I started keeping a Gratitude Journal on March 1, 2011, inspired by Ann Voskamp at Holy Experience, who challenged readers of her blog back then to make a list of 1000 gifts. Well, I am 3 years in and my poor list is only 473 items strong and counting, but it gives me joy whenever I read it, because it reminds me of my many blessings, large and small over these years.
This morning for instance, one of the things I wrote that I was thankful for was this:
471: That Paul and I are alone here again. It was lovely to see our friends and host them for 2 weeks, but oh, how nice to enjoy our quiet, normal, rhythm of life again.
There are blessings in company but no matter how much you love people, there are blessings in quietness! Today we both went about our Saturday's work separately--Paul working on a presentation and me creatively using up the many leftovers in our fridge, producing three kinds of delicious soup and cranberry muffins.) Then Paul brought home a movie from the video store to relax together with: August: Osage County, The cast has many well known actors including one of my favourites, Merle Streep.. It's a dark movie about a crazy, dysfunctional family of women and the pain passed down through four generations.
Secrets abound in the family and at the end I turned to Paul and said, "So, do you have any secrets?"
Paul smiled and said, "Just that everybody seems to think I'm something special, but I know that I'm not."
I couldn't help myself. I went upstairs and got my Gratitude Journal, and I read to him the other entry from this morning:
472: For standing beside someone in life, who so many look up to and respect--and feeling the same way.
Just one more reason for keeping a Gratitude Journal. :)