- For the hot pink rose blooms outside our front door – a beautiful sight for sore eyes, announcing that spring is here in her finest garb. Mona loves to sit in the front window and look at them (or rather, the bugs and birds in the yard next to them).
- My mom took me shopping in Dallas on Good Friday, and we stopped in a Williams-Sonoma store for fun. When we first walked in the front door, I said to her, “if we find a narrow wooden spoon here for stirring small pots, I need it!” I’ve been looking for a small, skinny wooden spoon forever. It seems like every one I can find is larger for big pots. When I use my smallest sauce pot, I can only use a spoon from my silverware, which of course can scratch the bottom of my nonstick pans. So, I went on a hunt. I ended up finding a section on the utensil wall that showcased a brand called “Littledeer.” The saleswoman mentioned to us that each utensil was hand-carved from a single block of maple, and each curve had a purpose. And of course, they were all on sale that day. I looked up the brand, and apparently the designer was originally trying to invent a special scoop-shaped canoe paddle when he decided to make a few small, promotional paddles that “eventually found their way into the kitchen.” Neat! Mom bought me the original “pot scoop” for my Easter basket (yes I still get one every year, be jealous).
- A couple of Sundays ago, I used that maple pot scoop to make a vegetarian corn chowder from a recipe book I bought at Ross years ago. That’s one of my favorite feelings: being in a clean kitchen, with soup bubbling on the stove, and afternoon light streaming in through the back door. It makes me feel capable – while I can’t control everything that happens in my life, I can still buy fresh food, make something delicious, and enjoy it with Logan.
- I’m thankful for good stories – Netflix, Hulu, HBO-GO, my books. Some may call immersing yourself in fiction a way of escaping reality, but I have to disagree – it’s a way of understanding your reality. We already do it with stories in the Bible, stories of our family history, and legends from our hometowns. I love a good story! Right now it’s all about A Feast for Crows, which is the fourth book in the five-part Game of Thrones series. I can’t handle how good it is, and I’m only 15% in.
- For country music. I’m a fan of all kinds of music, but when I’m feeling stagnant or bored or restless or just having a bad day, the last thing I want to listen to on the radio is tween party pop music, Christian radio that makes me want to pull my hair out because it’s bad lyrics/singing/theology, or indie music that makes me more depressed. So, country music is usually a good go-to because it celebrates simple things. Some of my most recent favorites are “Cruise,” by Florida-Georgia Line, “Wagon Wheel,” by Old Crow Medicine Show, anything by the Dixie Chicks or Alison Krauss, and of course the Nashville soundtrack. I think the reason it makes me feel so good is because it’s something I grew up listening to. It reminds me that the best things in life are simple, and that simplicity is something to be sought after. Love, peace, family and friends, good cooking, and being present. Of course there are exceptions – as we all know, there is a lot of terrible country music out there too, which speaks for itself.
- For discovering new spots in Abilene that I’ve never been to. Last Friday, Logan and I drove out to Kirby Lake just because, then tried a restaurant we haven’t had in a long, long time. Okay, it was Ci-Ci’s, and it was a mistake. There, I said it. Regardless, we tried something new, which was good.
- Last week after a long day at work, I came home to see a new movie perched on our bookshelf right inside the front door. It was a girly movie, so I knew Logan didn’t buy it for himself…he had bought it for ME just because! What a sweet guy I have. It’s not only little presents that make me appreciate him – it’s how hard he works in his job and in his Master’s degree, it’s the way he is restoring an old door to use for our headboard, it’s his way of making me laugh when I’m in a rotten mood, and it’s how he cares so deeply for the underdogs of the world. With every day that goes by, I’m more fully reminded of what a good man he is and how blessed I am to have him.
- For a free place to work out – gym memberships are expensive, can I get an amen?
- I’m thankful for my women’s Bible study. The group of women I meet with are basically the ones from my Sunday School class plus some extras who join in, and I’ve loved being able to share life with them. It’s a little hard to get used to a Bible-study setting again after five years of analyzing every word for academic purposes, but I have to say that it’s lovely to meet with a group of women every two weeks. It helps keep me centered, and it’s nice to have a place where we can relate to one another and “do life” together.
What are you thankful for this week?