This time of year one of my aunts always gets on me to compose a list of things I want for my birthday. My cousins usually write their wish lists months in advance! But I have a lot of trouble coming up with anything interesting at all. Fortunately this year she already knows what to get me so I’m off the hook!
The wish list is hard for me. That page gets stared at blankly for a long time! This gift list, though, comes naturally. It’s getting to be a habit now, after almost 2 years of writing gifts- like my friend Jennifer says, “not of gifts I want. but gifts I have.” I stopped counting on an everyday basis because I just don’t like numbers, and it was giving me a headache to keep track of the numbering. Freely I have received… for me, numbers keep me from freely being thankful. Ha. 🙂
I wanted to share this in case you’ve ever wondered why I have these funny little posts on Mondays. This is from Ann’s blog:
When thanks to God becomes a habit, so joy in God becomes your life.
Because those who are keeping a gratitude list:
1. Have a relative absence of stress and depression. (Woods et al., 2008)
2. Make progress towards important personal goals (Emmons and McCullough, 2003)
3. Report higher levels of determination and energy (Emmons and McCullough, 2003)
4. Feel closer in their relationships and desire to build stronger relationships (Algoe and Haidt, 2009)
5. Increase your happiness by 25% — (Who wouldn’t want a quarter more happiness!) (McCullough et al., 2002)
Mondays are a little part of the habit. This week:
I’m thankful for the gift of being basically an extra member of the Hanson family, and getting to have most of them over for supper the other night! And even thankful to have that many dishes to do afterwards! Worth it.
I’m so thankful for the rain & cooler weather. Being a girl from the plains I just never complain about rain.. and it’s been so desperately dry here, too.
“Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.
“Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are confident of better things in your case—things that accompany salvation. God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.” -Hebrews 6:7-12
(For some reason I’ve loved that first verse ever since high school.. maybe because of the way the first sentence is worded, it’s a little tricky, it gets stuck in my head.)
I’m thankful for a day off last week, for every time I get to see my wonderful friends, for Olympics to watch and two countries to cheer for (USA of course, and Jamaica, since a little chunk of my heart is permanently stranded there).
I’m thankful for birthday gifts to give, for the way that God promises, for books to get caught up in, and that my hands can help & my heart can go out in my caregiving work.