An out of town friend and I took an impromptu trip to the beach last Monday.
That afternoon it got quite stormy.
Determined to not let the weather get the best of us,
we bundled up and walked on the beach anyway.
We started walking, facing into the wind and laughing at all the effort it took to walk just a quarter mile.
Walking back to the car, the wind at our back, was almost effortless.
Boy, do I love it when life is effortless, when progress is made with little output of energy on my part.
But those times are rare.
More often than not, there's a storm to be faced in some area of life.
At times, it's tempting to stay inside and burrow into the comfort and safety of home.
However, I've found that when I bundle up,
face the storm and choose to give thanks and find joy in the midst of whatever I'm facing,
I inevitably end up experiencing something beautiful in the midst of it all.
In 2012 I followed the prompts in Ann Voskamp's Joy Dare in counting my thanks.
In 2013 I'm going back to the way I did it in the beginning,
just noticing and recording the many extraordinary blessings in my ordinary life.
And so I continue to count my thanks
piling up gratitude day by day
in my little black journal.
(and capturing some of them via my camera or iPhone)
-the Hub's encouragement for me to do fun things
-a safe trip to Lincoln City
-the beach still beautiful in the midst of a stormy afternoon
-staying up 'til 2am talking to my friend
-a good night's sleep
-a run on the beach in much better weather
-a car that gets good gas mileage
-a safe trip home
-coming home to the Hubs who had a fire in the fireplace and flowers for me
-praying with my friend who was having a biopsy for possible cancer
-a sunny, frosty morning
-the Dr. pretty sure that she does not have cancer
-a toasty warm fire in the fireplace
-youngest granddaughter who's vocabulary is growing every day
-not feeling well, staying home and resting
-feeling much better
-dinner and a movie with the Hubs
-blue skies, cold days, Mt. Hood showing off
-confirmation from the dr. that my friend's biopsy was negative for cancer
-having fun with the two oldest grands rather than finishing my chores
-tuna melts, tomato soup and popcorn for lunch with the grands
-running around our local fitness trail with the Hubs and the grands on this cold but beautiful day
-the first peppermint blizzard from DQ of the season - a tradition with the grands
-praying with some hurting women at church
-lunch at Mod Pizza with a dear couple from church
-God speaking some more to my heart about my word for 2014
See how to enter my giveaway for this beautiful Ghanaian Market Basket by clicking on the photo.
Join the community of gratitude gatherers here...