remember: practising mindful awareness to enhance gratitude


Winter is a season many of us shy away from, as we seek to hunker down and hibernate while we wait for warmer days. But what if we made a conscious effort to remember when things were different? Does the process of remembering actually make a difference in how we deal with today?

I think so. Because when our lives are less than inviting it helps to lift our spirits if we invite our souls to focus more on gratitude than grumbling. Our heart attitude helps to determine how our days shape themselves.

Autumn is one of my favourite seasons. I love the sheer exuberance of colour as God splashes vivid hues to decorate each dying leaf. It’s as if our generous Creator is asking us to take it all in, to remember this bounty before it all falls to ground.

God reminds us to practise daily gratitude for this moment, because this moment is all we really have to appreciate, here and now, while it is happening. Although it is possible to stay centred in the present, with an awareness of goodness in the past actually enhancing all we are currently experiencing.

“Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.” ~ Genesis 9:16

A new year usually finds us looking forward, but if we remember God’s faithfulness toward us in the past it gives hope for days yet to come. When we do allow ourselves to consciously remember, meditate on the goodness of the Lord and the abundant blessings that He provides, we’re well placed to have a more positive mindset.

We can bask in a golden, autumnal glow, see it as a dying season’s last hurrah before the chill of winter seeps into our body, mind and heart, knowing how God so wonderfully sparks renewed life in what seems dead in us, as well as in trees and plants.

Although winter has its own stark, stripped back to the bones beauty, I enjoy reminding myself of days when leaves are in their final death throes and creation shows off its splendour for us to savour and hold in our hearts.

I remember russet

trees dressed in winter
but I remember russet
a golden arbour

stretching leaf to leaf
as autumnal splendour spread
an ochre blanket

and mantle of mist
delayed a breath of decay
for the last hurrah

A few joy notes…

1) A roast chicken dinner cooked by my man
2) Seeing our grandson togged out in his Rugby Tots kit
3) Being able to rest well today after a pain filled night
4) Supplements arriving to help boost my health
5) Having enough heat, snuggly blankets and warm clothes to wear
6) Creativity flowing although I am low on energy
7) God’s grace enabling me to write this post

15 thoughts on “remember: practising mindful awareness to enhance gratitude

    • Dear June, now you have intrigued me! Have you written a new blog post as well? I am sorry I can’t keep these days. But I will try to pop over to see your site soon. It’s time for some shuteye now. Goodnight and God bless you, sweet friend! xo 😊💜

  1. Dear Joy,
    Oh yes, I have to agree with June, that our thoughts are definitely following similar paths, as God has been having me remember gifts of faith that were passed on to me! How does God lead us like that, individually so unique and far away from each other, and yet He brings us together in thought and heart by His Spirit! I love the flow of this:
    “trees dressed in winter
    but I remember russet”
    and the way the words paint such a beautiful picture in my mind. Thank you for sharing this joy-moment in the middle of January! Blessings, Love and Hugs to you! xoxo

    • Dear Bettie, I should be fast asleep but I saw your comment here and couldn’t resist replying to it! You have also intrigued me to read your post. Though I must wait a few hours before I can achieve it. I love how God inspires us with a theme that will be consistent in its message yet unique to each one of us. Thank you so much for your kind thoughts about the poem. I’m pleased you like it. And we could all use a “joy-moment” in this rather bleak and barren month. That’s a great way of expressing it, my poetic friend! Love and hugs to you! xoxo 💜

  2. Pingback: Remember… thank you, Joy, for the reminder 💙 | Pastor Michael Moore's Blog

  3. Yes! Thank you for encouraging us to mindfully remember God’s faithfulness, Joy. I’ve been especially reflecting on that this week as I count another year God has helped me through. As I look back at the now 62 years of my life, He is helping me to focus on His faithfulness and provision through the years rather than being burdened by the pain in them. The winter cold and all the hibernation that comes with it can get discouraging, but I’m trying to focus on the beauty in that, too. 🙂 I think of how the trees look dead, but God is faithfully providing more stability to the unseen roots. Also, this morning, the trees branches were covered with such beautiful frost. Now no one but God can create such beauty! I’m so sorry you had another pain-filled night, but I’m grateful with you that you were able to rest today. And when we are enabled to write a post in the midst of such weariness is a blessing indeed. 🙂 Love and hugs to you!

    • Happy birthday, Trudy! We are pretty close in age, actually, because I am 63 years young. You must have got married early to have great grandchildren already. I feel like a mere beginner to have just one small grandson! I love how God is teaching you to “focus on His faithfulness and provision through the years rather than being burdened by the pain in them.” That’s such a positive thing. It definitely helps to foster gratitude for today when we consciously remember how good God has been to us in the past and all that He has graciously brought us through as well.
      In regard to trees during winter, I read a devotional recently that spoke about them going deep and stretching out their roots in unseen places, as we do when we root our faith in Christ, especially so when we see little life, growth or fruit in ourselves as yet. There is hope to come as those things take place in the secret chambers of our soul. I’m glad the beauty of winter is reaching you, my friend. And once my current viral illness and weariness lifts, I will be stopping by to savour your words. Love and hugs! xo ❤

      • Thank you, Joy. I married when I was nearly 29 to a widower with five children. 🙂 I wrote about it in 2014 – . Perhaps I didn’t know you yet then? Anyway, I am so deeply blessed. 🙂 I love each one so deeply. This quote has always been so meaningful to me:
        “Not flesh of my flesh
        Nor bone of my bone
        But still miraculously my own.
        Never forget for a single minute
        You didn’t grow under my heart,
        But in it.”
        – Fleur Conkling Heyliger
        God bless you and keep you!

      • Oh, I must have missed that post! 😏 It feels like we’ve been friends forever but I can’t remember when I began to read your blog. I’ll try and catch up with that one as well. It sounds like an amazing story! You have a beautiful, large, compassionate heart, so it’s not surprising if you took them all under your wing. I love the quote you’ve shared. Family can mean different things than anticipated but children are no less precious for not being born to us. God bless you and your loved ones! They are truly blessed to have you as their mum and grandma. xo 😊💜

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