Cultivating gratitude.

thank-full {Clean.}

thank-full {Clean.}

I believe that cultivating
gratitude can transform not only how we view our (beautiful yet deeply
imperfect) lives, but transforms our lives themselves.

Each week I will share with you seven things that I am thankful for.

I'd love to have you join me in your own post or simply here in the comments.

Because taking just a moment to appreciate what we have can change everything.

thank-full {Clean.}

Today I'm thankful for…

1. a deeper relationship with our food than I've ever had before, after butchering fifty chickens yesterday. (Yes. Butchering. Chickens. Just Pete and I. {exhale});

2. a schedule full to overflowing with good, real, hard work that leaves me tired and thankful each night;

3. a new flock of sheep that will soon arrive at our farm;

4. an early morning alone to write before the sun even rises;

5. the smell of chicken stock simmering away, perhaps more nourishing because of the mindful work that put it in our larder;

6. connection – to people, to places, to our food;

and 7. abundance. Of every sort.

Link up to a post of your own in the comments, or simply leave your
list there. I look forward to seeing what ordinary, extraordinary
blessings you're counting today.



19 thoughts on “Cultivating gratitude.

  1. Michelle says:

    Wow, you did it. I think we as a society have lost the direct connection to where our food actually comes from. Someone commented on your FB page that all omnivores should get warm blood on their hands and I agree. It makes us more mindful and appreciative of the food we eat. Difficult stuff. Good for you!

  2. Marie says:

    Today I’m grateful…

    1. For forgiveness…as I needed it very much after a very rocky bedtime last night with my little one. Your post of a few days ago gave me some good perspective.

    2. For gentle sweet songs to sing my loves awake before the sun came up, and the arms flapping out from under the covers just like the cockerel.
    “Early in the morning, oh hear the cockerel call,
    He struts around the farmyard, good morning creatures all!
    He flaps his wings and sings to you
    Wake up, Now! Cock-a-doodle-doo!

    3. For little honey-brown locks in tight twists on a sleepy head this morning, needing some moisture and gentle attention from this Mama still learning the fine are of taking care of beautiful tri-racial hair. Twists and Bantu locks…yes, un-intentional dreads…not so much.

    4. For a fridge so full of produce from our dear farm friends that every door opening is an adventure in greens juggling, balancing, repacking and innovating recipes.

    5. For a sweet neighbor and her pup who gave me a greeting and a smile on my way out of the drive.

    6. For the quick minute with a dear friend at work and silent blessing sent off with her for her family and ailing husband.

    7. For another morning on this Earth where my biggest worry was which pair of boots to wear and not how to feed my family, whether to start chemo or where to find water for drinking.

    I am truly blessed and grateful.

  3. Madcap says:

    Seriously?! 50 in one day? I’m amazed and awestruck. I thought I was doing great getting 16 done in one day.

    I’m very grateful for the fact I now have laying hens, and they’re LAYING! Yahoo!

  4. Susan says:

    Our last butchering of chickens was over 30 years ago. If we were going to eat meat we should be able to come to grips with the process, We became vegetarian after that. Honestly, we chickened out.

  5. Jennifer says:

    My son attends an outdoor program 1 day a week and a few weeks ago, they butchered 3 turkeys. That is huge for a 7 year old. It was eye opening, although living among farms, he knows where his food comes from, but still to witness it was powerful. I am grateful he had that. I am grateful he now owns that power, to know where and how his supper comes to be and I am grateful that at 7 he then sat and discussed why some don’t eat meat, why some do, and his thoughts on the matter. Tonight when I pull the roast chicken from the oven he eats it with clear conscience and understanding of where it came from and what it means to “eat meat”.

    Lovley list. So much in this world to be grateful for, so very very much.

  6. Lyssa says:

    That is a beautiful list. What a great reminder of how connected to the earth we all need to be! Conscious of our choices, the impact they create, and our connection with life and death together.

    Here are my gratitudes this week:

    ~ Stepdad fixing the fuel lines in our car, saving us a ton of money we would have had to spend to fix it

    ~ Fall break, a chance to stay home with Harmony

    ~ Camping trip in the beautiful autumn weather

    ~ Catching a cold on the weekend, not the work week (is this really a blessing? at least I didn’t have to miss any work and could focus on getting better!)

    ~ Sister enthusiastically preparing for NaNoWriMo with me

    ~ Gaining a great appreciation of Bach as one of my students learns new music

    ~ Knitting Harmony’s winter hat in record time while recuperating from illness (see, getting sick this weekend had blessings)

    ~ Learning anew how deeply we are loved in Christ, even when we don’t deserve it (Romans 5)

    And here is the post I wrote:

  7. Rachel Wolf says:

    I started to write a post around that friend’s comment, but ended up with this instead. Because it was really hard to write. It was hard to express what the experience was like in a way that would make any sense to someone who has never experienced it. Whew. It’ was quite a day. In many ways.

  8. Rachel Wolf says:

    I need to add that there is a community plucker available free of charge in these parts. Before the plucker? We processed three once and I was a cry baby the whole time. The plucker. It’s the deal-maker.

  9. Rachel Wolf says:

    Ha. You chickened out. Funny stuff. Truly, if that guy of mine didn’t have the stomach to wield the knife we’d be heading back down the same path. I killed the first fish I ate after 9 years veg, then cried for hours in the boat. He’s the heavy while I chant blessings.

  10. KC says:

    I am grateful for:
    1. that we have the month to buy one lamb which will feed us for at least 6 months
    2. for the wild crazy wind we had making it seem more fallish
    3. i have a crafting space to work in and materials to work with
    4. how much food you can get from one chicken when you use all of it
    5. talking to friends on the phone and not just e-mail
    6. cool night air and seeing thousands of stars

  11. Jai says:

    I am grateful for:
    My family being around me and close everyday. (even the days where I want to crawl back into bed with a pillow over my head)
    MY hubs taking baby in the night so I can sleep
    Warm and cozy slippers
    Discussion panels where we talk about homebirth to college kids hopefully helping them to make choices versus just turning their bodies over to the medical system
    My daughter being able to make french toast for us for breakfast
    My connections to the world.

  12. kimberly says:

    I remember the first set of chickens I butchered. It was intense.
    It was an unexpected slaughterfest, but necessary to do immediately.
    A neighbor came over and she and I did them all. She’s been doing this for 30 years. I’d been living on the farm just a few months. She showed me with the first one and I offed all the rest.
    It gets easier.
    Just like milking a goat. And a cow.
    I just watched a video on gutting a deer, so I’ll be ready when the time comes. Which maybe tomorrow.
    It’s a whole new world out here.
    A community plucker??!?!?! Wow. Guess I’d better ask around! I know I saw someone with a bumper sticker that said, “Ask me about my whizbang chicken plucker” in town awhile back. Maybe I can track her down…

  13. Madcap says:

    Rachel, now I’m going to cry. I DID have a plucker! 😉
    Four hours of cleaning birds is enough for this gal. Good on you!

  14. Rachel Wolf says:

    Dang! I guess we had a faster plucker. 🙂 And I’ve got Pete. Dude can gut a chicken like nobody’s business. If I were doing it it would have taken approximately forever and I’d be a vegetarian again.

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