Gifts & Graces: April 2022

Gifts & Graces

Here’s my random gratitude collection of mostly small but sometimes large things that helped make April better.

A clean dog. I always forget how much I enjoy getting our dog bathed and groomed. Her fur is so soft. She actually smells good instead of like a swamp. And she gets adorable bows and a bandanna. Unfortunately, it only lasts until the next walk when she goes for a swim and promptly rolls in the dustiest dirt (or stinkiest mulch) she can find, but it’s still a treat while it lasts!

A few days away from my normal life. I love the rhythm of my everyday life, but it’s wonderful to get away for a few days. I enjoy the luxury of days that I don’t have to figure out meal plans, clean up the kitchen, and tend to the dog and cat. But most of all, I give myself a break away from my endless to-do list. I’m extremely thankful that my husband is ok with taking on all of the household and pet care chores and encourages me to escape for a few days.

Unexpected spring flowers. We always take the flower pots off our deck for the winter and put them elsewhere in the yard. This year I was stunned to find a crop of violets had sprouted in one of the pots! I love violets and pansies since they always remind me of my grandmother, who had pansies outside her back door every year. Seeing this unexpected burst of color made me happy.

When technology actually helps. Recently its been very helpful to have the ability to email my doctor with questions. I have ambivalent feelings about the whole patient portal, but I genuinely appreciate how much easier it makes my life when I just need to ask a simple question. My doctors typically respond very quickly, and I often get what I need without getting an appointment. I also appreciate seeing my test results as soon as they are available. Usually everything is normal, but I still get anxious waiting for the data. Getting access to the results as quickly as possible lets my brain break out of the worry loop faster. It also gives me the chance to do some research and prepare questions for my doctor for when we discuss the test results.

A closing prayer

Dear God, please help me pay attention to the many gifts and graces that you bring to my life. Let me gratefully acknowledge the people and things that fill my days with joys that range from small comforts to immense love. And thank you, God, for being with me each day. I am humbled and inspired by how Your Spirit works through the actions of so many people. Amen.


  1. Love this. Laughed out loud at Cookie smelling like a swamp. Swamp. Great word. This post reminds me of ordinary days and how such simple things can make an ordinary day extraordinary. I believe the violets were sent by your grandmother to let you know she is a guardian angel. If I see any magnetic eggs today, I will know my Mom is watching over me (or maybe I should look for an overheating car with a whistling engine). Tacky — I love your words and your observations. I would put your blogs on my personal Gift and Graces.


    1. If you see any magnetic eggs today, it will indeed be a message from beyond. I’ve never seen magnetic eggs (complete with mini styrofoam egg carton container!) anywhere else. Little did your Mom know that they would still be remembered decades later!


  2. Gratitude from here for you sharing what you are thankful for! IMHO we can never be reminded enough to thank God for all the good things He provides us – small things and large alike. Being thankful keeps me humble because I realize I don’t actually generate the good things in my life. Being thankful also keeps me happy and refreshes my sense of hope for the world because it re-reminds me He is -always- with me/us. And being consciously thankful as early in the day as possible (not that I always remember) makes for a longer happier day! Thank you for this Cath!


    1. It’s shockingly easy to find stuff to complain about and perplexingly difficult to be thankful for all the blessings. And I love the connection you made about how being thankful keeps you humble. You’re right – being grateful can’t help but keep us humble since its obvious (with a bit of reflection) that all our blessings don’t come from our own efforts!


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