Gratitude – Building Faith and Giving Thanks

Some days, I just feel a little deflated. For no reason in particular – sometimes you just have “one of those days”. When this happens (if I manage to catch myself in time before spiralling into being a full-on sourpuss), I like to try and sit back and have a think about some of the things – big or small – that I am happy to have in my life.

Sometimes, I just get a flash of inspiration and think; “I am so grateful for everything”.

Today unfortunately it is the former. I’m finding myself feeling a little underwhelmed with life this morning. I have been blessed with so much goodness in my life, and sometimes I forget to take a minute and give thanks to the Lord who has blessed me with it! So here goes:

GratitudeI’m grateful for bright days in January. I’m sat at my desk next to the living room window, and the sun is streaming inside. You can bet it’ll still be more than a little cold if I were to actually venture outside, but the sunshine is lovely all the same. I’ll not mention the fact that the windows are in desperate need of a good clean!

Looking around the room a little further, I see our two five tier bookcases stacked with lots of good books. Before we bought this house, we took enough to fill a third bookcase to a local thrift shop, yet we still have a house full. Fiction, non-fiction, Bibles, prayer books, devotionals, journals, biographies, parenting books, manuals, music books and even a few home and living magazines. I’m grateful for the love of reading I’ve nurtured from being a little girl, and for my parents (my Mum especially) and a couple of pretty amazing teachers for encouraging me to get lost in a good book. It’s something I hope to pass on to Joshua, and to any other children that come along. His bedroom is already fit to burst with all the books we’ve bought for him, and I love sitting with him and reading through some of his stories. It must be rubbing off – one of his favourite things to do at the moment is to sit down with one of his books and point at various pictures for me to name all the bits and bobs on the pages. It’s lovely to see.

I’m thrilled that Joshua is such a contented, well-adjusted baby (for the most part). He’s always been very good with his sleeping from being about 5 months old, with the odd little wobble here and there. He’s napping at the moment, allowing me to get on with bits of housework, and take a few minutes out to sit at the computer. I think he may be in the middle of transitioning between one and two naps a day as his schedule is becoming a little unpredictable at the moment, but still – he’s never been any trouble. He sleeps solidly for a good 10-11 hours at night, sometimes 12 on a weekend (again, aside from the occasional wobble).

I’m grateful that he hasn’t yet adopted any fussy eating habits. The only thing that he will not eat much of – peas aside – is green vegetables and raw tomatoes. Everything else he practically inhales. It makes meal times so simple – he just has a small portion of whatever Shaun and I are eating. We tried the “traditional” pureed fruit and veg for a couple of weeks when he turned six months, but he wasn’t interested. He wanted what we were having… So we switched to mainly “baby-led” weaning, giving him whatever we were eating and letting him go nuts. I was a little nervous to begin with about him choking, but he was absolutely fine. He loved it, and we’ve not looked back. And – touch wood – so far we’ve not had any food catapulted across the room, or walls redecorated with spaghetti sauce. Fingers crossed this lasts a little further into toddlerhood, I know how fussy little ones can get around this age!

I’m happy to have a husband that can provide so well for our family. When Shaun got his current job in September 2010, it really was such a blessing. We had already agreed that I was staying home with Joshua anyway, but the extra income that this job provided meant we didn’t have to worry after my maternity pay came to an end. We always have enough. With a little frugality, we can even afford to put a little away each month to build up some savings! It may not be a lot to most people, and I know some who would recoil at the thought of not already having a nest egg in the bank, but until now for one reason or another it’s just not been possible for us. Things have been difficult. I feel we’ve turned a corner now, and I feel incredibly blessed for it.

And finally for today, I’m grateful to have been blessed with the desire to live frugally as much as possible. I love bargains, thrifting, re-using, re-purposing, making things last and wearing them out. I’ve not always been this way, but over the last few years (as it has become necessary for me to do so) I’ve started to look at life in a whole new light, and I’ve loved learning all about living simply and well within our financial means. This attitude will follow me to the grave; it’s become such a part of who I am. Even if Shaun one day becomes some multi-millionaire businessman, you can bet you’ll still see me rifling through the racks at my local thrift store, or digging through a bargain bin at the supermarket. It’s who I am. And I love it.

Time to get Joshua from his nap and make a start on lunch. Speak to you all soon.

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