“I Love…”: A Gratitude List

Inspired by my friends Ashlee Gadd and Katie Blackburn, I decided to begin Thanksgiving week with a list of things I love. Writing this list brought me much joy; I could keep going. And even more than this, I realized my love for each item on this list runs much deeper than the thing itself. There’s joy beneath the thing, gratitude beyond just the gift itself. If you love lists, I’d encourage you to create your own, “I love…” list this week. I think you’ll be glad you did.

I love sunrises. I love chasing the sunrise down the street in my slippers so I can get a better view. I love walking to the beach at the end of the street. I love a clean sink and an empty dishwasher. I love candles burning in the early morning. I love it when my five year old boy stumbles into the living room and his hair is sticking out all over his head.

I love waking up to crisp air from an open window. I love cold sheets when I crawl into bed at night. I love it when my toes are cold but my body is warm. I love fuzzy blankets. I love the way a plant perks up as soon as you water it.

I love peanut butter on brownies. I love coffee ice cream with a chocolate chip for every bite. I love waffles with real maple syrup and whipped cream and a side of bacon. I love it when there are tortillas and cheese in the refrigerator and I don’t have to think about dinner. I love the thrill of changing a recipe because I’m missing an ingredient.

I love it when there’s flour on my hands and an apron around my waist. I love the smell of freshly baked bread on a cold day. I love vacuuming up the needles from the Christmas tree. I love my Kenny G. Christmas CD from 1998.

I love seeing elderly people hold hands. I love watching a man with a scribbled grocery list in his hand wandering around the store while he’s wearing a suit. I love watching new parents together with their baby.

I love cheese and tomato sandwiches on white bread with mayonnaise. I love picking basil from the garden. I love a full moon. I love when the weather is warm enough to wear shorts and cool enough to wear a sweatshirt. 

I love freshly painted fingernails. I love opening my Bible and getting lost in its pages. I love wringing water out of a new sponge. I love paper towels. I love throw pillows. I love the way my daughter rubs and twirls my engagement ring.

I love sitting on the front porch. I love watching people in airports. I love putting just one more piece into a puzzle. I love it when the kids walk in the back door and say, “Mmm. What’s that smell?” I love the steam that comes off a freshly baked biscuit.

I love coffee, with cream and sugar. I love writing out my thoughts with no agenda. I love conversations on voxer with like-minded writers. I love planning dinner parties. I love listening to the chatter of others seated around my dining room table. I love watching a groom gaze at his bride as she walks down the aisle.

I love wearing high heels. I love running barefoot on the beach. I love paddleboarding. I love it when I don’t fall off the paddle board. I love it when someone surprises me with an impractical gift because they know I’ll love it.

I love hiking in the woods. I love playing the piano. I love the smell of onions on the stove. I love shortbread dipped in chocolate. I love making strawberry jam and homemade tortillas. I love the convenience of frozen chicken nuggets and Kraft macaroni and cheese. 

I love the way Bradley’s legs feel under the sheets against my freshly shaven legs. I love his dimples. I love leaning on his chest in the middle of the kitchen. I love the way he looks at me. I love making him laugh. I love it when he brings me coffee in bed at 5:30.

I love restoring old furniture. I love making the bed. I love fresh flowers on the dining room table. I love the way the light hits the wall in the dining room and casts a shadow across the table. 

I love eyeliner. I love drapes. I love fancy hotel lobbies. I love getting a stamp in my passport. I love freshly fallen snow at dusk. I love the sound of geese in November. I love fog over the water. 

I love knowing God and being known by him. I love the way God comforts me in grief. I love the shared tears of sorrow when we nod our heads and say, “God is still good and faithful.” 

I love a full tank of gas. I love a freshly cut lawn. I love cleaning the windshield on a sunny day. I love Bombas socks. I love dolphins. I love the sound of children’s laughter from the other room. I love it when Mason sings and plays his guitar to worship music.

I love thinking of ways to make people feel comfortable. I love thought-provoking questions. I love honesty and vulnerability. I love walking into a room and knowing why I’m there. 

I love omelettes. I love driving on road trips. I love exploring new places with Bradley. I love dreaming about exploring new places with Bradley. I love pimento cheese on my hamburgers and sugar in my egg salad. 

I love listening to sermons. I love it when I finally understand something in God’s Word that never made sense before. I love grace. I love surprising moments of joy. I love breaking out into song with my sister and instinctively knowing who will sing harmony.

I love meal planning. I love reading cookbooks. I love playing games. I love watching my kids play chess together. I love listening to my boys talk and laugh as they wrestle. I love when my daughter leaves notes on my pillow. I love late night conversations at the foot of our bed. I love my three year old’s stream of consciousness at the breakfast table.

I love crossword puzzles. I love sleeping in hotel rooms. I love walking through airports. I love city skylines.  I love it when a friend comes over for coffee in the afternoon and we’re almost late for school pick up. I love catching up with friends and feeling like we were never apart.

I love waking up before my alarm to a quiet house. I love having all of my children in one place. I love the way my youngest daughter understands her big brother and interprets for him. I love the way my children light up when Daddy comes home at the end of the day. I love that my daughter borrows my clothes. I love the marks and dates etched on the doorframe in the kitchen.

I love the way God stops me in my tracks with a gentle whisper of who I am in Christ, and what this means for my thoughts, words, actions, and the posture of my heart. I love the collective gathering of God’s people. I love when people remind me of the truth. I love the way God never stops pouring out his love. I love knowing that one day my heart will be fixed upon my Savior. I love knowing hope and the sure promise of heaven.

I love knowing the end of the story.