life and faith

Grace Notes:Appreciation

Welcome. Draw up a chair and pour yourself a coffee as we share this time together. One of my great pleasure in life is to share a coffee with a friend. 

As someone who is rarely well enough to leave the house, it is a lovely treat to spend time enjoying a ‘coffee and catch up’ session.

I enjoy the natter more than the coffee, to be honest.
Time away from my own four walls stops me going ‘stir-crazy’. It lifts my spirits.

We all need to have things in our lives that make us appreciate the good and focus our minds on the positive rather than negative elements – which are all to easy to spot and get dragged down by.

This Grace Notes series is a way to bring to remembrance God’s goodness toward us in all things.

Do you remember, or maybe still practise, saying ‘Grace’ as a ‘Thank you’ for meals?

One of the first ‘Grace’ forms I was introduced to as a child was this simple rhyme below that we used to sing in nursery school:

World So Sweet
Thank you for the world so sweet,
Thank you for the food we eat,
Thank you for the birds that sing,
Thank you God, for everything.

I remember drawing out the last line as ‘Aaaameennnn’ with great relish.

Its very simplicity brought an awareness to my heart that Somebody had provided the things we were about to consume and, hopefully, enjoy. They didn’t materialise out of thin air

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” ~ James 1:17

Life is a gift and we need to treasure it as such. God provides the common grace whereby we can all enjoy the simple pleasures of life around us.

To reaffirm the good things in my life I’ve dusted off my long-neglected journal and deliberately chosen to record only those things I am thankful for at the close of the day. This can be a challenging, mind-stretching task at times but it is already reaping positive benefits in my thought-life at least.

More thoughts on gratitude for life’s blessings:

“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has” ~ Epictetus

“Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in the quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return” ~ Mary Jean Iron 

In developing an ‘Attitude of Gratitude’ it helps to write down the things we are grateful for. Although I may not be actively joining Ann Voskamp’s “Joy Dare” this year, I am taking on the spirit of it instead.

Here are a few things I am grateful for – (with family and friends taken as read, naturally).

  • A life-long love of reading books that may have sprung from seeing my mother escaping into the pages of novels, blue smoke curling from her hand and lips, housework and children ignored and unseen, meal before her (OK to read up the table then?) and utterly engrossed as she shut out the world around her. My aunt Madge was a prolific reader too who lived in chaotic splendour, amidst a sea of papers and books, and whose great charm was the possession of a ‘mini library’ in her own home that I greedily plundered and devoured as a child, with her happy compliance. Books have been my escape, refuge and a healing balm throughout my life.
  • Being able to express myself in poetry enables me to pour out my deepest thoughts, concerns and desires in a way that brings release and relief. If other people enjoy reading it then that’s a great and unexpected bonus. It stayed hidden away for several years, both literally and metaphorically, as I struggled with many issues and failed to remember (or even know how) to begin again. With the creative juices flowing once more over the last few months, I have felt brave enough to keep writing, delve into the archives at times, and share the results here.
  • Chocolate – but of course. What woman isn’t grateful for this lovely delicacy? I attempt self-control and indulgence by allowing myself a couple of squares of dark (we’re talking 70% minimum) chocolate daily as part of a balanced diet. Who am I kidding? I just love the taste, the way it melts in the mouth, the…well, you get the picture.
There are many other things. This is just a small example.

But I’d love to hear from you:

What do you have reason to be thankful for right now?
How do you maintain an attitude of gratitude?

In this post I am linking up with Missional Women Faith-filled Fridays

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I would love to carry on our conversation. Speak again soon!


  1. 11th January 2013
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  2. Julia Howell 11th January 2013
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  3. Mandy 11th January 2013
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  4. Helen 11th January 2013
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  5. Ryan and Carly 11th January 2013
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  6. Jedidja 11th January 2013
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  7. Wendy van Eyck 12th January 2013
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