Friday, October 5, 2012

Gratitude for the Little Things

"For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude;"
1 Timothy 4:4 NASB
"Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe;"
Hebrews 12:28 NASB
"This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."
Psalm 118:24 ESV
First: I wanted to quick take a paragraph after two months of this endeavor to thank everyone who has commented, emailed, discussed and/or contributed in thought to this blog endeavor. My continual fear in writing is that I’m really only inspiring a one-sided conversation and that what I write is not contributing to those in my life in a real way. Any time I get a response, or hear someone in my life mention reading what I have to say I am temporarily relieved of this fear. And the overall backing I have received from acquaintances, friends across the country, family, and friends in my life daily is unanticipated and treasured. Several of the responses I receive pop up at unexpected yet perfect times and so many are genuinely moving. I newly realize how lucky I am to be surrounded by people who maintain such a variety of spiritual richness in their lives. I have found I know many individuals with dynamic beliefs about the nature of the divine and the world- yet all are still filled with curiosity, wonder and compassion. So thank you to all who read and respond publicly or privately. You are making a big difference in helping me keep my faith alive and present. I look forward to the continued discourse.
This week I had the privilege of spending a couple days at my friend Paul Buck’s cabin. It was an awesome fall escape with stunning weather, great food and wonderful company. The nine of us in attendance would gather around the table for breakfast and dinner, sing grace and then enjoy the meal along with stimulating conversation. I celebrated my Danish heritage with Paul by one morning making EbbleScheibers (sp?) for the whole group. During one our dinners, one of the women at the table began a conversation about the psychology behind gratitude, and how important having gratitude in life is for day to day happiness. One of the men at the table admitted to having a gratitude journal he wrote in every day, and another mentioned that the average happiness of an individual is proven to increase if they voice/note 3+ things they are grateful for in a day.
Fascinating that something that is considered so good for us on a psychological level is so present in the teachings of God and Christianity. Telling believers to give thanks is a huge motif in the bible, and a large part of prayer and practicing many faiths. “Thanks be to God” I think is spoken aloud at most every religious service I have attended in some way. What a great win-win this creates for believers; who are ordered to do something that will decisively improve our individual happiness. Therefore I am dedicating this blog post to practicing gratitude and noting the things I am thankful for out loud.
I thank God today for:
My view of Minneapolis on my drive to work, coworkers stopping by my desk to say hi at the office, my elephant throw pillow, fresh fruit from the grocery store, being busy with exciting things, windburn on my cheeks from a fall walk, home-made apple sauce, being able to search anything on Google, feeling connected to others, the sound of my car bluebelle unlocking, Good Earth tea, new learning opportunities, long hugs, the windy dry air of fall, having things to look forward to, creative musicians on the radio, the smell of libraries and old books, my sister making a St. Olaf choir, yellow fall leaves in the sunlight, friendly dogs, feeling appreciated, having an abundance of clean and delicious drinking water, Swing dancing, warm wool socks, creative and spontaneous dates, smiley face drawings, Caribou coffee’s always friendly servers, big windows at work, having friends only a text away, an abundance of bananas in MN, good quotes, glasses of chilled white wine, feeling understood by others , sketched smiley faces, clocks and hot chocolate with Oreos on top.
I encourage people interested in responding (especially people who haven’t before!) To respond with a short list of your own day to day things you appreciate. Also, consider writing down somewhere once a day for the next week or two 3 things you are thankful for. Might be interesting to see what the results are after doing it for a bit!


  1. Hi Kelsie,
    Expressing gratitude is the best antitode for fear, despair, boredom, and discontent! Everyone needs to cultivate gratitude every day of their lives ~ the need never ends. Grandma says she starts each day with a list of things she is grateful for. It is impossible to feel fear and discontent at the same time that you feel gratitude ~ I have tried this, and it is true!
    I am sending you a book that I recently read with my Christian Book group. It is called One Thousand Gifts, and I believe you will be captured by its message. I am sending it to your home in Grant because I do not know your current address. Could you send your street address to me, so I have it for my address book?
    Today I am thankful for you, Kelsie, and I feel excitement and joy for the journey you are on as you explore your faith and write this blog.

  2. I am thankful for
    Being able to keep track of good friends' thoughts online
    Time to read, write, and cook