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Gratitude journal entries this week

11 Dec 16
Kayla Jones


One of the orphan sponsors and a Jones family friend, an author who goes by MC McClintock (of the Helm family in Jerome), created a series of gratitude journals with an African theme. She gifted one to each of our family, which we presented to the kids the day we left Salt Lake City. Her idea to inspire happiness is to write down three things each day which you are grateful for. I have actually been very diligent about doing this, and I’m so glad! Today, I feel a bit at a loss for what to write in a blog post, so I think I’ll just share with you my entries over the past week or two. (By the way, our author friend is donating all of her author royalties from the sale of these journals to the Heartwood Orphan Home, so come on…. get shopping 🙂

1. Working together as a family on the bamboo walls for our dome home.
2. Ivy’s dog attack could have been SO MUCH WORSE! 16 stitches altogether. So grateful to hold her tonight! Don’t forget: In the middle of her sobs and screams getting sewn up, “I love you, mom!” and then, in a calmer moment, her humor singing, “Sew, a needle pulling skin”, to the tune from Sound of Music.
3. So grateful for Simon’s “Don’t mess with my sister” instinct, and being helpful. I’m really proud of that kid tonight.

1. Good talk with Simon. Processing the events of yesterday. Tough stuff.
2. My tender feelings bathing, dressing, and combing Ivy’s hair – serving her while she can’t use her hands.
3. Friends from Zuannah Town village coming by all day to check on how she is doing.

1. Seminary lesson that was so applicable to all of my emotions/prayers/questions this week. God sometimes LETS us suffer, so He can teach us. Not because He’s cruel, but because He loves us. It’s for the greater good.
2. Simon and Andy spending the day together on the dirtbikes, networking with local municipal leaders to establish the Heartwood Homestead as a community partnership effort.
3. Rain not coming until after my laundry dried.

1. Trip to town with Joneses! My navigating the outside market craziness with ease now.
2. Simon’s awesome and helpful attitude.
3. Simon traveling safely on a new Water Project motorcycle all the way from Brewerville on his own.

1. One step closer to dome home move-in day. Lacquering the bamboo walls almost done.
2. Facetime with Jan. Couldn’t ask for a better mother-in-law.
3. Choosing to take the children to the beach instead of reading all day (always a tempation for me!)

1. My heart feeling especially tender at church today.
2. Fun drumming with Andy and kids, and teaching myself Edelweiss on the guitar – reminds me of my dad 🙂
3. The prompting to read the Book of Mormon to my kids each night after family prayer.

1. Helping Faith feel better after she got sand in her eyes, and the nap she took in my arms afterwards.
2. Simon and Ruby working out a guitar/singing duet together.
3. Seminary. Loving studying the New Testament. Loving teaching.

1. That I had my phone on (rare), when Andy ran out of gas and needed Simon’s help.
2. Laughing so hard with Decontee at our serious bread baking flop.
3. Seminary prep. I’m learning so much!

1. Fluffy pancakes! New recipe.
2. Simon’s gall bladder okay after all (whew!)
3. Charlie’s spontaneous act of compassion when he accidentally spilled water all over Ivy and her dinner, making her cry. Immediate expression of apology and regret and then quickly acting to fix it and make her laugh again. Such a milestone for him!!!
4. Evening heart to heart with Ruby. Love that girl.

1. Morning jog with Andy and Charlie. My conversation with God while I raced ahead while they stopped for a stretching break.
2. Finding recipes and shopping for holiday ingredients so I can fix goodies. It will take some serious effort to make it feel a little like Christmas here in the bush. It is definitely NOT “Beginning to look (or feel) a lot like Christmas”!
3. Wonderful dinner at the Collin’s home (ward members, retired American-Liberians who are volunteering to run a school they started). Much needed time away from the compound. They had a refrigerator!!!!

1. While taking my bath, I overheard the girls in the bath next door to me. Oretha always sings in a funny opera voice, and I heard her sing to Josephine, “Don’t pee pee in heeeeeerrrre. Go in the toooooooilet”.
2. Olympia (our puppy), crawling onto my feet and laying down on them, licking (not biting!) my toes as I did laundry.
3. Andy pulling me onto his lap spontaneously and telling me with controlled emotion, “Thanks for trying… Don’t give up.”, in regard to my cooking flops with that darned coal pot oven!

1. Four senior missionary couples coming all the way out here to visit us! Mission President and his wife, PEF, Literacy, and MLS missionaries. It truly felt like there were angels among us 🙂 Gifts for the kids. Genuine interest in our work here.
2. Interesting plant we found down by the river that closes up on itself when you touch it. So cool!
3. Whole wheat bread that turned out! HOORAAAYYYYY!!!win_20161211_19_12_07_pro


  1. Jan December 21, 2016 at 4:44 am

    Wonderful to follow your days Kayla. You are an inspiration!!

  2. Mindi Parker January 11, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    Not sure why but reading those made me cry. Love hearing about the tender moments with your kids and how they are growing…and how you are growing too. Love ya! I missed the dog attack! I need to find the post on that.

  3. Shelly January 20, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    You have now inspired me to renew my efforts of writing in my gratitude journal. You are awesome!

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