#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller


Every morning when I write in my prayer journal, I start with seven things I’m grateful for.  That keeps me focused on my multitudes of blessings, instead of the squeaky wheels.  I haven’t ALWAYS done this, of course–I originally read about keeping a gratitude journal in Sarah Ban Breathnach’s groundbreaking book, “Simple Abundance”–and her recommendation is choosing five things to be thankful for.  Sometimes, I record the same things, day after day.  Other times, there’s some variety.  It’s so easy to forget how blessed we really are–even when circumstances seem difficult in the extreme.

Some of the things I’m grateful for today are: God is always ready to give us a do-over, a new beginning, no matter what.  (How great is that?)  My new rocking chairs, placed on the deck.  As the weather gets warmer, I plan to sit outside when I have my Quiet Time.  (Nature, some folks say, is the visible body of God, and I believe it.)  Amy’s Breakfast Burritos.  (Hey, not everything on the list has to be profound.  :)  I love these things, and they’re hard to find, here in Spokane at least.  Rosaur’s, freezer section.)

Here’s another blessing: the new bathtub goes in today.  It might not be hooked up, but it goes in.  :) 

The renovations were on my gratitude list this morning, as it happens.  Sure, it’s inconvenient, but the changes will be well worth the wait.

My own personal Woody the Woodpecker was on there, too–a sacrificial ‘thank you’, you might say, because the critter drives me crazy sometimes.  I’m believing there’s a reason for Woody’s presence, just as there is a reason for everything else. 


Be strong.

14 comments to “Gratitude”

  1. Janice Hougland
      · March 28th, 2013 at 12:04 pm · Link

    I guess I’m partial to woodpeckers despite any noise they make. My Dad’s fave cartoon when we went to the movies (once a week as a family and they showed the news AND cartoons with the movies) was Woody Woodpecker. He could imitate that laugh to beat the band! My sis and I still laugh over that. And last year, one of our neighbors got a woodpecker in his front yard tree making a home for his wife and babies. Drilled a 2″ hole and tree cave entirely with his pecking! After that, passing by on our walks every day, we could hear the babies peeping. And then one day a month or so later … no more peeps. They had flown away. I hope they come back. The tree and hole are still there!

  2. Pam Brewer
      · March 28th, 2013 at 12:12 pm · Link

    When my children were younger, we would sit down to breakfast each morning before they left for school, say a family prayer, then each one of us would say what we were thankful for. As a single parent trying to raise children to become decent adults, I wanted my kids to understand that no matter what we faced as a result of our current circumstances, there was always something for which to be thankful. I wanted to help them put things in perspective, and it helped me see too that even if I couldn’t give my children all they wanted, I wasn’t doing too bad of a job at providing their necessities.

  3. Sherry Wallace
      · March 28th, 2013 at 1:33 pm · Link

    When you figure out Woody’s reason for being a blessing, let me know – HA!! What a wonderful way to keep one focased, by first numbering your blessings :-). You are such an inspiration to me…thank you & bless you!!

    • Norma Stanforth
        · March 28th, 2013 at 3:35 pm · Link

      Sherry, how is your knee doing? Hope you are doing better.

  4. Sherry Wallace
      · March 28th, 2013 at 1:37 pm · Link

    Janice – such a nice story about a neighbor’s Woodpecker! What kind of trees do they like to make nests in? Don’t see or hear many here in northern MS.

  5. judy burr
      · March 28th, 2013 at 2:39 pm · Link

    A prayer journal in itself is a great idea. Adding the list is wonderful. I might try this. You’re right. Everything doesn’t have to be profound. Little things mean a lot. May God continue to bless you :-D

  6. Norma Stanforth
      · March 28th, 2013 at 3:00 pm · Link

    Yes Linda, we all have some thing to be thankful for matter how big or small they may be. We are bless just having a house to live in some people don’t even have a pillow to lay their head on or a bed to lay in. So thank God for everything we have, an all of God creation He is awesome! God bless everyone in our group you all are importation!
    As always your friend,
    Norma Stanforth

  7. Anne-Marie Olka
      · March 28th, 2013 at 3:02 pm · Link

    I love the idea of 5 things listed in the prayer journal. I am new to prayer journaling-it is part of my Lent journey. I list those I am praying for, any short prayers that come to mind to God and the prayers I’ve said for the day-novenas, rosaries, chaplets, etc. But now I will also add 5 things I am thankful for. You are very right-sometimes they are little sometimes big but always thankful.
    I have a Cardinal who lives in the growing Laurel Oak in my front yard and he is a blessing and a curse at the same time. I think he is pretty but then so does he because he spends his day flying to my car side mirrors to admire himself and peck at the other cardinal in the mirror. He is a messy guy leaving mud all over the mirrors where he has pecked as well as some unwelcome refuse on the sides of the car. I’ve started tucking in the mirrors when I’m not going out so he can’t see himself so well. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.
    Hope you and your family have a blessed Easter. You are a blessing to your readers thru your posts-your humor and just sharing what is going on in your life are a special bond to your reader family.
    Thank you.

  8. Sarah Stanley
      · March 28th, 2013 at 11:47 pm · Link

    How amazing. Truly, there is a reason for eveything!! On the day I decide to check my messages, after an absence since Sunday, I see this encouraging and light-hearted blog post. I needed it.
    There was an awful thing that happened in my family on Sunday. My family is hanging in, trying to be supportive, and trying to be positive. This can be taxing, but thankfully, God has given me a WONDERFUL family (including my in-laws)! I am truly blessed!!
    Today, they are all at the TOP of my “things I’m grateful for” list.

    • Hilda
        · March 29th, 2013 at 1:31 pm · Link

      I had an awful thing happen yesterday too, in my family. I re-read Linda’s blog this morning, and it sure helped to have some reminders and put things into perspective. Not how to solve the problems, but how to deal with them spiritually and emotionally. Thanks, Linda!

  9. Marie Jones
      · March 29th, 2013 at 10:34 am · Link

    Thank you Linda. You’ve solved a question I had going on in my head. A couple weeks ago Michaels had a 50 cent bin and in it they journals. One was so pretty I couldn’t resist. It has ‘Grow where you’re planted’ written on the cover. Now I know it’s purpose! A graditude journal!
    A reason for everything :)

  10. sam
      · March 30th, 2013 at 4:56 am · Link

    Just to say to Linda and fellow bloggers,

  11. Gloria
      · March 31st, 2013 at 5:38 am · Link



  12. Brooks Flori
      · April 3rd, 2013 at 12:59 pm · Link

    I love your Daily blogs, an insight into another life, I have finally seen a Daily Dairy & 5 Things I’m Grateful For, today, , can & will help me see the world differently & with a positive point of view, Thank you for that, Since my Stroke, I have become very selfish, seeing my world through the eyes of a “victim” not as a person who is lucky enough to sit & ponder & figure out how to now make a difference in my life & my family. Thank you for waking up & taking the time to blog & share not just your feelings, but your insight, also. Your stories invite me to live my life vircariously through your heroines & to learn about people, never a waste of my time, & also to entertain me & make me feel like a whole person- again. :-D Be strong & grateful. b.

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