Thursday, January 27, 2011

January Reflections: Grateful

We had a strange Christmas last month.  It was not its usual festive self; instead, this personified our Christmas day and the days around it... quiet and subdued, our home empty of traditional food, fun, and visitors. Completely unlike any Christmas we've ever had.

Yet I found that my perspective on this time was instinctively grateful.  I knew that if I gave in to disappointment, I would remember it as a dismal excuse for a holiday.  Instead, I can look back on it as a beautifully long, uninterrupted family moment [no one else was up for contracting flu!].  The slow steadiness of those days is virtually unknown in our usual busy family rhythm.  Choosing to be thankful for that time hugely challenged my perspective, and I learned that wellness and health don't have to be perfect for life to be enjoyed.  My challenge is to choose to enjoy life as it is, and find things to be grateful for in the midst of everything.  This January Reflections prompt has been timely.

Fifty things I'm grateful for... I love ellipses so I'm going to use those instead of numbering.

I'm grateful for... Jesus; belief in Him has made my entire life worth living... my understanding husband, who is a true friend... Mr J, who makes me laugh... Righty, who encourages me with his philosophical approach to life... Lefty, who reminds me that life sometimes needs to be predictable... Coo, possessed of an inspiringly indomitable spirit...  my mother, for showing me how wonderful books can be... my father and his great sense of humour... the amazing individuality of my brothers and sisters... my homemaking grandma... my legendary grandpa... my creative grandmother... my story-writing grandfather... the strong community of people around me following Jesus... neighbours who're like family... faraway friends who I've known forever yet hardly seen in the last decade, though any time spent together now is like being right back where we were before... closer-dwelling friends who are kindred spirits in so many ways... all the moments of my days spent with the above people and the effect they've had on my life.

This is starting to sound like an acceptance speech, so I'm going to move on to more material things here.

I'm grateful for [yes, you've heard it before but I do love them so I'm allowed to be grateful again!] soy candles that smell as if I've been baking... freshly ground coffee beans waiting to be made into coffee... an oven that bakes incredibly well [very true, ask anyone who's used it!]... coffeecake of any kind, though blueberry and cinnamon are two favourites... soft yarn wound into a ball ready to be knitted into something new... scraps of colourful fabric that can be crafted into patchwork, shapes, pockets, or tiny bags... worn out clothing that can be dyed and/or ripped up and changed into something useable... a plain-Jane sewing machine that has aided my crafting without fail over the last ten years.

I'm grateful for the freezing cold that kills off the germs... Pilates, which kills me but saves me at the same time... walks to town in that icy cold... a cosy hot drink after the walk... curling up sitting up [yes, Pilates!] with a book... sword-fighting with Mr J in the lounge... the deep, purply blue colours of the throw on our lounge sofa... the tiny matching wooden "elephant" stools in the lounge, always a reminder to me of our twin boys... the books that line our bookshelves just waiting to be opened... an under-the-stairs cupboard full of food... the cardboard box currently on our kitchen floor, crammed with juicy purple Italian blood oranges... organic sourdough rye bread sliced thin and toasted, spread with butter... Coo's plummy purple and fuschia-tinted red stripy tights - so adorable!... Coo rocking her big-bootied cloth nappy look... the way she helped me collect her nappies from their drying places all over the house and put them away today.

I'm grateful for exciting future plans... and those days that are just the usual everyday routine... hours spent learning with my family... the promise of travel in the months to come... safe returns from every journey taken... maturing relationships with family and friends... ideas that don't stop coming, bombarding my brain with information and motivation... quieter moments when my mind is at rest.

Finally, I'm thankful for right now... this very moment, which is swiftly passing away like all the others and yet... everyone else is asleep and I can write without interruptions!  


  1. Such a wonderful post! You write so well, I can always *see* clearly the things you write about. I'm so glad I discovered your blog xo

  2. Thank you, Glynis. It's encouraging words like yours which keep me blogging.

  3. I agree with Glynis. Keep blogging Erin!
    After 3 days, I am going through withdrawals already! But I know you're busy :)

  4. Ha, thanks N8! I've had so little free time over this weekend but I'm going to write a bit later if I can grab some time! :)


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