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If a fellow isn't thankful for what he's got, he isn't likely to be thankful for what he's going to get.     ~Frank A. Clark

Consider This:

While we may not have control over our environment, we do have control over our perception of our environment. Have  you ever noticed that some people living in poverty can smile and laugh and seem to find joy anywhere and over the most simple things?  While others who have so much - high incomes, large homes, three vehicles- seem to grumble and whine over the most mundane things? It would seem to me that the person living in poverty could certainly find something to grumble about: hungry belly, cold drafts, unpaid bills.  And while there are some that do, others are able to look around and  see beauty.  They still smile.  They  praise God.   What is the difference?  That's right- gratitude.   It's all about their perception.  It's about the difference between those that are truly grateful in their hearts and choose to see joy, rather than those of us who focus on the negative and choose to see strife.

It's about looking at the simple things, and seeing the blessing.

What do you see here?  Just a couple pieces of fruit? Hmmm... maybe...but look closely...

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I see reds, yellows, oranges, greens and browns.  I see fruit, food, sustenance.

I see creations of God.

I see nutrients- vitamins- enzymes- a way to nourish the  body God has given me.

I see a snack for a laughing child, a hungry man or an animal.

 

What do you see here?  A couple of weeds?

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I see yellow- the color of the sun.

I see water nourishing a plant God created.

I see a bouquet of love offered to a mother from a son.

It's all in our perception.  It's how we look at things.  I am truly grateful for the apple, banana and clementine.  Grateful for the creation of such sweet foods.  Grateful I can use them as nourishment for myself and my family. Grateful to God for his goodness.  I am grateful for the dandelion...rooted firmly in the ground reminding me that I too am rooted as a child made in His image and strong to stand my ground.  Grateful that it symbolizes my marriage- for we are rooted together, Ted and I,and can whether the storms. Grateful for the bouquet brought to me from a child, full of love, naïve to those who would call such beauty a weed.

It's all in our perception.  We can pass these things by unnoticed, or even scoff at the 'weed', the seeds, the simplicity.  Or we can look deep and perceive beauty. What do you perceive?

Gratitude Sharing:

  1. Sunrise

  2. God ALWAYS hears my prayers

  3. Colors - beautiful reminders of His covenant

  4. Periwinkle - such small but abundant beauty in early spring

  5. Spring breeze through the window

 

What is on Your Gratitude List This Week?

Have you started your gratitude journal? If you have missed previous posts about the challenge, start here!
Have you started your gratitude journal? If you have missed previous posts about the challenge, start here!

Last week,in my post titled Writing Should Be Fun,  I posted about a writing exercise my son and I enjoy doing together as part of our homeschooling.  I think I'll continue this week by posting another fun exercise or two.

First, before my son and I do our other exercises, we do a Just Write.  A Just Write is simply setting the timer for a pre-determined amount of time (usually 5-10 minutes) and just writing whatever comes to mind. It's sort of a free-association type exercise to get the mind flowing and ideas on paper. A lot of writers or teachers may call this Free Writing time.  For example, here's a sample page my son wrote over a year ago when we were just starting these exercises:

       Alexander is the best.  He has blinky tennis shoes that he doesn't like because he just doesn't like new shoes which is weird because I love new shoes.  New shoes are shiny.  Alexander is taking a bath.  I'm drinking water and writing with Mom.  What should I say?  Mom got me an awesome new pen yesterday.  It's supposedly the first type of pen made from recycled bottles.  I like recycling.  I also like my Matt Baker pen.  My arm hurts because of how much writing I'm doing now.  The dog can be annoying sometimes. She is licking her paws and making loud noises.  My mom also got me a cool binder with awesome paper that I'm using right now. Mom writes fast.

Now you may be wondering what is the purpose of this.  I'll tell you.  I know it looks like a bunch of jumbled thoughts and it is.  We also don't worry about capitalization or punctuation (again, as I talked in my last post Writing Should Be Fun, this is the creative aspect not the mechanics) when we do the Just Writes because the time is to just write...to put thoughts down on paper even if they are random and don't make sense together.  Sometimes they are more focused on one subject, sometimes less so.  But in sharing our Just Writes together and in reading over them later, it offers us some creative ideas to write about.  I can look at the above paragraph and find several writing ideas:

  • New Shoes
  • The Sounds A Dog Makes
  • Recycling
  • Objects Made From Recycling

So, often we can use these exercises to spark ideas for other writing exercises or assignments/projects.  Which reminds me... I haven't come up with an idea today for PiBoIdMo yet .... maybe I'll read a few more of our past exercises and an idea may leap off the page before me!

In addition to the sparking of ideas, it's great fun time between my son and I to exchange what we each have written. It's funny to see how often we both write about the same topics but have our own personal perspective on it or to see how we each may describe the same thing differently.  This makes it a great tool to develop perception and descriptions skills too!

Another Exercise:

After I shared last week's post, a mother shared with me another exercise she does with her homeschooled children.  She draws a stick figure and has them label where they have scars or have had injuries on their bodies.  They use this to write stories about how they became injured.  I thought this was a really cute idea!  She titled this exercise the 'boo boo memoirs'! (Thanks Alesha!)

Let me know if and when you use any of these exercises and if they are helpful!

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~ William Wordsworth            

                                William Wordsworth  (7 April 1770 – 23 April 1850) was a major English Romantic poet.