Monday, August 10, 2009

Thank You So Much

This weekend I listened to a sermon about the tenth commandment: "Thou shalt not covet." Prior to this, I never much considered myself a covetous person. I think i get by fairly with minimal material possessions. I don't think I ask fr much. However, I soon learned that there's more in life to be envious of, and that those things keep me from truly appreciating all that I have been blessed with. The pastor presented the congregation with a challenge: go home and list everything you're thankful for. Keep listing for a few days. He challenged us to come up with a list of 50, 100, or even 500 items. I see this as a valuable activity, as I have been so blessed in my life, though I often forget those blessings when I'm overcome with self pity at one temporary situation or another.

So here's my top 25, in the order in which I thought of them. I managed to create an excel spreadsheet of 64 items in about 5 minutes, and I'll keep adding as I think of things.

emergency room
my own car
college education
multitude of grocery stores
fashionable and seasonal clothing
hair dye
the internet
all of my senses
past relationships
learning from mistakes
affordable housing

"I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed of hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength."

Saturday, August 01, 2009

A List of Sorts

In the interest of feeling a little caught up on this blog, and for everyone who actually reads (all 2 of you), here's a list of what's been going on lately.

  • I went to Africa. It was great. I'd love to show you pictures; all you have to do is ask.
  • I started running again, then stopped, then started again. I hope to run a half by November.
  • I ended a 2 year long relationship.
  • I enjoyed several adventures in baking.
  • I found a new bar that I'd like to make my regular hang out - Leff's Lucky Town in Tosa. Great new patio, ok food service.
  • I bought a new computer and new cell phone. Love the former, undecided about the latter.
  • I finished the 3rd season of BSG. Can't wait to start season 4, by myself.
  • I watched the first season of Lost. Not bad.
  • I planned a camping trip and a baseball outing.
  • I downloaded a ton of music from, and look forward to more.
  • I saw the Hangover by myself, and laughed.
  • I watched He's Just Not That Into You, and cried.
  • I made a bet with Heather that I intend to win.

I Like Lists

I'm a forgetful person. About some things. I remember a promise someone made to me years ago, word for word. I remember exactly what outfit I was wearing at my 21st birthday party (even though the rest of the details are sketchy). I remember the terrible taste of asparagus the time my parents made me chew it for hours. But I can't for the life of me remember the name of that really nice person I met last week, where I left my cell phone, what I wanted to say, or the three things I need to pick up at the grocery store.

It is for these items that I make lists. I love them. I make lists for the store, to-do lists, packing lists, lists of cds and books that I'd like to buy someday. And yes, once in awhile I'll make a list of the top 3 things that I'd like to remember from a conversation over a glass of wine.

I like looking back on old lists, and I enjoy reading other peoples' lists. But sometimes, I even forget where I put my list. This has happened to me the past few trips to the grocery store. What I've found, though, is the simple act of making the list helps me to remember what I needed to buy. I'm delighted when I come home and I did indeed purchase everything I intended to.

Which is why I won't be giving up the habit anytime soon. now if only I could apply the practice to finding my cell phone...