Gifts & Graces: January 2023

Gifts & Graces

Let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!

Henry Ward Beecher

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

Bottle of Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt perfume.
Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt perfume is my new everyday scent treat!

Perfume. This year I made a “23 for 2023” list of things that I want to do this year (mostly fun stuff that is otherwise likely to fall through the cracks). One of them was picking a new perfume and wearing it, especially on ordinary days when I might not go out. I enjoyed picking this out and have been wearing it, even when I don’t leave the house. It’s a small indulgence that reliably makes me happy.

2023 PowerSheets goal planner with a beautiful blue cover.
2023 PowerSheets Goal Planner – a new tool to help identify what matters and track my progress towards these goals.

A New Planner. I love personal productivity and planning supplies, and I’m constantly tweaking the tools I use. This year I’m trying out a new yearly planner that emphasizes intentional goals and activities rather than managing a calendar or daily to-do list. I love the hope and possibilities of a new year and a pristine new planner!

Regular Yoga. I know I should do more yoga. As I get older, doing yoga becomes even more important to counteract the time I spend sitting and the loss of flexibility that comes with aging. Although I have always wanted to love yoga, I never do. It’s too challenging for my body to get into many poses (which means I need it even more than I think I do…). Every January, I do the (free) 30 Days Yoga Journey with Adriene. I’m not compulsive about keeping up with this every day, but I do enough to remind myself that my body feels better if I do yoga a few times a week. And this focused practice helps make yoga a habit again. Adriene offers many modifications and reminds me that “a little goes a long way.” After doing a month of yoga most days, I remember that there’s no good reason I can’t fit in a 15-20 minute yoga practice a few times a week.

Thai Chili complete salad kit for low effort variety in my salads.
One of the salad kits that I’m using for more variety in my winter salads.

Salad Kits. My usual lunch for the winter is soup and salad. I love a good salad, which means more than lettuce, carrots, and celery. I like a variety of ingredients and the chance to get some improved nutrition over just lettuce. But it’s hard to come up with exciting salad combinations in January. So I love the “complete salad kits” now available in every grocery store. I use a base of romaine or spinach and add a large handful of the salad kit to my bowl. These kits allow me to have many different salads with minimal effort.

A closing prayer

Dear God, please help me pay attention to the many gifts and graces 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. Hi Cathy! There can never be too many reminders to let my gratitude flow. Being grateful cheers my heart, and I’m pretty sure God is grateful for moments of recognition of God’s gifts. Thank you!


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