Truly Thankful

TTOT 250
(Click here to go to the TToT blog)

Showing up to help celebrate this wonderful occasion… The Sixth Anniversary of the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop, is something I am excited to do! You see, learning to be thankful… to develop an attitude of gratitude, has changed my life entirely!

When I initially joined the TToT, I wrote a post each week as a mental exercise. I quickly discovered that making a list of ten things I was thankful for switched my focus from what had gone wrong to what had gone right.  I would start my list scratching my head and grumbling, but by the time I reached ten I was feeling much better about my life! The items I listed ranged from silly to serious, from struggles to celebrations. At the TToT we shared it all with our fellow bloggers and found comfort, encouragement, and lasting friendships!

Although I haven’t blogged much in the past year or so, that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped writing or being thankful.  I’ve been journaling my thoughts and going through a life transformation that finds me in a much better place than I was when my job ended three years ago.  What I have learned is that being thankful is much more than a mental exercise or a way to refocus.  It is more than an attitude… it is a way of life.  More importantly, being grateful for everything in our lives is essential to our spiritual wellbeing and growth.  It is realizing that everything that happens is a blessing and something we can learn from.

I begin each morning and end each day expressing my gratitude for all the ways that God has blessed me and those around me, and all day long day I whisper prayers of thank you as I learn to live more in the moment and become aware of the many things I used to overlook or take for granted. God is good, my life is good, and I am more thankful for each and every day than I ever was before!

That being said,  I believe that talking about our blessings encourages others to find hope and things to be thankful for in their own lives.  Since the TToT blog hop is all about sharing, let me tell you about just a few of the things I have to be thankful for at the moment…

1) My older sister has completed her chemo for bladder cancer and received a wonderful CT Scan report today. She is scheduled to undergo surgery next week. God is walking this journey with her and we believe that she is going to have many more years of life to share with us!

2) My husband, my beloved Papa Bear, will be celebrating his 66th Birthday tomorrow, June 7th!  There has been more than one occasion in those sixty-six years that his life could have ended prematurely, but God has seen fit to bless him, and to bless me by having him in my life!

3) Last month we spent a week in Nashville with my son, his partner Krista, and her nine-year old son. It has been a long time since I got to celebrate Mother’s Day with him, and it was such a joy to my heart to see how well they are doing in their lives, and how much they care for each other.

4) My daughter and her husband are doing great in Dallas. She has settled into a job as a psych nurse there, and they are busy decorating and landscaping their new home. We got to see them in March!

5) All five of our feline furkids ranging in age from three to fifteen are doing great, and we are blessed to have Jennifer, a wonderful lady to care for them when we go away. She loves them as much as we do, and they love her!

6) God has blessed us financially and continues to make it possible for us to keep the bills paid and have everything we need.  Papa Bear will start drawing Social Security in July, while continuing to work. That will help too, as the cost of everything continues to rise.

7) I went without health insurance for two and a half years  – until I turned 65 in February, due to the exorbitant cost of coverage.  I am so thankful that I encountered no major medical problems during that gap, and I’ve now been able to update all the various exams etc., that old folks should have.  Medicare is a blessing, and Medicare supplements are moreso, despite the clumsy aspect of multiple insurance policies required.

8) It has rained here often during May and June. This is unusual for us, where it is not uncommon to have just a few total inches of rain all year, if any.  While there have been  many places with disastrous flooding,  West Texas is not one of them, and we are always thankful for the moisture, and cooler temperatures.  Our weeds are green and thriving, pollen allergies are off the charts, and we don’t care! We haven’t hit those triple-digit temps yet, AC bills are reasonable, and the risk of grassfires is low. We are thankful!

9) I am thankful for our peaceful little home in the country filled with love and laughter, quiet time for myself, rest when my body requires it, heat and cooling as needed, lots of sunlight streaming in, plants growing in all the windows, easily cleaned floors, and yard visitors in the form of birds, rabbits, ground squirrels, feral cats, tiny lizards, fuzzy tarantulas, and the occasional roaming farm dog. They all make me smile.

10) I am thankful for the many personal freedoms we have in this country that we all too often take for granted.  We can express our opinions on anything and everything, associate with whoever we desire to, choose our own education and career paths, profess and practice whatever religion suits us, and defend ourselves if necessary.

I am thankful for the life I’ve been given, for all that I have learned along the way, and for all the amazing people I have come to know and love through the magic of the Internet!

Blessings to each of you in the days ahead… Look for reasons to be thankful in your life, and remember to be a blessing to someone else!


If you’ve never participated in the weekly Ten Things of Thankful blog hop, I encourage you to check it out, Kristi is doing a great job as administrator! Here’s to another six years and more, gratitude never goes out of style!

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Author: Josie Two Shoes

I've been blogging off and on since August of 2006. I adopted the pen name Josie Two Shoes in 2007 as I began a new chapter of my life standing on my own two feet. Now I'm married to the man of my dreams; we live in dusty West Texas with a house full of furkids. I am an Aquarian by birth, and although I am past sixty and slightly frayed around the edges, my fascination with this thing called life continues. Faith, family, and friends are important to me; so are honesty, trust, tolerance, compassion and kindness. I'm pretty up front about most things, so if you want to know something more about me, just ask! :-) You can also reach me by email and find me at my Facebook page.

34 thoughts on “Truly Thankful”

  1. As always, you know just what to say! I’m so happy for your sister! May her surgery go well and recovery come quickly. Happy birthday to Papa Bear, too! Needed moisture, home, health, family, and freedoms–you truly are blessed! Thank you for joining us again this week! 🙂

    1. Papa Bear had a great birthday and loved all the FB greetings. My sister’s surgery went great yesterday and she is up and texting today, truly blessed! When I take a moment to think about it, I have a really good life, and I’m so glad you initiated this lovely TToT anniversary gathering, it’s really been fun! XO

  2. So glad you joined and happy happy birthday to Papa Bear. You’ve definitely got much to be thankful for… I’m always thankful for light streaming in, for spending Mother’s Day with my son (yay that you got to do this this year), and to appreciating life and to quiet time when we have it.

    1. I am happy that I took the time to join in this celebration too, Kristi, it made for a very fun weekend and reminded me of what I love about blogging… the connections and interactions! I do indeed have an abundance of things to be thankful for in my life, this comes from the girl who used to only see mud puddles and cloudy skies! 🙂 I have to say that after years and years of working in noisy offices, quiet time is one of my most treasured gifts.

  3. Happy birthday to Papa Bear, and I hope everything goes well with your sister’s surgery!
    Like you say, being thankful is a way of life and I am still trying to get there, but the TTOT are a great way of practicing.

    1. Papa Bear had a great birthday, and my sister is doing wonderful this morning after her surgery yesterday! I think you are doing an amazing job of coming up with thankful lists each week, you share the big things and the small things much like I do, and altogether they help so much with learning to focus on what is positive and good! I hope you continue to have a wonderful summer!

    1. Thank you, Janet! I really had fun writing this after being out of practice for so long! I wish I didn’t ramble on so long (and probably put everyone to sleep) but that’s just how my mind runs away with things. 🙂

    1. Thank you Mimi! I miss blogging too, I realize that when I actually write a post and share it. I need to get back into the routine, it makes me feel good! I so hope you are having an amazing vacation, I am smiling just to think of you finally getting to rest and relax a bit! XO

  4. Nice to see a post from you. Congrats on 6 years of thankfuls. Happy Birthday to Papa Bear!! I am glad your kitties are doing well and you got to spend time with family. XO

    1. Thank you Ellen! Yes, six years of thankfuls and counting. Imagine how that adds up if I only identified even one reason to be grateful each day! What an attitude changer it is! My kitties bring so much joy to our lives, just like I know your do. I think of them as little furry angels (sometimes with a bit of devil mixed in)! 🙂

  5. Hi! I loved your number 9. You notice the little things in nature and I purposely do that with my kids when we are taking our weekly neighborhood walks. Kids naturally notice caterpillars, bugs, worms, and all the small life that is existing around us. I love how they soak it all in.

    1. Thank you! When our lives are busy it is so easy to miss the little things, the simple pleasures, and they are often the sweetest gifts to the souls! You are right that children notice, and hopefully your will grow up to remember to stop and look around now and then, and smile at the bugs! 🙂

  6. I always enjoyed reading your TToT posts, and after you stepped back from it, I was glad to be able to still see your comments and photos, etc. of FB. You always share such encouraging and uplifting memes and quotations. What good news that your sister got a good report on her CT scan. Hopefully she will recover quickly from her surgery this next week.

    1. Thank you, Pat! I enjoy sharing daily thoughts and memes on FB, they help remind me of who and what I want to be. I hope to show up for blogging more often too, it felt good to sit and write for a change! My sister was surrounded by prayers yesterday during her surgery, went under feeling totally at peace, and is doing awesome today. God is good! XO

  7. It is interesting that the more we say thank you the more we have to be thankful for. Although, I must admit I haven’t gotten to the point of being thankful for tarantulas or any bug to be truthful. Was a delight to see your name pop up in my email.😸

    1. Hi Patricia! I absolutely believe that what we put out is what we attract, that is true on both a spiritual level and a scientific one. I know that we have both learned over the years that attitude is everything. There is often not much we can do about our circumstances, but we can learn to let go, trust God, and be ever so thankful that things always get handled in a way that leaves us blessed.

  8. Thankful for…fuzzy…tarantulas! AAGH! Awful, I know to zoom in on that, but oh my gosh, no! lol
    Prayers for your sister, Josie. I hope her surgery goes well this week and her recovery quick and uneventful.
    Scary how time flies by. I remember you talking about your daughter and her job search and now – what wonderful news she and her husband are doing well in their new home. Your son must have been just as happy to see you, I’m sure. Going long periods of time not seeing family, that’s tough.
    Happy Belated Birthday to Papa Bear!!

    1. I am laughing at how many people reacted to my affection for tarantulas! It’s all about the fuzziness, they are truly kind of cute… and big enough that you see them coming. They don’t just suddenly show up in the shower or hanging off the bedpost or ceiling lamp! My sister’s surgery went so smoothly yesterday and she is already up and texting away today. 🙂 I am truly blessed that both my kids are doing great in their lives, learning to handle the ups and downs, and build their future. They are good kids and make me proud. My son will turn 40 next month, gulp!! How is that possible?? Papa Bear had a great birthday and totally enjoyed his gifts and cake. It was a fun day, more happy memories made. 🙂

  9. This is beautiful, beautiful, BEAUTIFUL, and I love the attitude you come at it with, and how you carry that thankfulness intentionally into your everyday life. That’s definitely a practice which I could do with working on, as I remember how good it feels to be thankful for the big things, little things, and all things in between. I’m so glad you and Papa Bear are doing well, and I hope all things stay well with your family xx

    1. Thank you, Lizzi! My mind is always on spin cycle. So if I don’t intentionally stop and focus on the bright spots and the good things I just end up drained and weary. It’s a great exercise to focus and write down a few thankfuls, good way to start and end the day, and I sleep so much better in that awareness! Papa Bear is my biggest blessing, just as I know that Zoe is yours. Feeling loved makes all the difference!

  10. So glad you wrote a post! You express your thanks all the time via facebook, but it’s nice to have them all together in blog post!

    Happy birthday to Papa Bear and congrats on the medicare! Rain in western Texas is a great thing, as long as there isn’t TOO much! I love the patio cam and all the critters that come to the “watering hole”!

    1. You are right, it felt really good to actually sit down and write a TToT post again. I need to get back in that habit, it leaves you feeling so positive about life when you take the time to focus on being blessed. It’s been great fun getting to connect with everyone again too! Life keeps us all to busy. I’m glad you enjoy the critter cam on our deck. I am always surprised and delighted to discover new visitors when I review the photos that it’s captured. You have to be a pretty brave bird, squirrel, or rabbit to enter a wire cage that is marked by feral cats. Somehow they all manage to show up at different times. May be an invisible schedule posted somewhere at “The Kitty Café” as Papa Bear calls it. 🙂

  11. #1 is my favorite. What great news about your sister being done with chemo. May it stay away forever!
    Your #9 made me smile. That’s a bit like the life we have – although no tarantulas! Sheesh!
    This is such a thankful post – embodying the spirit of TToT so beautifully.

    1. Amen, amen on my sister’s cancer being banished for good! She has such strong faith and determination, and it has served her well in these scary times! It seems that I am about the only one who sees tarantulas s pretty cool… outside only of course! 🙂 Now snakes, that’s another issue entirely, and we have those around here too. Yikes!! But yes, all creatures great and small are wondrous creations just as we are! I have so very much to be thankful for in my life, it’s come 180 from where I used to be!

  12. Oh, goodness. I’m guessing some of that 2-1/2 years w/o insurance was spent holding your breath. I did that for a while, but not years. I’m delighted to hear all is more settled. All except for the tarantulas. That’s a solid “no”. all the best… xoxox

    1. You are so right that I was holding my breath and praying mightily during those years of no health insurance. It was truly a miracle that nothing bad happened. LOL at the tarantulas, I am quickly learning here that they are not a crowd favorite. I like things that are fuzzy! 🙂 But now snakes, that’s a definite NO in my books, they terrify me, even the so-called “good snakes”! We live in rattlesnake country and although I’ve only seen a few, it was still too many!

  13. So many things to be thankful for! I disagree about tarantulas, but to each her own:) Your daily practice of gratitude is such a gift to give yourself – I need to do that more regularly. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Yes, you understand it perfectly… gratitude is not only something that we put out into the universe, it is a gift we give ourselves! Focusing on what is good has totally changed my outlook on life! “We all need to take time to “stop and smell the roses,” and even smile at the dandelions! 🙂

  14. You, dear friend, are always such a lovely example to me of how to take this weekly exercise and turn into a daily habit. I haven’t participated here in a long time and haven’t blogged anything (save my TToT party post) in over a year, either. So many things going on in life, so many changes…but through it all the practice of being grateful for the blessings in life – and being able to recognize those blessings even in the midst of rough times – has been a definite benefit for me. Aside from all of that? The wonderful people I’ve “met” and come to know through this group and others. I love how the connections cross over to other groups and hops, etc. Love.
    So glad to see such lovely things on your list!

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