I mentor a group of ladies at a youth organization every Friday afternoon. With five Fridays in November, we are using a gratitude theme for each of our five senses. Last week we focused on the sense of touch, this week we concentrated on smell.

Our mentor sessions include keeping a weekly “treasure chest.” Each lady’s treasure chest is a binder to collect inspirational cards, compliments, dream ideas, motivational quotes, and an assortment of random items that make her smile. These girls are often in temporary housing so in transient conditions, their “treasure chest” is simple to pack, uses minimal space, and provides a reminder of support.

During our “sense of gratitude” lessons, we take turns saying what we are thankful for and write each idea in our treasure chest binder. For example, with touch, the girls’ lists included fleece pajamas, Grandma Becky’s cheeks, puppy fur, and warm towels from the dryer. For smell, coconut lotion, popcorn, campfires, and anything with apples and cinnamon were appreciated.

Many of these young ladies have a competitive nature so one girl challenged fellow mentees to see who could add the most items to their gratitude list before our next session. One of the less competitive girls reported that even though she didn’t “win” this week’s most thankful contest she was more aware of her sense of touch. She said she never paid attention to touch until last week when she noticed how soft her fuzzy slippers felt or the texture of a shower loofah against her feet.

I invited the ladies to use our gratitude theme to reflect on one question: “Tomorrow, if you only received what you said thanks for today, what would tomorrow’s gifts look like?” I began my list with hot shower water and cold drinking water.

Through these mentoring relationships, I aim to encourage what Paul teaches in Philippians: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” (Phil: 4:8 NIV). My hope is that through heightened awareness, these ladies (including the mentor), will increase appreciation.

Lord, thank you for deepening my recognition for praiseworthy details that I often forget. I’m grateful for opportunities to teach Your messages about love and being joyful in all circumstances. Please use my acknowledgment as a form of worship that honors You.

With year-round blessings of turkey, sweet potato casserole, and pumpkin pie from the FROG blog,


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  1. What a great reminder of how being thankful should be woven into our daily life in every area. Love your blog and how you are allowing God to use you.

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