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.
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.