little girl attached to those warm soft cheeks…and the not-so-little-anymore-brown-eyed-girl asleep in the room next door. I get to be their daddy…and I’m so very thankful for that.
I’m thankful for … an achy back
Just over 5 years ago I was a slug of a man…no energy and 35 pounds heavier. I had fallen asleep at the wheel of life and had begun the slow fade into a very dull, soft existence. Then I woke up and started to work out…to exercise on a regular basis. And today I often find myself having an achy back…or legs, or chest, or um…buttocks. But I’m thankful for that achy back…because with it comes energy, focus, health…and hopefully more years to enjoy the life I’ve been blessed with…with Britt and our precious girls.
I’m thankful for … the smell of fresh baked bread
Now that I work from home quite a bit, I often get to smell the wafting of fresh baked bread as I ascend from the basement where my little “corner” office is. During Britt’s baking session this week, I was reminded not only of how blessed I am to be able to have food on the table – really good food, but also that I have a wife who cares more for what I put in my mouth than I do. Seriously…if it weren’t for Britt, I’d be eating fast-food several times a week (…which perhaps is what led to the slug I mentioned above!). But instead…I get to eat highly nutritious meals…that often include freshly baked bread that Britt made from wheat that she friggin’ ground herself! So I’m thankful for the smell of fresh baked bread…and the hands that made it.
I’m thankful for … dreams
It wasn’t until I started down this Redeem Your Ground journey…after I really decided that this was going to be our path, that I started to dream again. And it wasn’t until I started dreaming again that I realized that I had ever stopped dreaming…but I had. I’m not certain for how long…but at some point after following other peoples’ dreams for my life, my dreams had gone to sleep.
But today I have big colorful dreams. Now, don’t get me wrong…following this RYG dream isn’t without it’s challenges…I’ve actually never been more challenged in all my life on so many levels. But now I’m engaged in life…I’m fully awake. And in part, I have my dreams to thank for that.
I’m thankful for … cotton sheets
Marriage is difficult. I’d even say it’s even more difficult for me than being a parent. I’ve got to work at it…be intentional, be humbled…all things that I don’t always want to do or be. And I’m no saint…I often mess things up with my pride, focusing on things other than Britt, laziness, and my inability to listen as intently or as long as I should.
But I love Britt…and I know that she loves me. She fits me perfectly, challenges me, and requires me to be more of the man I was created me to be. And every night…even if we’ve had a blow-up earlier that day that left me wanting to run for the hills…I get to crawl into those warm, soft cotton sheets and spoon the woman of my dreams. I’m so thankful for those crisp, clean, white cotton sheets…all that they represent and all that they remind me of.
So did you do the gratitude challenge? But even if you didn’t…what are you thankful for? I’d love to know…to be inspired by you…to live an even more thankful, abundant life.
Happy Thanksgiving friends,