Monday, February 4, 2013

A Simple Exercise

I expect we all could rattle off the things we'd like to change about our homes.  But what if, instead, we focused on the things we love?  Not material things like granite counter tops or walk-in closets, but feelings, ease-of-living, spaces.  This simple exercise turns my (occasional) negative thoughts about our house on their heads.  I'll go first.  I love our house because...

I can see the backdoor (our frontdoor) and the backyard from my kitchen window.

of the way the sun falls on the end of my kitchen counter in the late afternoon, making a perfect place to set my bowl of rising pizza dough every Friday afternoon.

our washer and dryer is on the first floor (which is preferable if you hang your clothes outside to dry).

of  the sound of both the rain and the large flocks of starlings that land on our metal roof.

of the shade trees.

of the beautiful breeze that blows into my kitchen and across the house almost every summer day.

of neighbors I trust who care about and look out for us.

of the circle downstairs which allows children (and grown-ups) to run laps, chase each other, stilt, roller skate and roller blade since our driveway is gravel.

of the old barns and outbuildings which require little to no upkeep because they are so far gone!

there are few closets which keep me from accumulating too much and help me pass along that which we aren't using (an attic with terrible access and a crude cellar also help with this).

it has plenty of windows (some of which are very old, caulked and painted shut) that make it almost impossible to miss the snow falling no matter where I look.

of being able to see both the driveway and into the wood stove door from my seat at the school table.

of all the south-facing windows that let in the winter sun, helping to warm the opposite side of the house as the wood stove.

of it's lived-in qualities all around which help me worry less about the (often) vigorous "living-in" that we do.

I know that all three children toddled around these corners when they were small, looking for mama, jibber-jabbering and singing their little songs.

When I think on such wonderful things, I never want to leave!

Now it's your turn.  What is it about your current living situation that you are thankful for?  As you leave comments and read others' comments, please be careful- this is an exercise to help us feel thankful and contented, not to produce additional home-envy.  Let's be happy for each other with each other :-). Pin It


  1. I love it when it is a cold day, sun is out and I can feel the warmth of the sun coming through the window panes. I love the smell of soup cooking on the stove using your recipe.

  2. I am thankful for windows that let in light and that I can see out of, for doors that can hang wide open, for safe places to play, for privacy, for neighbor children, and for flush toilets, running water, and hot showers!

  3. Our driveway is behind our house which means everyone comes and goes from the backdoor which leads thru the laundry/mudroom straight into the kitchen (where I always seem to be). It makes every encounter informal and every guest seem like a best friend coming round to the back door for a chat. I love it.

  4. I am also thankful for the sunshine coming in to warm my house.I am thankful that if our family and my best friend family dont like the left over we are having that night we swap so makes both family happy, try it its fun and saves us both money. How homemade laundry soap smells and the smell of clothes coming off the line. Thank you for posting I have been in a big ,little complaining mode needed to do this thank you.

  5. I am gratefull that the "well lived in" condition of my house makes me ok with it when the kids (4 boys) accidently add to the lived-in-ness. What's one more ding or hole? It also gives my husband something to do to feel usefull around the house.

  6. I love this! I am thankful for the view of 60 foot oak trees across the street from my front porch. I am thankful for all the empty space in our funny-shaped front room since it allows my kids room to wrestle and people to gather around the piano. I'm thankful that my kids share a room it requires them to be friends as well as brothers.

  7. I am thankful for my wonderful neighbours, especially the one facing my kitchen window who has the most beautiful yard in the neighbourhood. I love to look out that window. I'm thankful for two strong boys who have grown up to nice young men in this house even though it is a tiny house. I'm thankful that my little dog thinks the house is big enough for a good run in the winter when the snow is too deep for her short legs. And in the summer opening the side door there is the sun warming and brightening everywhere.

    I'm thankful that my washer and dryer are in the basement forcing me to do stairs and get some extra steps in.

    I'm thankful that our little house doesn't take much fuel to heat it so we have more for experiences. Tanya

  8. I love my south-facing windows, which heats the house on cold winter days. I love that our yard backs up to a park, with lots and lots of grass (that I don't have to mow). I love the swings and rings in my unfinished basement where the kids can play in the wintertime.

  9. i am thankful for my garden. no neighbors. warmth. windows that open. our tiny bathroom that keeps us humble and encourages sharing amongst the 5 of us. a guestroom.

  10. I am thankful for my backyard where I grow lots of tomatoes, which I will use to make lots more of your soup this year...only 2 jars left, yikes! I am thankful for the woodworking that my husband has done to make our home cozy. And I'm most thankful when all of the family is here!!!

  11. Having just gotten home from a month long trip to Uganda, I do not have any trouble thinking of things I so enjoy in my American home.

    *I am so grateful for a washing machine ~ I never have to think about hand washing unless I want to.

    * Also love my gas stove and electric oven. Don't have to start up a coal fire unless we are grilling out.

    *So thankful for clean, tasty water, right from the tap.

    *Feel blessed that our mosquitoes don't have malaria in them to pass on to me or my loved ones.

    *I absolutely love my cozy living room with the wood burning stove that heats nearly the entire house in the winter. The house is nearly 100 years old but the warm air from the stove heats nearly every room on cold winter days. I love snuggling up with a good book on those days

    *I love keeping my front door open, which helps me to see the street in front that welcomes people into our home. (We love company!)

    *I love my little bay window in the back kitchen, that my honey bought/installed for me on my birthday many years ago. It welcomes the morning sun and my "farmer husband" has it filled with African violets that seem to bloom constantly. I love flowers!

    * I love the old hard wood floors, that have many, many "old" marks of ownership. They are scuffed up but those "scratches" all have a story of their own, be it our children or now the grandchildren.

    *I too, am grateful for the warm morning light that glistens across my counters in the morning. It brightens the entire room and my day!

    Blessings to you all, Janie C.

  12. I am thankful for my family, my friends, a roof over my head, to be blessed with work, and to realize that having 1 or all of these is a gift!

  13. Wow... I just found your blog a few days ago, and I LOVE it!! I love, first and foremost, that you are a believer and a natural encourager from what I can tell. Just wanted to say hello and thanks for blogging!

    Now, I am thankful that my home...

    ...has lots of windows so that I can see the wonder that God has created in a small city surrounded on three sides by a larger city so that we have a small town feel with neighbors who know one another yet have access to stores just a few minutes away large and open, making it very easy to have lots of people together in one place without renting a space

    ...has great character (it was built in 1900 and still has original woodwork and a 4ft wide oak staircase)

    ...has plenty of space for kids playing

    ...has space for my school area to be separate from my other living space

    ...has lots of work to be done on it so that I have lots to keep me busy and a chance to be creative =-)

    ...has laundry on the main floor so that I don't have to do stairs to do laundry

    ...has enough bedrooms on the main level so that I don't have to do stairs all the time (I have health issues which make climbing stairs difficult, though not impossible)

    ...has extra bedrooms upstairs for a craft area and an office/photo space for our business

    ...has an open, unfinished basement that is a great play space for my kids to run and get some exercise in the very cold winter months in the midwest

    ...has a shed that allows us a place to keep our mower and bikes and such without having them out in the weather

    I could just keep on going!!! I love your simple exercise!! It has helped me to focus on the wonderful things that I love about our house and not on the things that need to be done!!!

  14. I love our view of the valley and surrounding mountains.

    I love that our house has a long driveway b/c it feels like you're going somewhere instead of just pulling off the side of the road.

    Most of the time I am happy that we don't have close neighbors. Makes it easier to wander outside in my pj's on a summer morning to enjoy my morning coffee. My boys can yell and play without disturbing anyone else.

    I love that our master bedroom is on the first floor b/c we're going to live here until we're old. Steps wear me out already at this age. :-)

    I like that we are only 1 minute away from our church.

    I love that my house feels cozy. In fact, it's hard for me to leave my house! But then, I've always been a homebody. :-)

  15. What a post! I just read the post and the comments so far -- I think it is a living example of stirring one another up. I live in an old, tiny home that needs lots of work; but I love ... the memories of my little ones growing up here, the joy of grandchildren's feet padding around the house when they visit, the delight of hearing my adult children's memories of their childhood in this home, the familiar squeak of the kitchen drawers and the fourth step going upstairs, the sun through the windows, and the lovely cross breeze on a lovely spring or fall day (among other things).

  16. The thing I love most is that we know the Lord gave us this house. We weren't looking to sell our last house but a developer contacted us and bought it. Our new (to us) house has several features that I love:
    1. It is located in a very small (3 houses) cul de sac so there's very little traffic.
    2. We have lots of flowers, shrubs, and birds in the yard.
    3. We have wonderful, caring neighbors.
    4. The laundry area is just off the kitchen and is very convenient.
    5. The garage is attached to the house--we have never had this feature before and I love it!
    6. My husband installed lots of shelves in the garage so we don't have to go up in the attic very often.
    7. It is located within a couple of miles from my husband's work and about a mile from our church.
    We have much to be thankful for.

  17. My family of 4 and my parents live together in a small house. It's not glamorous and it is surely crowded, but we support each other and it is wonderful having loving grandparents to help with my oldest son who is mildly autistic. We are a happy family and truly blessed to be together!

  18. Well, my sweet friend, this post has garnered LOTS of attention!! You are a know that? :) I thoroughly enjoyed reading all that you are thankful for in your home...and, thank you for asking us to share our thanks here, too! Hmmmm....there are actually lots of things I love about our home, but, I will keep it to just a few. It's the only house we have ever owned. All our children were brought home here from the hospital. It faces South....LOVE me some sun, when it eventually shows up...LOL! It's not too big, so, it keeps me from accumulating too much STUFF!! Purging is something I am always doing...and, that is a very good thing. I also thoroughly enjoy my clothesline (remember, that was one of the first things we had in common when we *met* online 3 1/2 years ago?)...but, I also am very thankful for all my appliances that serve...washer, dryer, dishwasher, etc. God is Good!!

    Love to you!

  19. I'm thankful that my cozy house helped welcome all of our children into the world. As all 5 have been born at home!!

  20. I'm thankful that our house is 2-story, so that the bedrooms are on the second floor, and when warm weather comes we can sleep with the bedroom windows open and still be secure.

    I'm thankful that I have space to have a garden.

    Thank you for having this exercise. Sometimes I need to be reminded to look on the bright side and God's blessings!

  21. I love your reasons!

    I love that we can walk to all the important places we want to go: school, church, library, all our families, park, market. Yes, really.

    I love our high ceilings and tall windows which let in light, watching the light shift through the year is a joy.

    I love my turquoise laundry room next to the back door.

    I love my roomy kitchen and my slide-out trashcan and my wonderful gas stove.

    I love our first-floor bedroom in the back, so quiet for the city.

    I love my little room where I can keep my sewing and desk undisturbed.

    . . . our balcony with a view. . . our front porch and the cut-out on the kitchen floor that reminds us it was once a bedroom. . .

    I could go on and on! I'll stop now. This was heartwarming.

  22. This is wonderful! Having just moved into our first "grown-up" apartment I have reveled in it!

    I am thankful for my reading nook in the corner of the dining room, I have a cozy chair and a big window that lets me see the
    woods and snow falling outside.

    I'm thankful for the small covered back deck so when summer comes we can sit outside!

    I love the southern facing window in the living room that fills the whole space up with light during most of the day

    I'm thankful that we have a second story unit with inside stairs, that's super well insulated so we've been warmer than ever this winter,
    and hear little noise from the neighbors.

    I LOVE having an entire bedroom to use as a craft room/home office, what a blessing that has been

    I also love having my own bathroom to decorate and do as I please without having to share with anyone for the first time ever!

    I love that I can look outside all my windows and see beautiful trees and woods

    I love that we can walk or bike to anything we need

    I love that we're a 5 minute walk to the beautiful great lakes

    and I love that we can have all three of our kitties with us year round

    There are so many things I am thankful for in this apartment, God has blessed us incredibly in providing a home for us.

    It's so lovely to read everyone else's loves and thanks :_

  23. I love my green kitchen cabinets..they always make me smile....I love that my home is in a small town and almost everyone knows where we live....I love that I can have my coop in my backyard....I love listening to the radio and cooking for my guys....I love a fire in the fireplace...I love that I can sit at my computer and look out the glass doors and see the squirrels and the birds.....I loved your post!

  24. I love that I have a big back yard that the dogs can run and play in.

    I love that I have a good side yard I can garden in.

    I love the big porch off the back of the house where I can sit and read or host parties on.

    I love the big kitchen window that I can look through to watch the dogs frolicking.

    I love how I can sit in the living room nestled up to my DH near the fireplace on a cold night.

    I love how close we are to downtown but far enough away to have quiet and room.

    I love how great my neighbors are.

  25. Can I just say, I LOVE this idea!!!!!! When we bought our house, we didn't have kids, plan on gardening or many other things we have grown to love. God truly provided abundantly by giving us:

    1. A house with as much garden space as I can take care of and then some.
    2. Our house is in the city, but with being on a corner and the shape of our lot, I fit the city's code for owning chickens, if I can convince my hubby :)
    3. a huge front window that starts at kid level that provides far more entertainment than our TV and lets in a ton of light
    4. hummingbirds in the spring, butterflies in the summer and ladybugs in the garden get my kids excited about the outside world
    5. the size and layout that fits our family perfectly and isn't too much to take care of.

    The longer I live in this house the more I can't imagine living anywhere else and the more things I find to love about it. God is SO good!!

  26. I have just stumbled upon your blog. (Well, I'm convinced I was led here, as God has showed us many times over the past year that it is all in His timing and His plan. As for our home and how thankful we are for it, I'm seeing it all in a new light these past couple of weeks. This is an 'easy assignment' and wonderful first post.
    I love: the big front window for the space it allows for house plants, being able to help my 80 year old neighbor fix his fence, the sound of the spring peepers (frogs,) our long lane, laughter is wonderfully loud in a little house when my children are playing, the kids rooms are across the hall from mine, the shade from the trees, the sunrise out the kitchen door through the woods, the warmth of the woodstove as it warms the walls and floor... I am so thankful to God for everything...

  27. I love that I can see my garden and watch my chickens from my kitchen window as I am cooking dinner or canning a harvest!


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