“100 Things I Love”

100 things I love activity

Everyone is creative in their own way. God has created each of us with different gifts and talents to be used to reflect His goodness and His image. Creativity is not constrained within the arts, it is included in the processes of thinking, planning, and decision making. Sometimes, we need to remove distractions and shift our perspective so that we can find the creativity that God designed us to enjoy.

At our last MOPS meeting, my creative Co-Coordinator came up with this amazing activity to help us “notice goodness,” “embrace rest,” and to “celebrate lavishly.”  We started our meeting by watching an engaging speaker, Kay Morison, talk about the importance of finding our creativity and embrace it as a way to recharge so we can continue to pour into others. She made a point to say that creativity looks differently in all of our lives and it can be found in things like spreadsheets and in runner’s strides.

“Creativity teaches us to be more present in the moment, enjoy the process, and let go of the end result.”

Kay Morrison-Eyes to See…Creativity 

Noticing Goodness Kit

After viewing the video, each mom was given a “Noticing Goodness Kit.” The kit contained cardstock, numbers, mat, a heart, and writing prompts. We organized the items on our paper, glued them in place, and waited for the next instruction. My Co-Coordinator asked us to think about the many things we love and then led us through two or three examples, encouraging us to be creative in how we numbered and wrote the items on our paper. 

“On your paper, write number one. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of what you love? (PAUSE) Write number two. What is your favorite smell? (PAUSE)” 

Once we all had a good idea of what we were to do, she sent us off to find a peaceful, quiet space. Then we were left alone with our thoughts, a pen and our paper.

When you are a mom of little ones, you rarely get 30-40 minutes of alone time without interruptions. The time to think was a gift in itself.

It took me three or four tries to find a comfortable, quiet spot. Once I found a space, I did nothing but sat and breathed. The silence was unfamiliar. A good five minutes went by before I pulled out the prompts and things started coming to mind. Sometimes, they came quickly. Word after word. A few times, I got stuck and sat in silence again. I found that there was no particular order of importance and one word/memory often led to many other things that I loved. Before I knew it I had 100 items on my paper. I could have kept going.

I reread my list and realized that I had missed things that I absolutely love- chocolate-chip cookies, apple picking, Santa Claus, running, the 4th of July. I also realized that I missed many memories- Story Land with my family, going to Cape Cod, my wedding, soda floats in chemistry beakers with my grandpa, and watching Days of Our Lives with my aunt.

It did not matter what I missed or how many things I forgot. This was not a checklist-type of activity. No bonus points for the best or most unique item. This was practice in opening our eyes to notice the goodness in the every day, in the smallest moments, with the people who you do life with. It was also helped us embrace rest and to celebrate lavishly in what we accomplished.

You do not have to have a special kit to complete this activity. Grab a piece paper. Find 30 minutes of “quiet” time- maybe at nap time or when the kids go to bed.  Start one at a time and number your items. I think you find yourself opening up as you go. If you get stuck, here are a list of prompts that you can use:  100 Things I Love Prompts

If you need even more inspiration, check out these pins and the different ways others have completed this type of project:

47cf8424f630cbe354480d34025c660d 100 things

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/AY8ichhWgnUDkgUSc6s1DyiIul1JJc6DNunyzFLpTtCXGwgxWIxl4TQ/

936c1ff85216238296c771d3ce8e88f7100things

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/131871095314686653/

1eaaed8f2f645d38cd611e262c983c9e100things

Crafty Island Girl

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/267119821626528980/

e15b7e8f80cc914b697f7fd06523c413100things

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/267119821626529714/

If you do get a chance to do this activity, I would love to hear your thoughts and how you did.

Embrace your creativity!


No Gifts Needed

No Gifts Needed

This year, I do not want anything for Christmas. And that is the truth! When I declared this to my husband, he looked at me as if I was leading him into some sort of trap or playing very cruel trick. He carefully calculated his response.

“Ooooo-kayyy…” he said doubtfully.

“No, I am serious,” I said. “I have everything I want and need.”

It is not surprising that my husband was skeptical. I have always loved receiving gifts, things, STUFF. At one point, receiving gifts was my primary love language. It wasn’t just the gift that I liked. It was the thought and effort behind the gift that I appreciated.

On my birthday and at Christmas, I would envision my husband walking through the aisles of  a store, loving thoughts of me on his mind, carefully considering all my likes, what colors looked best on me, how I prefer dark chocolate over white, diamonds over cubic zirconia. This of course, was a romanticized reality. My husband hates shopping. He really does not like “things” or “stuff.” And birthdays and holidays had never been a big deal for him.

Birthdays and holidays have always been a big deal for me and the gifts have always been one of the best parts. Store bought gifts are nice. But I love hand-made crafts and things found out on a nature walk or a walk on the beach that my children hand to me. Someone once gave me a candy wrapper with a saying about friendship that I treasured. I know, lame! But I can’t help attach meanings or a memory to the gifts I am given, its just who I am. Or who I used to be?

What has changed this year in my gift receiving needs?

Me. Life. The state of the world. The fact that I have so much stuff I do not know what to do with while others in the world have nothing and are suffering daily. Awareness that consumerism is taking over minds and the true meaning of life.

I am realizing more and more that memories are not stored in things. Memories are stored in hearts and minds and in your soul. Gifts are all around you, every day. You just have to change your perspective to find and receive them.

Like the gifts of staying in your pajamas on a rainy day and starting homeschooling late.  The gift of unexpectedly bumping into one of your best friends at the post office and receiving a huge, very needed hug. When your husband lets you sleep in late. Gift like laughter over a meal shared with friends. Gifts in the smiles on strangers faces in the long line at the grocery store. Gifts like seeing peace and joy permeate a heart.

Those are the kind of gifts that I want more of.  Unexpected gifts and gifts that money cannot buy. Gifts that make me want to be a better person, friend, wife, and mom.

So this year, it’s the truth! I am embracing the true meaning of Christmas, with less gifts from the store and with a happier heart. And if my husband hands me a store bought Christmas gift, I will throw a tantrum, give him a lecture about not wanting anything, and demand that he return it immediately!

No, just kidding! I will gracefully and gratefully accept the gift, attach a memory and meaning to it and probably treasure it way more than I should. After thirteen years of marriage, I have learned you should never discourage good and thoughtful deeds. And besides, I am a work in progress! And I am okay with that!