Sunday, December 18, 2011

A few things I'm grateful for today...

1. the smell of incense, especially when it was received as a gift from a friend

2. having several hours alone at home - doing laundry, cleaning bathrooms, vacuuming, reading, journaling, watching mindless television, and basking in silence and solitude

3. painting - adding hot wax and salt for texture and intrigue

4. the final days before the celebration of the birth of Christ - thinking so much about Mary being pregnant with God

5. discovering new blogs, new books, new ways to live a deeper, fuller, more joy-filled life

6. the many blessings of this year - new connections with old friends, discovering more of my creative side,  being remembered, graduations, weddings, new babies, new love, opportunities to teach, to write and to travel

7. the challenges also - in some of my closest relationships, on my faith journey, friends facing serious illness, death, broken hearts, loneliness, separation, divorce

8. oatmeal, rosemary olive oil bagels, home-roasted peanuts, and running kale, carrots, apples, lemons, clementines, and a shockingly red beet through the juicer

9. hair color, shampoo, conditioner, rollers, and powerful hair dryers

10. electricity, running water, carpeting, hardwood floors, candles, and warm towels

11. having the luxury of staying at home with my children all these years as a homeschooling mother

12. the newly discovered practice of giving myself permission to say "no" and the power that comes from that tiny word

13.  the joy, the excitement, and the anticipation of all that is possible when I say "yes."

14. one of the simplest prayers I know - "Lord, have mercy" - saying it over and over again

15. rest, silence, peace, and simplicity

16. sale prices at the supermarket on the things we like most

17. bad habits broken, good habits begun

18. seeing improvement

19. the Christmas lights, ornaments, and memories hanging on our tree

20. love, plain and simple love, complicated, inexplicable love, long-term love, brand new love, the love of friends, the love of children, the love of a faithful dog, and the anticipation of the love that is yet to come

21. no longer feeling like my lists have to be cleverly produced or end in even numbers

22. all the people in my life who have ever shared a similar list with me

23. recognizing and embracing the enormity of how little I know and have experienced in my lifetime

In the spirit of full disclosure: this blog was written on the evening of Saturday the 17th so that I can take a break from blogging on Sunday. In fact, I'm going to (try to) take a complete break from the internet on Sunday the 18th. I expect that the withdrawal will feel worse than my first day of abstaining from sugar, but I'm gonna try. See you on the other side.

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