Monday, November 15, 2010

1000 Gratitudes

holy experience


I am reading a book called, Living with Less so Your Family Has More by Jill and Mark Savage. What this book is not is a how to get rich quick, or how to have all the toys for less money. It is about learning to be content with what we have, and learning to live with less stuff, so we have more time to enjoy with our family and reaching out to others. It's about Gratitude. Chapter 4 especially (I'm actually only on Chapter 5) really drove some things home for me as to why I allow myself to become discontent.

1) I believe the siren call of advertising. Although we don't watch television, bigger, better, newer, is out there everywhere I/we look. Even some of the blogs I've read are always touting better, smarter, more fashionable, (more expensive).

2) I get "introduced" to something better. I'm trying to come up with an example of something I want (notice I didn't say need), but I honestly can't think of anything at the moment, so I'll use the example in the book. HD television. once you view a movie or show on an HD tv, it is very difficult to appreciate one's little ole colour tv that has served them well for so many years.

3) I get caught up in the comparison trap. This would be my biggest short coming, but I am learning that there is no comparison. A lot of it depends on priorities. What is a priority to me is far different than what is a priority to someone else. Sure, I like the "stuff" too, but for our family the stuff is not the priority, other things like our new daughters in the Philippines are what is most important.

Chapter 4 continues with how to find contentment.

1) Live beyond the temporary. Oh, this is sooo hard to do sometimes, but when we can think of the eternal, the temporary definitely takes second place.

2) Move from own to loan. "There isn't anything we have that God hasn't given to us. God owns it all; He's just lending some of it to us. He asks us to be good stewards -- or caregivers -- of what He has lent to us while we live on this earth. Psalm 24:1 (NIV) tells us, "The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it, the world and all who live in it.""

3) Learn to give. God gives to us so that we can give to others. Learn to tithe. Offerings are what we give to others over and above a tithe.

4) Praise God.  "God is worthy of our praise. He has given us so much." Participating in the Gratitude Community has helped me get out of a rut of ungratefulness to see that God has blessed me/us so abundantly.

5) Grow a thankful heart. Again, the Gratitude Community.

6) Live within your means.

7) Accept your circumstances. "Contentment isn't always about the material things we do or don't have. It's also about our lot in life. Live today fully! Don't wish it away or discount it because it looks different than you thought it would."

8) Accept your differences. (This is talking as spouses). "Our differences balance us out in many ways, but we end up trying to change each other because were not content."

Chapter 5 is about sacrifice. Hmmm, should be good... For now, here are my gifts from our Creator from the past two weeks:

An Ontario Government that thinks we're acceptable parents ;o).

A touch of snow to enjoy.

Indian summer days.

Foggy mornings that make us feel like we're living in a secret world.

A long walk with a friend and our hounds.

Squash prepared in a variety of ways. We love squash.

Celebrating birthdays.

Jena's zucchini cake recipe. We LOVE this recipe. Thank you for posting it Jena!

Chickadees at our bird feeder.

Visits with some of our church shut ins. It is so special to visit with them and share together.

Getting to spend an evening with a wonderful family that we met on Twitter. Yes, on Twitter! We DO have a mutual friend in common, so we all knew it was safe to meet.

A Gotcha Day for a family who is just home from the Philippines. What would I do without the blogging world ;o)?

A match for another family who has been waiting 29.5 months for their little one.

Catching up with a university friend! It was sooooo good to hear from her!

The Engineer is home safe and sound again from another business trip.

An addition that is slated to start hopefully sooner rather than later.

Meals that can be made quickly and are still healthy.

Newborn babies. Mmmm, I love those weee precious bundles of warmth.

The silence that pervades the house on school days. I used to detest it. Now I am almost used to it and in fact treasure it at times.

Looong Sunday afternoon naps.

A migraine that stayed away when I needed it to,

and didn't get bad enough to require a hospital visit.

My rice cooker. What a great little appliance!

Fun finds at the thrift store.

Turtle neck sweaters.

Super easy care kitchen hardwood flooring. (I will miss it when it's gone)!

A very busy week this past week. So glad it's over, but thankful that it was productive too.

Casseroles made and frozen for later use.

Children who make good decisions.

Children who work hard.

Christian music that our whole family enjoys.

Tissues for my endlessly drippy allergic nose. Cats and I do not get along :oS.

Sunshiny mornings.

Maple syrup.

Thanking God for His gifts to us #'s 856- 889.

9 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great book!

    Amazing how even those of us who try to remove some of the influences of the culture still get sucked in... at least, I do.

    Wishing you a good week :D

    Julie

    P.S. We're having a very foggy morning... but not the kind that will burn off to a gorgeous, crisp fall day. Just the kind where big, heavy clouds have come all the way down. So thankful to in my cozy, warm home!

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  2. Adding that book to the top of my list :)... and rejoicing with you in *contentment.* Not always easy, but surely the best way... simply b/c its His way. Thank you for the reminder and for sharing your blessings-- the turtleneck sweaters, the healthy meals the benefits of hard work. Good music, afternon naps, and a hubby back home where he belongs... perfect!

    Hope you have a lovely... *productive*... yet quieter week ahead :)

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  3. Great list! Sounds like an interesting book. I will have to put it on my TBR list! Hope you get to feeling better soon. Allergies are no good!

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  4. Wonderful post, Deborah!
    All the stuff is overwhelming and simplifying our wants and "needs" can be challenging.
    I love my rice cooker, too!
    Have a wonderful week. Praying that the migraine STAYS away!

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  5. Deborah,
    I am truly inspired by your post and my heart is in agreement with yours on the subject of gratitude and how it has changed my life. I especially like what you said about living beyond the now. My sweet daddy used to tell me regularly that this world is not our home...we are just passing through...don't get too attached to any one thing cause you can not take it with you!
    Thank you for sharing this book with your readers.
    Hope your week is productive
    ~a

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  6. I'm grateful for those little (or big) moments when God says to me, "So you doubted me, eh?!?!? I told you I had bigger, better plans for you!"

    Yesterday was one of those days...thanx for the reminder Lord! :-)

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  7. I have missed you, your sweet spirit and especially your gratitude posts!

    I love all the wisdom you are gleaning from your reading too...so true.

    I am looking forward to spending some time reading past posts and catching up. I just had to let some things go these past weeks and blogging and blog reading seemed to be one of the obvious choices. After all, we are only given a moment at a time.

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  8. Sounds like a book I should look for at the library.

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  9. I have started a similar blog to document 1000 gratitudes in my life in the coming year 2016. https://1000gratitudes.wordpress.com/

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