November Musings

How would our lives change if we made gratitude a habit?

A Few of My Favorite Things

November always brings to mind the many things I have to be thankful for. Sometimes, it’s hard to focus on those things. So much pulls us away from that attitude of gratitude–the news, our aches and pains, financial hardships, car repairs, relationship challenges. Oh, but wait. This blog was supposed to be about gratitude. See how easy it is to be tugged in a different direction?

I recently read a book about memory by Lisa Genova, aptly titled “Remember.” It’s a fascinating look at the brain and how it works. One thing Genova points out is that we will remember what we focus on. So if we focus on the terrible aspects of our lives, we’ll look back and remember the bad days. We’ve created those neuro-pathways. But if we focus on the good things in our lives, then we’ll look back and remember the things that went well. Our brain literally changes according to what we think about. Let’s give it a try!

A few of my favorite things, things that I am so grateful for, include:

  • Bob
  • my mom
  • my son
  • my stepchildren
  • Cola!
  • Duke and Milo
  • my job
  • the students I teach
  • the publishers I write for
  • my health
  • sunshine
  • rain
  • food in my pantry
  • an automobile that runs
  • family
  • my church
  • my Lord
  • books
  • chocolate
  • hot tea
  • coffee
  • my local library
  • my readers
  • love and kindness and the people who share those things with me

I think that gratitude can become a habit, and maybe–just maybe–our health and our mind and our relationships would be better if each day we took a few moments to express to each other and to ourselves just have thankful we are.

Want to give it a try? Go ahead. Tell me what you’re grateful for.


  1. Amy on November 14, 2023 at 8:44 am

    I’m thankful for my family.

  2. Sunnie on November 14, 2023 at 8:56 am

    I think understanding what we have received is a blessing. Things can be really, really hard as my life has been since August of 2022 when my husband passed. After his passing we had some very serious accidents happening to close family members and serious unhealable ailments. All this compounded, it became more difficult to feel gratitude, yet as I take time to contemplate that the Lord is still providing and taking care of us, I realize that there is still so much that we can be grateful for. And as I think about my blessings, I realize the hard times are getting easier and that there is support when it is needed.

  3. Jim Miller on November 14, 2023 at 9:20 am

    I’ve enjoyed reading your Amish fiction. It has been great. I also enjoyed meeting you and your husband at a dinner in Middlebury, Indiana at the Das Essenhouse that our church held there. God’s blessings to you.

  4. Debbie Earls on November 14, 2023 at 9:46 am

    I have a lot to be grateful. I pray often that I will maintain an attitude of gratitude. Not always an easy mindset, unfortunately. I am thankful for my relationship with God, my husband, our son, my dad (my mom is deceased), my family, friends, church family, our home, jobs, my customers, food on the table, freedom, Dr. Pepper, sweet tea, all my books on my Kindle and tbr stack, spending time with my great nieces and great nephew, my VW Beetle and so much more!

  5. Liz Whelan on November 14, 2023 at 10:14 am

    I have been through a lot after my Divorce, but I’m Grateful & Blessed for all the Blessings I have Received. Also, I Survived with the help of my Children & Friends. I Count my Blessings everyday.

  6. Jackie on November 14, 2023 at 10:27 am

    I’m grateful for my family and husband

  7. Kay Garrett on November 14, 2023 at 11:00 am

    So many things to be thankful for!
    Here’s some, but not nearly all of my blessings.
    Hubby and 40+ years together
    A home that’s warm in the winter and cool in the summer giving us a place to rest and enjoy life.
    Retirement – for hubby planning ahead and sticking with a job that often was more than difficult with eyes on the goal of staying in the retirement system.
    Health – although not perfect, I can just look around and see others far worse.
    Medical professionals – for all the doctors and specialist I see. Although I often grumble about travel, tests and such, I’m so bless to be doing as well as I am.

    We often forget the day to day blessing that we seem to take for granted, but if we stop and think for a spell, there’s so much to be thankful for on a daily basis. Take today for instance. While on a short trip to visit hubby’s sister, I’m thankful for Amish bakers. We got up early and drove the 10 miles for some fresh made Amish pastries. Just being in their establishment gave us lots to be thankful: the ability to smell the fresh made goodies, the ability to taste all the fabulous flavors, the ability to see and hear the nice folks we see each time we are in the area.

    We are truly blessed each and every day, IF we only take the time to see them. And for them, I for one, plan on doing a better job of see them and giving thanks for them.

  8. Jan Hall on November 14, 2023 at 11:48 am

    I’m thankful for Christian writers.

  9. Steph on November 14, 2023 at 12:32 pm

    God has given me many blessings over the years and I’m forever grateful for each one of them especially my supportive husband and daughter. Our fur baby too as he is the reason I get up most days so I can take care of his needs as well as mine!

  10. Kendra Muonio on November 14, 2023 at 12:58 pm

    Family and friends

  11. Yvonne Gilbert on November 14, 2023 at 12:59 pm

    I am so thankful for my blessings from God. I see them every day. Yvonne

  12. Amelia on November 14, 2023 at 1:02 pm

    I’m grateful for my family.

  13. CELIA on November 14, 2023 at 1:20 pm

    Even though prices are sky high and trying to balance what you want with what you truly need is stressful, I am so thankful for God who daily blesses and reassures me.
    When friends and family seem too busy The Lord is always there by my side to comfort and encourage.
    Forgiveness is a marvelous blessing and enables us to look far ahead to the future instead of dwelling on the pain of right now.
    I am thankful for uplifting books by Christian authors. So many fictional stories seem to open locked doors and give the Lord an opportunity to show us the truth and heal old wounds. It is good to finally understand.
    I am most thankful for my Lord and Savior Jesus.

  14. Connie R. on November 14, 2023 at 1:57 pm

    I am thankful above all for my God and His faithfulness. I have developed a habit, quite by accident, of praying the words of “Great is Thy Faithfulness” as I lay my head on the pillow at night. It seems to put my mind at ease. I am thankful for a husband of almost 50 years, and for my children and grandchildren; for extended family. I’m thankful for enough resources to pay our bills, fill our fridge, run our car and keep it in repair. I am thankful for the many Christian authors I follow and read their offerings. I am thankful for so much more and yet don’t recognize all of God’s provision for myself and for others.

  15. Cindy on November 14, 2023 at 2:19 pm

    I am grateful for my life and everythinng i have!

  16. ReneeJ on November 14, 2023 at 2:29 pm

    I’m grateful for a God I can lean on especially when times are hard.

  17. Joan on November 14, 2023 at 2:38 pm

    I am Thankful for my happy childhood.
    Happy Thanksgiving

  18. Bonnie Heringer on November 14, 2023 at 4:33 pm

    Like you, I have many things that I am thankful for. Each night as I crawl into bed, I pray. I start my prayer out thanking God for things from each day. Some of the things I am thankful for today is that I had the strength to be productive. I am also thankful for my kids, grandkids,, husband and his love for me, that I have a roof over my head and food in my belly, for 2 really nice automobiles, for my friends. The thing I am most grateful for is the Lord, Jesus Christ, and the sacrifice He made for me.

    Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving.

  19. Marilyn on November 14, 2023 at 4:48 pm

    I am thankful for my two sisters.

    • Marilyn on November 14, 2023 at 4:49 pm

      Happy Thanksgiving to all

  20. Kathleen Anderson on November 14, 2023 at 5:13 pm

    I have so many things to be grateful for :
    1) I am grateful for the author who shared her thoughts on looking for gratitude daily
    i.e. dirty dishes- thank you for the food we ate, the utensils to prepare the food, the appliances that store our food, the warm water and soap to clean the dishes.
    2)my Saviour and the grace and forgiveness he gives me
    3)my family and the memories we make together
    4)the public library so many books to borrow and read so much fun!
    5)my home furnishings
    6) the dogs and their love
    7) the gift of sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste
    8) the sound of worship music on the radio
    9) family vacations
    10) the freedom of worship we have in America

  21. Jan on November 14, 2023 at 5:25 pm

    I’m grateful for family and my health.

  22. Joyce Vough on November 14, 2023 at 6:04 pm

    I am grateful for my health and my family.
    I’m also grateful for all the people who have done a kind thing for someone, when they didn’t have to.
    The little things, like a driver who let’s you in front of them instead of making you wait. The person who waits for a person walking across the street without showing anger or frustration.
    Emergency personnel all over, who look out for others every day.
    Especially, my God, who saved me through my Lord, from whom all blessings come.

  23. Marion on November 14, 2023 at 6:30 pm

    I am Thankful for all of my family,friends and good neighbors.
    Happy Thanksgiving

  24. SARAH TAYLOR on November 15, 2023 at 12:24 am

    I am grateful for all my Family and friends and my Health! Happy Thanksgiving

  25. Audrey W. on November 15, 2023 at 1:42 pm

    I agree with you, Vannetta: gratitude CAN become a habit! 🙂 Reading that is so empowering.

    I like your list, too, and it prompted me to think of a few things for myself: family, friends, pets, good weather, better health, a steady job . . . but also coffee creamer, a comfy pair of boots, jigsaw puzzles, pecan pie . . . SO MANY THINGS!

  26. Vickie Jameson on November 16, 2023 at 9:27 am

    Hi, Vanetta. I think coffee should by higher on your list but maybe that’s because I need it to be functional. 🙂 I am grateful for many things – but I’d have to say this year I’m grateful to finally have a little less stress in my life. The last 4 years have been rough in some way, shape or form. Not to say that there hasn’t been rainbows among the raindrops but it’s been a stretch of time that I hope to never repeat.

  27. Brenda Murphree on November 27, 2023 at 11:18 pm

    First I’m thankful for God then my family. My husband passed away 27 months ago and since that happened I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have my family.

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