Tuesday, April 1, 2014

An Unexpected Journey

The sleet pings against the window. The ground is white again. The wind howls. It is the last day of March.  The calendar tricked us all into thinking it was spring more than ten days ago.   There are some things you just can’t change.  So why complain? Yet, I sit here on my hands trying to stay warm and control myself.  This yucky weather is getting to me.

A few years ago when I began reading, Ann Voskamp’s A Thousand Gifts: Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, I had no idea how it would begin to shape me.  In short, Ann was going through a difficult passage in her life.  At the time, she was a young mother, wife and the daughter of a minister.  She felt unhappy and unfulfilled.   Ann began the practice of documenting images, sounds and events in her life that filled her with gratitude.  Her goal was to accumulate 1,000 life-bites of gratitude.

Three years ago, I began the same practice.  When my heart stirs with discontent or sadness, I reach for my Gratitude Journal.  I may simply begin to connect with gratitude by reading my posts. I slow down, heighten my senses and begin to write.  Here are a few excerpts from my journal:

#1:  The pungent flavor, texture and smell of freshly ground pepper scattered across the surface of my omelet.

#4:  The perfect roll of cuff on my favorite wool sweater.

#183:  A forest path mottled with light.

#449: Scraping the windshield produces ribbons of frost.

#731:  Hugs from former students who are now taller than me.

#759:  Warm floorboards.

#831:  Husband’s whistling as he comes through the door.

Consciously for me, there are no guidelines or rules associated with this journal.  I don’t write in it everyday. As a matter of fact, I have misplaced the journal for days, weeks and  months. When I find it-I begin the practice again.

This has allowed me to focus on the good in my life. Gratitude opens my heart to love and the possibilities available to me.


Second Grade Smiles and Styles said...

Thank you for the reminder to look for the goodness in life, the little things. Your gratitude journal is a wonderful idea! Thanks for the reminder to read your blog too.

elsie said...

That is an awesome journal you have started! You should link up on Saturdays to Ruth Ayres Celebration, it is a time to reflect on the positives of the week.

Tara Smith said...

731 and 831 - I love that you included these. And what a wonderful idea to keep a gratitude journal.

Rdgtchr said...

I started a Gratitude journal in January. It is such a powerful tool, don't youthink?

travelinma said...

Thank you for visiting.

travelinma said...

I just learned about Ruth's initiative. I would love to be a part of that.

travelinma said...


travelinma said...

YES! Just wait.

Beverley Baird said...

I restarted the practice in January - of writing what I am thankful for most days. When we live with gratitude it helps to get through the rough patches. Love Anne's book! and her website for that matter

Kimberley Moran said...

I need this too! You're so full of ideas that warm my heart.