The Gratitude Project: Weeks 20 & 21

Last week, I failed to get my Gratitude Project post up because I was traveling out of town for my Godson’s Baptism. The Baptism was beautiful, my Godson is beautiful, and spending the weekend with friends who have become family was absolutely beautiful.

However, that is not what I wanted to focus on for last week’s Gratitude Project. And, the more I considered this week’s Gratitude Project post, the more I realized the two kind of tie in together.


Last month, we celebrated my son’s birthday. While he didn’t have school on the actual day, they allowed us to bring in treats to celebrate with, and for, him when we were back in session.

Because of state laws, no outside food or drink is allowed in the building, unless it is store-bought. It’s understandable – we have food allergies in our extended family, so I look forward to ensuring our family does its part to follow the guidelines and the rules. However, that meant I was not going to bake two dozen cupcakes and take them in. It’s a slightly bittersweet thought, knowing I most likely will never get a chance to bake and take in goodies, when I remember occasionally doing so as a child.

However, the more I struggled with my upper respiratory infection (at the time, in its early stages), exhaustion, and all-around craziness of life, I realized I was grateful for the most unlikely thing – the bakery. And, the rules that forced me to go to the bakery.

You see, had I not been forced to outsource for baked cupcakes, I may have piled one too many things on my never-ending list of tasks. And, while the cupcakes I handmade would have looked beautiful, would have been edible, and down-right awesome, my kitchen would have been a disaster, there would have been tears (not just by my children, but possibly my husband, and certainly myself), and the entire experience would have made me miserable.

I am not a “Pinterest mom.” I don’t handle the pressure well, so I avoid trying to be a Pinterest mom.

So, I was grateful for having to outsource.

I am also not a person who enjoys crafts. I would rather pay a little more to get something entirely put together – something that takes little to no effort on my part to assemble.

We’re nearing Advent (the first Sunday of December this year), and artisans are beginning to market their Jesse Tree wares. Last year, I had a grand plan – to print off and have my son color a Jesse Tree ornament every day, so we could discuss the Scripture or meaning behind the “one day closer to Christmas.”

I was proud when I realized we were a week strong into Advent and still coloring “an ornament a day.” And then, things kind of fizzled out.

Because crafts and I rarely mix.

Insert Sara over at To Jesus, Sincerely this year. She has designed some stunning mosaic ornaments throughout the years, and this week, I am most grateful this year, she has decided to market them. She has a cute booklet to go with the ornaments, and is offering the ornaments in two formats. A select number are available pre-assembled (you literally just hang them on the tree); then, others are available requiring assembly.

You can bet which ones I bought!

After receiving the pre-assembled ones, I am really looking forward to trying the Jesse Tree again this year. It will be my third year in a row, attempting this new-to-me tradition! And, I am eager for my Jesse Tree experience to hopefully be more fruitful for me this year, than last.

So, as I realized both last week’s and this week’s Gratitude Projects centered on others doing something for me – and, my paying a little extra for that convenience to myself – I realized both weeks tie in perfectly.

  • Knowing when enough is enough is something I am grateful for this week.
  • Knowing my boundaries, and learning how I set them and enforce them, and how it impacts my family when I don’t, is something I am grateful for this week.
  • Being able to count on others to do work I would rather outsource? Definitely something I am grateful for this past two weeks.

What about you? What are you most grateful for this week?

And, will you join me in praying for those who are being impacted by natural disasters – most recently, the fire raging in CA? There’s a blog post in my head about natural disasters, and maybe someday it will get written and posted. But, until then, please just join me in praying – and, in making your part of the world a little happier, a little brighter, a little more loving.

Until next week, dear reader…

2 thoughts on “The Gratitude Project: Weeks 20 & 21

  1. About the prayers, amen.

    About deciding on happiness: sounds like a plan. A goal, more accurately.

    About “Pinterest mom:” Thank you for adding that to my vocabulary. 🙂 Agreed – – – not a reasonable goal.

    Your reason for doing a ‘two weeks in one post’ this time – sounds like a happy reason.

    Gratitude: that makes sense. Even for what seems – – – ungratifying? – – – at first glance. Mine, at the moment, will be remembering a good hour last Wednesday afternoon. The Adoration chapel down the street has new glass in the windows – that’s something to like right there. This week’s hour also ‘felt better’ than most. That’s not, I think, the most important thing about it, but it’s nice.

    1. It is always beautiful to have time in Adoration which “feels good.” As our chaplain and I discussed today, we can’t base everything off of feelings alone, but sometimes God gives us a little reprieve during desolate times to keep us going.

      I miss Adoration sans kids, but was excited to spend some time in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel with my daughter today. Just the three of us – Lil’ Miss, Jesus, and myself!

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