Gratitude Journal

My beautiful family (taken at my eldest daughter’s Sarah’s wedding on 27th March 2010) Back – My sons, Ben (now 20) & Daniel (22). Front – Bec (19), me, Sarah (27), Oscar (Sarah’s husband), and my wonderful parents.

Grateful to God for:

1.   My oldest daughter, who loves the Lord and who is so beautiful, talented, kind, loving, and giving. She has battled through adversity (family breakdown & rejection). However, she excelled in the athletic arena, achieved academically, set goals, dreamed dreams and persevered and trusted God for them to come to pass. Her patience in waiting for God’s timing, not hers, has also led her to be happily married to an amazing young man of God.

2.   My oldest “prodigal son”, who is strong, intelligent, loving, caring, and who has so much to offer others. He is gifted academically, musically & as an athlete; he struggled severely through family breakdown & rejection, and his inner demons drove him into the downward spiral of drug addiction. He desperately needs to accept the love of his family & God’s unending love for him; and come “home” to the arms of his forgiving Mum who loves him more than he knows or understands.

3.   My youngest son, who is the peacemaker, loves life and lives it to the fullest, intelligent, loyal, loving, caring and affectionate. In spite of the trauma of family breakdown & rejection he experienced from a young age, he has achieved excellence in the academic and sporting arenas. He highly values family & friends and stands up for what he believes in. I am praying and believing that he will turn back to God.

4.   My youngest daughter who is beautiful, strong, amazing, talented, loving, compassionate, thoughtful and gentle. She has struggled through the trauma of family breakdown, rejection and is battling anorexia – the demon who seeks to destroy her. She has excelled in the academic, sporting and arts arenas. She has a heart for God and others. I am praying that she will see herself as God sees her, as everyone else sees her.

5.   For my husband who is kind, loving, gentle, supportive, compassionate, selfless, thoughtful; who has not been too proud to work on his weaknesses in order to become a better father to his girls. I am grateful to have a man who truly loves me, just the way I am, to journey through life and grow old with.

6.   For wonderful parents who have been an incredible source of wisdom, inspiration, encouragement, support and love throughout my life. Even though 2000km separates us, they have always been there for me. Without their example, encouragement, listening ear, advice and support I would not have been able to parent my children alone.

7.   For my best friend Natalie who, even though she has suffered enough adversity of her own, is always there to listen, encourage and support. She is beautiful inside and out, wise, thoughtful, caring, genuine and honest. She possibly understands me better than anyone I know; is always there no matter what the circumstances – always loving, never judging and willing to speak with wisdom and truth.

8.   For my beautiful grandson, who I hardly know. I cherish the 5 short weeks I had with him. Praying for reconciliation with his parents so that one day the rest of the family and I can be part of his life again.

9.   For the promise of each new day brings blessing and thankfulness to God for all that is in store.

10.  For breath in my body and a heart to hold those I love so dear.

11.  For the way God weaves people and situations into our lives; sometimes in ways we can’t make sense of, and sometimes in ways we can step back and see very clearly.

12.  For the gift of friends & family who love, care and support – who are there through the laughter & tears, the best times & worst times – always loving, never judging and willing to speak the truth.

13.  For opportunities to capture the beauty of God’s creation with my camera.

14.  For the ability to capture joyous moments with family and friends – to allow us to keep a visual reminder of treasured memories and to enjoy them over and over again.

15.  For beautiful sunsets at the end of cold winter days.

16.  For the warmth of the sun streaming in the window on a cold winter’s day.

17.  For the gift of hearing to enjoy the beautiful sounds of children’s laughter, birds singing, worship music…

18.  For visits from loved ones & long chats about life.

19.  For the gift of laughter, even when struggling through trials and suffering.

20.  For the trials & suffering which serve to build character, faith, and strengthen the soul.

21.  For the warmth of spring days.

22.  For late night visits from adult children.

23.  For the knowledge that although all seems hopeless, my hope is in Him.

24.  For the prayers of others when we need it most.

25.  For the gift of music to soothe the soul.

26.  For fellow bloggers who inspire.

27.  For peace & rest when I need it most.

28.  For hope when all seems hopeless.

29.  For tears that flow, to allow the built up heartache to overflow…

30.  For long, warm hugs from loved ones.

31.  For the gift of life.

32.  For cool iced tea on a warm day.

33.  For warm banana bread straight from the oven.

34.  For the abundance of flowers in Spring.

35.  For phone calls from family who live far away.

36.  For best friends who listen to what you say, but also to what you don’t say.

37.  For the blessing of new found friendships.

38.  For beauty all around.

39.  For drives in the mountains.

40.  For laughter.

41.  For reconciliation with loved ones.

42.  For new beginnings.

43.  For forgiveness.

44.  For His love, patience, grace and faithfulness even though we don’t deserve it.

45.  For rain to soak the dry earth.

46.  For rainbows after the rain, signalling His promise.

47.  For joy.

48.  For 5 more daughters to love.

49.  For time to breathe.

50.  For time to love.

51.  For time to laugh.

52.  For time to cry.

53.  For time to live fully in Him.

54.  For blessings in time of need.

55.  Holidays on the Mornington Peninsula with my parents

56.  Beaches

57.  Summer

58.  Life to live

59.  Love to give

60.  Brothers

61.  Sisters

62.  Nieces & nephews

63.  Roast dinners

64.  Fresh fruit salads

65.  Warm Summer days

66.  Time to give thanks.

67.  Time to enjoy His gifts.

68.  Time with friends.

69.  Long deep breaths to calm in stress.

70.  Hugs & good night kisses from the “man-child”.

71.  The celebration of Christmas & remembering the reason for the season.

72.  Shortbread.

73.  Christmas pudding.

74.  Laughter and stories around the dinner table.

75.  Grandchildren and the hope of seeing them one day.

76.  Drives in the country.

77. New  challenges in my photography

78. The  increasing ability to see beauty in even the simplest things

79. Creativity  I never knew I had

80. Books to  broaden my knowledge

81.  Weekends

82. My new  computer

83. Doctors  with the gift to diagnose & heal

84. My  daughter’s cooking

85. Summer  salads

86. Tomato  plants, once thought dead, brought back to life by rain

87. Safety from the flood waters – again

88. Phone calls from my Sarah just to see how I am

89. Breakfast in bed

90. His Word – truth, light, love

91. Wisdom from lessons & adversity

92. His voice in the quiet

93. His strength in our weakness

94. Finding gratitude in the hard stuff

95. The man I love – his humility and willingness to get it right

96. God’s patience as I walk, stumble, learn and grow

97. Finding calm in the storms

98. Grace abounding

99. “The Love Dare”

100. “Courageous” & “Fireproof” – the movies that changed our lives

101.   Large hot mugs of Green Mint tea

102.   Day trips to beautiful beaches

103.   Waves crashing on rocks

104.   Sun, sand & the fresh sea air

105.   Red roses from my husband, just because

106.   The ability to find beauty in the ordinary

107.   Abundance of colour in our world

108.   Sweet treats

109.   Beautiful sunsets over mountains in the country

110.   Insects to photograph and marvel at the intricate details by the Creator

111.   Birds of the air

112.   Ducks on ponds

113.   Storm clouds bringing rain

114.   Spectacular sunsets after Summer storms

115.   Raindrops on roses

116.   A husband who can play piano every night & write songs

117.   Living in the “River City”

118.   Quality time with my husband

119.   Sunset reflections on lakes

120.   Resting on the grass by the lake

121.   Sunrays through clouds

122.   Waterlily reflections on the pond

123.   The beauty of flowers – all so different

124.   The wonder of capturing a bee in flight

125.   Cloudless blue skies after weeks of rain

126.   Peace restored to our home after months without it

127.   My oldest daughter’s graduation from Interior Design college & a surprise award for excellence in academic & design

128.   My youngest daughter starting a nursing degree at University & a new job

129.   My youngest step-daughter’s more relaxed, joyful & at peace

130.   My husband who says everyday, “I love coming home to you!”

141. Someone to love & hold me when brokenness overwhelms me.

142. The closeness of family.

143. Photo albums to look through with my children & memories to cherish.

144. Phone calls from adult children – just because.

145. The comfort of Romans 8:28

146. The promise of Jeremiah 29:11

147. Chai Latte dates with loved ones.

148. Turkish Delight

149. Blue skies & fluffy clouds on Winter days.

150. Drives to the waterfront.

151. Landscapes.

152. Seascapes.

153. Skyscapes.

154. Cityscapes.

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2 thoughts on “Gratitude Journal

  1. Pingback: My Best of 2011 « THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE

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