She says keeping track can be life-changing.

I agree.

Sunlight filtering through trees.
Grasses waving in the wind.
A happy dog’s tail wagging.

Hot cup of cocoa.

The list above is just some of the things that make a difference, some big, a lot of them small… the little things we don’t always notice. They are reminders that grace still reigns, that beauty still exists.

Keeping a list of thanks is beneficial to the spirit; takes the focus off the problems and onto the possibilities and the precious gifts already in front of us.

Truth is, we live in a difficult world and many of us suffer greatly, and we will all most likely suffer in some way or another, at some time if it hasn’t happened already. But in the midst of it, the happy times, the hard times, the beauties are still there. Some things stand true, no matter what.

I’ve been trying to notice them more… and I can tell you, it does help. I am indeed noticing more, paying more attention. I don’t want my life to be a testament to the “tryanny of the urgent” (a phrase coined by Charles Hummel in 1967 in is his classic essay of the same title). I’d rather be more intentional, more deliberate.

So I start with thanks, with everything from the basics– food, shelter, clothing… the things He says I don’t even need to worry about (amazing, that!), to even more, so much more, that He bestows.

Some benefits of keeping a gratitude journal:

1) to shift the focus off “me, myself and I”

2) to keep mindful of the gifts each day

3) as a reminder, as a record of sorts, to refer back to, as remembrances of God’s gifts and goodness

4) a record of days, like a journal

5) a change in attitude, perspective

6) to give thanks where it’s due

It’s been a sweet thing…I keep my record here, online. Each Monday (or most Mondays) I post a list of things I’m thankful for. You could get yourself a notebook or a cute little journal. Whatever works for you to get started writing them down. ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s my gratitude list, which is for the past 2 weeks:


444. a basketball hoop in the front yard… great for active boys

445. Getting sick and missing the Women of Faith conference… So why am I thankful for this? How else does a busy mom get to spend 2 days in bed? ๐Ÿ™‚ Of course I was feeling miserable… but that’s beside the point, LOL.

446. Antibiotics, which it turns out I needed. I feel much better now!

447. A gorgeous Indian summer here in WI. I can’t remember a nicer beginning to October. It’s usually near the freezing point.

448. A beautiful afternoon spent outside at a park, walking and sitting in the sun. Bliss.

449. Playing monopoly with my 8 year old real estate tycoon. He bought houses. I had to pay rent. I lost.

450. Playing duets with my daughter– she on cello, me on piano. We played a couple of songs from the Lord of the Rings movies. I need to practice!

451. Safety while traveling on the highways this past week. We have to drive about 20 miles most days of the week, and each day this past week, we passed an accident, dealt with major traffic delays and heavy construction. Twice, because of construction, I was diverted toward a different direction. Thankfully we made it safe with all the detours. I hope all of this roadwork is finished soon– it would be a mess during winter. (Do you know the local WI joke?) Here it goes: There are two seasons in Wisconsin: Winter and Construction
And you know what, it is TRUE. They’re CONSTANTLY fixing up the roads here.

452. Watching the newest release of Jane Eyre on Netflix– I saw it in the theater, but wanted to watch it again. It’s the best rendition of the book I’ve seen– authentic. Loved seeing it again, all by myself.

453. Ordering grains, andย  more grains. I’ve got whole grains coming, people, and we’re talking wheat berries, rye berries, millet, buckwheat groats, barley… Just wow.ย  I may be getting enough grain to feed the whole block (just kidding!). It is more than I’ve EVER BOUGHT, however, and I’m looking forward to making some homemade bread… with a little slather of melted butter on top…. Don’t be surprised if I show up at the next potluck with bread, haha. ๐Ÿ™‚

454. A one year birthday for a friend’s baby… who was born with a lot of problems. He is fed by tube, has had two heart surgeries, and had numerous developmental delays. Yet he has grown, and his presence is a gift.

455. watching a dog stick his head out the window of a driving car

456. watching kids play soccer outside

457. Holding my friend’s 17 pound, 2 month old baby… he’s a twin, and my friend can carry them both at the same time, one on each hip. But for me, that one healthy boy was enough of a happy workout. ๐Ÿ™‚

458. Kleenex. Lots of kleenex, for runny noses. Enough said.

459. Doing literature lessons with my 10 year old. He is an avid reader. But lately it’s been things like “Garfield” that he’s been choosing. I think my boys have checked out every single Garfield cartoon book available in our local library over the past 6 months. We’re upping the ante. I was hoping a good old Sherlock Holmes mystery (written for children) might appeal… we’ll see.

460. Listening to a new Gungor single… one of my favorite groups. The talent, the depth, the quality… just wonderful.

461. Tea. Coffee. Caffeine.

462. That God answered Hannah’s prayer. That Peninnah was silenced. That “… it is not by strength that one prevails.” 1 Samuel 2:9. Amen!

463. Reading Organized Simplicity. A really good book!

464. A great literature discussion on one of the world’s oldest epics, “Gilgamesh”, with some middle and high schoolers last Friday… despite my almost non-existent congested voice.


Do you keep a gratitude journal? If you’re interesting in posting one online, you can join me and other bloggers here, each Monday, by posting a link to your site.

{This is day 10 of 31 Days of Living Healthier}

path of treasure
{Linking withย  A Holy Experience, Multitudes on Mondays}