If you’ve ever watched “The Sound of Music” then you know there is a suggested technique of thinking of your favorite things to chase away fear.  The technique was mentioned by Fraulein Maria in the song “My Favorite Things” as she consoled the von Trapp children during a thunderstorm.  I believe Fraulein Maria was onto something by teaching the children to focus on good things so they would replace their fear with joy.

I have learned that focusing on my favorite things can fill me with gratitude.  Looking at a drawing that our daughter, Emily, drew of our family when she was in kindergarten makes me smile as I think back to a time when our five children were all under the age of ten.   The smell of chili powder takes me to a pantry in my aunt’s house that I loved to visit when I was a child. Watching the sun come up fills me with awe as I think about God’s love and power.

We are blessed with wide open spaces and the ability to see the sunrise and the
sunset. The colors in this sunrise seem to add warmth to the cold winter day.

When the toil of farm work starts to get me I can be quickly changed as I drive by a pen of cattle and observe one steer licking himself, another steer rubbing his head on the water tank and another steer chewing contently.  Yes, one of my favorite things is seeing our cattle content with their life here.

This is a view of part of our feedlot looking towards the northeast. You can
see one steer licking his hip and many others laying around. We strive to
provide pen conditions like this so cattle always have a place to lay down.

 Smelling an alfalfa field after it has been cut or the feedtruck as it drives by are more of my favorite things.  There are definitely farm smells that are not my favorite things, too! 

Listening to the birds sing is another one of my favorite things.  We are blessed to have a variety of bird sounds including the migration of geese in the spring and fall.  When I am walking pens in the summer I get to listen to Meadowlarks and Cardinals that seem to move around with me so I can hear them singing all over the farm.

Eating a juicy hamburger, steak or slice of eye of round hot off the grill is definitely one of my favorite things.  The taste of beef has always been a favorite of mine and I am blessed to have a husband that loves to grill.  Sharing beef meals with family and friends continues to be a favorite activity of mine.

Steve has a tray of hamburgers ready to be eaten.  Our
granddaughter is waiting to have one placed on her plate.

Memories of my dad have become another one of my favorite things.  I did not appreciate the value memories can bring to a relationship until Alzheimer’s hit my dad.  I have many favorite memories of my dad including a childhood Christmas many years ago. 

It was Christmas Eve and my dad came home carrying several wrapped gifts with no name tags.  My five siblings and I could barely contain our excitement as we discussed who the presents were for.  On Christmas morning my mom was handed each of the gifts one by one. I can only remember two of the gifts.  One gift was a large, fuzzy, orange rug and the other was a ceramic canister set.  I remember sharing in the joy as mom opened them one by one.  Somehow the gifts were even more special because they were all for mom.  That Christmas is a favorite memory of mine.

This is the Merry Mushroom Canister set that dad bought for
mom! She used those in her kitchen counter for many years.

Did you notice that many of my favorite things include all of the senses and are more than just things?  Maybe thinking of our favorite things lifts us up because they tap into our senses of taste, sight, smell, touch and hearing as well as our emotions.   What are some of your favorite things?  Try naming them and see if they lift your spirits, especially in times of trial. Remember what Frauline Maria said, “I simply remember my favorite things and then I don’t feel so bad”!










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