Our final step in the 10 Days to Thankful challenge is to start your thank-FULL list and realize in detail how FULL your life is. I've started my list here. Please don't feel you must read it.
frozen peas, rain, dark quiet mornings, candlelight, my warm bed, my warm shower, my warm coat from Costco for only $24.99, the scent of pumpkin, toenail polish, the photo of the Seattle waterfront on my desktop, Addie's squinty-eyed smile, toothpaste, deep cleansing breathes, the bubbling of the fishtank, fuzzy socks, flowers in winter, big boys playing with little boys, the teachings of Jesus Christ, fog, food coloring, Go-gurts in the outside fridge, my outside fridge, the anticipation of olives and sweet pickles, helpful people, Tuesday date nights, my messy studio that is evidence of creativity, old friends who email out of the blue just to say hello, yoga tension, time, music, road trips, 60 Minutes' podcasts, my van, timers, the smell of clean laundry, the chance to learn, the opportunity to teach children, good books, brown rice, Pottery Barn color schemes, yellow, popcorn, refrigerator magnets, notes from Taft, Summit school, the fact that I can still help Clark with math, Fiesta Ware dishes that make me happy, mugs, warm herbal tea, warm soup, Jergen's original scent lotion, pretty napkins, Chase's smile, Geof's love, Nike + ipod, color crayons and Play Doh, gingerbread, my sock box, the labeler, my red bench, low-maintenance friends, magazines, online shopping, Christmas lights, sharp pencils, the idea of new carpet, discovering little things my husband does, crackling fires, water, photographs, virtual friends, bubble gum, Trey's accents, freedom, inner peace, the chance to be grateful.
Perhaps you could set a timer. My list took 15 minutes and generated approximately 80 big and little things I'm thankful for. My list is by no means comprehensive, but it is a good start. Once you've got a few of your "thanks" down, I further challenge you to turn your thanks into "giving" — for every item on your list, donate some amount of money. It does NOT really matter how much you give, but that you give freely. Count up your thanks and then multiply it by whatever you can, and give it back to someone in need.
The economy is tough right now, so do what you can. Here are some ideas:
- Gather up your donation and go to wherever you are donating it – a drop box at a school, a food bank, your church, etc.
- Then, take a photo of you and your donation.
- Upload it to the Cocoa Daisy Gallery and include a caption with your photo and the number of items you donated.
- For every 5 items you donate, your name will be entered into the drawing.
- If you would rather not or are unable to physically bring food to a shelter you can make donations through our store, in $5 increments, and those donations will be distributed to food banks around the country. For every $5 donated, your name will be entered into the drawing once.
On December 20th we will close the food drive and draw winners for all the super prizes from our very generous sponsors.
The Making a Difference Food Drive will run from Nov 20th-Dec 20th and my hope is that we’ll be able to donate several thousands of pounds of food for needy individuals this holiday season.
2. Donate to help save lives in Darfur. I mentioned attending Clark's high school play, The Dairy of Anne Frank. You cannot read or see anything about the Jewish Holocaust without thinking, how did this happen? Could it possibly happen again? Right outside the theater, there were two big display boards about the horrific situation in Darfur (right now in 2008) I was shocked. I think I knew, but I really didn't know. I will supporting this cause this year and into 2009. For more information, click here or just google "Help Darfur".
3. Give to the Clean Water Fund. This fund is one of many ongoing humanitarian projects managed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where 100% of the donation goes directly to the cause. We have friends that just returned from a service mission in Kenya (Africa) and shared with us the absolute difference this effort is making in the everyday lives of African families and children. It's hard to imagine going hungry, but NOT having clean water? Wow.
(here's one more option that Monica contacted me with)
4. The situation in Rwanda is similar to that in Darfur and there are many ways you can reach out. Artist Kelly Rae is doing her part. You can help and potentially win some original artwork. More here.
"The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings."
I just got this quote of the week from Compendium. It's true.
May you ALL having a wonderful Thanksgiving!
and … thank YOU to the challenge-takers. I hope you feel a bit more healthy and in a good place to count your blessings.