Paladini Potpie

Adventures within The Crust!

Thankfulness ABCs


Amanda, Audrey, anise, and Abercrombie T-shirts for a dollar at a yard sale.  This is part of my “A-list” of things I’m thankful for this year.

Thanksgiving Day is a little more than a week away and I’ve been enjoying the posts of many of my friends who are taking part in Facebook’s “ month of gratitude “.

I haven’t been posting regularly in the Month of Gratitude. That’s partly because I somehow missed it until it was well underway. And also because I knew I would get writer’s block trying to think of something “profound” to write in that public arena every single day for a month. 

I went back and forth about it in my mind. So what if it’s not profound? So what if I miss a day?

As a rule I am a thankful person, and I’m usually pretty vocal with my thanks. But I had to laugh ruefully when I saw myself in a Facebook post: It said something like, “Facebook, where we express thankfulness for one month and then gripe for the rest of the year.”

I am thankful, but then again, I do gripe. (I like to think of myself as a balanced person.)

No doubt Myles Standish and friends did a bit of griping before that day they got together with the friendly Indians for the first Thanksgiving Feast.  But then they were thankful. We know the Israelites griped all the way through their 40 years in the wilderness. But then they wrote some wonderful songs of thankfulness after they adjusted their focus. 

Sometimes, things are hard. Or sad. Or wrong. The gripes or sorrow or anger just push their way to the front of the mind.

In her bestselling book, Unglued, Lysa Terkeurst says, “I can’t authentically praise God for anything that is wrong or evil, but I sure can shift my focus to all that is right and praise Him for that.”

I woke up thinking about this a few days ago. Thankfulness. A thankful life. 

100_7457What if I made it a point to write down one thing I was especially thankful for every day of the year? Maybe it would help me keep “an attitude of gratitude”.

If you know me at all you know how I am about alphabetical lists, so I hopped out of bed and went to my computer to make my alphabetical thankfulness list. Two weeks of thankfulness beginning with the letter “A” …two weeks of “B-thankfulness” etc.

The list is hanging on the pantry door in our kitchen, and by the time I get to the end of the alphabet 52 weeks will have passed.  It will be next Thanksgiving.

By that time I’ll have three pages: a three-foot-long list of things I am thankful for.

And I’m pretty sure that my brain and heart will be stirred up to write a new list of things for which I am even more thankful!

As Lysa reminds me, “The more my heart is parked in a place of thanksgiving and rejoicing, the less room I have for grumpiness.”

(Let me know if you’d like me to send you a copy of my A-Z thankfulness template.)


Author: paladinipotpie

Welcome! My name is Andrena Paladini and this is a blog about family and love and faith and fun. I call it Paladini Potpie because a potpie is like an adventure in a crust. You never know what might come up, but it’s always going to be good! Think of the best potpie you’ve ever eaten…hot flaky crust holding a rich savory sauce and all kinds of pieces of meat and vegetables…and who knows what? As a family, we’ve chosen to live within the parameters of God’s love and protection. This is the crust of our Paladini Potpie. The crust never changes. Within this crust, the savory sauce of family love binds it all together. That is also fairly constant. But beyond the crust and the sauce we can add just about anything! Good ideas come our way and we’ve adopted and adapted them to add to what John calls our treasure box of memories. These stories and ideas from John’s treasure box of memories are the ingredients I’m putting into our Paladini Potpie. (Okay, so this ridiculous mixing of metaphors about treasure boxes and potpies is exactly what I’m talking about. Silly and ungrammatically correct. But both illustrations work… so we’ll mix them together and it’ll be just fine!) John and I have been married for 30 years. Our children have wonderfully doubled in number since David married Amanda, Monica married Dan, and Matthew married Sarah. And the newest little treats that have been added to our potpie are six adorable grandchildren - Ethan, Angelina, Nathan, Audrey, Maleia and Caleb! I hope you’ll subscribe to my Paladini Potpie blog, and keep up with all the fun new ingredients I add. Hopefully you’ll enjoy our stories and ideas, and find something you’ll want to put into your own potpie! Bon appétit!

5 thoughts on “Thankfulness ABCs

  1. Thank-you for sharing & being so honest. Your writings & facebook posts always make me smile & I thank God for people who can put into words the things I feel, but can’t find the words to express. Praying God’s richest blessings to you this Thanksgiving. Rebecca Allgood

  2. Thank you Rebecca! Your note blessed my day!

  3. Reblogged this on Paladini Potpie and commented:

    January 1, 2016. I opened my eyes this morning and lay still. The light seeping through the blinds looked so pretty; and our clean sheets felt so good; and John’s gentle snores made me overflow with love and joy and peace. I lay there for a while thinking and praying. What will the New Year bring? 2015 had a lot of hard stuff. But also many blessings – a lot to be thankful for. I thought about the Thankful List I made a couple of years ago, and I decided that I should start this New Year by making another list. As I was tiptoeing out to my computer to find the ABC Thankfulness template, it occurred to me that I should write a blog about it. Encourage other people to start the year off by focusing on thankfulness. So here I am at my computer, five minutes later, absolutely stunned to see that I already DID write a blog about it. I could gripe about losing my mind and my memory, but instead I will be thankful for a computer to remind me of the things I forget!

  4. Thanks for a fun and thought provoking article. I too try to cultivate a Attitude of Gratitude, although some days I get tangled in minutiae and forget. Your idea of a big visible list is great. Like many of us, I am primarily a visual person. Just seeing the list will likely bump me into/back into an attitude of gratitude. When I have honestly tried, I have never failed to find something to be thankful for in any situation. I’m grateful today, and every day, that you are my sister. Happy 2016 everyone.

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