Counting My Blessings

Welcome to the November 2012 Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival: Gratitude and Traditions

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival hosted by Authentic Parenting and Living Peacefully with Children. This month our participants have written about gratitude and traditions by sharing what they are grateful for, how they share gratitude with their children, or about traditions they have with their families. The Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival will be taking a break in December, but we hope you will join us for the great line up of themes we have for 2013!


Gratitude means thankfulness, counting your blessings, noticing simple pleasures, and acknowledging everything that you receive. It means learning to live your life as if everything were a miracle, and being aware on a continuous basis of how much you’ve been given. Gratitude shifts your focus from what your life lacks to the abundance that is already present. Giving thanks makes people happier and more resilient, it strengthens relationships, it improves health, and it reduces stress.

I am extraordinary grateful for everything single blessing in my life. Every day, Tiny and I sit together before bed and say a prayer of thankfulness. I personally feel that it is vital to take a moment every day to say thank you and acknowledge just how blessed you are as an individual and as a family. It is something I want Tiny to grow up incorporating as part of our daily rhythm.

Today I would like to share 10 things that I am grateful for. I actually want to be able to look at this on those days where gratitude is being a tad elusive. And while there are a million”ish” things that I am grateful for, I feel like these are the most important to me, today.

  1. First and foremost I am thankful to be alive. Life is not always glitter and unicorns but it is such a wonderful journey that I am blessed to be on.
  2. I am thankful for my parents. Not only would I not be here if it wasn’t for them but their support, understanding, wisdom, guidance, and love is something that I only hope that I am giving to Tiny. They are the two most amazing people I know. Really. I won the lottery when these two beautiful souls gave me life. (Or maybe they won the lottery when I picked them as parents!)
  3. I am thankful for Tiny. Beyond thankful. There are not words that can accurately portray how thankful I am that Tiny choose me as her mother. I cannot and will not imagine life without her. She provides such joy and is my ever present teacher. She has made me a better person and will continue to keep me growing.
  4. I am thankful for my husband. Without RastaDaddy there would be no Tiny and that is unimaginable. I love him, respect him, and am proud to say that he works HARD to support Tiny and I. No one will ever accuse this man of being lazy. He is our backbone and for that, I am thankful.
  5. I am thankful for my circle of friends both in-real-life and virtual. Women need women, mamas need mamas, old friends grow old together, and new friends enrich each other’s lives at the time that they need it. Some friends have come and gone, others fade in and out, and others are tried and true. I am grateful for them all. My support system is beautiful.
  6. I am thankful to have a place to live. Not everyone does. Home is what you make it, not where you make it. I am just thankful I have a place to make my home.
  7. I am thankful for the health challenges I do have because the ones I do not have could be far worse.
  8. I am thankful for music. Of course reggae has my heart and soul but I love all music. It keeps me sane. It grounds me. It inspires me. It uplifts me. It connects me to others. It brings awareness, insight and joy. It brings peace.
  9. I am thankful for diversity, in all things. Religion, cultures, traditions, food, celebrations, and the list goes on. Life is so rich and rewarding when you embrace and celebrate that which makes us all different both in our own neighborhoods and globally.
  10. I am thankful for the creator, the overseer, he/she who started this thing called life with or without a bang. Believe what you want. Discredit what you want. I cannot fathom that this universe of ours as well as those beyond it started without some sort of divine presence.

And as a bonus, I am thankful for Mother Earth, Mother Nature, the sun, the moon, the stars, the oceans, the sand, the desert, the forest, the jungle, plants, animals, rocks, minerals, marine life, and everything else found in the natural world. Nature in all of its manifestations is an integral part of who I am. And for that, I am profoundly grateful.

What are you thankful for? Do you sit with your children and express gratitude as a family?


APBC - Authentic ParentingVisit Living Peacefully with Children and Authentic Parenting to find out how you can participate in next year’s Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be live and updated by afternoon November 30 with all the carnival links.)

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  1. says

    I always love reading what people are thankful for. My husband and I spend a lot of time reflecting on our blessings. As you noted with your health, sometimes challenges are blessings in disguise too – what may seem like a terrible obstacle can end up being a door that opens to something wonderful.

  2. says

    I share thankfulness for many of the things you listed, Jennifer. To me and my family, gratitude spoken and shared is what keeps our hearts supple, our eyes open, and our thinking clear. There are always abundant blessings. Acknowledging them is a conscious choice.

  3. says

    This is such a great list. I love that you are making a mental reminder to remember these things when life isn’t going as swimmingly. That is a great way to bring perspective!

  4. Emily Sunwell says

    This is beautiful mama, thank you so much for sharing. You inspire me. I am grateful for your friendship. You are such a special person.

  5. says

    Having read your previous posts about your health issues, I like that you still say you’re thankful for them – a lot of people with lesser problems than you often get bogged down in how unlucky they are and forget that they are actually fairly fortunate.

    If only life were glitter and unicorns though…

  6. says

    Thank you for sharing what you are grateful for with us. I like the way you spend a little time to day with Tiny to acknowledge and give thanks for what you have. It is something we should all do, so important yet so easily missed in the hubub of life. I shall try to start doing this with my son, it was always soemthing my dad did with me each day when we prayed but I have since lost the habit.

    Your gratitude list is quite like mine! I have also taken part in the carnival and have written a little gratitude list;

    I am in your commenting group, so please have a look and comment on my post. Thanks a lot.

  7. says

    It’s good to remind oneself of all the things we have to be thankful for. I am thankful for my lovely children, for my dog, for my husband even though sometimes it’s hard, for being alive and having food on the table and getting to travel

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