pints of blueberries transplanted and still blooming cinthia milner

Practicing Gratitude in the Rain

A friend texted me to ask how my day was.

I texted back. I began:

My ribs hurt so bad from coughing from the flu last week, and we were unloading a lot of heavy plant material today, so that only made my ribs worse, and it was raining and icky outside. I tried to run an errand at lunch but the traffic was crazy, and the pharmacy didn’t have what I needed ready. I came home, took a shower and crashed. How was your day?

But, I stopped myself before hitting send and read it. That was a pretty depressing text! So, here’s what I sent instead:

It was okay. The rain let up around 11. We had lots of heavy, plant material to get unloaded so that kept us busy. I was able to run an errand during lunch. How was your day?

Such a tiny, little shift in my brain, but it worked. It made me appreciate my day. The rain did let up, something I’d actually prayed for on my first official day back, and just recovering from the flu. We were able to stay busy all day and thankfully so. Nothing is worse than being in pain, and being bored. It just causes you to focus on the pain. I did get an errand done at lunch, but more importantly, I needed to ask how her day was. What was happening in her life? It changed my whole evening. I went from thinking the day had been pretty yuck to thinking it was a pretty good day.

When my kids were little, we did nightly devotions. We began this family time by saying one thing we each were grateful for. Then we read Scripture, discussed it and said prayers. I kept a journal of our evening devotions, and can go back now and read what each of us were thankful for on any particular day for a decade. I am grateful I did that because that journal is a treasure to me now.

Here’s a few I from the kids:

  • A cup of hot chocolate.
  • It snowed! School closed!
  • Lasagna.
  • The birds at the bird feeder.
  • My warm bed.
  • My friend Todd, whose dad is Elvis Presley. (I just wrote it down.)
  • My family.
  • Platypus (the dog).
  • That George lets me cheat off his paper. (Again, I just wrote it down.)
  • Papaw and Memaw.
  • No homework.

It was my blessed moment in a mom’s busy life, listening to her children speak what brought them joy. I’ll admit it was harder for me and my ex. The adults found it difficult to find gratitude in the midst of the adult stresses of life. But forcing myself to examine my day, and find something I was grateful for at the end of it. sent me to bed with a smile and a different perspective on life.

So, for old time’s sake, and a re-framing of mind concerning my day, these are the things I am grateful for today:

  • Ibuprofen.
  • My bed!
  • Aggie (the dog).
  • Little Kitty (the cat :).
  • Blueberries.
  • Earl Grey Tea.
  • Friends who text me to ask how my day was.
  • Late night rain but clear skies during the day.
  • Plants.
  • Fun co-workers.
  • A warm, cozy house.
  • Soft socks.
  • Waterproof boots.
  • Seeing Ellen again.
  • A washer and dryer.
  • Donna and Jennifer.
  • Hot showers.
  • Doggie day care.

I could go on, but lesson learned. Grumble and complain or rejoice and be grateful. I’ll go for the latter. And you? Would you mind leaving a comment of one thing you’re grateful for today? What brought you joy today? I’d love to hear.








Blog Bible Study–Need Some Ideas!

Let’s do a blog Bible Study.

Once a week. On Mondays. I’ll dedicate the blog space for it, but will leave the other four days (Tues-Friday) open for my usual gardening/life/ranting posts.

Here’s how it will work:

1. You don’t have to sign up. You can just log on every Monday (or the day of your choice, read #10 below) to participate.

2. You will read the study, look up a few Bible verses, and answer a couple of questions. A notebook or journal would be helpful. Or read #3 if answering questions is more than you want to do.

3. You can skip the questions part, and just read the blog/study part if that’s good for you. I’ll set it up for either.

4  I’d love it if you commented about anything the Lord teaches/reveals to you, but it isn’t necessary to do the study. Your thoughts are helpful to the rest of us journeying along beside you, but they are also your thoughts and sometimes for you alone. You decide if you want to share.

5. Don’t let the word study send you screaming. It will be something you can do in under 15 minutes.

6. If you have questions about it or during it, feel free to contact me.

7. Please tell friends about it. I miss teaching, and I often do my Bible Studies alone, because my work hours don’t allow for me to meet when most of the women’s groups meet. So, this is really for me, and I’m hoping you’ll join me. Oh, and non-believers are welcome too. I am blessed to have Christian and non-Christian friends, so all can study together.

8. Each study will be independent of the others, so missing a week or many won’t matter. But, after 6 weeks, let’s reevaluate. . . Did we like it? Want to keep going? It tanked? Did not work? We’ll decide. Or, do we need changes? More? Less? Again, we’ll decide.

9. I’ll post it Sunday night to be in your in-boxes early Monday morning. Or, again, log on Monday (or the day that works for you) to participate.

10. You can do it any day you want! I’ll have it up on Monday, but if Friday is your best day, then that’s the day for you. I have never been an up-early-every-day-doing-my-Bible-Study kind of girl. Some days I am up early doing it, other days I am lying in bed at midnight doing it. Some days I do two days worth because I have the time, and some weeks I completely miss. So, feel free to comment if you find the study long past the time I’ve posted it. I will be blessed by your thoughts, no matter when you do it.

11. I worship with all Christians, so any denomination is welcome. And, the only thing I’d ask is that we respect each other in the comments, if we leave one. We can disagree diplomatically.

12. You do not have to participate each week to do the study.  If you miss a week that’s okay, since each will be independent of the others.You can join in anytime or drop out anytime.

13. Please provide me with ideas! Anything you really need right now? Is there a Bible character you’d love to learn more about? Suggestions are welcome. Topics, people, books, I’d love to explore them with you. Leave a comment or contact me. I respond best to email, or text.

Finally, how about we start this coming Monday? July 21? It can be our first practice round. We’ll see how it goes and continue on. I look forward to spending time in God’s Word with you. Now, send me some thoughts! Much love, Cinthia .