Ashes of Gratitude


Grateful words whispered

while incense burns

leaving behind ashes of gratitude

in a small clay urn


© Julie Rehnelt 2016



For the past several years, I’ve had the morning practice of lighting an incense match and using those few moments while the match burns to thank God for all of the blessings in my life.  Some days, when life is being difficult, it can be a bit of a struggle to come up with things, and I always want to be authentic and real.  But even in the midst of difficulty, there are still things to be grateful for…  Even if it’s just simply being thankful for a nose that can smell the sweet aroma of the incense –  mine is vanilla scented so it smells pretty yummy.  🙂

Sometimes the simplest of things can bring us great pleasure when we’re mindful of them.  The simple pleasures of all we can experience through our five senses – see, smell, touch, taste, and hear, are often easily taken for granted, or go unnoticed, especially when many today are moving at warp speed through life, or going through terrible difficulties.  But it pays to slow down, and/or to shift our focus off our difficulties and onto all that we have to be grateful for.  Not in denial of life’s sometimes difficult circumstances, but in awareness that life in itself is a gift, regardless of our circumstances.   I know that may sound cliche, but I don’t say it lightly.

Ashes are often thought of as something negative, but when I look at my little clay bowl of ashes sitting on the table beside me, I see a huge reminder of all the thousands of things I have to be grateful for.  My ashes of gratitude.


Wishing all of you much happiness today, and as always…




✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

25 responses to “Ashes of Gratitude

  1. I like your ritual and reminders. Thanks Julie.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for this lovely reminder to take the time to count our blessings and enjoy the little things that make life beautiful, if we only stop to appreciate them.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Julie, this is so very true. Last week at chemo, this older (she looked older) woman came in. On a walker and with an oxygen tank to get chemo. I walked in on my own, breathing normally. There but for the grace of God….Blessings abound every day. No matter what, I know I am blessed. Thank you for the reminder. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What you do in those thanksgiving moments is life giving to your spirit. It is so healthy and life lengthening and soul strengthening to have an ‘attitude of gratitude’ and a thankful contented heart, knowing our loving Father has our life firmly in his hands.
    I love this verse: “He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart;” – Is 40:11 It is so good to know that we are cared for by the Good Shepherd:-)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve had a busy few weeks and I’ve had to really stop and breathe and count that busyness as blessings, because although it feels hectic and I’m exhausted, I’m forced to admit that feeling comes from abundance.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A fascinating post, Jules.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is so beautiful, Julie and what a great daily practice. I could use a practice like this! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Profound thoughts, Julie

    Liked by 1 person

  9. We need to remember the blessings. Your morning praise is a wonderful way to relive them. Thanks for this share. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. What a lovely practice Julie! Opening our senses to receive the goodness of life and acknowledging what we are grateful for is so nourishing for the soul 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  11. What a lovely way to begin the day.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I am grateful for beautiful souls like YOU who always inspire me.

    I like your morning ritual. I also write gratitude diary. It’s a powerful thing.

    Sending much love your way, dear Julie!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Speaking of beautiful souls… ❤
      Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words Noora!
      I too keep a gratitude journal, and it really is a powerful thing.
      Sending much love your way too and hope you have a wonderful week! xo


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