Listing Gifts & Graces

The surprising result of keeping a gratitude list–whether mentally or on paper–is not that you end up with something to show for it–Look! I’ve got 652 things I’m grateful for–but that you invariably train yourself to pay attention. To look carefully(or listen). To stop long enough to notice and expect to see something.

My friend Natalie inspired me with her list of Gifts and Graces recently; every other item resonated in a “me, too!” kinda way. Anyone who is is an avid fan of Bananagrams is a friend for life.

f8319-2012-11-0413-19-17Following her lead, here is my list of gifts and graces:

  1. Warm socks. Especially the brightly colored ones.
  2. Hot, strong coffee.
  3. The detritus of dead leaves. Yes, I have to gather them, but they leave me a clear view to the sky.
  4. Chickadees that bounce and jump from twig to branch. Nonstop, just to make me smile. (I can see them more easily now. See #3 above.)
  5. Hummingbirds who whir and dart like iridescent jewels.
  6. Deep conversations with friends who know and love you.
  7. Jigsaw puzzles because they make you keep trying ’til everything fits.
  8. Sharp pencils.
  9. Down comforters (see warm socks above).
  10. Fire in the fireplace that says ‘grab a book and slow down.’
  11. A row of elementary children in the front of church with their innocent smiles (especially the blond with the wraparound shades and the flame patterned ballcap. Especially him.)

Simple graces–will you look for gifts this week? We have so much to be grateful for.

Happy Thanksgiving!



14 thoughts on “Listing Gifts & Graces

  1. Loved your list of simple graces, Jody. Several of them had me smiling in agreement: warm socks, hot coffee, dry leaves for crunching underfoot, and sharp pencils. And just this afternoon I enjoyed a few moments of chickadee watching while waiting for a coffee warm-up at the microwave! Isn’t it delightful how gratitude lists can draw friends (old and new) together.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “A clear view to the sky”
    I had never thought of this as a compensation for bare branches.
    I’ve been keeping a gratitude list for five years, so chalked up gift #5,000 just a few days ago. I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on gratitude.


  3. Oh, I forgot a couple of things: First, when we meet in real life, perhaps a game of Bananagrams is in order. Second, thanks for joining me in looking for the gifts and graces of this season. It’s good to find friends who look at life through a similar lens.


  4. From someone who is on a quest so see, I so appreciate these words about gratitude: “…you invariably train yourself to pay attention. To look.. To stop long enough to notice and expect to see something.” Yes indeed. And thank you for sharing your list.

    Also, yes to numbers 3 and 6. And I love your perspective on puzzles. I think they’re fun, for about ten minutes. Then I leave it to my husband, who’s willing to work and work until it all fits.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Natalie, your words are a lovely reflection of your ‘quest to see’ and an inspiration 🙂 We seem to share the same wiring to look at the little, simple (yet deep) gifts around us. (well, except for the puzzle part…)


  5. 1 and 6, yes, yes! I’m always cold
    it seems. I’d also like to add a 6a. Friends that encourage you early in the morning because you’re struggling to encourage yourself. ☺️

    Having a small gratitude list helps me see lately if I was present during the day, too. Thanks for sharing your list.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love your list! Adore Bananagrams (cutthroat variety with my beloved every night after supper). And this: “…that you invariably train yourself to pay attention. To look carefully(or listen). To stop long enough to notice and expect to see something.” 652 Amens!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am not sure I’d like to play the ‘cutthroat variety’ of Bananagrams with you, Laurie. Methinks I’d be creamed. I appreciate the ways YOU see the world, my friend, always pointing me to what’s below the surface….


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