Oh, Hey Friends.
It’s Day 4 (I started counting Monday since that was the first day off from school) and like most of us, I’ve been riding the waves of this “pandemic” as best as I can. Personally, for the hard parts, I’ve been mentally moving through the various stages… denial, a bit of anger, bargaining/reasoning, some sadness and finally acceptance because there is literally nothing that I can do to change these circumstances. Well, nothing with the exception of changing my perspectives in it all.
So, the one thing that has ALWAYS helped me, in difficult times is to list what I am thankful for. I started a Gratitude journal on January 1st and officially have over 800 things so far for this year. It’s not an original idea. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17 says, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in ALL circumstances for this is God’s will for you.” And I have to be honest, giving thanks and for me, writing it down really does help. So, in honor of wanting to encourage, today I came up with seven things that I’m thankful for and would love for you to share seven things that you’re thankful for. You can do it on Facebook, or if you want, feel free to text or email them as well. Here goes mine…
1. Puzzles. I actually really enjoy doing them and have conquered quite a few 1,000 piece ones (always ones by Charles Wysocki because my mom told me they are the best). But because they are time consuming, I cannot remember the last time I had time to do one. That being said, I had this one saved for a rainy day, and so Ellee and I opened it up and got to work.
2. Plants. I’m actually pretty bad at plants. But I picked up these ones at the grocery store and now I have these cute plants that make me happy. Left to right, I have mint, thyme (or maybe rosemary, now that I think of it, I’m not sure) and basil. The basil might look rough because it fell out and spilled all over our van, but it is slowly coming back to life. I have no idea what you’re supposed to do with the mint, but it smells amazing and if anyone knows anything, feel free to share.
3. Sanitizers. I’ve spent years telling Ellee that she didn’t need the cute little sanitizers from Bath and Body Works. But then because they were cheap, I usually let her pick out some anyways. Well, I have to admit I was thrilled today when Ellee searched around her room and came up with a gold mine of sanitizers. I had one in our van that I’ve been using, but it’s nice to know we have backups if needed.
4. Homemade Cookies. We might have limited access to certain groceries during this time, but I’m happy to share that I can still bake cookies and that makes me happy.
5. Laundry. Or no laundry. This bin has been overflowing with laundry, pretty much as long as I can remember because honestly, household things are my least favorite. But thanks to being at home pretty much always, I have time to do all the laundry and that has given me a great sense of accomplishment.
6. Things to do. Being honest, every day this week has felt like Saturday. And I know it’s going to get old soon. But thankfully, there are always things to do. I have quite a few closets in our house that could use a deep cleaning, that those are next on my list of ways to keep busy. Also, the pictures to the left are ones from one of our trips to Rome. Last year, Jeremy and I had talked about traveling to Europe this past month, and THANK GOD we didn’t go because we could have ended up stuck there and unable to get back home.
7. Faith. And finally, I’m most thankful during this time for the ways it’s strengthening my faith. Like much of the world, it’s easy to fall into fear these days. Easy to dwell in anxiety and stress. But I know that God really is with us and that no matter what, we don’t have to to worry and we don’t have to fear. Reading my Bible (or using the Bible app plans) has helped to keep my focus where it needs to be. And next to my bible is my journal of 800+ things that I can choose to be thankful for, no matter these circumstances.
So those are my seven things from today. I would love to hear yours and love to encourage you to keep a list or make it a daily goal to track all that you can be thankful for during this time. I believe with all my heart that it helps and helps to change our views of everything going on around us.
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