Daily Gratitudes

(969 Posts)
crescentmoon England Wed 19-Sep-12 21:51:54

i was listening to Nina Simone's "Ain't Got No..." here or better one and i got to thinking about gratitude. apparently regular grateful thinking can increase happiness by as much as 25 percent just by wanting what one actually has. so i hope maybe that we can regularly write about the things that go well for us each day, no matter how little they are. from any faith and no faith too.

il start by saying over the past few days im grateful that...

1. its the middle of september and ds1 hasnt had to use his blue inhaler once
2. id worried that dd wouldnt like her new school but shes settled in very quickly
3. the sun shone brightly so i went exploring around my local high street
4. i have learnt how to make chai tea for myself now
5. the house is cosy and warm

stressedHEmum Sun 06-Jan-13 14:39:58

Today, I am grateful -

for my lovely friend from church who is celebrating 60 years of marriage this week. She and her husband are such a lovely couple
for the beautiful service of blessing and renewal of vows that we had for them this morning and the fabulous lunch that they provided for their family and friends
that DS4 has gone to the cinema with Dh, today, without any trouble or difficulty - he finds it really difficult to go out without me normally
for doctors, nurses and healthcare workers
for the gift of Christ, not just for Christmas
for the sure and certain knowledge that there is nothing that I can't cope with as long as I rely on God for strength and purpose
that I was able to bring some comfort to one of my friends, today, who is going through a very rough time.

crescentmoon England Sun 06-Jan-13 14:52:31

Salam alaikum (peace be upon you),

Currently have house guests so can't post very much this weekend but I really enjoyed reading your last post stressed. Have more questions but will ask once dc go back to school!

crescentmoon England Tue 08-Jan-13 06:26:58

i always used to focus before on the differences between the bible and the quran, not the similarities. sometimes on these boards when someone quotes from the bible - as you did in that passage from 'James' i get astonished because of how similar it sounds to the quran. though i shouldnt as its an article of islamic faith to believe that the gospels were also from God and chronologically they came beforehand!

i agree with you that alot of the basic messages are the same. my father likes to tell a funny story about a tribe in africa that were animists. they became exposed to christianity and islam at the same time, and the tribe decided both of them had beneficial things and decided on a vote which to choose. it was an even vote so they decided to split in half - the ones who wanted to keep their second wives converted to islam, and the ones who wanted to keep their drink converted to christianity! grin lol

as for the headscarf that is amazing that you choose to wear it by your own volition. for me it took alot of soul searching and internal struggle to don it - no one stood over me to tell me to but i felt God above me watching as i read and read about it in deciding whether it was important or not. it was funny i used to think - will anyone marry me if i wear this? how will someone even get to know me if i have this on it will make me seem unapproachable? i secretly used to be very vain about my hair and felt covering it was covering my best asset! so it took a big jihad ' holy struggle - to bring myself to. like you i never used to wear trousers, always long dresses because they were very practical. but as iv gotten older - i turn 30 next year - and secretly because i feel like my children are almost my hijab now lol - iv gotten much more relaxed about how i dress.

i also believe like you that you say that our lives should be prayer and acts of service. his is a basic islamic viewpoint but we also have the daily prayers as rituals. most everyday daily tasks can be turned into an act of service if one makes the intention to make it an act of worship. going to work to provide for ones family is worship, gaining knowledge is worship being kind to your neighbour is worship. muhammad (pbuh) said the least act that can gain reward is a smile. refraining from something which is harmful is also worship and a source of reward in islam.

yday's gratitudes:

1.dc came back from their first day at school yday very happy.
2.i managed to finish an assignment i left to the very last minute to complete,
3.ds2 is a lovely fun toddler - but im glad hes my last!
4.i found lovely brittle fudge in my local store over the weekend the same as my relatives used to bring us back from abroad,

stressedHEmum Wed 09-Jan-13 14:00:00

That's a funny story, crescent. it highlights the similarities in faiths as well, which is something that people should pay more attention to. When I was in Egypt, just before I got ill, our tour guide was explaining some stuff about Islam to me, after we'd been to visit a mosque, and he said that, as far as he was concerned, Islam and Christianity were practically the same, with far more in common than different. He was a very liberal Muslim - didn't want his daughters to wear hijab etc.- so I don't know if that makes a difference. He explained "jihad" as the struggle against the evil/bad tendencies within oneself. we have that idea in Christianity as well- the perpetual struggle against our sinful nature.

I'm A LOT older than you, so I've had a long time to come to some kind of understanding of my faith. TBH, my life has not always been modest, if anything , when I was a teenager it was really chaotic. I've always been "Christian" in that I went to church, prayed, believed Jesus was the Son of God and all that; but as a youngster the impact on my life was fairly minimal. It wasn't until I was in my mid 20's that I began to settle down a bit and find some acceptance of my life, that I set about trying to change things. The headscarf was just a kind of extension of that, a natural progression sort of thing. I've been wearing it for about 10 years now and feel really strange without it.

Another part of the whole modesty thing was about wanting to set a better example for my children as well, if I am honest. I would be horrified if they did some of the things that I did when I was a teenager, so I try hard to give them a restrained, modest, moderate example in the hope that some of the extremes of youth will pass them by.

In my stripe of Christianity, we believe that God works within us on an ongoing basis, changing us and making us more the person He would have us be. We have to listen for His nudgings and allow ourselves to be changed. That's what I believe has happened to me over the years. God has worked within me and with me to change me. It's also why I think my life has had so many difficulties - I have been passed through the refiner's fire and made stronger (Is.48:10, Zech 13:9. 1Pet 1:6 and 5:10). I like to think all the trials and tribulations have made me a more compassionate, less judgemental person as well. So some good has come from all the unpleasantness.

Today, I am grateful -
for another day
for food, shelter, clean water and clothing
for family and friends
that DS1 has heard back positively from another graduate scheme that he applied for - he has to sit some kind of test for this one and he has an interview next week for another one. Hopefully, he will hear back from some more soon.
that DH starts a professional training course this evening with his work. It should make him more employable if things go wrong with this job.
that DS2 has happily started back at college this week without too many issues.
that my children are old enough now not to need me to do too much for them, so that I can try to rest a bit to try and get back on my feet.

Salbertina Fri 11-Jan-13 06:53:49

Hello
Good to hear the background to your faith - i don't believe in a God (incline towards Buddhism fir this reason) but respect those who do. Unless they're uber-dogmatic about it (had my fill of this from various teachers at my sec sch) Lovely that we're all so respectful, curious and undogmatic on here smile

It seems to me that being spiritual/mindful in whatever form is an attempt to recognise and set a moral code around the fact that we're all part of something bigger. Its a shame that so many no longer feel the need fir this (who called it "the God-shaped hole"?)

My gratitudes:
Fasting going well so far
Am trying to be more mindful
Dc having fun today w their friends

I was asked re our relocation plans a while back. Thanks, yes, they're in motion, rather a lot to undo and then redo the other end but we'll get there. Dc1 rather upset and dh and i also torn- bittersweet to be going as roots here now too and its much sunnier

Salbertina Fri 11-Jan-13 06:56:26

Stressed- interesting about our "sinful nature". Buddhist dharma teaches that we are pure/innocent but have to face our "cravings". Same thing looked at from other pov...

crescentmoon England Fri 11-Jan-13 21:26:59

dear salbertina happy new year! fast? what fast im curious. is it something related to buddhism or a resolve you have put on yourself this month? im so glad your relocation plans are in motion - its exciting but so heart wrenching to leave friends behind as well, both the childrens and your own. i dont think id give up the sun though!
stressed enjoyed reading your reply. yes that is how i understand the word jihad as well the way the egyptian tour guide explained it to you. my jihad is to keep good relations with my parents, my in laws, my jihad to stop eating fatty foods, my jihad to be a good mother etc i use the word jihad often. even the headscarf is a jihad sometimes tbh especially in the summer. its the last thing i put on before going out and the first thing i take off when i get home lol. i say 'only for your sake God' when my hair is looking good and then 'thank goodness i dont have to comb my hair before taking the kids to school' when it is a bad hair day. im so happy that your ds1 has heard back from another graduate scheme God willing 2013 will be his year. great that your dh is doing a new professional qualification may it benefit all of you.

my gratitudes:

1.dd is like sunshine,
2.ds1 has had a lovely first week back,
3.ds2 didnt cry as much when i left him,
4.i found out about a great loan company this evening that looks like the answer to all DH and Is dreams,
5.i am going to go to bed in awhile content.

stressedHEmum Sat 12-Jan-13 12:18:20

Hi, Salbertina - relocation must be very daunting, especially when you have roots where you are. it's a very big thought, isn't it. i don't think that I could give up a sunny life, though, especially if there was a beach nearby. is that very shallow of me?

Why are you fasting? Is it a Bhuddist thing? DS2 did a whole, big study of Buddhism a couple of years ago - 36 university level lectures on the history, development, beliefs and practices. I shall ask him what he knows when he comes back from his conservation group. I only fast during Advent and Lent. I'm not very good at it. I don't not eat fro 40 days or anything, but I try to simplify everything - eating only very basic food like rice, beans, veg, fruit and bread, with no snacks, treats, caffeine or alcohol. I also try to limit internet use, not watch telly, that kind of thing and use the freed up time for prayer and bible study. I find that it helps to focus the mind on what's important in life and helps me grow a little in spirit and faith.

Crescent, that's really interesting about jihad. it's so very different from what we hear about in the news. It is a constant struggle, isn't it, to try to overcome our basic natures and our weaknesses. Mine are things like trying to be patient with the children, trying to keep my pride in check, trying not to get too frustrated with some of the folk at church who are so very set in their ways that even having modern worship music is frowned upon... I really admire women who wear the hijab in hot weather, you know. It must be uncomfortable. I usually wear my scarf kind of like an Israeli tichel - tied into a bun at the back or with the back loose and the ends braided like a crown over the top. Many times, I have really wanted to wear it like an hijab, but I think that it would draw too much attention and that it would likely be a step to far for my DH. One of the things that I like most about it is that I don't have to worry what my hair looks likesmile.

I'm glad things are going well with you and that the children are happy and settled. it's such a blessing. I hope the loan works well and that you can realise your dreams with God's blessing.

I have lots to be grateful for today -

another day
sunshine
warmth and shelter
food and clean water
an education
family and friends
my church family
medication and medical people
This website which is absolutely beautiful and has helped me many times with cheap, easy but delicious meals for the family. I made this yesterday. It is absolutely delicious but incredible easy and only costs something like 40p a portion.

Salbertina Sun 13-Jan-13 07:32:05

Hello!
Stressed- yes it is a little daunting. Sun bevomes less important that other things i guess. Become v isolated over here and big security issues sad
Am v impressed that you commit to simplifying your diet for 40 days! Hardly "not being good at it".. I have often tried to give up just one thing for Lent but never succeeded blush I've been doing my own variation of the 5:2 diet (with the occasional blip) for about a year now. Basically i have only 1 meal usually in the evening about 2x a week and splurge eat normally the rest if the time. Iy works for me as its a case of "jam tomorrow" not "no jam at all" grin mainly do for reasons of vanity health but also find it good for my soul and in keeping with Buddhist simplicity and mindfulness.
Crescent- i also was fascinated by your explanation of your personal jihads! I had no idea and now feel rather ignorant..it makes me think thats its a personal tool to be mindful in a way?

My gratitudes
Fridge-full of food
V sunny day
Honeward-bound

crescentmoon England Sun 13-Jan-13 18:09:29

peace be upon everyone this Sunday,

ds2 has been unwell since this morning so iv not had time to post properly but enjoyed reading your posts stressed and salbertina. i love that prudent homemaker website stressed its brilliant - fab recipes but iv explored other parts of the website especially on saving money. every week i tell myself im going to do 5:2 salbertina but when it comes down to it i just dont have that self discipline! have a good night all!

stressedHEmum Mon 14-Jan-13 08:41:52

Crescent, I hope DS is feeling a bit better today, poor wee lamb.

I love the Prudent Homemaker site. When I first started reading it, she only had 4 children, now she has 7! And yet, she always seems so calm and gracious. I wish my kids would be content with some homemade bookmarks and embroidered hankies - sadly, I don't think that they would. Too much peer pressure. Do you ever read her blog, crescent? When I see some of the prices of things, like 10cents for a pound of potatoes, I always think "why can't things be that cheap, here?" I think that she is a fab example of how to make the best out of testing circumstances.

Salbertina, I hope your move goes well and that, eventually, you will feel the benefits of being back with your family.

Today I am grateful -

that we don't have snow
that we have a warm, safe house in this awful weather
that DS1 is away today for an interview in the south of England
that DS2 has reached the age of 20, today, and is far more independent that we ever thought possible
for Asda fake takeaway pizzas which have saved me from paying a fortune for Domino's for DS2's birthday tea
for a lovely, thought provoking service at church yesterday

Episkopos Mon 14-Jan-13 09:31:27

I am grateful for the blessing of life
I am grateful that I am alive at this time and part of the new year
I am grateful for good health and the opportunity to work in the ministry
I am especially grateful for this forum...it reminds us to count our blessings.
Thank YOU!

Salbertina Mon 14-Jan-13 10:05:22

Am so grateful for this board also!

Stressed, happy birthday to ds2 and fingers crossed for ds1.

Crescent, how is your ds today?

Am also grateful for
Day at home just be & dc dh was driving me mad
Fresh healthy food for dc
Our health

Salbertina Tue 15-Jan-13 06:13:08

Hello
Am grateful for normal eating day today
My cleaner coming blush but grin after 5 weeks off in long school hols
Kids seem happy

crescentmoon England Tue 15-Jan-13 07:51:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

stressedHEmum Tue 15-Jan-13 12:31:10

Oh, crescent, that must have been so difficult for you and your family both. I'm sure that they did what they thought was best at the time, but the trauma and upheaval for you must have been horrendous along with the sense of betrayal. it's times like those when we really need our faith to help us cope and to guide us. I'm glad that you are making progress in this and feeling more at peace with things. God has blessed you with 2 sets of parents to love and be loved by, although, that is a very hard road to walk.

Faith and putting it all into practice isn't easy. is it? It can all be very challenging. I think that the refiner's fire image is a very good one, really because burning away the dross from our lives really does make us stronger people.

I love Brandy's blog and her whole site. When I read all her wee articles, I realise how much I have to be thankful for and I try harder to cultivate that spirit of gratitude. I might not agree with her religious beliefs but I find her very inspirational.

I hope that your kids are feeling a bit better now. Thanks for your good wishes for DS1. I haven't heard from him, yet. he had a meal with the assessors last night and the interview thing is today. He's really quite keen on working for this form and it's in an area that he's really interested in, so I hope all goes well. Even if it doesn't though, it's all good experience for him.

Salbertina, enjoy your food todaysmile

Episkopos, welcome to the thread. It's a wonderful place.

Today I am grateful -

for sunshine
for food, clean water, shelter and warmth
for freedom from fear, oppression and violence
for painkillers and medicines in general
for the faith that gets me up every morning to say "Good morning, Lord instead of just hiding in bed all day feeling sorry for myself
for the gift of contentment that God has given me that has freed me from always wanting stuff.

hillbilly Tue 15-Jan-13 13:36:54

I am grateful for

-coming across this thread
-the cold crisp winter day
- my lovely husband
-my children woke up smiling
- that I work for myself

Salbertina Wed 16-Jan-13 05:53:42

Cresecent - i am so sorry to hear about your birth family.. Goodness! There is a Stately Homes thread in relationships- you may or may not find it useful as you sound as if you're at peace with it now? Whereas this thread is more for those on the (often angry) journey but it is supportive. I speak from experience , sadly, due to issues with my own birth family

Stressed- hope you're not in too much pain? Lovingkindness to you..

My gratitudes:
Beautiful birdsong
Time to catch up on my studies
Sudden sense of freedom for us all in going back to UK

Salbertina Wed 16-Jan-13 05:54:37

And Hillbilly, love your gratitudes, made me smile

Salbertina Wed 16-Jan-13 05:56:02

And belated welcome, Episkopos

crescentmoon England Wed 16-Jan-13 10:57:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

crescentmoon England Wed 16-Jan-13 11:00:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

stressedHEmum Thu 17-Jan-13 10:23:25

Morning all.

Salbertina, thank you. I'm just struggling a bit at the moment. I think things are getting a bit worse, tbh. I'm back at the GP on Monday, so we'll see what she says. I don't hold out much hope, though, as the last time I was there, she said that there wasn't really much else she could do.

Crescent, may you continue to grow in peace and acceptance. Hope your kiddies are a bit better today.

Today, I am grateful

for a warm bed
for Ninja Meerkats - DS4 is really hard to engage with reading but he loves these
for food, water, clothing and shelter
for family and friends
that we live in a free and mostly peaceful and secure country

Poledra Thu 17-Jan-13 10:43:02

Good morning all. I'm sorry I haven't been by here for some time, and I see that I missed some of crescent's posts. Whatever it was, may you find peace. my lovely.

Gratitudes today:

1. The absolutely breath-taking scenery. It went down to -7 here last night and hasn't risen above -3 yet, so the trees are etched in white and the sun is shining and it is just glorious.
2. We can afford to have the heating on during this cold weather.
3. When DH came home from the pub last night, he dragged my olive tree in its pot into the kitchen from outdoors, so it wouldn't get damaged by the frost. And he put an old blanket under it to save the floor smile
4. Slightly complicated one this - I'd arranged DD1's birthday party and, on the same day she gave out the invitations, another child gave out invitations for her party. DD1's is only a small party at home, and the other child's is a big event at a soft-play place. I am so grateful that DD1's good friends have all accepted her party invitation, and they are the good friends we thought they are (had a lot of trouble with friendships as a child myself and fret unreasonably about whether the DCs are happy)

Poledra Thu 17-Jan-13 10:44:37

Oh, and just to give you a giggle, when I proof-read the post above, I'd originally written that the trees were etched in shite shock. Not quite teh beautiful picture I was trying to paint grin

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