I have more gifts to list... Ones that I had to fight through some hormonal moodiness and kid-related stress to feel thankful for. But choosing to "fight feeling with feeling" to replace stress, hurt, anxiety, and even weariness with Thanksgiving and praise truly transformed my outlook! It works! It works! I want to shout it from the rooftops!
17. Quiet moments in front of a sink full of dirty dishes
18. Empty, clean, shining sink
19. Real coffee
20. Imaginary coffee in tiny plastic teacups
21. Signs of progress
22. Clean, sweet-smelling babies
23. Changes of heart
24. Signs (everywhere) of life
25. Kind strangers
26. Lists of Easter planning
27. Chipmunk chirps
28. Daddy home early!
29. Young heartaches that call for hair smoothing and back-rubbing
30. Calm after a storm
31. The subtle "lifting" of sadness
32. Sometimes seeing the "why" behind the "no"
33. Friends who help
34. The Power to CHOOSE
35. Bright green grass with tiny purple flowers
36. Giggles and hiccups
37. A simple task, completed
38. lost baseball jersey, found!
39. A husband to iron clothes for
40. Clothes to iron
41. Being available to iron clothes for husband
42. Hot, clean, running water
43. Smell of fresh towels
44. Feel of hot sunshine and gentle breeze
45. Quiet of naptime
Each one, a gift from God, a thing of beauty, a kiss from a loving Father. All of them frozen like a snap shot in my mind, simply because I took time to say "Thank You". In all things, but especially in the hard things, like a child's heartbreak, or the tedious things, like ironing and dishes, the conscious choice to be verbally thankful restores JOY. Oh, how I wish I had learned this secret years ago... But it isn't really a secret, is it?
"Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious- the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me (Paul), what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, Who makes EVERYTHING work together, will work you into His most excellent harmonies." Philippians 4:8-9, The Message paraphrase