Gratitude Week 2017 {Thank You}

I’ll be posting just once as we begin our week together.  I’m sending out Gratitude Notes each day and I’ll be posting daily on Instagram, but here I’ll post just once.  I encourage you to leave comments and/or links to your own blog posts and/or links to Flickr shots or Instagram shots on any day of the week! If you share your thoughts and links, we can visit and share your gratitudes with you. xo

In no particular order…

 

My morning tea.  Or coffee, depending on my mood.  For the warmth of the mug in my hand as I hold it.  For the swirls of steam.  For the ritual of making this warm drink.  For the ritual of drinking this warm drink.  Every day.  Thank you.

 

For my two children and husband.  For the lessons they teach me.  For the love they give me.  For the family that we are.  Thank you.

 

For a strong body that walks and runs and stretches.  For a mind that questions and dreams and stretches.  For a heart that loves and believes and stretches.  Thank you.

 

For the birch trees in our yard.  Especially the three outside my window.  Thank you.

 

For eating lunch with my kids pretty much every day.  For the homeschooling lifestyle which affords such delicious time together.  Thank you.

 

For my grey sweater.  For my slippers.  For my patched jeans.  For my favorite boots.  Thank you.

 

For coffee cake and pumpkin pie and no-knead bread.  For pancakes and green smoothies and homemade pizza.  For my fellow humans who are connected (at any point) to the food which eventually reaches my belly.  Thank you.

 

For books.  For comfy pajamas.  For soft sheets.  For all three of those together at the end of every day.  Thank you.

 

For the things I’ve listed here.  For the things (and people) not listed here, but resting in my heart.  For all of that and them and more.  Thank you.

 

Sending so much love today and this week, m

And you?  What are the gratitudes in your heart right now?

 

*****
Here’s how you can play along with Gratitude Week:

  1. Share your gratitudes with #GratitudeWeek2017 on Instagram.
  2. Leave a comment below and/or link to your own blog post. You can share in this post any or all days.
  3. Send me an email…I love them, I read them, I respond to them.
  4. Reflect privately at home.

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61 thoughts on “Gratitude Week 2017 {Thank You}

  1. For a smooth transition today for my mother who returned to her home after being with me for 7 months……for Faith……for understanding…..for patience…and for a comforting cup of hot tea right now. And….for all that I have learned this past difficult year that will help me face all the tomorrows yet to come.

  2. Your words this morning call me to reflect on, well, words. On their power and magic and commanding ability to create and recreate, and also on the lines they draw, the distinctions they bring into life. I ponder, this morning, the distinction between having high standards and low expectations. I’m grateful that I can have high standards for myself, and simultaneously, have reasonable–even low– expectations. Especially during seasons of stress or grief, it helps to remember that your standards remain solid even when you cannot live them out. Your standards do not change because your circumstances overtake them. Your standards stand like a lighthouse, a beacon of hope in the tempestuous ocean. But because I don’t live in LaLaLand, I know that my expectations (for myself and others) will not likely match my standards. And that is OK. Because there is something majestic about the ordinary, the repetitious, the reality of growing old and weak, perhaps also wise, the going over things again and again and getting it a little more right, but not yet perfect. As I knead bread this morning, the same bread that my husband-pastor will hold and break and pray over when he serves communion to each waiting heart later today, I hold grace the grace that knows that standards and expectations are not the same–and that is not a sign of failure. It reminds me that great things happen in weakness. It reminds me that we can, today, be a little more gentle with ourselves and others.

    1. Rosaria, that distinction between standards and expectations is such a good one to ponder. I’ll be thinking more on this.
      And grace…that word…that sentiment…that feeling…it is a gift when we welcome it in.

  3. Yummy breakfast out with my husband this morning.
    Picked up another book by Elizabeth Strout that I am anxious to read.
    A quiet evening at home watching Dr. K’s Exotic Animals with my mother and my hubby.
    Sharing here with beautiful women with big hearts.

    1. That last one…I’m appreciating that so much too…thank you for your part, thank you for being here, Betty. xo

      And enjoy your new book! I recently read her book, Anything is Possible. Really good!

  4. Thankful for my Saturday morning Pilates class, and for the women who gather weekly with our strong teacher. Thankful for a body that can stretch for new challenges, and stoop to gather dropped responsibilities, for every inhale and exhale, and for these second chances that I so desperately need.

    1. Bernadette, I’m pleased knowing that you’ve enjoyed the Gratitude Notes this week. They’re notes from my heart, and I love sharing them. Thank you for being here and practicing gratitude with us. xo

  5. brrrrrr….it’s cold and windy outside, but I will stay warm and cozy in my home today and make a pot of chicken soup.
    dinner last night…..pizza and drinks and lots of laughs with the girls. good medicine and always grateful.

    for *that feeling* that washed over me last night as I sat at the gas station filing up my car. *that feeling* of pure joy/peace/quiet/serenity, everything will be ok kind of feeling. i held onto that and can still feel it this morning…thank you God. You have heard my prayers.

    for the sun that just came out and is making the view out my kitchen window look golden and gorgeous. i’m changing my mind right now….I may want to get out for a bit today….it’s just too beautiful….the colors…Thank You….I’m forever Grateful for all this.

    1. Oh, Betty, I loooove *that feeling*. I know just what you mean.

      I hope you enjoy your day…chicken soup, coziness, perhaps a wander outside.
      I’m so glad for your presence here. xo

  6. I’m a list-maker. This morning, I settled down with my favorite of all lists: my Thanksgiving guest list. At this morning’s count, we will have 25. Two of our guests are prisoners, who will be able to join us on a five hour pass. Zion and Ishmael have become friends over the years. Filling out the never-ending paperwork allowing for a five hour pass makes me thankful for the freedom that I have to come and go, for the people and places that have supported me and hedged me in for my own good over these 55 good years.

  7. i am playing along on IG @bits_of_sunshine and on my blog bitsofsunshine.typepad.com (and played a bit of catch-up today)

  8. I’m thankful for the reminder that gratitude shares its motion with intention and attention. This helps. It teaches me that being grateful does not require that my circumstances change. Being grateful compels my point of view to shift. And the shift needed is subtle and present, not startling and shocking. it is right in front of my gaze. The glorious kaleidoscope of small things begs for my hopeful glance, calls me to breathe and to stay quiet, with a mug of tea and an open mind. No rushing here and there. No controlling or manipulating or worrying. Attention. Intention. Gratitude. Thank you, Michelle. I wish we were neighbors again!

    1. I wish we were neighbors again too.
      And thank you for receiving today’s Gratitude Note with such an open heart. I believe this gentle weaving of attention-intention-gratitude fills and supports and sustains a life of intention. It helps us recognize (and celebrate) the “glorious kaleidoscope of small things” you mentioned above. That’s lovely. Yes…

  9. I’m thankful for delayed beginnings, later bloomers and this ritual you’ve created, Michelle, which reminds me that even two day-late starts can mark the ruminating of thankfulness till now. I love this lead into the grateful season.

    I’m grateful for senior discounts at 55 and my old menopausal Mommy’s body giving me plenty of signals for all the shifts necessary for my health and peace. Yes, grateful for these osteoarthritisy hips, the pre-diabetes, the high cholesterol and potential high blood pressure alerts that are all going to reverse/lessen with dedicated focus on self care, healthy diet and moving around with a lot more joy.

    So thankful for my hard working hubby and health insurance kicking in after a year and a half without.

    Grateful that a fresh coat of paint to my 3 year’s old’s room, like a good haircut, can change my world view: clean, parred down, less stuff, more substance.

    Finally, I am most grateful for my son’s dual language (Hawaiian/English) Montessori preschool based on wayfaring: Kulaniakea. Unique in the world and a model for indigenous cultures to teach keiki how to malama (care for) the earth: 10 students, 3 teachers. Here’s the midweek home note: “Last week I mentioned that we have chosen to focus on the word and value mahalo this month. Keiki now begin their day by sharing “mahalo au nō…..” (I am grateful for). This practice of gratitude can continue at home! In teaching our keiki that everything around them is a blessing and ways that they can bless others is an invaluable life lesson. Making eye contact while saying mahalo is also very important. Keiki will often say mahalo out of habit; please help them by reminding to look at you or others while saying mahalo. They are also taught to reply “naʻu ka hauʻoli” (it is my happiness/pleasure to do so”). Something as overlooked as a hug to helping to put on their shoes is something we can all be grateful for.

    1. There’s no such thing as ‘late’ in this practice…I’m sooo glad you’re here, Jamie!
      And I really would like to attend your son’s Montessori preschool! What an amazing environment for him…and, by extension, for your family. That’s amazing…also: but of course. If we could all remember this…
      xo

    2. Yes… I’m with you on those body signs too…at 51 I’m realising investment is important in moving, rest, diet and grateful for those messages.
      Grateful for the seasons and for the art and skill of appreciating the smaller things as they are the ones which count.
      It’s rememberance day here 11/11 at the 11 hour… so I’m grateful for the bravery…incredible bravery of all those incredible men…and women and horses who’ve given their lives for our countries. I’m a peace wisher and can not abide war but I respect utterly their decision and honour their bravery 🌺

  10. For the phone call I just received from my sister telling me she will be picking up my 90 year old mother on Sunday and taking her home. I am full of gratitude for this break to get my life back….my life with my husband….start healing and taking better care of myself.

  11. Grateful for Kent and my children and grandchildren; for Sully (tripod goofball dog), Bella (sophisticated and recently groomed ShihTzu), and Caspian (enormous orange tabby cat); for the burrowing toads and frogs by the pond outside of my window; for Matilda the Turtle, who lives in our woods, but sometimes joins us for breakfast of berries on the porch; for the wonderful women and children in my homeschool coop with whom I will meet today; for my amazing neighbors with whom we have nightly (yes, that’s right) dinners, committed to do life together in an attempt to seek out the lonely and elderly and isolated in our midst; for the children in our neighborhood who make forts with my children in the back yard forest after school is done. It is dark now, and the candle on my writing desk flickers. All of what I write about here is just a promise of what might be. But a promise is real, too. Today’s promise stands for the hope of a new day, yawning with open arms to me and to you. Let’s say yes to it.

    1. “seek out the lonely and elderly and isolated in our midst”…..a great BIG YES. I am deeply touched by this….. they are there in every neighborhood if you just look. Thank you for your kindness.

      1. Dear Betty,
        Thank you for sharing my heart on this. Over the years, I have noticed that more and more “successful” neighbors are just dying from chronic loneliness (or other things). And then, in May 2016, something truly tragic happened in the house across the street. It was unsettling and frightening, and we knew that something had to change. That is how we started practicing nightly neighboring. Nightly “neighboring”–in open and inclusive ways–is one small way that we have been able to know our neighbors in real ways–to know where it hurts and how to help. When neighbors share a rhythm of life, a helping hand can be extended with ease, as a natural reflex in an already-existing relationship. Driving a neighbor to a weekly doctor’s appointment and lending your eleven year old daughter to be a mother’s helper after school is not difficult when you know the people and the needs. Sorry to ramble, but this is SO dear to my heart that I wanted to share!
        Blessings on your day,
        Rosaria

        1. Hi Rosaria: Just reading this now (Saturday evening) and loved reading every single word. You have a big heart and I too am feeling inspired. Being social is the *best medicine* for the young and the old…..for all of us A hug…a touch…..a simple “how are you”…..listening….a shared meal….a phone call….the list goes on and on. All simple but so powerful for the human spirit and I thank you for all that you are doing.
          Big Hugs for you Rosaria.
          xo
          Betty

  12. Sharing the morning with my group of like minded women discussing our meditation journey and so much more. The aroma of my spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove right now. And the beautiful colors just outside my kitchen window. For belonging to a Book Club with several very interesting women who always manage to take the discussion to a deeper level. Books, book stores, libraries and all the amazing writers that take me on a journey while I sit comfortably in my living room. And I thank *you* for listening :).

  13. Today I shared a post from my friend Michele who knows how to celebrate with gratitude all the small, but also very important, things in life. I seem to be surrounded by wise Michele’s.

  14. News shocks me into panic on most days. Sometimes I can regulate it. Sometimes the panic comes knocking at my own door, and I cannot. Thankful in the hard edges, the terror, and the darkness, that God is there, and that we are here, able to open our hands wide to each each, to have and to hold. We belong to each other. As I read the news of terror and pain and death, I am thankful for the breath of today, and for the hope a new tomorrow.

  15. For a very busy and productive day. For *ALL* the wonderful and caring doctors, nurses and physical therapists who are there for us when we need them…thank you from the bottom of my heart. For Faith…girlfriends…family…. my wonderful husband……my life – even with all its challenges lately. And as always for this space here with you lovely ladies.

  16. I love gratitude week. Thank you so much Michelle for bringing lovely souls together and for making me pause (and boy did I need to) and think about all the things, big and small, I am grateful for. You are a true gem. Much love xx

  17. For the laughter, the deep conversations, the feel of paint beneath my fingers…and yes, as well, for the glasses of wine sipped over these past few days during my art retreat…

    For the sound of my dryer tumbling as I unpack my suitcase and put things to rights…

    For the feel of my own bed …

    For the wonderful massage I had last night…

    For every bit of this and so much more.p, thank you.

  18. For the quiet morning, the soft grey sky and the misty fog. For my first cup of rich dark coffee and the anticipation of what today will bring.

    1. Oh, I know *exactly* what you mean. I’m just experiencing this shift (learning) myself. It’s kind of an amazing awareness that lightens and lifts…elevates the mundane, embraces the necessary. {I still struggle with some of the tending, but it’s getting better/easier/different}

      I’m reminded of this quote (which I couldn’t remember several blog posts past, but here it is):
      To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of the arts. ~Henry David Thoreau~

  19. Hello, Michelle!
    Hello Friends!!!
    Like Bernardette, I began yesterday too!

    I invite you to visit my blog:
    una-mariposa-naranja.blogspot.com.ar
    And thank You, thank You, thank You for creating this space💞💞💞💞💞

    With love and Grattitude,
    Nan

  20. A dark morning with a faint nip (even in North Carolina!), a flicker from the candle on my writing desk, a long soft lump of an orange cat (also on my desk), the soft sleeping sounds of my children, books, books, books (on the desk and on the floor and in every room of the house), sore muscles from Saturday’s pilates class, a good cup of coffee (also on my desk), the delicious expectations that will yawn from faith to truth as one foot follows the next. I imagine an ordinary day: folding laundry, homeschooling my two youngest children (not so young anymore), prayer (in set times and throughout the day), knitting socks for my friend Donna (my fav: fern tweedie Peace Fleece wool), walking the dogs, moving the cat so there is room on the desk for paper and history books. I sit here in the sameness knowing that this life, this day, this breath is a gift. Nothing fills my heart with greater thanks.

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