Friday, November 16, 2018

Days of Gratitude, Part 1


At the beginning of November my Facebook friend, Linda, posted a list of gratitude journal prompts (courtesy of for anyone interested in marking the month this way. I felt drawn to using the prompts to focus on some specific topics and to write those first thoughts that surface. Sometimes I surprised myself at what popped up.

Years ago, I kept a couple of gratitude journals for myself and always found the exercise inspiring. I first heard about doing this from Sarah van Breathnach when I read about it in her Simple Abundance book back in 1996. It was so much fun to start the day wondering what five things I would find to write down at the end of it. Once I started recording these, everything around me took on a whole new meaning. I began to pay attention to things I had taken for granted, and I began to see from the pages in my notebook how rich I was in every way. I felt truly blessed.

Willie Nelson once said that when he started counting his blessings, his whole life turned around. Oh yes, it was the same for me. Even though I never kept journals after that season to mark down moments of gratitude, it set me on a new path and forever changed how I saw my world. I've never stopped feeling grateful for the thousands of gifts that have come into my life. And to think, there's still so much more to notice and give thanks for with each new day.

I've gathered my Facebook November entries to date as I wanted to share them with you here ...  and so end the week on a high. I hope your heart will soar as you stop to notice the deep richness of your own life and all the good gifts that have come your way. Being grateful for the smallest treats to the largest gifts surely opens the door to living our lives more beautifully.

“In ordinary life, we hardly realize that we receive a
great deal more than we give, and that it is only
with gratitude that life becomes rich.”

– Dietrich Bonhoeffer


While I'm at it, I want to tell you how grateful I am for each one of you. Your presence here, your footprint in my comment box always adds so much beauty and delight to my life. And for that, I am most grateful.

Wishing you a beautiful day and a cozy weekend --
I hear it's snowing all over the place today so be safe too. 


November 1. What SMELL are you grateful for today? Autumn leaves on the ground and frost in the air.
November 2. What TECHNOLOGY are you grateful for? I’m grateful for my very smart iPhone camera.
November 3. What COLOUR are you grateful for? I’m grateful for the toasty brown on freshly baked bread. 
November 4. What FOOD are you most grateful for? Some days, the food that's been prepared by someone else is a gift for which I am most grateful.
November 5. What SOUND are you grateful for today? Mozart's music is giving me great joy these days. His music makes me feel happy and always gives me a sense of well-being.
November 6. What in NATURE are you grateful for? I went out for my walk earlier. It was cold and calm, snowing a little. I was enjoying that quietness that comes over the neighbourhood when the snowfall dulls the roar of traffic and bus horns. All I could hear were chickadees and a lone nuthatch. And I felt grateful.
November 7. What MEMORY are you grateful for? My friend the other day confided that she has lost some of her short-term memory as a result of radiation treatment on her brain. She talked about how difficult this has been for her, learning to adjust to knowing that she probably won't remember our conversation the following day.
I felt the jolt of this in my own soul and ached for her. So thinking about this today, I'm not taking for granted that my faculties still function today and that my long-term and short-term memories are still retrievable and doing what they should be doing. For that, I am grateful.
November 8. What BOOK are you most grateful for? I would have to say it's my tattered old bible with words and verses marked, and underscored, and underscored again. Through the years it has been my faithful friend. It's given me courage, comfort, inspiration, guidance. Its beautiful message has challenged me to live a better, kinder life. To love God and my neighbour as I would myself. To walk in the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, and self-control.
November 9. What PLACE are you most grateful for? Today I am very grateful for my country, Canada, and for the tiny spot on the map I get to call home.

November 10. What TASTE are you grateful for today? Freshly brewed coffee and hot buttered toast with raspberry jam.

November 11. What HOLIDAY are you grateful for today? Today I'm grateful for Remembrance Day -- a day set apart to remember and honour those who 'fought the good fight' for freedom and peace, and who gave their lives for it. For those who continue to carry on the fight in this day and age. We bless them and say thank you today.

November 12. What TEXTURE are you grateful for today? The smooth creamy center of a Purdy's chocolate truffle.

November 13. What ABILITIES are you grateful for today? I'm grateful today for the learned ability to find joy in the smallest gifts. Paying attention to the small treats that have come my way has afforded me thousands of happy moments in my life.
For Iris Murdoch was spot on when she said, "One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats."

November 14. What SIGHT are you grateful for today? I came home from a friend's late yesterday afternoon just as the dusk was settling in. I caught sight of two neighbours who had turned on their Christmas lights for the first time this year -- one had their outside house lights on, and the other had her Christmas tree all aglow in her front window.
I grinned to myself. Yes, it's time.

November 15. What SEASON are you grateful for? Although I love each season when it comes, Autumn has always been my most favourite for all the colours, crisp cooler air, the feeling of new beginnings in keeping with new school years.
But, today I'm thinking not so much about Nature's season, but about the season of my life -- this season of being in my sixties. Since my 60th birthday I've been gathering the memories of my lifetime and writing about them, and I've seen that something has been shifting in me as a result.
When I get the memories out of my head and down on paper, I now find myself feeling freer to explore new things, to consider matters I never had time for or interest in when I was young and busy living my life. I find my mind and soul surging with the desire to learn about new subjects, read new authors, listen to others, find out more about my world and how I fit in it.
It's as if wrapping up the old things and putting them to rest has opened the way for new experiences to emerge. I find that exciting.
With a few health things sorted out, and having more time for self-care, I feel better physically too.
So, yes, this season, right now, I'd guess I'd call it the Autumn of my life, is the one I'm most grateful for today.
November 16. Something about your BODY that makes you grateful. So grateful for my feet and legs that take me everywhere I need to go, including my walks for exercise.
A lovely friend, Matty, left a note on my Facebook page this morning in response to this prompt. I found it so precious that I had to share her comment with you:
"Definitely my body. I helped God make another human being. I held hands with those going home to God. I’ve kissed sad and happy faces. And, I am able to enjoy this wonderful world with all my senses. Pretty amazing!!"
* * * 


  1. That gave me so much to think about, Brenda. Thank you.

  2. Matty’s comment is special. Yes, you always give us so much to consider.

  3. Oh, dear Brenda ~ I know you know how special this post is to me. Your thoughts are to absolutely treasure, to wake us up and be forever grateful. I wish for this post to be carried far and wide ~ for everyone to read. I am most grateful for you my friend. You are a kind, encouraging and most talented soul. I am forever grateful our paths crossed.

  4. Thanks for your daily reminders on FB to be thankful. Some days it is harder, because of pain and exhaustion, but God gives what I need for each day.

    1. I'm so glad you find His grace really is sufficient for the day.

  5. I am struck by your observation that recording your gratitudes caused you to "pay attention to things I had taken for granted" and "set me on a new path and forever changed how I saw my world." That is profound. So powerful is the habit of gratitude!

    I love this exercise of naming blessings that you have participated in on Facebook. The past couple of years I have done a daily {30 Days of Thanksgiving} on my own Facebook page. I have not done it this year and I have missed it! Thank you for sharing yours!

    1. Cheryl, I have enjoyed that series you have done in the past. There is something special about taking the time to mark down our blessings.

  6. Oh yes, a timely reminder about the timeless art of being grateful...the more you use it, the more there is to be grateful for!

  7. Truly a beautiful post, Bren. I look forward to your sharing these everyday on your Facebook page. They have prompted me to think about my blessings...I am so guilty of taking them for granted sometimes! Thank you!

  8. I've been away for a little while and have just read back the posts that I've missed, four beautifully written posts, filled with wisdom and little joys, a perfect antidote to the morning paper. I so enjoy visiting the serene haven you've created here, dear Brenda, a wonderful reminder to stop for a moment, breath, and appreciate all that is good. A bit hug.

  9. I've been reading your gratitude posts on FB and joining in mentally, although I don't often write anything. It's been a crazily busy few weeks and I'm hoping for a slower week ahead now that report cards are done. Gratitude is always a wonderful gift to God, and indirectly, to ourselves.

  10. I also keep a gratitude journal so I really enjoyed this post. I look forward to Days 16-30 of gratitude.


To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xo