“Aren’t you the one who’s supposed to be keeping a gratitude journal?” asked my dear friend on Sunday night. Yep, she was chiding me for a generally cranky attitude I had brought along for one of our rare and treasured coffee dates.
She was right to remind me that I needed to look for the positives in a situation that has me struggling. I’m not one who adapts quickly to change, and so when my husband’s work travel increased exponentially a few weeks ago, I began struggling to accept what will become the new reality of our life together. But instead of focusing on the positives, I was too busy pouting because I felt like someone pulled a rug out from under me.
So this week, I’ve dug deeper to add to my gratitude journal and to change my mindset, and I cannot help but see God’s blessings all around me. One of my favorite blessings is God’s palette in November. And so yesterday, I got out and took some pictures to share with you — pictures that may help explain why Autumn is my favorite season:
|Yesterday’s lunchtime view|
This beauty is a tree in my backyard. It has leaves of yellow, gold and green – some leaves with all three colors on them in striking, interesting patterns. Because the weather was warm and sunny, I took my lunch outside and sat enjoying the view as leaves swirled all around me.
After lunch, it was time for a field trip. I headed to the art museum and then downtown to take pictures of manmade tree art that I’ll feature in a future post. But what struck me, particularly at the art museum, was that we humans can’t improve on God’s palette.
I love the juxtaposition of colors in this shot of the art museum grounds. Take a moment to count how many different colors you see in this photo. How many shades of red, green, brown, gray and gold are there? The blue in the bottom right corner is manmade. The blue sky doesn’t show up well in the photo, but trust me, it was there.
Here’s one more photo from yesterday’s gratitude field trip, sentinels standing to greet visitors as they wind their way down the path to the museum entrance.
Now you may remember from past posts that I really do love art, and a visit to the art museum is just about one of my favorite ways to spend a few spare hours. But yesterday, I didn’t even need to step inside the doors. The beauty was all around me. God’s beauty. His palette. His artwork.
And I left feeling renewed and grateful for so many reasons. The result of a field trip I might not have taken had it not been for my friend’s nudging me to alter my mindset. I’m grateful to her for that push.
How about you? Has stress about the upcoming holiday season started to eat away at your peace of mind? Or maybe finances or health concerns or worries about work are keeping you from fully living and fully appreciating the blessings in your life?
Next week marks the end of the Thanksgiving gratitude challenge. I hope you’ve come along on the journey with me. My notebook has 242 entries right now – a long way from the 1,000 gifts Ann Voskamp writes about in her book. But I’m making progress and have found that she’s right: gratitude to God keeps my faith in Him increasing and anchors me to an attitude of hope and peace and happy moments.
If you haven’t been keeping a journal of daily moments that bring you joy and fill you with gratitude, I encourage you to start. If you have been writing, I’d love to hear from you about what the list has taught you. Has anything made your list that surprised you?
I hope you’ll join me next Wednesday – on the eve of Thanksgiving here in the US – to read about the journey of gratitude started back in August. And just for fun, if you pick a number between 1 and 242, I’ll share that particular entry from my gratitude journal with you. So leave a comment here, if you like. And I look forward to seeing you here next week.