Is gratitude weird?

My church just started a series called “Summer in the Psalms.” This past Monday a speaker taught on Psalm 1. One of the things she said that stuck out to me was, “What resides in your hearts and minds will become your daily lives.”

I was immediately reminded of one of my graduation presents. It is a journal called A Life of Gratitude: How to Appreciate It All Big and Small by Lori Roberts. Basically, it includes short prompts that hopefully inspire thankfulness as you dwell on “the good stuff more often.”

Instead of keeping my meditations private, I thought I’d share what I’m grateful for here. My goal was to post every Wednesday, and I was hoping you guys would also share what you’re grateful for in the comments.

But then I typed up my gratitude list from the first entry of my journal…

  • sunshine
  • a light breeze
  • the birds that sing, even the one that bites me (yes, I’m talking about my not so nice parakeet named Sam)
  • Dobby, my furry best friend
  • my marriage
  • my home with my parents
  • the future ahead
  • the new growth on my bonsai
  • my friends
  • my family
  • graduating “on time”
  • literature
  • the power of words
  • poetry
  • author Isabel Allende
  • Danny’s new position
  • Wednesdays
  • summer break
  • good T.V.
  • quiet moments,
  • singing,
  • God’s Word
  • prayer
  • yoga
  • blue skies
  • fluffy clouds
  • long—I mean, short walks
  • long showers that help me think/remember how blessed I am

Originally, I had no intention of sharing this list. Then when I typed it up, my list suddenly felt silly, maybe even a little bit weird. I’m still going to share, because it meant everything to sit on my back patio, take in the fresh air, and reflect on even the smallest bits of goodness that either get unintentionally ignored or forgotten.

Feel free to make your own mini list in the comments. I’d love to hear what you’re grateful for at this moment in time.

Also, I’m hoping that every Wednesday I can take some time to reflect and expound on 1-3 things that I’m thankful for that week. We’ll see how it goes!

Happy Wednesday, y’all! I hope you have an awesome rest of the week.

XO

T. Shaw

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It mocks me

It mocks me—the grand piano—that resides in my living room.

It was purchased for my older brother. After playing for some time, his piano instructor recommended that my parents buy a bigger keyboard for him, but our dad brought home the monster with white teeth instead. My family and I always give my dad a hard time about this—his go big or go home attitude. He’s a very humble man, but sometimes he has expensive taste.

My brother played for awhile, but eventually the instrument was no longer a priority. His interests changed, but that was okay, because my parents believed I could learn to play. The problem was that I never hit the keys until an hour before my lesson, because I believed that I could master a piece without training.

I have had three piano teachers, so it’s obvious I’m the problem. I always joke that if there was only a pill to swallow that provided instant mastery of an instrument I’d take it.

Since a pill of that sort doesn’t exist, I’ll try something I’ve never tried before: consistent practice.

Currently, I’m on page 109 in Alfred’s Basic Adult Piano Course: Level 1. I hope to finish the book by the end of this year.

XO

T. Shaw

Perceiving Potential

I told my husband that I just wanted to look. If I could kill a miniature cactus, then maybe I should avoid anything too high maintenance. To prevent any casualties, I had devised a plan. I’d google the scientific names and discover how finicky they really were. I wouldn’t be deceived by a pretty appearance.

I perused every aisle, googling and storing the names of my favorite plants as I went. Until, I found a slightly sad looking plant, but the shapes of its leaves caught my attention. I googled the name: Spathiphyllum ‘Domino.’

A peace lily.

Its condition didn’t match its description, but the makings were there.

I kept walking, but the lily lingered with me.

A week later, we went back to the nursery and were recognized by one of the workers. After being asked if we needed assistance, my husband showed the nursery worker the lily I had seen the week prior.

We were told that the peace lily I desired wasn’t in the best health. In fact, none of the plants surrounding the lily were doing so well. The worker had isolated the plants that needed more attention.

He brought out another lily, fully bloomed, that we could buy, and he gave us the one I found for free.

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. -Leo Buscaglia

💜 T. Shaw