"Let the gratefulness overflow into blessing all around you. Then, it will be a really good day." Louie Schwartzberg
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On Being Grateful

posted by Susan Dominikovich on , ,


"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."  (James 1:17)

I am grateful.

Paul was blessed to win a night's accommodation at Hosking House when he took a number of students to a Lead Conference, earlier this term.  Some may think it was good luck or chance winning that prize.  Perhaps if it was a phone, or a bike or a tv that he had won, I would agree.  But the very fact that it was a night out at a very special place, something that we so desperately needed, I know there is nothing of luck or chance in it. My mother taught me to never look a gift horse in the mouth and so Paul and I both gratefully acknowledge the generosity of our host, Rachel Church, but also received this prize as a gift from God, who really just wanted to say to us, "well done my good and faithful servants...this is for you."  

So I am grateful.

Some very beautiful friends of ours were more than happy to help look after the kiddios, so it meant we had almost 24 hours of child-free time, where we were able to be entirely devoted to each other and ourselves.

The Inn was beautiful and the room was perfect.  Our host Rachel, equally charming.  We enjoyed the late afternoon sunshine in our room and the clawfoot bath and our books and our wine and our crackers and the gas fire too in the darkening dusk.  Paul indulged me by letting me read all the delicious foodie bits of my Italian novel out loud and we talked and dreamt of our trip to Italy.  

One day.  

But for now, Hosking House and New Plymouth.  No phones, no laptops, no clocks, no interruptions, no time pressure.   Just snoozy relaxation on the pillow-top king bed and time just being.  


Then we enjoyed getting fancy together and walked the short distance to the main streets of New Plymouth.  Hand in hand.  

Upon Rachel's recommendation we discovered a new lounge bar called The Hour Glass and had a couple of drinks and tapas.  They specialise in beer and I don't think either of us had ever come across such an extensive beer list.  Then we moved on to our favourite spot, The Mayfair, for more drinks and pizza.  Paul filled up on chicken and brie while I savoured the Italian flavours of anchovies and olives.  And we talked and we laughed and we shared until our eyes started to droop and we knew we simply could not manage another morsel of food or sip of a drink.


Back to our room, and the cosy gas fire.  It was quiet.  So quiet and still except for a few street noises but that was a novelty in itself.

Another sunny day dawned this morning and we enjoyed a cooked breakfast in the breakfast room overlooking the garden as well as a visit from Rachel's puppy.  Fresh coffee, cereal, yoghurt, warm bread, a poached egg and earthy mushrooms for me, traditional hash browns, bacon, sausages and eggs for Paul.  Back to our room for more of our books until it was time to leave, pick up our kids and head back to our lives again.

Back to our lives again.

Four delightful children filling our cluttered and messy house with noise and laughter, telling us of the games they played with their friends, all their adventures, never missing us even once.  I was sad about that, but very glad it all worked out well.

And even more glad that we were all together again.  That I actually had missed the noise, the laughter, even the fights and the disputes.  Definitely the kisses and the cuddles.  I got a few extras of those tonight.


God gave us a gift in a night of luxury together.  I am grateful for it and we have decided that we will do it again.  It was indeed a gift for all of us.  But most of all, I am grateful for the gift God has already given me, in the life that I live and share with my husband and four amazing children.  

My mother was right:  I should not look a gift horse in the mouth.

So I am grateful.


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