Nothing like opening a can of woims.

Sometimes, I have a hard time being grateful. It just takes so much effort to think of the wonderful and to put the wonderful into words in a creative and interesting way. My rule is: Never repeat. I break it every now and then, but not very often. There are days, however, when I just want to say, “Ditto to the last 1000 grateful days, I’m done now.”

So, for this day, I am just random and might possibly repeat, but no one will really know because if anyone were to go back through the archives and actually locate a repeated grateful, they have problems that need to be addressed.

I am grateful for socks without holes.

I am grateful for fresh breath.

I am grateful for BEAUTIFUL pictures in the mail last night from Karissa.

I am grateful to have heard Reilly’s voice in the background as I spoke to Katrina.

I am grateful for the smell of Pine-Sol.

I am grateful that my teeth do not always hurt, but when they do, I am grateful that ibuprofen dulls the pain.

I am grateful for the DVR that records Ellen and The Blacklist and The Voice.

I am grateful that my boss believes in UFOs and aliens because she makes me feel very normal.

I am grateful for carpet without stains.

I am grateful for melty cheese.

I am grateful for memories of my dogs making noises when they dreamt.

This morning, I sent my co-workers the current copier count so that they would know how many copies have been made in the past month here in the office. The email string has been so entertaining, and I am feeling all squirmy and happy it is Friday after I opened the can of worms. So I am grateful it is Friday.

I am grateful for a few minutes of sitting across the table from Delores.

I am grateful for the rare occasion when I do something that I just think is so hilarious and I laugh out loud at myself.


I am grateful that I like to read, but I sure wish I could just spend a couple of hours a few times each week enjoying books. I know, I know. Quit watching Ellen before bedtime and pick up a book…

I am grateful that I did not have boys. I would not have known what to do with a baby boy. It’s a frightening thought.

I am grateful for homemade chocolate chip peanut butter oatmeal cookies, especially when I bring one to work.

I am grateful for a girl who talks very Texan and makes me smile when she speaks. Bye = Bah. Night = Naht. Right = Raht. Eye = Ah. You get the pattern…

That reminds me of a song I used to teach to my little elementary classes. Thirty purple birds, sitting on a curb, a’chirping and a’burping and a’eating dirty worms. But then we would sing it “Bugs Bunny” style: Thoity poiple boids, sitting on a coib, a’choiping and a’boiping and a’eating doity woims. I am grateful for those good memories.

And finally on this day, I am grateful that Love has the last word.

Encourage one another and build each other up,
just as in fact you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11

I am grateful that I am not a fish, but still. I WORK IN A FISHBOWL.

The whole front wall of the office is all glass. Floor to ceiling, wall to wall. I watch people walk in and out of the building all day long. The men’s restroom is directly outside the front door in full view for my viewing pleasure and distraction…if I happen to look up from my computer monitors, which I try very hard to NOT do. It is kind of an ongoing game in my head: “Do NOT look up at that man who is zipping his drawers.” “Do NOT laugh at the guy who is walking extremely quickly to get to the restroom before he loses it. Don’t even act like you know he is in the building.” “Focus on the cursor, focus on the spreadsheet, focus on the webpage. FO-CUS, Rhonda Joy.”

So…even though that should gross me out and cause me to walk away and make a beeline to the office kitchen, I am a trooper and eat at my desk almost every day. Come to think about it, I’ve eaten at my desk all of my adult life. I even ate at the piano when I was giving daily piano lessons. What. In. The. World.  I am BETTER at what I eat at my desk now, however. It used to be Cheezits and M&Ms and cans of Dr. Pepper, but now it’s baggies  sandwich bags of apple slices and celery sticks and carrots and grapefruits and oranges, with an occasional multi-grain cracker or 30, and always a tall glass of water. But I digress at my awesomeness.

I was eating my apple slices yesterday afternoon, and this really friendly gentleman who used to creep me out with his daily waves through the glass, poked his head in the door and said, “HOW do you DO it, Rhonda?!  You are ALWAYS eating!”

Seriously.  If that doesn’t call for a fast and a starvation diet plan, I don’t know what does.

Someone told me yesterday that I am transparent.  (Thank you, Myndee.)  I get it. I am who I am, and I have nothing left to hide.  LITERALLY, it seems, since my OFFICE is transparent and everyone can see right through it to observe EVERYTHING I DO!

I am grateful for a home where we can close the doors and lock them and be semi-private.

I am grateful that at least I am not EVE…or a fish. I HAVE clothes and wear them in this fishbowl.

I am grateful that at least the people outside the fishbowl cannot see my legs.

I am grateful that I have nothing to hide…but my legs.

Once upon a time, we were visiting Dad and Mom when the girls were very young and it was the late 80’s. Hair was “scrunched” for that stylish look of the day. It was Sunday morning and time to leave for church. I came upstairs after spending much time with a can of mousse and a mirror to get my hair all scrunched just right. And what did my Mother say to me?

“Aren’t you going to fix your hair?”

Oh, Mom. You meant well.

So, I am grateful that although men Moms people can sometimes be extremely insensitive with their comments, I am learning to shrug off those comments and go with the ones that make me feel better, not worse.

And I certainly hope that I am getting better at watching what I say to others, but if I was ever completely insensitive towards anyone reading this and caused you to want to diet or cut off all of your hair…I AM SO SORRY.

Time for a fish fry.

“I won’t fund it, but I’ll be your biggest cheerleader.” – Chennette Messick

She told the story of her son’s dream on a Sunday morning, and those words were implanted in my brain. A Mom who loves fiercely.  A Mom who wears her heart on her shoulder. A Mom who teaches life lessons while loving through the hard, enjoying moments of victory, making mistakes but being real and being transparent so that her children can see the beauty of grace. I am grateful today for that message on that Sunday in May last year and hope that my girls know I’ll always be their biggest cheerleader…

I am grateful for my bowl of rice today that reminds me of Ginny.

I am grateful that Deb sends her daily devotions to me every day:

February 24, 2015 – “The Lord’s bond servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged.” 2 Timothy 2:24 NASB.

Out of love and respect, a bond servant serves his master long after his obligation has been satisfied.  His behavior and attitude reflect what’s in his heart.

We are not obligated to serve God to earn our freedom—Christ accomplished that on the cross.  We serve God out of love and respect for Him.  Our attitude and behavior show what’s in our hearts.  Being a bond servant to the Lord is a privilege.”

I am grateful for lessons learned the hard way: the pursuit of a degree in court reporting that went by the wayside but is still coming out of my bank account each month, and an apartment rental decision made in haste back in 2012 because I wanted to make a decision on my own and be independent, only to discover after a non-refundable deposit had been made, I would be living in a very high crime neighborhood. Choices cost something – make sure they are worth the price, Rhonda.

I am grateful for the treat of seeing a grown daughter sharing laughter with her Mom.

I am grateful for the heart joy of receiving Delores’ note in the mail last night.

I am grateful for the privilege of watching: a little guy eat a bagel too big, or a fascinated baby girl point at a squirrel, or two grandparents sharing a McDonald’s breakfast with their mussed-up hair sleepy grandchildren.

I am grateful for gloves in nighttime bitterness.

There are no little things.
“Little things,” so called, are the hinges of the universe.
– Fanny Fern

Let us try to do what makes peace and helps one another.
– Romans 14:19 NCV

I am grateful that a grown man takes the time to be with his sister and show her how much he cares and loves her.

I am grateful for young parents who teach their littles the importance of staying connected and knowing their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

I am grateful for pretty crocheted hats and scarves, handmade with love.

I am grateful that my parents said, “No, if you want it, you’ll have to get a job and earn it.”

I am grateful for sweet innocence in children.

I am grateful that the one who knows the whole story loves me anyway, and that the One who knows the whole story, loves me because He knows the whole story.

I am grateful for my CASA girl. She is 15 years old today. I began this CASA journey with her to fill a void, and she now has a permanent place in my heart.

Listening to Lady Gaga perform on Sunday evening made me grateful for memories of “The Sound of Music” at Central Christian and for memories of the cast pictures my brother took.

That makes me grateful for all of my students who enriched my world over the years, and especially for those students who loved me and still keep in touch with me in spite of the short temper, the moodiness, and my limitations.

And I am grateful for memories of those plastic braided bracelets we all used to make at Camp Quaker Haven in the 70’s. As I was reminded this morning with the quote above, there are no little things.

Every. Last. Thing.

I am grateful for that complicated cobweb in the corner.

Because if there is a cobweb with many strings indicating it has had much time for which to grow, and this office building is cleaned every single day of the week, and the fine cleaning crew who really does a very nice job at what they do MISSED that complicated cobweb, then I am not a complete failure in our home when I happen to find slightly less complicated cobwebs that generate when I’m not paying attention.

I am grateful for Sam, because he brought extra wood inside last night, and when I was unable to sleep and went to the couch and noticed the still-burning remnants of the evening in the fireplace, I was able to add to the orange hot coals and enjoy a good fire for a couple of hours without having to go outside in the single digits and retrieve wood, not that I would have done that, so it was nice to have some extra wood in the stacker thing to use.

I am grateful for the beauty of stained glass and now that our church is commissioning the work, I am grateful for this newfound appreciation of the art.

I am grateful for my love of reading.

I am grateful for a Sunday afternoon to just clean the house.

I am grateful for bagged lettuce.

I am grateful for a sparkle in the eye of a 95-year-old whose goal it is to make it to 100.

I am grateful for the privilege of listening to Sam and his sister read birthday cards to their Dad on Saturday afternoon.

I am grateful for Home Depot smell.

I am grateful that I am not important enough to attend award shows and can avoid sequins and fake nails and heels that could be used as weapons.

“What matters is not your outer appearance—the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes—but your inner disposition. Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in. – I Peter 3:3-4 (The Message)

“So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you.” – I Peter 5:6-7

And I am grateful for the start of a new week, for the end of this Monday, and the beginning of Monday evening.

People need to be encouraged.
Here’s the challenge:
Send an email this week that the recipient will not delete.
Send a note in the mail that will be saved for years.
Leave an encouraging voice mail that will be saved for a long time.
Go up to someone and just do whatever you can
to encourage as an expression of Christian love.
– Leith Anderson

Ham & beans and The Electric Company. Two good things about the mid-70’s.

I am grateful to feel better today.

I am grateful for door lock buttons in the car. And for door lock/unlock buttons on my key ring.

I am grateful for the privilege of spending the day tomorrow with Max on his 95th birthday.

I am grateful to have reconnected with my “daughter” Melissa today. I am grateful for her text message and the feature on my old phone to lock that message so that I can re-read it when I am down.

Most good things have been said far too many times
and just need to be lived. – Shane Claiborne

I am grateful for the treat of warm cornbread with lotsa butter. The only thing it needs is a bowl of ham & beans and a PBS episode of The Electric Company on the big console TV in the living room. Those were the days…

I am grateful that I do not have chapped lips or ingrown toenails.

I am grateful that it is Friday and my ironing pile consists of no more than three items.


I am grateful for the hilarious surprise package I received last night. I pulled the tape off of the brown bag to find a Cornflakes box that had been cut and taped up, JUST LIKE MY MOM USED TO DO. Re-use and recycle! Inside, was a beautiful black purse filled with silly necessities from my Aunt Patsy and Uncle Charlie! They took my grateful that I wrote several days back seriously when I revealed my inferiority complex and how I left my one fur purse in the car at the women’s conference, and so now I have a NEW PURSE complete with gum and music Kleenex and a toothbrush and toothpaste and mints – so I won’t have bad breath, either! Oh my goodness, I laughed and laughed and thought of my sweet Aunt who is so much like her sister… THANK YOU, Aunt Patsy. I am grateful for you and Charlie today. I will wear my new purse with my head held high while I dragon breathe fresh my way through a crowd!

And finally, I am grateful that my eyes have been opened to see the beauty in the ordinary, to name every. last. thing.

I don’t feel good.

So because of that, I am grateful for hand sanitizer.

I am grateful for the ability to close my eyes and let the burn subside.

I am grateful for medicine that helps me to sleep.

I am grateful for comfort food, although French fries would pretty much be the most comforting food EVER IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD, and I CANNOT INDULGE.

I am grateful for a job in which I do not have to speak out loud very much.

I am grateful for little things that make me feel better – a kind word, a shoulder squeeze, a picture of a lavender field (Julie), a nice kitchen towel, a quiet evening that involves a soft throw blanket and a parking spot in front of the fire, a clean sink, a little pretty like this:

Someday, I will have a Firefly piece of jewelry. But until then, I’ll feel better with a clean sink.

I am grateful that for once in my life, I am not hungry.

I am grateful that it is too cold outside to go outside so that I don’t have to feel guilty about not feeling good enough to walk.

I am grateful for a new thermometer and heating pad.

And I am grateful for memories of illness with Brandi or Ruska or Sienna or Natia or Topo sleeping right beside me, making me feel a little better.

Happiness is…french fries in the tummy. Wish it was MY tummy.

I am grateful for a substitute heating pad provided by Sam last night in the form of a hot towel from the dryer.

I am grateful for automatic tithing.

I am grateful for a new restaurant visited and lunch with Joyce.

I am grateful for ibuprofen.

I am grateful for disappointment that teaches me to be satisfied.

I am grateful that I do not live in Boston.

I am grateful for wide parking spaces.

I am grateful for children’s books.

I am grateful for friendly when I am feeling less than.

I am grateful for the end of a long work day and grateful for the feeling of getting into bed at night.

I am grateful for a nice fire in the fireplace.

I am grateful for heat seaters, a furnace that works, a space heater at my feet, sweaters, a coat, a fluffy throw, an extra blanket on the bed, hot cocoa…anything that makes me warm.

And I am grateful for the smell of fresh French fries wafting down the street.

Good times become good memories and bad memories become good lessons.

I am grateful for a few minutes this morning to watch out the window as the snow fell while soft classical music played and added to the beauty of the experience.

I am grateful for the quiet joy of walking from the car to the office building while snowflakes gently landed on my head and my face.

Reverence requires a certain pace. It requires a willingness to take detours, even side trips, which are not part of the original plan. – Barbara Brown Taylor

I am grateful for the technology that allows the packaging of crackers to seal in crisp.

I am grateful for a crock pot and anticipation of a yum smell when I arrive home from Bingo tonight.

I am grateful that I do not know firsthand of terrorism…yet.

I am grateful for my neon green jacket that reminds me of Lori Kliewer every time I wear it. I don’t do bright except on the rare occasion it is freezing outside and I need this warm dress jacket. No one does bright like Lori…

I am grateful for a busy week filled with friends.

You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you. – Dale Carnegie

I am grateful for new underclothes. Everyone needs new underclothes.

I am grateful for night depository.

I am grateful that when bad memories happen, I am reassured that they are just memories now.

And I am grateful for shortbread cookies.

Quinoa beet cakes are so not super cute.

All around me I see incredible art that is as unique as my fingerprint.

Every tree that stands tall, blanketed with a soft covering of white, displays its beauty that for the other seasons of the year goes unnoticed.

I love the real. I love the vulnerable. I love the lesson of a tree – it is beautiful to bare the soul to the world while God is working on the inside, preparing that soul to bear fruit.

There are some days when I feel absolutely nothing. I just exist. And it takes hard effort to be grateful. I don’t like this about me. I think of many things for which to be grateful, but I’ve already said those things before, and shouldn’t I be able to open my eyes and see even more? Yes, I should. But for some reason, I feel nothing. Today, I would like to just skip this exercise. I have no particular reason – in fact, I have every reason to be grateful – but, it’s just one of those “I just exist” days.  I am glad that God understands this very human trait. I am grateful that even though I feel blanketed with snow and baring what I perceive to be ugly to the world, God is at work inside and continues to prepare me to bear fruit one day.

I am grateful for naked trees that are more beautiful in the winter when their inner beauty is exposed.

I am grateful for assisted living facilities and nursing homes and rehab hospitals and for the people who are called and gifted to care for our loved ones when we are not able.

I am grateful for our small group friends who turned our Sunday evening into such joy.

I am grateful for parents who are raising their children right now who are wonderful examples and role models, who have chosen to parent intentionally with boundaries surrounded with love and covered with grace, parents who are not entitling their children to have everything they think they need, but teaching responsibility, work ethic, and consequences for choices, however hard those consequences may be.

I am grateful for Cosmo.

I am grateful for young adults who are respectful to others. And I am grateful for young adults who act appropriately, even when they think no one is watching them.

I am grateful for God’s protection on Saturday and for the reminder that life is short and not to be taken for granted.

I am grateful for ice melt on sidewalks.

I am grateful that we are not all alike, that there is a 30-something woman at church who said “Super cute!” multiple times as she described items in the boutique at the women’s conference and made me guffaw out loud.

I am grateful for the splendor of falling snow in the quiet calm of the night.

I am grateful for the smell of a neighbor’s dryer air, infused with the aroma of really pleasant dryer sheet.

I am grateful for texting with Dennis.

I am grateful for the Huxtable family – even though they weren’t real, they were quality TV each week for 30 minutes.

I am grateful that I don’t have to eat quinoa beet cakes, and I am grateful that I have no friends who would make me.

Quinoa beet cakes

And I am grateful for the desire to simplify and for organizations who like other people’s stuff, which makes it so easy to box/bag it up and donate to a great cause.

The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary
so that the necessary may speak.
– Hans Hoffman


Sharing fun memories that spark laughter at the table

Reading that my daughter feels so much better today

Watching squirrels chase each other and listening to them make the leaves rustle

A homemade Valentine

Baby laughter

A Flintstones marathon on a cold and rainy day

Memories of Natia, the Italian greyhound, “racetrack running” in the yard

No dirty dishes in the sink

Will Bones , Ben Sawatzky, and Josh Hall

Not being superstitious

Friday the 13th

Sprinkles on a cupcake

Beautiful signatures

Bedtime stories

Mismatched socks on purpose

Eating whatever your stomach so desires

Fun kitchen towels

Memories of Amanda, Nanette, Skyler, and Desiree helping with dorm suppers

Waking the girls’ feet with “This little piggy went to market…”

Paying for a stranger’s meal in secret

Flower delivery drivers who get to make everyone else happy

Playing with a cat that is inside a paper bag

Talking to my grandchildren on the phone

Singing in the car

A box of Aunt Arlene’s Richie Rich and Archie comic books

CBA verenika

And this commercial: