31.1.11

Birthday Giveaway


Today is my birthday and the end of my 34th year. Some of you will remember that for birthdays our family takes turns mentioning something they are thankful for about the birthday person and giving them some sort of blessing for the new year. A few years back, I remember my father in law blessing me to have a greater capacity for thankfulness. It wasn't until he said it that that I was able to understand that I was missing gratitude in my life. It's sort of silly to think back on it, but it had never occurred to me to be intentional about gratitude.


A week later I ran into Ann Voskamp's post about her gratitude list. I don't think it was a coincidence. And so I started to make a list of my own. It's true you know, practicing gratitude changes you, and the change is good. I have the past two or three years as proof.


Today on my birthday I am giving thanks for:

  • sun glistening on rain wet grass and patio tiles
  • Aaron's gourmet omelets
  • Jellybean's sleepy smiles when he sees me
  • The way the Girl was sad that she wouldn't be able to go with her daddy to buy me a present this morning and it matters so much to her that I get it this day.
  • When Aaron makes sure to smell like my favorite things.
  • The way my kids are laughing as they play together
  • Remembering to take time to read
  • Little's face when her daddy is being silly with her
  • The "like family" friends who love so well and are so generous.
  • Sunny Saturdays lounging in the yard.
  • back yard picnic on a school day lunch break
  • The way we lingered at the dinner table last night and talked
  • Baby smell mixed with the freshness of line dried sleepers
  • Little gave me brand new favorite stuffed dog this morning. "fo your birfday mama."
  • All of you who find me here in my little corner of the internet and encourage me so.
So for my birthday I decided I want to give you a gift. In case you didn't know, Ann has now written a book called, you are going to be shocked, One Thousand Gifts.


I haven't finished it yet, I just started reading my copy this weekend, but it is essentially a guide to understanding why gratitude, and how to practice it in the real everyday of our lives.

I will be giving away one copy of this book at the end of the week. (full disclosure, I paid for it myself.)

Here's how to win. Leave me a comment telling me about something that is a blessing to you this year, or a practice that you have discovered that changed your life.

If you want a second chance you can @carrien_laughs on twitter sharing the link to here so others can have a chance to win too.

I will close comments at 12am on Friday and choose a winner at random.

Thank you all for being here and sharing the journey.



holy experience

17 comments:

  1. A blessing to me this year was getting a job at the school district. My sister has Down Syndrome and there is so many people who hear those words and just assume she is nothing more than her condition. They've never gotten a morning hug from her or seen her eyes light up when she grasps something for the first time. I've wanted to work with sped kids for a while now and I am so grateful to have the chance to show people the kids full potentials.

    Also seeing the mountains at sunset for the first time rates high up on my list :)

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  2. I also shared the link on my Twitter :)

    http://twitter.com/#!/cheesecubes523

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  3. At this moment I am grateful for deliciously foggy days, homemade apricot jam, frisky kittens and geriatric cats, chickens and their lovely fresh eggs, a morning that unfolded without tears, labradorks, super soft thrifted cloth napkins, the library, spun wool and knitting, The Shins and macaroons.

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  4. A blessing this year is a husband who always looks out for our family's best interest. He works hard and loves us so much. I know that not everyone has that kind of love and support. I am thankful.

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  5. This year I have been learning about community. In November we welcomed a friend to come live with us as she began a new chapter of her life in this country.

    It means there are now 7 of us living in our small three bedroom house. And there are always friends popping in and out. Everyone is learning to share. I am learning to relax and be fluid about stopping to make tea and not freaking about routine or house work.

    Sometimes I feel the need for some space and greedy for alone time, but then I remember that personal space is a luxury that most of the world can't afford, and I remember that the lack of it is a side effect of having lots of people in our home. And I've come to the conclusion that I'd sure as heck prefer having people in our life than not.

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  6. My blessing has been my family. In the last year I had three surgeries and I wasn't able to do a lot of things. My mother and father and husband and siblings were there for me when I needed them. I am getting better but I know I have them behind me.

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  7. Melody in SD4:09 PM

    One blessing that has changed my life in a very practical way is finding the blog "Like Mother, Like Daughter". Leila manages to gently prompt mommas into putting their expectations of homelife into a common sense, but still kick in the pants way. It's changed so much of the way I operate for the better.

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  8. As the snow comes down and it becomes colder and colder (going below zero tonight and tomorrow night), I am so thankful for a warm, comfortable home and plenty of food to eat.

    I really liked your post. It is such a good reminder to me. Happy Birthday!

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  9. A blessing for me this past year. . . the little babe Im holding right now while trying to type this response!! :)

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  10. Happy birthday!!

    I am grateful for snow days, for hot coffee, for flannel sheets, and for finding contentment a little bit at at time.

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  11. I'm learning how to be grateful for suffering! Crazy, huh? At school we have a picture of a bunch of high school boys with bald heads. One of the them had cancer and the rest of them shaved their heads in solidarity with his suffering. Can you imagine that kind of friendship? You know how especially close you feel to someone who has experienced the same pain you have? I'm learning that in my suffering I can move closer to Christ. What a gift. I've struggled with the "why's" of suffering for a while and I'm thankful I'm just beginning to make peace with it...

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  12. A blessing for me is that husband encouraged me to finally get a monthly massage. I've had a very stressful couple years (major move for new job which wasn't what I expected). Looking forward to the massage is what keeps me going some weeks! Without my husband's encouragement and willingness to spend the money on something he doesn't understand (he's never like massages)....

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  13. Therapy, for myself and with my husband. Exploring my feelings and our relationship has been my saving grace this past year and I look forward to many more years of exploring who I am and how my husband and I work as a couple and seeing the benefits.

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  14. I just finished this book and it is changing the way I react to my kids. Love how I am awakening to a grateful heart. If I win, I will give it to a friend. :)

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  15. I am thankful that the more I seek the more I want to seek. The deeper I go..the deeper I want to go. The more I love..the more love there is to give! Blessings on your journey!

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  16. Anonymous3:01 PM

    The biggest thing to be thankful for is picking up all 3 of my children safe and sound from a locked down school after an attempted abduction. Makes me realize that so many of the little things truly don't matter-all that matters is that we are all together and safe in a house of love!!!

    Love Tanya Catonio

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  17. A blessing this year is a husband who always looks out for our family's best interest. He works hard and loves us so much. I know that not everyone has that kind of love and support. I am thankful.

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