Armed with my camera, I’m ready to photograph food that I have labored over and placed in front of the window. I look through the lens and I see the light hitting it in just the most perfect way and it makes me so very happy. I feel grateful. I was surprised by this gift. This gift that I have for my love of cooking, and when I picked up the camera for the first time I never expected the love I feel about the things I cook to show through the lens, but it did and I am grateful.
I reflect a lot. Probably too much. I can get caught up in worrying about things or wishing that I had more and when that happens I start to feel down, but there is one thing that I have discovered that will turn that around EVERY time and that is to reflect on all of the things that I am grateful for. The small things. Sure, I can just do a big ole THANKS for the big picture but that just waters it down. It’s when I stop and reflect on the little things in my day that makes me feel so thankful that tears come to my eyes and spill over onto my cheeks. I see Tom, digging down into the bottom of our overcrowded pantry getting out my heavy stand mixer for me. He’s so neat about it too, and seeing him there doing something just for me, just a little thing, means everything to me. When I see him with our little chihuahua who is all decked out in her pink coat and pink leash, all wrapped up safe in his strong arms as he heads out the door to the vet. I am thankful he cares enough to look silly when his little pink dressed dog isn’t feeling her best.
I started a “Thankful Jar” to help me remember to be thankful and I fill it with little things like; crisp, clean cotton sheets on the bed. Bubble baths. Stumbling to the coffee pot to make coffee in the morning only to find out that Tom already made coffee for me the night before. The perfect leaf that I found on my walk with Missy that reminds me of the beauty of fall. Sipping hot chocolate, feeling all snuggly and warm while it snows outside. Spring flowers. Moss hanging from oak trees. The smell of fresh herbs. The smell of coffee brewing. Listening to birds sing. Seeing an elderly couple holding hands. Getting a text from my son that says, “I love you, Mom.” Hearing Tom whistling from the other room. It stops me in my tracks sometimes. I think about how grateful I am that today, I get to hear that. Him being him and me being here with him. What a blessing it all is.
God gives us gifts. I don’t want to miss them. I want to unwrap them and savor them, no matter how small. It gives me a joy that I can’t find anywhere else. I believe that a grateful heart IS the key to joy. Be thankful in everything…it makes a difference. Start a thankful jar. Fill it with at least 5 things you are thankful for a day and when you find yourself feeling sad or unsatisfied or down in any way just take them out and read them. Life IS all these little things and if we miss them, we miss the WHOLE of life.
Giving thanks for the little things can bring you joy every single day and feeling joyful can change your life.
I snap a picture of that perfect golden light hitting my humble plate of food and I give thanks.
I have WAY too many spices in my spice cabinet! My husband installed a really nice one too that is attached to the inside door of my pantry and it’s really large but I have it packed! The last thing I need are spice blends when I can easily make some with the spices I already have. When you are cooking for two it’s really hard to use up all of your spices before they expire although I do try! Making my own pumpkin pie spice really helps use up all those spices. I just store mine in an empty spice container from one of my used up spices! Recycling=Good! 🙂
I throw this spice blend in any recipe that has similar warm spices in the recipe and it’s really great! Put all the ground spices in your container and then give it a good shake! Find a place to cram it into your spice rack and you’re all set for fall baking! 🙂 Try out your new spice blend in these little yummy Pumpkin Spice Mini Muffins.
- 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons nutmeg
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cloves
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground allspice
- Combine spices in a small bowl, mix well to combine. Store in a small jar or spice container.