30 days of gratitude 8

What book are you most grateful for?

I should probably say the Bible, and I suppose that it is true, because I believe it is truly the Word of God and that we should pay attention and follow it’s teachings. And when I read it, I do feel close to God. I read it every day, but I should read more. I don’t read much. I’ve read the entire thing twice, and the New Testament more than that, but I learn something new every time I open it, it seems like.

The book I am the second most grateful for is a book by Gene Neill called “I’m Gonna Bury You.” It was given to me when I was teenager, and I kept it for years. It’s not my regular type of book but it is very important to me. It has also taught me many things about life and I feel very connected to the author when I read it. It makes me want to be a better person, and to be closer to God in every way.

I could also mention that I’m thankful for the first book I wrote, Pairs, even though it’s not published or anything. It was the book that made me realize that I could actually write and finish a novel, and I will always be grateful for that. I hope I can get it to a point where it can be published one day. I would love to share it with the world.

30 days of gratitude 6

What in nature are you grateful for today?

First off, disclaimer that this is actually Nov. 8 and I’m going to roll the publish date back to the sixth. Just trying to be honest there.

I already did leaves, and fall.

Snow, I guess. I love the snow. Actually, strike that. I want to be thankful for how seasons change. I don’t like it when people complain about how hot it is in the summer and how cold it is in the winter. Yes, I too do not like extreme hot or cold temperatures. But I don’t see any reason in complaining about it.

I like how the seasons change. I like how it’s always something different. Sometimes I’ve thought that I’d like to live in a real temperate climate year-round, but how boring would that be? Snow is cool. And really hot days are cool. (Even though fall is best and spring is second best, duh.) But I’d rather have it be different all the time than the same all the time, even if it’s nice all the time.

Maybe I should think about how life should be like that. Or my outlook on life. I want it to be nice and temperate all the time. But if it wasn’t for the extremes, maybe it would be boring. I don’t know.

Anyway. Thankful for changing seasons.

30 Days of Gratitude 5

What sound are you grateful for today?

Today I am grateful for the sound that autumn leaves make when they are rustling in the trees.

I was having a hard time with something this evening and I went for a drive. Several times I saw autumn leaves on the road or blowing across the street, and I was instantly calmed. The leaves in autumn are so incredibly serene and beautiful. I would like to go visit the northeast part of the country someday in autumn. We have a nice season here but the colors in some of the photographs from the northeast absolutely blow me away.

I very much love the idea of walking along trails in the woods during autumn, going down a path lined with beautiful trees of various colors while the wind blows through the leaves and they gently drift into the pathway all around me. Maybe tie in a little woodsmoke from Day 1, lol.

And yes, I’m also very grateful for the voices of my family and loved ones, and them singing, and that kind of thing, but I’m also grateful for the sound of leaves in the trees. In autumn. <3

Thirty days of gratitude 4

What food are you most grateful for?

I don’t know. I’m writing this after midnight (but it’s fall back tonight so that’s a bonus) and that’s a big surprise question. I suppose my favorite food is pizza but I’m not sure I’m the most grateful for it.

I guess I’m the most grateful for fruit. Can that count? I love that it is natural and it really seems like a gift from God, you know? Grain crops and vegetables are nice too but it seems like fruit is really something that you don’t always have to work hard for. Like the fruit trees we have here. Some have died over the years (I assume because we don’t know how to care for them) but they have given us fruit for a long time. We have peach trees, nectarines, and pears, and we had plums for a very long time. The apple tree isn’t doing much yet but hopefully it will in the future.

We also have the pecan tree, which I know isn’t a fruit, but I don’t care because it is the bomb too.

Growing up, we had apple trees, pear, plums, cherry, and peaches. And we had the mulberry trees that were there when we moved there and produced for so many years. Now we have a mulberry tree in front of a vacant house on the way to town and we eat those sometimes when it is in the season. I’ve picked wild blackberries and persimmons, and my next door neighbor had grape vines when I was a kid. We had one too but they were so sour! Probably they were good for jelly or wine or something.

Anyway, with the exception of ground fruit like strawberries, I just think it’s pretty awesome that if you plant and care for a tree just a little bit, it may be able to provide food for you and your family for years to come.

Which is funny that I wrote about that because strawberries really are my very favorite fruit and they don’t work that way. So I’m thankful for them too, anyway.

This was all over the place but I don’t think it matters.

Thirty days of gratitude 3

Okay! Day 3!

What color are you thankful for?

That would have to be GREEN. Green is my favorite color. I love all types of it. Dark pine green, light lime green, plain old green, just green. It’s so beautiful. And yay, the whole world is full of it a large portion of the year!

I used to like blue the best, when I was very young, but green is so fresh, and alive, and perfect. I’m not describing it well, and that’s okay.

And that favorite childhood color was actually the crayon green-blue, which I think is called cerulean now, so it was still sort of green.

My birthstone is green. It’s a peridot, which is a light green. I used to think it was kind of ugly. My sister Marissa’s birthstone was emerald, which is traditionally considered more lovely. And emerald is truly a lovely color. But over time I have grown to love my sweet birthstone. The first peridot I got that I really loved was my high school class ring. It had a large smooth peridot with a ton of facets inside and I was astonished at how beautiful it truly was.

Anyway, green. That’s what I’m thankful for.

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Thirty Days of Gratitude 2

Day 2.

What technology are you grateful for?

I was planning on saying I was grateful for cellular phones and the way they connect us, but suddenly I don’t think that’s what I want to put. I am grateful for that, but I think I am more grateful for photographs.

I love photographs. I also love video but photos are so convenient. I love taking photos, saving photos, and looking at photos. I love looking at other people’s photos on facebook, instagram, and snapchat. I love finding a photo of my ancestors and thinking about how they lived, what they thought, what they did. And the incredible photos of people I’ll never meet and places I’ll never go? I’ve experienced a thousand lifetimes looking at the photographs of others. Cities, deserts, the ocean, even outer space…photographs have taken me there.

I love that I can look at pictures of people I have lost and I can remember them. Even if that person isn’t in my life anymore for whatever reason, I can still look back and remember, and photographs help with that. I wish I had more pictures of those I have lost. Maybe that’s what drives me to take so many, and save so many.

Not much more to say about that. But I am incredibly grateful for photographs.

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Thirty Days of Gratitude

So I decided to do this Thirty Days of Gratitude thing. My friend Donna posted this on her facebook and I absolutely LOVED the idea. See, I’ve been really keeping my focus on being thankful and praising God in all circumstances, even when it’s something I would categorize as “bad,” and it has helped me in more ways that I can say. The idea is from 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus” and Romans 5:28, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” So even if things seem to be going lousy, I remember to have joy in all things because it’s all working together for good, even if I don’t understand it or see how. So it’s a “let go and let God” kind of thing, really.

Anyway, it’s working for me. Most of the time. And so when November rolled around and my facebook posse began listing the things they were thankful for, I didn’t know quite what I wanted to do. It seemed like if I did the biggest ones – God, family, friends, health, etc. – it would be the same things I’d done in Novembers past. But this list was different. And I like it. I like that it’s showing me things to be thankful for that I don’t usually think about.

So here’s the list. This is the same one Donna posted, but I went and googled and found it on this site: Text My Journal (although I don’t know if it originated here for sure).

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Now. My thanks. I’m actually writing this on Nov. 2 but I’m going to postdate it to Nov. 1, which would be sooo sneaky if I hadn’t just said what I’m doing.

What smell are you thankful for today?

Today I am thankful for the smell of a wood burning stove. When I smell that scent, I am instantly transported back to my grandparents’ house in Stilwell, Oklahoma. This was my dad’s parents, and they had a place on forty acres that my grandpa built himself. There was a stove in the living room and the house always seemed to have that scent in it, even in the summertime. Maybe that is just my memory, or maybe it was embedded in the walls and carpet after so many years. But when I smell that, it’s family and cousins and dominoes and walks out to the pond or out into the woods. It’s playing on the metal swingset and climbing on the doghouse and poking around the the barn. Reading Grandma’s book of headlines from the Tulsa World and hiding in the bushes with cousins. Watching Grandma cook and going with Grandpa to look at his garden or cows. Playing hide and go seek and sitting at the kids table for Thanksgiving and loving every minute of it. It was amazing and simple and perfect, every time. And every time I smell a wood burning stove, I’m there.