Tag Archives: grateful

5 Reasons I’m Happy To Be Alive

1.  I have good health 

A week and a half ago I turned 24 however unlike any birthday I’ve celebrated previously, this one came with a viral infection that left me so ill walking was too painful and so was lying down. I can put my hands up and say I completely took for granted the good health I’d enjoyed in the 23 years prior, and whilst ill I realised just how much of a blessing good health is. It’s true when they say you don’t know what you have until you’ve lost it, but we should actively fight against this general lack of appreciation. If you have woken up this morning with no significant ailments, you have one more reason to give thanks today.
2. My best friend

I’m sorry to be mushy, but during this period of sudden sickness I’ve realised just how blessed I am to have married my bestest friend. While feeling like I was on deaths door, my husband tirelessly looked after me, not complaining about the small fortune he’d spent taking me to Brussels only for me to spend all four days in bed. 

3. My 9-5

After some time away from work a lot of people dread that first Monday back, but I am honestly looking forwards to sitting at my desk. I won’t lie, that is partly because spending the last week in bed has been slightly mind-numbing, but a large part of my excitement comes from the fact that I really really like my job. No, not all aspects of it and yes I too have days where I’m bored, tired, lazy, and not in the mood for the slog but on the whole I’m rather happy to be there. I hear people say work can never be fun but I couldn’t disagree more. Going to work might not give you the joy you feel when holidaying in the Caribbean sun but if you are utilising some of the skills you somewhat enjoy, that’s the best starting place for beginning to love your job. I thank God for leading me to a place where I don’t have to live for the weekend.

4. The ground is orange

Waiting for the bus in the morning breeze has the harsh edge taken off when the ground is a beautiful puzzle of oranges and yellows as the branches selflessly shed their leaves. This morning I just had to smile as I soaked in the season changes that had taken place whilst I was cooped inside. Autumn is by far my favourite time of year, not only is the pressure to be doing something really exciting, that comes with summer, taken away, but it’s just the right temperature to want to do fun things during the day and come home at an hour when snuggling in bed doesn’t feel like a waste of a day but a perfectly viable activity. It’s also a good warm up to the chilling weather that will follow. Yes, winter is brutal but at least God doesn’t throw us right into ice and the snow.

5. Every single person that’s made me feel loved this last couple of weeks

I am so grateful for the support system that surrounds me and continues to go out of their way to make me smile. From the mothering phone calls making sure I am fed and watered and haven’t forgotten to take my medication to the cooked breakfasts and special birthday dinner, I have been so touched by the acts of kindness I have encountered. We can easily dismiss the small things we do for others as insignificant but this week for me has proved the little things can make the biggest difference.

I don’t know what you’re facing today but I hope that you too can find the reasons you are grateful to be alive.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans‬ ‭8:28

Love lots,

Dani

What I Learnt On My **th Lap Around The Block.

IMG_3614.JPG

Why do we associate joy with youth? I remember at school, coming in with a smile on my face (yes I was one of those neeks that quite enjoyed education) and teachers used to comment on how good it must feel to be young. Having never been 45 with a spouse, children and mortgage, I had no real defence for the suggestion that I could only be jovial because I was still a teen. It was the same when I had my first taste of the world of work. People would come in everyday and complain about the very same problems they grumbled about yesterday, whilst I struggled to add to the conversation. When it came to my turn they’d look at me in half wonder and tell me that I should enjoy these days because it really doesn’t get better than this.

What does that even mean?!

How can you tell me life doesn’t get any better than education?!

I’ve heard so many people say that being in Uni are the best days of life. If that’s the case, having recently graduated then I think I might just throw in the towel now. So why do we get so grumpy as life goes on? We start nursery missing our mums but overall happy to be there, primary school isn’t a chore because it’s pretty much always play time, and by the time we get to secondary school we’re so obsessed with the opposite sex and finding out what group of friends we want to belong to, the monogamy of going to school everyday doesn’t get a chance to drag you down. Then what happens, we leave the education system and suddenly our cups transform from half full to half empty??

I for one refuse for that to be the case. I guess ‘life hasn’t ‘hit’ me yet at the tender age of 22, but I think a big influence of our mood comes with the perspective we choose. And yes I said choose! You don’t have to think about starving children in Africa to realise that you have so much to be grateful for.

Give thanks to the Lord , for he is good and his loyal love endures! Psalms 118:29

Sometimes I find myself swimming in a pool of complaints and then all the guilt floods in. This week I’m trying something new!

I’ve become so fat that you could roll me down a hill I thank you God that I’ve gained enough wait to probably save a small fortune on my heating bill this month

I don’t have enough money to feed my eating out addiction thanks Lord for the opportunity to become a wizz in the kitchen

I’m too busy to spend time with all my friends I’m so grateful that I have a job that I enjoy spending time at

We could all find reasons to complain but that shouldn’t stop us from giving thanks to God.

I’m so grateful that God’s love endures forever. No matter how many times I disappoint or neglect my Heavenly Father, he’s always awaiting my return with open arms. There’s nothing you can do to separate yourself from the love of God, no matter how bad the weather gets, how annoying your family can be, and how tired work makes you feel, you can always give thanks for that.

Love lots

Dani xxxxxxx

5 Things I’m Grateful For

30285-What-Are-You-Grateful-For-Today-My job: Similar to my other half Dani, I managed to lose my dream job this year. I didn’t do anything wrong, it just happened…kinda. During that time I used to pray with everything within me that things would work out and my dream job would stop being the job from hell. Things didn’t work out in the way that I hoped they would; I knocked on that door until my knuckles bled but it refused to open because God wanted me walk through the door He had positioned at the end of the corridor. A lesson I learnt this year: Sometimes God will give you the things you didn’t even know you wanted. Through my new job I have been able to find my ‘calling’, that thing I was created to do. I’ve always wanted loads of kids (six) because I have so much love in my heart to give and I need to put it SOMEWHERE. Through this job, I give love to many different people every single day and I am able to make an impact. I am right where I am supposed to be, right in the thick of God’s will and I am eternally grateful for what I had to lose to get here; it was worth it.

My health: It’s been an uphill struggle but I can finally eat without being weak/ nauseous/throwing up/bloated/being bed-bound. The testimony is a blogpost in itself (I’ll probably never write it) but GOD KNOWS how much this means to me. I tweeted about my desire to be ‘normal’ again more than I prayed about my condition but God saw my heart (and my twitter page) and made my dream come true. I’m not completely fixed but I am closer than I have ever been. Praises to the MOST HIGH, LOVE YOU FOR THIS ONE; YOU HAVE REALLY OUTDONE YOURSELF!

My new hair: If you know me personally, you know that I change my hair every 6-8 weeks. I don’t mean I get a touch up/new hair, same style. No, I literally change people every time I do my hair. Short, long, curly, straight, dreadlocks, weaves, wigs – E V E R Y T H I N G. At the moment I’m doing 14” of straight hair that has a natural bounce and does not tangle or shed. All the praise belongs to you, my God.

Getting back together with my first love: Sorry to all of you who thought I was referring to a man (man, what man?!) I am actually referring to Jesus Christ. This year has been turbulent and, at times, I’ve drifted away from God, neglected our relationship and focused on mere beings more than Him. Over the past month, I’ve been running back to Him, reading the Word more consistently and speaking to Him about everything. I love that God cares about the little things, I love that He cares about the details. I love that I can by myself with someone without fear or judgement. His acceptance is all that I really need; I lost sight of that this year and I’m grateful that I’ve finally managed to shift my focus from those around me to Him once again.

The changes I see in myself:

  1. This year I made a decision to get fit. Before my goal would have been to be a size *insert any number below 10 here* but now I have a healthier view on…life?. Will do a post on body image very soon – it’s a big part of my story. Anyway, I’ve been gyming all year and I can finally see results. BOOM. I’ve also realised that what is inside (the state of my heart)is what I should be most concerned about, not whether I have abs or not.
  2. I went to see a play by myself a couple of weeks ago because I realised that I don’t need a plus one, I just need a travel card. Seeing another play on Monday and it’ll be me, myself and the Holy Spirit.

What are you grateful for today?!

Let me know!!

Joy xxxxxxxxx

5 Things I’m Grateful For This Morning

1.My job
I wrote in a previous post about my turbulent summer and the job that I lost, so I really have to give a major shout out to God for blessing me with a job just in the nick of time. Not only did he bring a job before rent and bills were due, he brought one with lovely colleagues and the opportunity to grow. I’ve learnt so much in the past month and have met such friendly people, I really have to give God thanks.

2.Living so close to the Thames
I get a bit soppy when it comes to London, but I have a real soft spot when it comes to the Thames. God gave us such a beautiful planet to live in, and yes the weather isn’t always amazing, but I think Planet Earth deserves some appreciation once in a while

3. Pret’s ham and cheese croissant
Cannot tell you how excited I am to have breakfast on the train. Round of applause for Pret who never fail to bring satisfaction.

4.My friends
I know everyone thinks they have the best friends ever, but firstly, it’s not a competition, and secondly, I actually do! To everyone who continues to call when I don’t call back and comes to visit when I don’t have the energy to leave my house, I salute you. Don’t think I could have made it through this year without the friends that God has placed in my life and for them, I’m truly grateful.

5. Not missing my train to Coventry
This may seem small but when you spend your week running along platforms and praying you make it on the right side of the train doors before they close, it always feels like a mini miracle when you’re on time. Warwick here I come!

We can get so bogged down with asking God for the things we don’t have, let’s not forget to give him praise for the things we do#grateful #blessed.

Love

Dani xxxx

The Day I Lost My iPad

photo (3)

Yesterday was a weird day. Fantastic, horrible, amazing.

I was on the train, on my way home from work (which is three hours away) and I was hungry. Not your, ‘oh, I’m slightly peckish’ type of hungry, no I’m talking ‘I feel like there is hole in my stomach which will never be filled no matter what I put in my mouth’ sorta hungry. I hadn’t eaten properly all week (long story) and that was probably the root of my frustration. I was also feeling quite nothing. Have you ever felt ‘nothing’ before? I didn’t feel like nothing (we thank God for working out my confidence levels!) but I just felt as though what I had to offer, my potential and my gifts were not being utilised. This frustration coupled with the hole in my stomach led me to wanting to smash my phone against the train window and scream.

A few months ago I learnt a lesson about gratitude, which I will carry with me forever. In the moments where I feel most frustrated, overwhelmed and powerless, I start to list the things I am most grateful for. I shift my focus from my problems to my blessings. It usually helps. I also decided to quietly sing some songs of worship which caused people to look at me but I figured it was better that they looked at me because I was singing than they looked at me because I smashed my phone against the train window.

The train finally pulled into the station and by this point I was feeling quite perky. I’d switched from my gospel to a bit of Beyonce and I was feeling myself a little. I had already planned to order pizza as soon as I got home and in my head, I was already in my room, chilling, eating and watching ‘Friends’.

I walked over to where I had left my suitcase and it had gone.

What?

Yeah, it had gone.

I started to think about what I had left in it. My iPad. My beautiful iPad, April, which held the contents of every blogpost I’d ever written, moments I had shared with Jesus, scriptures I loved and lessons that I was learning. My baby was gone. I could buy another iPad but I knew I would never get those words back.

I ran down the train aisle and pushed past everyone to see if I had left my suitcase on the other side of the train. It wasn’t there.

Fam. I was panicked. My heart was beating. A woman asked me what was wrong. I responded that my suitcase had been stolen and I didn’t know what I was going to do. It had my iPad in it. She seemed concerned and she began to ask me questions. See me, I’m not into strangers at ALL. I watch too many TV dramas about serial killers to engage with people I don’t know. Even in my anxious state, I was still aware that she was a stranger and could kill me at any moment.

I noticed that another suitcase was still there, which looked like mine but wasn’t. I realised that the person must have mistakenly taken my suitcase. I grabbed the suitcase. I still didn’t know what I was going to do. Meanwhile, the woman was still there, trying to tell the train assistants what had happened, walking with me and trying to reassure me. The assistants told me to report it to the police and walked on by. They didn’t care. I must forgive them for that.

We reached the information desk and the woman told me to open up the suitcase to see if I could glean any information about the owner of the suitcase. I opened the suitcase; I saw boxers, an asthma pump, a charger but no personal details. I zipped it back up, deflated and resigned to the fact that I would never see April again. As I picked the suitcase off the floor, I realised that there was a piece of paper in one of the pockets at the back, I pulled it out and opened it.

There it was, the name, number and address of the person that had taken my suitcase. The woman and I rejoiced for about 30 seconds. The address was in Ireland and the number was foreign. My rejoicing ceased and I began to worry again. I called the number.

“Hello?”

“HI MY NAME IS JOY AND I THINK YOU HAVE MY SUITCASE!!!”

“Sorry? Oh my gosh! Yes I do. I am so sorry! How did this happen??”

“I THINK YOU TOOK IT MISTAKENLY. WHERE ARE YOU???”

“I’m in St Pancras, I’m just about to go into my hotel”

“OH MY GOSH, I’M STIL IN THE TRAIN STATION. I’M ON THE PLATFORM”

“I’m coming back! Wow, I can’t believe this has happened. You are so smart for noticing.”

“NO YOU ARE THE GENIUS BECAUSE YOU LEFT YOUR DETAILS IN THE BACK POCKET. YOU’RE GREAT. YOU’RE THE BEST OH MY GOSH.”

“Ok, I’m on my way! I am wearing a red jacket and I have no hair.”

“I HAVE SHORT HAIR AND I LOOK WORRIED”

“Ok, see you!”

The woman and I hugged, we were so happy! We thanked God, I thanked her for staying with me and being so kind. I was a stranger but she showed me such love and kindness. As we were praising God, a bald man, in a red jacket walked towards us.

We embraced.

Yes, I hugged TWO strangers yesterday.

He apologised to me.

I thanked him. Thanked him over and over again. We exchanged suitcases and then he left.

I began to thank God. I don’t know why yesterday occurred. I do know that I was struggling to count my blessings and then God gave me something to be grateful for. He taught me how important it was to be kind to strangers and extend love to every single person I encountered. Jackie helped me so much, she was such a calming presence and I know that if she hadn’t told me to look in that suitcase I wouldn’t have done so. She gave me her time and she gave me her love. I am so grateful for her! Oh and to God, my best friend, thank you. April is safe and sound. My beautiful queen is sitting next to me as I type this. GRATEFUL!

Joy xxxxxx