Gratitude Series Part III

Just a reminder - these are past posts from social media. 

On day 6 of the lockdown here in Spain I started a gratitude series on social media. I would like to share it here, too, as some of you are not on social media. I will post eight days or so at a time until day 50. All of these gratitude posts are from during the strictest quarantine measures in Spain over March and April 2020. At the end of each post I will include some links to favorite recipes I have made recently. 

Day 21: When I was a teenager in Massachusetts, my mom planted red geraniums in the brick planters on either side of the front door. I loved how cheerful they looked against our blue house. She did it every summer at my insistence after that. Now, wherever I go, I buy geraniums. I’ve switched from dark red to coral red. They are dependable flowers that are easy to grow, even through the winter if you have a sunny window. Their color brings me joy and helps me feel closer to nature. I am thankful for geraniums.

Day 22: I love hearing the bells every day, throughout the day. I think of the other people all around who hear them too. Do you have bells where you live? Listen with me to these bells and think of what you are grateful for.

Day 23: I am thankful for my voice. I have been singing all my life, and have grown in confidence over the years. It’s not perfect, but it works! I especially love to use my voice to praise God and sing truth. As I battle fear about the future, I can sing God’s promises based on Psalm 32:7 “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.”

Day 24: I am thankful for warm drinks on stubbornly chilly days. Where are you, sun, in the Costa del Sol!? Here I have steeped ginger root with fresh mint. I also love black coffee, cafĂ© cortado (it’s like a macchiato), earl grey tea, and good old chamomile. What do you like in your mug?

Day 25: I am thankful for the birds. I listen to them on my terrace in the morning while it is still dark. They have so much to say. I especially like the call of this one bird you can hear in the video. It’s mournful repetition is somehow comforting to me. Later in the day, the pigeons and doves roost in a tree that is easily visible from our terrace while we eat lunch. I like to think they are joining us. Throughout the day, the pigeons peck up food left by a neighbor on the sidewalk. Sometimes, a black cat with a red collar sneaks up and scares them. It’s always entertaining.

Day 26: The other day Evelyn was feeling anxious. She feels anxious at least once a day. I prayed for her, and prayed that she would feel and know God’s presence, as a mother bird spreads her wing over her baby birds to shelter and protect them. “He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.” Psalm 91:4. Immediately after, she drew this picture in her tracing notebook. It shows the love that unifies us. In this uncertain time, I am thankful for the unity that we can have. Everyone is going through something hard right now. Everyone. Let’s be unified. And you know what? My human ability to be unified is not enough. I pray that we would turn to God and recognize the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made to free us from sin and darkness. Let’s be unified in the love of Christ. I am grateful for unity in Christ.

Day 27: I’m thankful for time. In our normal, busy lives, I had so often said, “Sorry, there’s no time.” Each day now is a chance to just be. Sure, there is the daily work of chores, cooking, lessons, etc. But in addition to that, for my kids there is time to play, imagine, and be creative - the best things of childhood. For me, there is time to focus on my hobbies of Spanish, guitar, and now watercolor painting. For Justin, there is time to read and study and play guitar. While our hearts break for the world as it is now, I choose to recognize with gratitude this gift of time and enjoy it. And part of what I do with my time each day is pray. Prayer is not a wasted activity. God is real, He is good, and He responds to our prayers.
Evidence for the Resurrection: Analyzing Possible Explanations
Day 28: I am thankful that faith is more than just a feeling. This is the day we celebrate Jesus Christ rising from the dead. He did it to overcome sin and darkness and to provide a way for us to know God. This isn’t myth, make-believe, or legend. Take a look at Justin’s post (and previous posts) for irrefutable evidence that the tomb was empty. C.S. Lewis said: "Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and, if true, of infinite importance, the only thing it cannot be is moderately important."

Day 29: I’m thankful for quiet. Each morning (or, at least, those that I’m able to get out of bed) I get my coffee, my blanket, and my chair. I sit on the terrace in the dark and listen to the birds. I think about the coming day, I pray, I read the Bible. I love to start my days in silence so I can be ready to talk later. In Isaiah 30, God says: “Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength.”

Some recipes to share with you:

Seed Crackers I have made these a couple of times. I love that they are high in healthy, grain free and low in carbs. I eat grains and carbs, but sometimes it's hard not to not overdo it, you know? These are a great option to pair with cheese, pesto, or zurrapa de lomo.

Herb Compound Butter I have also been adding thick slabs of this butter on top of my seed crackers or sourdough bread, as well as cooking eggs in it. Don't be afraid of healthy fat (olive oil, butter, animal fat, avocado, nuts and seeds). Fat is not the enemy. If you keep carbs and sugars low, protein normal, and healthy fat normal to high, you will likely feel energetic and steady. But, of course, listen to your body. I have found that a small breakfast of healthy fats, a big lunch of vegetables, protein, and some fat, and a small dinner of some carbs with vegetables and fats has me feeling good.