For Lent this year, instead of giving up chocolate or dessert, I decided to give up complaining. January was a low month for me mood-wise and when Ash Wednesday came around, I really just wanted to take this season to cultivate a heart of gratitude for all the blessings in my life. And, boy, was it effective!
My initial goal was to take one picture every day of something I was thankful for on my DSLR instead of just my iPhone, but I quickly discovered that my joyful moments were unpredictable, so my phone was way more reliable at capturing the memories.
I didn’t gather all of the photos together until Easter, but there are definitely themes to my gratitude! It is obvious that I love my dog, my friends, and all. the. food.
Just looking back over these pictures makes my heart sing. I remember taking each and every one of them. I remember the sweet sound of Maggie’s laughter when she leaped across the scene to photobomb my shot of our church sign. I remember the sound of the fountain bubbling in the background as Laurie and I sat at Holli’s wedding reception, chatting for hours. I remember the night I took the photo of Lizzie and Boots, when she filled me in on any details I may have missed in her life over the past 4 years. I remember the smell of the cupcakes that I made for Weezie’s birthday as I took them out of the oven and the hilarious conversations I’ve had with George about my love of Fabletics outfits and their troubles getting said outfits to my doorstep, instead of my neighbor’s. I remember slowly opening my eyes on Saturday morning to the warmth of the sunbeams coming through my bedroom window and Boots moving his head just enough to give me a “good morning” nod before drifting back to sleep.
I remember the flickering candles of our Good Friday service, closing my eyes to sing I Need Thee Every Hour with my dear friend, and the occasional pounding of nails into the cross, punctuating the soft, stillness of the room with poignant blows.
And I remember getting ready for church on Easter morning, hearing a knock at my door, and throwing it open to reveal a pink Easter basket, full of candy and fresh produce to simultaneously treat me on my last day of normal (candy) eating and encourage me as I started the Whole 30 the next day. And, of course, I remember the grumpy chick who is fiercely motivating me to power through the next 30 days.
I am forever grateful for every blessing in my life, but most of all, for the greatest gift I could never deserve – that He sent His Son to die for me. And jubilantly, I will proclaim, “He is risen! He is risen, indeed!”