Monday, January 23, 2017

It's Revolution Time

I just finished going through all of Madison's baby clothes. She has finally graduated to six through nine month clothes, and until today I had drawers full of baby clothes I was unwilling to admit didn't fit her any longer. As a result I am in a bit of a thinky mood. Do you ever get in thinky moods?

miss bunny, in her thinky mood

hayden's thinky mood

I am not going to call this mood depressed… or morbid… but it is bordering on both of these feelings. I always border on these feelings when I am forced to put baby clothes away, but perhaps more so today because I am putting these away for the last time.

Many of these baby clothes are going to my daughter-in-law Monique, who just found out on Thursday that she is having another sweet baby girl.

Some of these clothes are just going in a box for memories' sake though... clothes that I just want to remember as uniquely Madison's. Her hospital cap – the familiar blue and pink striped stretchy one that is probably universal to all babies born in the United States.

posted this on my IG stories

 But even so, it's hers… and it still smells faintly of her sweet little newborn head (unless it's just my imagination because of all the thinky feelings swirling in my brain right now.) The soft white baby socks with the tiny hand drawn bunnies on them… it's so hard to believe they fit her feet at one time- they are maybe an inch long ? She came home from the hospital in them and wore them for the first six weeks of her life. I held them up to her foot while she was sleeping a little while ago, and a giant lump formed in my throat as I realized it's been a whole year since the day we brought her home.

So here I sit, in my thinky mood... and I want to keep myself from spiraling downwards. If there is one thing I have learned over the years, it's that overthinking things can put me in a bad place.

But you know what can put me in a good place? Reading.

I'm reading a book right now that is really ministering to me. Which is a funny thing to say, because the author isn't even a Christian (as far as I know.) But it really is a motivational book, and I am not normally one who likes motivational books. Don't ask me why, because I have no idea. I'm the same way with forwarded emails - if the heading says "get out the tissues" or "guaranteed to make you laugh", I won't do either. I think it's just my rebellious nature or something.

ANYHOO, this book is inspiring me.

Here's a little excerpt from the book:

Researchers have found that people who write down three things they're grateful for every night (or even a few times a week) improve their well-being and lower their risk of depression. The results have been repeated over and over. Keeping a gratitude journal can even dramatically improve your ability to get a good night's sleep.

And maybe that's why I've been enjoying this book already, and I'm not even halfway through it. For several years on Instagram and a few times on my blog as well, I have posted what I call my "three things post".... I share three things that are bringing me joy right this minute, and I ask followers to do the same. The things that I list are not typically huge events, or even material things… usually they are just the little things in life: a nice cup of tea in my favorite mug, a walk outside with my children in the crisp morning air, the sunlight streaming through the window on my bedspread… just average every day things that are bringing me joy.

scrapbooking and tea = joy

baby rolls bring me joy well as baby food beards !

It might sound simplistic or obvious, but focusing on our blessings is beneficial in so many ways. My husband preached an entire sermon yesterday on gratitude and I can't even begin to do that sermon justice.. but it paralleled what this book, The Gratitude Diaries, is saying (only with a spiritual twist, because after all, it was a sermon.) Being grateful improves our health, our marriages, the atmosphere in our homes, and our overall spiritual well-being.

I'm grateful for ice storms, because they make everything BEAUTIFUL

grateful for my husband who stops in the middle of his work day to play a game with hayden

grateful for teenagers who are gentle and affectionate

My Pinterest boards are filled with quotes on this subject that I have pinned over the years… Probably because I need to be reminded of these truths on a regular basis.

It goes against human nature to be grateful, doesn't it? If you ask someone how they are doing, they might tell you "fine" ... but two minutes later they proceed to fill you in on all of their not-so-fine moments. It's just human nature to mullygrub; to list the ten things going wrong in our lives, rather than three things we are grateful for. It takes work to be grateful ... and as humans, most of the time we default to complaining.

Another quote from The Gratitude Diaries :

One of the psychologists who has led this research (on gratitude), Dr. Robert Emmons of the University of California, Davis, jumped into the field early, and quickly became one of the world's leading scientific experts on gratitude. One of his findings is that you don't need good events in your life in order to feel gratitude. Instead, grateful people reframe whatever happens to them. "They don't focus on what they're lacking; they make sure they see the good in what they have."

I could complain that I just organized the playroom - AGAIN -
or be thankful that my kids have a room filled with toys to enjoy

I could complain about these two always wanting to sleep in our bed...
 or rejoice that I still have kids young enough to "need me"

The Gratitude Diaries is inspiring me in so many ways to combat my human nature, and to make a conscious effort every day – throughout the day – to be grateful. To be intentionally grateful, to reframe bad events so that they are seen through the eyes of gratitude.

this puppy has chewed up 45 billion rolls of toilet paper since we got her - but Lily no longer has a major dog phobia !

these two drive each other crazy half the time

but are best friends the other half ;)

I don't have my Kewpie doll from when I was little anymore... but now I have a real life one

So here's how gratitude pulled me out of my thinky mood...

My baby is growing up, and I am being forced to put away newborn clothes ... for the last time.

However ... gratitude helps me reframe the sadness/anxiety/this-is-the-end-for-sure-this-time feelings into this :

I have the rest of my life to enjoy grandbabies who will wear her hand-me-downs. And I will have the pleasure of seeing my grandbabies in all of those adorable outfits, without having to do all that laundry. BOOM.

Or this:

My baby may be growing out of her newborn clothes, but that means she is THRIVING. Last summer we could not get her to gain weight, her heart was failing, and as a result she was less than ten pounds at six months old. Today she weighs over fifteen pounds and eats like a CHAMP, and that means her heart is healed ! Thank God for surgery and modern medicine, and thank God for piles of baby clothes that do not fit my Bunny anymore!

Or this:

I prayed for an entire year before Madison was born for "one last baby." God answered that prayer, and today I have my heart's desire. I may be a little (okay a LOT) sad about retiring her baby clothes, but two years ago I didn't even know if my prayer to get pregnant again would be answered. I HAVE A BABY AT AGE ALMOST 49 FOR CRYING OUT LOUD. (no pun intended, ha.)

Madison may have outgrown those adorable little bunny socks and will never fit into them again ...

...but she finally fits into these darling bunny slippers that her sister Abbi bought her when I was still pregnant !!!

I'm starting a Gratitude Revolution here on A Perfect Lily ... do you want to join me ??

To start this little revolution, I am giving away a copy of The Gratitude Diaries to one random commenter* on this post.

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment telling me three things you are grateful for. They can be big or small things - whatever you choose to express gratitude for. 

I will place everyone's names in a bowl and have Lily draw the winner on Thursday ... I'll post a little video here announcing the winner and then order that person a copy of The Gratitude Diaries immediately. 

(*I'm limiting entries to readers living in the United States because of shipping, but feel free to leave a comment for fun if you are outside the US !)

Are you ready to join the revolution ???


Mary said...

I am grateful that every morning when I open my eyes I thank the Lord for the wonderful life I lead. I am grateful for having wonderful friends who make my life so rich. I am grateful for a body that gets me through each day and as I take better care of it is responding so wonderfully!

M. Lyn said...

I'm grateful for my sweet hubby , a belly full of Mexican food and a class full of third graders who leave me exhausted each evening but also get me out of bed each morning.

Unknown said...

Thank you for such an eye opening and refreshing post, it can be so easy to get lost in the fog of the day to day life we live and always concerned about what we need or what needs to be done.... time to STOP!
1. Simply grateful for the dinner that's almost done cooking ;) 2. My husband who provides that dinner for us to eat 3. And of corse God, the ultimate provider!
I've read your "three things" many times, it's about time to start really trying it for myself!

Tami said...

Thank you for this! I've been feeling a bit ungrateful lately, and so I'm going to refrain my mindset for the challenges in my life!

I am grateful for good insurance because our rental home in WA just had a devastating fire.

I'm grateful to have some extra money so that both myself and husband can fly to WA to start the rebuild process in person.

I'm grateful that my dad lives close and is willing to watch my older kids so that we don't have to drag everyone to WA with us!

And just for good measure - I'm grateful to be visiting Whidbey Island again - it's been too long since I've been there!

Becca at One Girl said...

I love cultivating gratitude and need to do more of it.
1. Leftover ice cream cake
2. Successful meeting at work
3. Freshly cleaned & folded laundry

Unknown said...

I have read your "three things" post so many times and many times find myself thinking about all the things that might be stressing me out instead of finding gratitude despite stressful situations or a messy house!! I definitely want to read this book and may even start posting my own "3 things" post!!
3 things I'm grateful for:
1. Baby girl will be here anyday (had contractions all night last night!)
2. My hubby is setting up her crib and rearranging our room and her nursery/ my daughter who so far is handoing all this "change" so well!!
3. My salvation and love for God!!

Unknown said...

I'm grateful for 1. My current health (in remission with Crohn's disease) 2. I have 2 beautiful boys despite doctors saying I may never have babies 3. That my husband is staying home from work tomorrow just because. :)

Holly said...

Grateful today for a husband who enjoys cooking, I come home from work every day to dinner ready to eat. Grateful today for the snow we've received, it will let me have a green lawn and a vegetable garden. Grateful today for the lavender scented hot pad that is helping my shoulder feel better.

Susan said...

1. I'm grateful that I can read -- especially words like mullygrub �� 2. I'm grateful that God loves me exactly as I am 3. I'm grateful that my city and my house escaped damage in all the Southern storms.

Unknown said...

1. thin mint girl scout cookies
2. our two youngest children are finally sleeping in their own beds
3. a day off from work tomorrow

Emmy O. said...

1] I'm grateful for the opportunity to go through college and be studying for my nursing boards - it is something I complain about frequently, but education is so valuable.
2] I'm grateful for friends & family that offer the most inspiring words of wisdom for the "not so fun" days.
3] I'm grateful for fresh flowers & a new wreath to brighten up this gloomy Iowa weather!

I'm now setting a journal by my bed to make this a nightly routine! Thanks for the inspiration!! :)

Unknown said...

Patti I absolutely can relate to the over emotional borderline depressed mood you sometimes face. this post totally spoke to me therefore I will list things I'm Grateful for:

1. A hardworking Hubby who loves God and loves living for him alonside me!
2. My health. I've struggled with being able to get past 12 weeks in pregnancy but even in an age when doctors can really make you feel like your 12 days from death, I have never been told I would never have babies.

3. We're having crazy weather right now so I'm Grateful for a home and heat. My heart always breaks when I think about people having to sleep outside during bad weather.

Unknown said...

I am grateful for: 1. A sovereign Lord. One who never abandons, one who is always there. 2. People. It has been five months since I tragically lost a huge piece of my heart and world, my brother. The oldest of ten. My people have rallied around me. I am strong because of them. 3. New days. I cry myself to sleep most nights missing the life I had and the future I had hoped for. But I know in the morning it's a new day, and a new chance to keep on keeping on. ❤

Stephanie Willson Barsness said...

I am grateful for our justice system here in the US. I am currently serving federal jury duty and find it fascinating. I am grateful for my sister who is my best friend and confidant. I am so grateful for my snugly pup who keeps me warm on cold MN winter nights, and I'm grateful for you sharing your heart on your blog. Thanks!

Kristy Sayer-Jones @ Southern In Law said...

How exciting that you have a sweet babe to pass on so many of your baby girl clothes onto - but bittersweet at the same time.

I often find myself in thinky moods too - and like you I can definitely find myself in a rabbit hole of thoughts that isn't so pleasant. Like you, also, reading is often the best way to stop me from falling into that rabbit hole as I can focus on something else.

Praying for you in the season of life, Patti! Gratitude is definitely the right thing to focus on - when we realise all that we have to be thankful for, the whole world looks different!

Rebecca said...

Thank you so much for sharing this - I definitely needed to read this post this morning.
I am grateful for...
1. My wonderful, sweet, and intelligent husband who just received his CPA certificate after three years of hard work!
2. Not losing power last night in the wind and rain!
3. Waking up in a nice cozy bed with freshly washed sheets!

Nicole said...

I have stopped writing down in my gratitude book after four years...
I was expecting something great, incredible, overwhelming...
Nothing special happened.. But it is true that even if I have been very sick with a rare dicease for over 6 years and it has left me handicapped...
I have been living it all with joy and peace and very rarely tears...
So as I write these words they make me realise that infact I do have my very special miracle !

KathyW said...

I've started a Blessings Jar this year! Your post fits right in! :) I am grateful for...

1. A husband who loves me for who I am, not what I 'should' be.
2. A church who preaches the Word of God, and challenges me to be the best Christian I can possibly be.
3. That God blessed us with a son 23 years ago, and I was given the opportunity to be with him through every stage of life.

Katie said...

Love this ❤❤ Mine are 1. My little guy coming in at 5:30 after a nightmare and immediately fell asleep as soon as I snuggled him 2. My big kids were so happy this morning when I dropped them off at school (they go to a 2 day a week university model school) 3. I have nothing on my agenda today!

Natasha said...

Today I wrote my own blogpost on being grateful so this is very cool.
But in short I am grateful for the small things - the sound of the wind in the trees and rain on the window, for the big things - anxiety leaving my life, my precious precious family. I am grateful for my whole life

Davilyn said...

Today I am thankful for longs walks with my best friend and doggie (our Tuesday morning tradition), that my voice matters in our political process (today I received responses from two of my congressmen over issues I wrote them about), and that my husband kisses me good-bye before he leaves work every single time and hugs me hello when he returns.

Kathy McElhaney said...

I'm grateful for a healthy body - my mom was fighting breast cancer at my age, something she fought with grace and gratitude. I'm grateful that I was the recipient of her Bible after she passed away - so much knowledge and encouragement written in her beautiful handwriting. And finally, I am so grateful for the abundance of rain we have been receiving in California this winter! We have needed it desperately.

crystalkupper said...

Grateful for:

1. The fact that I get to return to my beloved Oregon for 40 hours in a few days to attend my dad's retirement party.
2. How wonderfully easy our adopted daughter is, which balances out how hard her medical care is.
3. Christian radio! We went 3 years without it in Europe, because pretty much it doesn't exist there (there are some satellite stations, but nothing really on FM/AM). Now that we're back in the States, we are LOVING having KLOVE and Air1 again!

Marietta Newland said...

I love the term "thinky mood" and I know how dangerous they can be! Turning a thinky mood into a thanky mood is exactly how to handle it. :)

1. "I'm sorry" notes from my kids--just got one.
2. My napping toddler's slow breathing--it sounds like it should now. He had a small heart defect and for the first many months, his breathing was labored.
3. Taking my son to the orthodontist this morning gave me lots of prayer time alone in the car. The rest of the kids got to stay home (which they were grateful for) and he's old enough to go in, sit through his appointment, and make his follow-up on his own (which makes him feel so grown-up!).

Unknown said...

I am grateful for my Sweet Jesus, great coffee, and my country!!!

Brini said...

I'm so thankful today for 1) family coming from out of town to spend the day with us 2) my cozy new bed and 3) friends. Thank you for the encouragement today!

katrynka said...

I need to buy this book if I don't win it!

I'm grateful for fresh cool water in my cup on my bedside table, for new crafty fun stuff that I just ordered, and my hubby snoring next to me!

Unknown said...

Tonight I am grateful for 3 strong, healthy boys all asleep in their beds. A hubby who makes time for games of hide and seek with our boys and clean bedding. There is nothing like the feel of fresh sheets and blankets. Ah!

Mo said...

Today I am grateful for good strong coffee to help me wake up and battle my cold. A round of colds for my kiddos which allows me to mother them and take care of them feeling like they need me. A husband who reminds to thank me for all that I do for our family and still make me laugh like no one else.

Unknown said...

1. A husband who was up late doing laundry and cleaning for me while I slept. Without me asking. 2. My 3 yo son is communicating better! 3. This post was a blessing. Thank you!

Anne B. said...

Aside from being grateful for your blog and all of it's beautiful photos and sweet glimpses into the Rice Ranch....
I am grateful for each day that I can get up out of my bed, no matter how creaky my bones feel, and get on with life!
I am grateful that I am able to work, no matter how much I do not enjoy it, because it means that my mind is still working pretty well!
I am grateful that although my daughter went home to Jesus way too soon, He holds me, and my relationship with him has grown by leaps and bounds in my sadness and my grief!

Grammi Faith said...

1) I am grateful this was my last day of radiation and for the technicians who took care of me.
2) I am grateful I don't live in snow country. I like looking at pictures of it but not having to deal with it. Sorry Patti.
3) I am grateful for my grandchildren that text me randomly to let me know they are thinking of me.

me said...

1) I am grateful for teenagers, who offer to cook dinner, to drive siblings to school, and to play with little siblings outside.
2) I am grateful for a job so I can use the skills I have, provide to others, and then return to my family refreshed.
3) Hot waiters heaters and indoor plumbing are just wonderful - a hot shower is a lovely refuge.

Race Bannon said...

We are monitoring this revolution...

I read that comment from the person serving federal jury duty - nothing will open your eyes to the realities of our justice system like jury duty (although, they have to hide a lot from the jurors so that they will base their decision on the facts of the case and not ALL the facts). I personally believe...that some people...who serve on juries will see that most people who are at trial are so clearly guilty, but yet the system favors them (rightly so) but yet it is very hard to get away with something - IF somebody is watching.

Anyway...they DON'T HAVE MAPS!

cathy said...

my familys' good health

my children still need me

I am alive & healthy to enjoy my family


Kiara Buechler said...

I am grateful for:
-My co-workers, who make commuting an hour each way totally worth it.
-My house, because it is the kind of house I always dreamed of as a child.
-Good food. My belly is always full of yummy, nutritional goodness.

Denette Caviness said...

Love, Love, Love this!! ❤ Thank you for the sweet reminder to always be thankful in everything.

By the way I'd love to follow you on instagram. You'll find me under garyswife99. I use to follow you a few years ago and fell in love with your sweet family!!

Denette Caviness said...

Love, Love, Love this!! ❤ Thank you for the sweet reminder to always be thankful!

By the way I'd love to follow you on instagram. You can find me under garyswife99. I use to follow you a few years back and fell in love with your precious family.

Unknown said...

Hi, I love your blog posts. They're so inspiring! I have been following your blog for years and would love to follow on Instagram! But, it won't let me send you a request. :( My username is shelbyvela

Patti said...

Hi Denette- send a request , i would love to have you follow again !

Patti said...

Found you there - and a request ! :)

Baby Sliwinski said...

Sorry, I missed this post. I am thankful for my daughter adjusting to kindergarten life. I am thankful for my husband and his commitment to our family and his job. I am thankful for the great health of my family and our parents and our siblings, their son too, my nephew! ��

Unknown said...

I may be on the brink of divorce but that also means I got to be a stay at home mom and wife for 17 years. My teenagers may be lashing out but the bible says "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it" which gives me hope that they will come back around eventually. I may be ending a chapter of my life and walking into the unknown but God is going before me and I've always thought sunsets were prettier than sunrises. Thank you for writing this post. It has been an encouragement to me. ��

Patti said...

I don't know you obviously, but I just wanted you to know I'm praying for you tonight.