When I thumb through my journal and look at the things I often give thanks for in my daily gratitude lists, I’m struck by how much of those lists are filled with material possessions such as my home and my car. Even when I give thanks for experiences such as trips to New York or to Orange Beach, I recognize that these things couldn’t happen without money.

When I write about how wonderful it feels to walk peacefully in my neighborhood, I also acknowledge that it’s a blessing to be able to afford to live in a quiet suburb.

So today when writing in my journal, I challenged myself to express gratitude for five things that money can’t buy.

God’s Love

My spiritual life looks so different today than it did years ago. I no longer go to church regularly or religiously complete YouVersion devotionals. Despite this, I don’t believe God has abandoned me. I feel my Creator’s loving Spirit all around me, especially as I write in my prayer journal each morning.

My Marriage

My husband and I have been married for over 16 years and we never fight. For real. Don’t get me wrong. We have disagreements. And sometimes we definitely get on each other’s nerves. But we never yell at each other or say things to hurt the other person’s feelings. We don’t fight because that word implies that someone has to win and someone else has to lose. But my husband is my best friend and we’re a team. So if he loses, so do I. Therefore, when we have disagreements, the goal is to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. That way, we both win.

The Love of My Family and Friends

Sure, I spend money on my loved ones but I know they’d be there for me even if I never bought them birthday or holiday gifts or treated them to brunch. I’m blessed to have friends who are like family and family members who are also my friends. My friends inspire me every day to go after my goals and my family keeps me grounded — reminding me that making a living is not more important than making a life.

My Creativity

When you write for a living it’s easy to sometimes take your writing skills and creativity for granted. You’re so focused on improving your craft or building your business that you forget to recognize how far you’ve come and all you have accomplished. That’s why I occasionally, dig through all poems and essays or read all blog posts and give thanks for every page of my story.

My Body

My relationship with my body is probably the most complicated relationship of my life. Because of my bout with cancer, I sometimes have trouble trusting my body. Every day I live in fear that she will turn on me again. But also every day, I stand in the mirror and look at her amazed by her strength. She beat cancer and she handled chemo like a G!

But she was strong even before cancer. She has carried me through every stage of my life. She’s taken me across the country and to foreign lands. She dances. She taught aerobics classes. She walked for exercise every day for a year — while going through cancer treatment. She’s completed a half marathon — twice. She decorates my home and cooks food for my husband.

As I grow older and my body changes I must be intentional about caring for her. But that’s just deepened our relationship. What I’m trying to say is I love my body.

I don’t mean that in a vain, conceited or superficial way. When I say I love my body, I’m making no judgment of my body’s shape or size. Those things are irrelevant when it comes to how I feel about her. I love my body because she is mine and I am hers. Forever and ever. Till death do us part.