Heart in the Clouds

Friday, January 7, 2011

Gratitudes 2011 - #1

So here we are. The 1st week of 2011 comes to a close.

I have been trying to decide what I want to do with this year's Gratitudes. Do I want to keep it going the way it's been, or do I want to change it up a little bit? I haven't decided for sure, but I DO know that I want to add in more photography. Maybe now and then I'll do an all-photo gratitude list. It's easy to do because I have things all around me to be thankful for. Also, I'm thinking that I'll blog about things outside of the "sphere of gratitude"--thoughts and dreams and projects and people and places.

I guess I'm wanting some sort of good change in EVERY area of my life. I have no delusion that my blog is being read by a lot of people. I know I have a couple of people who read every post, but I know this is something most people, even those on my FB friends list, will never see. Thus, this blog is more for my benefit than it is for anyone else. I hope it's encouraging, though, if you DO happen to read it.

I've been thinking a lot about my life recently and the things I want to see happen in my life this year. So maybe this blog will also be a place where I can work out my thoughts and experiences. But I hope you know that you are free to comment and give your own thoughts on different topics that come up.

Bear with me while I work it all out. I am, and always will be, grateful and I hope that I reflect that in my life and my words...and my photos, for that matter. :)

This week, I'm grateful for...

Tourtiere. Sean made it from scratch. In fact, he made a few. It turned out great and the crust is fabulous and I know have a freezer full of tourtiere awaiting future meals. So good.

Family time. A layoff allows for that time and I'm so grateful that we're getting to have time with Sean, even though that means our bank account is a little lower than usual. God is good and we know that there is a purpose for everything. So we're taking advantage of the time we have together.

Playdates--with and without kids. :) Recently, I've had some time with friends by myself and I've had time with friends WITH my kids. Both ways it's been good and I'm thankful for quality time in any form.

Snow. Yes, I'm trying. If you know me, you know that I HATE snow and Winter is my hibernation period. However, in an effort to really live in every season of life...and in every season of the year...I'm choosing to be thankful for the snow. It's really beautiful when it sparkels in the sun, and I love the thought that there are diamonds hidden in there for me.

New mercies every morning. I don't deserve them, but God gives them to me anyway.

A wonderful Christmas season. This is the first time in a while where, when people ask me how my holidays were, I can say sincerely that they were easy and mellow and enjoyable. There was no "rush-rush", as there tends to be. There was no insane focus on buying things and spending money. I decided after Thanksgiving that I wanted to take it easy and really enjoy the real reason for the Christmas celebration. It worked and I am so thankful that I got to really experience Christmas for the first time in a long time.

The Shawshank Redemption. I love that movie. I love it. I love it. I love it. It's a story about how you can choose to let institutionalization overtake you, or you can hold on to hope that the strength inside you can't be choked out if you don't let it. We watched it last night and it was a good reminder for me to continue to hope. God knows what he's doing.

I hope that you really think about the direction you want your life to take, especially in this new year. I hate making resolutions, but I do know that everyone has dreams. So I hope that some of your dreams come true this year. Keep your chin up. One of my FB friends, Heather Sanders, posted this as her status: "When you are down to nothing, God is up to something. The faithful see the invisible, believe the incredible and receive the impossible." It reminded me that I shouldn't give up or lose hope just because I've been feeling like I'm down to nothing. God has a plan and he's never failed me. God has a plan for you, too, and don't forget it. :) 

Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

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