An Attitude of Gratitude

Gerry and I were at the World Market on the weekend; I enjoy poking around the eclectic merchandise selection and finding new and interesting things. I rarely purchase but I enjoy the fun of looking.
This time of year, believe it or not, they are already stocked with Thanksgiving and Christmas décor and other seasonal items. I loved the fun-looking ornaments and found myself smiling as I strolled through the store. In the past few years I have started seeing the holidays through the eyes of a child again and it’s such fun! Having grandchildren has changed my perspective on many things, this being one of the more delightful ones!
Toward the back of the store I found a baking section stocked with kits for gingerbread houses, holiday cookie cutters, and sprinkles for cookie decorating. I remembered many years ago when I made a gingerbread house for Christmas (from scratch, mind you) every year. It was an all-day effort by the time I baked the sheets of gingerbread, made Royal icing to hold the structure together and, with Laurinda and Michael’s help, decorated it from top to bottom!
I used to make batches of different kinds of cookies too. The favorite, and the product of another all day activity, were the sugar cookies shaped like trees and stars that the kids decorated with colored icing and sprinkles. What fun!
Seeing the baking kits at World Market not only made me nostalgic for those days with my children and also sad that I live so far away from my grandchildren. When I saw the little aprons and matching chef hats I couldn’t hold the tears back any longer; it wasn’t a full-blown blubbering session but tears fell nonetheless as I imagined Jaxon and Makiya standing on a chair beside the table helping with the Christmas baking. The longing in my heart to be there with them was so intense it hurt.
In the days since then I’ve gained some perspective.
Yes, I would love to live closer to my grandchildren so I could see them every day but the fact is, for the time being, I don’t. Gerry and I have a retirement plan and hope to be closer to them before too many more years pass by. In fact, if all goes according to plan, by the time we move to our future retirement home the grandkids will still be young enough to appreciate an afternoon of baking with Grandma!  I am not sure I will want to tackle the enormous task of creating a gingerbread house from scratch so it’s good to know that there are easier options these days. Cookies? I can’t wait to make batches of Christmas cookies for the kids to decorate!
Instead of focusing my attention on what I don’t have at the moment I am choosing to be thankful for what I do have. Nothing earth shattering about that thought, it’s something I know that I should do always, but the truth is that I sometimes lose sight of it.
So, today I am just going to be thankful that I have a husband who loves me, warts and all; beautiful children that make me proud in many ways; and that we have been blessed with healthy, beautiful, and brilliant grandchildren. I’m thankful to have the opportunity to visit them relatively often, and for the magic of Skype that lets me interact with them and watch them grow in between times.
I won’t promise that I won’t shed a tear now and then, perhaps when I see another grandmother with a little one by the hand, but I do promise that will consciously and deliberately choose to be thankful for the blessings I have been given.


I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things and the thin places where faith intersects.
  1. I love the new look; the new focus!

    Having just returned from ten years out-of-state, I can honestly say there will come a day when those grandchildren of yours will gladly take your hand regardless of their ages.

    In the meantime, I love your wisdom in looking at what remains instead of what you don’t have.

    Blessings & hugs,

    1. Thank you, Kathleen. Appreciate your comments about the new site, but most especially about the grandchildren.


  2. Good evening Linda dear,

    Ok, I don’t know how all this works, but here I am visiting you at your new home. I can totally empathize with you about your feelings for your grands. It is heartbreaking to not be able to share with them. I think we, as caring grown-ups, have so much to share.

    Sending love to you and it is ok to shed a few tears,

    Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

    1. Thank you for visiting, Sharon! By the way, I have Toad Cottages out all the time. It’s a wonderful resource for grandma’s who are near or far from their precious little ones.

  3. Nice! I have been absent from my blog way too long since we became displaced again for the past month. Hopefully I will be back in place soon and maybe will have time for some blog updating before the holidays.

    1. Welcome to the new digs, Pat. I bet you can’t wait until you can say that about your new home. It’s been a long haul for you.

  4. Big congratulations for this next step in your writing career, Linda! From my perspective over these past few years, you have–one solid step at a time–been building an ever-growing following of women, like me, who so enjoy your writing. I’m definitely looking forward to your book.
    I loved your attitude of gratitude story and identified with so much: making the houses and cookies from scratch with my children so many years ago, the nostalgic tears, and then the shift to deep gratitude for what is today.
    Thanks and kudos! Mary Jo

    1. Thank you Mary Jo! I love your writing as well, in fact I was over on your blog just the other day to see if you had a new post up!

  5. A very moving story. I don’t have grandkids yet, but my daughter lives away in another state. I’m so excited since she says she’s coming home for Christmas! I wonder if it would be a good idea to send your grandkids a gingerbread house kit?

    1. Helen that is a wonderful idea! Thank you for stopping by.

  6. I love your new look!! Wow.

    Ahhh- I feel your pain on the grandchildren thing. Our son and daughter-in-love are exprecting in March and they are only an hour away so I am esp. thankful for that. I shed a tear as I read your post because I’m with you.

    Blessings and prayers. Looking forward to exploring more on this beautiful site.

    1. Welcome, Beverly! What a blessing to have your family living so close to you!

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