Counting Gifts/ FAMILY/ Marriage

A Simple, Practical Way to See the Good in Your Husband and Transform Your Marriage


It is my husband Todd’s birthday today, so I thought it would be fitting to tell you how I have been focusing on the good I see in him, and how just tweaking a habit I had already formed gives me all-the-heart-eyes throughout the week for my man.

The simple technique I have been using to do this has opened my eyes to so many good things he is and does, and I’m eager to share some examples of these good things about the man that I love with you.

Maybe, just maybe it might give you a way to find extra ‘heart-eyes’ for your guy, too!


The Habit of Thanksgiving

If you have been around here for a while, you know that I have purposefully kept track of what I am thankful for over the years.

It has been a habit that has been life-changing. It changes how I see what is in front of me. I call it ‘counting the gifts’ and had a goal that I surpassed counting 1,000 gifts.

Once I reached 1,000, I have actively continued listing my thankful on and off through the years.

I am always reminded when life gets hard how I need to purposefully focus on all that I have to be thankful for. It is one of the best ways to fight anxiety and depression!

Thankfulness stops negative thought patterns in their tracks and changes them to think on the positive and all that God has done for me and given to me.

This last month I have taken my thanksgiving and listing the gifts a step further. I decided to list 5 things a day that I am thankful for in my journal, then end my list with 3 things specifically about my Todd that I am thankful for.

I have to say, this has so transformed how I see my man. Like I said above, it changes negative thought patterns…stops them in their tracks…and changes them towards good.


My Good Husband

I have always known I hit the jackpot when we got married and I committed to loving this good man of mine for the rest of my life.

I am so happy to say we have made it through 22 years of marriage. Mind you…it was with lots of hard work, prayer, ups and downs, and counseling along the way. Yes, learning to love each other well has taken a lot of work, but boy is it worth it.



Noticing the Good

There are several tools I’ve implemented over the years in pursuing a healthy marriage, but this most recent habit I’ve formed in listing what I’m thankful when it comes to my Todd and the good I see in him has been so much fun and has made such a difference.

The desire of my heart is to be a great wife, his #1 fan, and really see my husband and notice all of him. I think it is easy as wives to notice and focus in on the negative or ways that we want our men to be different.

So much of this stems from how different men and women can be, and how often opposites attract.
Even the most similar couples have differences and can be baffling to the other.

This is where being intentional to see the good can be such a game-changer. Isn’t that what we all would want…for others to see what is good in us and appreciate what they see?


The Surprising Results of Looking for the Good in my Husband

It has been much fun to stop for just minutes a day to list just a few things I have noticed about my Todd. I usually do this in my journal in the morning.

While I write my list, I find myself thinking about the day before, my time with him, and what I noticed about him.

I also find myself actively looking for things when I am with him and take notice in the moment when he is doing something that I can write down the next morning. I see him through eyes of admiration…which is way better than eyes of irritation!

It makes the typical times that can be frustrating in marriage much more bearable because I’ve been focused on the overwhelming good, so I am more patient in the moments I usually would not be.

When you see so much good and have been focusing on it, the not-so-good shrinks away and becomes small.

I realize how much I have missed over the years, of my quiet man quietly serving and showing love in so many little ways. I’ve seen much, but when actively looking for it, I see so much more.

I have always been his biggest fan, but now the admiration I feel for him can be overwhelming at times. He simply is the best, in the most imperfect, perfect way.



My Thankful Journal

Here is what I have listed in my journal about my Todd from the end of December the month of January.

It is so fun to read back through and see examples of my good, good man!


  • How he does the dishes while I heal from surgery
  • He runs an early Christmas morning errand just to make our time together more enjoyable
  • He gives me a brand new phone and takes the old one.
  • The time he takes to set up family game night…those strategy games and all the little pieces!
  • His quiet observation and smile as our girls open their Christmas gifts
  • Calls ahead to make sure our girl is taken care of on a trip out of town
  • Tells me I look nice on our date night to the Indian Oven
  • His listening ear…the best of listeners.
  • His delight in family traditions
  • His quirky obsession with board games and how he attends a board game conference and just smiles when we give him a hard time about it.
  • Helps daughters boyfriend with internship applications and resume…says to me “Lucas is my priority tonight.”
  • He takes care of himself and his health.
  • No victim mentality when it comes to health issues and fluctuating blood sugar levels. Just buckles down and does what it takes with nutrition and exercise to stabilize them.
  • His amazing patience with me and the girls.
  • How he packed up the Christmas ornaments for me…a tedious job I like to procrastinate on.
  • Watched an “Amy” movie with me with no complaint.
  • Runs to the drugstore to purchase daughters special face cream for her.
  • Takes youngest to a friends house and picks her up. He is a taxi that never complains about it.
  • How his eyes crinkle when he smiles.
  • He is clean, always smells good.
  • Good dresser…always looks nice.
  • The way his girl’s respect, admire and love him. It has been earned.
  • How his brain can sort through emotions that can be so confusing for me, helps me see the light.
  • His steadfastness despite my spiraling emotions.
  • How he came toward me even though I was in despair over my people’s pain and loss.
  • Hearing him ask our girls about their day.
  • His wisdom in hard decisions.
  • His calmness in talking about hard things.
  • His willingness to seek counsel from those he admires.
  • The question he has been asking on a regular basis to connect “what does your day look like?”
  • He shovels out 3 cars after a ton of snow.
  • Cleaned out the attic.
  • Teaches us how to play all the new board games he purchased.
  • Reliable–takes out the trash every morning.
  • Expresses hurt in a healthy way.
  • He picks up eggs and pizza on a snow day so I can stay tucked in at home.
  • His warm touch and hand on me.
  • His Enneagram 5 “investigative” brain and how into subjects and interests he gets.
  • So perseverant!
  • He’s got grit.
  • That brain of his…always thinking.
  • Buys a new shovel when ours is stolen and shovels us out as soon as possible.
  • Finds the best in the city for our girl, does research for a month on a subject that could be life-changing for her
  • Endurance.
  • How he shuffles cards on the carpet like a 7-year-old. Makes me laugh!
  • The thought and planning he puts into the movies and shows that we watch as a family.
  • Planned a date night 2 Saturdays in a row.
  • His joy in playing games with nephews & nieces on Pizza Sunday.
  • His passion for eating healthy and how we have that in common.
  • His willingness to do the heavy lifting…groceries, items that need to be carried out to the car.
  • He is not a complainer.
  • That he can enjoy and appreciate a deep movie with me.
  • The sound of the treadmill at 6am…takes such good care of himself.
  • Even more attractive to me on his 49th birthday than he was on his 29th. My Hottie Toddy!!


See the Good, Transform Your Marriage

I know every marriage has its own story, and I know sometimes transforming a marriage can be complicated. This is just one tool of many that God has used to transform our marriage, but it packs a powerful punch. I challenge you to try it.

Even if you can only find one thing a day, at the end of the week you will have 7 things to refer back to when you most need eyes to see the good. I know I want my spouse to overlook my faults and see the good in me. Other than God, he knows me best, the good and the bad.

Goodness, how I would want him to focus in on the good, not the bad! I’m thankful that he does…and I’m so glad that I have found this simple habit to do the same for him.



Steps to See The Good:

Find a journal or notebook and pen.

Take 5 minutes a day–same time of day if possible to help form the habit.

List 5 things you are thankful for in general.

List 3 things you are thankful for in your spouse.


You might also like:

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Things I’m Thankful For – 1,000 Gifts

7 Ways to Journal and Why I Write Vs Type

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  • Kimberly Brown
    February 6, 2019 at 11:18 am

    I love this Amy! Good for you!

    • AmyNewNostalgia
      February 7, 2019 at 10:23 am

      Encouragement from a past mentor! Makes me happy. Thank you. <3