I’m in a miserable mood this Monday morning. I’ve got reasons–health, bureaucracies to deal with, words that won’t flow–and part of me feels like whining about them. Instead, I’m going to count some of my blessings, because it’s healthier.

1) I have a soft Jack Russell terrier curled up next to my side who loves me with her whole heart and wants nothing more in life than for me to be happy and give her cuddles and treats. Well, she’d probably also really like it if the pool was warm year round so that she could swim every day. We’re both a little sad about how cold the water is right now. But wait, no whining! Instead, we’re both grateful that we get to play together in the pool as often as we do.

2) A ridiculously fluffy, embarrassingly small dog wandered into my life sixteen months ago and he did not throw up on my bed last night. Or on the floor, either. He doesn’t love me quite the way Zelda does, but he likes me a lot and was willing to come for a long walk with us today. He trudged along like a trooper, one step after another, for a full mile.

3) I live in a place that is warm and sunny, which meant that I could be outside for a long walk this morning and enjoy the feeling of nature. I saw a heron by the water, and they always remind me that life is full of miracles. It’s hard to believe that a bird can be so ungainly and so graceful at the same time.

4) Despite being very, very grouchy about my diet and its failures this morning, my refrigerator has food in it that is both healthy and delicious.

5) This is pathetic as a blessing, but I have modern painkillers in the medicine cabinet. And maybe it’s not so pathetic — all my joints hurt today, which probably means a weather change coming in, and knowing that I can ease my pain if I need to is a luxury that throughout history not too many people have had. It does mean that I’m lucky, really lucky. Or blessed, since I’m counting my blessings.

All right, my blogging has officially inspired me. Off I go to write more of A Gift of Grace. I’m at a part that is so fun in my head, but I’m not doing it justice in pixels. But I’m going to persist. It’ll get there, I hope.