Your Good Things | 47

Many of you call me often to tell me about something on your own good lists. Here’s a collection of them!

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Episode Transcript

This is The Good List — I’m Tsh Oxenreider.

This is a collection of art, habits, things, and ideas.

Since this little show started this year, I’ve encouraged y’all to call in and leave me a voicemail telling me one thing that’s on your good list — whatever it is in your life at the moment making things a little sweeter, saner, and all-around better. Lots of y’all have called in over the months, so I thought it’d be fun to dedicate this particular episode to your ideas. So, enjoy this round-up of good things from the community here! And I’ll be back with you at the end to remind you how to call me if anything you hear today reminds you of something you’d like to share.


Alicia: Hi, Tsh, this is Alicia calling from Long Island, New York, and I have a thing that I am currently loving, and that is my Yeti container. I’m usually a little suspect of new gadgets and wonder if they’re really as good as they claim to be. But I have found this cup or container, this 20 ounce holder to really keep my coffee hot in the morning, which is important as a teacher. And then also to keep my cold drinks cold. I am loving the Yeti and it was worth every dollar that I spent on it. It’s one of the few products that I would say, yep, all of the claims are true. Thanks for your podcast. Thanks for all you do. Bye bye.

Amanda: Hi, my name is Amanda Water. I’m calling from Houston, Texas, and I wanted to share a thing that is on my good list right now. That thing is the ginger tea by the Yogi brand. This tea is so delicious. You can get it at Walmart or Target or your local grocery store. It has ginger lemon grass, licorice, black pepper. It’s really warming and kind of almost spicy. Sometimes I add honey, sometimes I add a squeeze of lemon. Sometimes I drink it straight. It’s the perfect way to end the day. I’ve had a cup every night for probably the past three months. It is just so great right now, one of my favorites. Thanks and have a great day.

Angela: Hi Tsh, this is Angela. We just moved to Bozeman, Montana about two months ago. My good list right now is a habit. My girlfriend and I were having normal conversation and she mentioned to me that she’s a fanatic about keeping her kitchen clean, that was just how she grew up. We talked about it for a second and then dropped it and I just realized, especially during the season that we’re all in, I need some clutter-free space. Literally after every single time my family eats, whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snacks, I am getting in the habit of cleaning up my kitchen after every meal. That means nothing on the countertops in the kitchen, all the toasters put away, the dishes are in the dishwasher. If I’ve just hand washed something, then I’m drying it off and putting it back so there’s nothing drying. There’s nothing cluttered in my sink. There’s nothing on my counter. After every meal it’s cleaned up and I’m not working right now, I’m homeschooling the kids and so I have time to clean up after every meal instead of rushing off to work or rushing to run an errand that has a time limit. I’m just finding that this space that is uncluttered is bringing so much peace and joy to my soul. This is a habit that is just really giving me life right now. Thanks for your art, Tsh.

Carla: Good morning. This is Carla Hess and I’m calling from Maitland, New South Wales, Australia. I love your work. I’ve been a reader and listener for quite a long time now. I’m calling to tell you about a thing that’s making my life better right now and that is my book club. I feel like it is especially valuable to me as an expat American living in Australia. We are a family of five. We moved to Australia from Texas a year and a half ago with our three kids who are now thirteen, eight, and four. That has been such a good move, but as you can probably appreciate, it was a huge effort. I found myself wishing for something like a book club where I could just kind of have meaningful conversation. I remember I was wishing for that and there was a British woman who I had met through our local school who reached out to me and asked me if I might like to be part of their book club. I was so thrilled. I started going to this book club and it is just wonderful. It meets like clockwork every third Thursday of the month. We meet either at the local pub, which overlooks a beautiful river and this gorgeous historic bridge, or we meet at a member’s house. It’s kind of an ambitious book club because they read two a month, a fiction and a nonfiction. But it’s great because people just do what they can. My book club has introduced me to Australian authors and stories that I never would have known about. We also read a mix of literature from authors all around the world. I’ve gained so much cultural knowledge there, just references to events, politics, foods. I just treasure it. It’s just such a wonderful place to kind of process both this new place where I live and life in general with women who are sharp and kind and inclusive, and it’s just meant the world to me. I am going to be a regular there until I am kicked out, which I don’t think is going to happen, but they are just such a beautiful group of people and I’m deeply grateful. I submit that. Keep up your wonderful work, Tsh. Thanks, bye.

Diana: Hi Tsh. This is Diana Allen from Indianapolis, Indiana. One habit I’m loving right now is writing a done list in my daily planner. My daily planner has a lot of space for each day where I normally write appointments and things I need to do. But right now, during this year time, I’m finding it really helpful to write done lists. The way this works is the morning after, so today I wrote for yesterday, I’ll just write a quick couple of sentences or lists describing what I did the day before. Let me read you one. Shopping at Aldi 2:45 was quiet and easy. Best parts of the day were Netflix party, New Girl with my sisters, and starting my embroidery project, one sour down. I also noted that the weather was great and chilly. That my sourdough starter was on day six and that I stayed up too late and had trouble falling asleep. These little done lists helped me see that even though these days are different, they’re still meaningful.

Elise: Hey Tsh. My name is Elise and I’m calling from Watkinsville, Georgia. It’s a tiny little town east of Atlanta. I just wanted to call and talk about two things. One is a habit and one is a work of art. The habit during this quarantine time has been reading. I’ve always been a big reader, but I think I’ve read eight or nine books so far during this social distancing and that’s with three little ones at the house and also being nine months pregnant. It’s just been a really great distraction. I don’t think it’s super unique. I’ve heard lots of people say that they are doing that right now, but what I really wanted to specifically say, and thank you for is the work of art, which is I finally have had a chance to read At Home in the World, your travel memoir. I have just absolutely loved it. I finished it this morning. It was escapist and beautiful and poetic and it really resonated with me. You’ve got three kids, young kids in the book and I’ve got three young kids at home right now and we would love to travel some with them. It was just such a wonderful book. I just thank you for putting that art out in the world and allowing us to enjoy it. Thanks. I hope you’re doing well.

Carrie: Hi Tsh. This is Carrie I’m calling from Annapolis, Maryland. One thing that is making my good list lately is coloring with my kids. It doesn’t matter if it’s a coloring book, if it’s markers, if it’s colored pencils, or if it’s crayons. Maybe it’s printed coloring pages from a computer, or even a coloring app on a smartphone or a tablet. The face down, but togetherness and coloring strokes have been lifesaving, stress free event in these last few days. Take care, be well, bye.

Caller: There are two things that my family has been doing to help us stay sane while we follow our states stay home stay safe directive. One of those is Sparkle Stories. We’ve been Sparkle Story listeners for years. However David at Sparkle Stories has been hosting live Sparkle Stories on Zoom every evening, followed by a parent chat. Those have been really great way to doing a bit of normalcy but there’s also just something about a live story that’s been particularly common during this time and nice to have the parent chat afterwards. The second thing that we’ve been doing is binge to watching the Great British Baking Show. It’s been on our to-watch list for some time now, and it’s been a lot of fun in a fun way to take your mind off of everything that’s going on. Those are the two things that we’ve been doing that has been a lot of fun. Thanks, bye.

Laura: Hi Tsh. This is Laura Fincher. I live in Frankfort, Kentucky. My good list idea is a habit. I just moved to Frankfort this past summer with my husband and my daughter, who’s now nine months and I was needing to make friends. I decided to get into running is a new habit. I’ve run before, but kind of been out of the habit for about five years and I needed to find something I could do that was social that I could do with my daughter with a stroller. I ran twice a week. I run once with a running club that meets at a brewery. My husband and I both go and we bring our daughter in a stroller. That’s been a great way to meet other families and other moms [inaudible]. I also met another two moms that I’ve run with once a week and we park downtown and [inaudible] our babies and run and chat. It’s been a great way to get exercise and make new friends and do something that I can bring my baby along with. Thanks so much. Bye.

Lauren: Hi Tsh. My name is Lauren. I’m calling from Alabama and recently I found myself at home, homeschooling my first grader and my fourth grader, as well as doing my own work from home as a university instructor. I’ve also found myself in the middle of the house purchase process and preparing to move. Something that I am doing to say sane is setting the alarm on my phone for every two hours to check in with myself from the hours of 8:00 AM until 10:00 PM. I set my alarm for every two hours and when it goes off, I’ll check in with myself and ask how my attitude is, how’s my stress level. Sometimes I’ll sit quietly for about 30 seconds. I’ll check to see if my shoulders are relaxed or if they’re raised up near my ears. Sometimes I’ll read something inspirational. I’ll listen to a worship song or read a few paragraphs from the book that I’m currently reading called Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World. That’s just a little something I’m doing to stay sane during this unusual time. Thanks for your interest. Bye.

Julie: Hi Tsh. This is Julie calling from Okinawa, Japan, and I have a habit that I’d love to share. My life is normally pretty full. I teach full time. My husband is a pastor. We have two kids and so yeah, life can be pretty full, but recently on Sunday mornings, I’ve started a new habit that just helps me look forward to the morning in a way that I didn’t. I have pretty good rhythms throughout the week of waking up on time, doing yoga, journaling, prayer, things like that, but because of life’s full schedule, it’s not always a lot of time. And since my husband is a pastor, he leaves very early on Sunday mornings and I very honestly used to be pretty bitter about that because it’s one day I can relax in the morning and he’s not there. But in the last few months, God has helped me see the time in a different way and I make myself get up the same time I normally do on workdays, which is really hard, but it’s so worth it. I get up early. I do yoga before my boys wake up and then I have like at least two or three hours just to myself. My boys are old enough to be pretty independent in the morning, so they don’t need me a lot. I can take a long shower. I can read. I read a lot, but during the week it’s normally fiction and so Sunday mornings are when I’m able to really dig into a good nonfiction read that I have. I spend a longer time in prayer and Bible reading and journaling. By building this habit, I actually look forward to my time on Sunday mornings before the day starts and even setting my alarm for the same time. That’s a habit that has definitely been on my good list recently. Thanks for all you do. Bye.

Tsh: I just loved so many of the things y’all mentioned. Thanks to all you great listeners for sharing with the rest of us what’s on your good lists. If you’d like to call and leave a voicemail to share something with the community, call (401) 684-GOOD — it goes straight to voicemail so you don’t have to talk to anybody, just a sweet and simple recording with your name, where you’re calling from, and one thing, idea, habit, or work of art that’s making your life better. Again, that’s 401-684-4663, or you can just send me a voice file at I love hearing from you.

And another thing — I’m currently doing a listener survey and I’d love to learn more about you! Please head to to fill out the short, super-easy listener survey that’ll help me improve my work. And as a thank you, I’ll randomly draw one of your names and send you a box of some of my favorite things! Find the link in the show notes of this episode, or again, go to And thanks in advance.

My latest book, Shadow & Light: A Journey Into Advent, is officially out in the world, and you can find that at your favorite bookstore or in the links of the show notes of this episode, and also that you can subscribe to my weekly newsletter, 5 Quick Things, also using the link in the show notes.

Music for the show is by Kevin MacLeod, and thanks, as always, to Caroline TeSelle and Kyle Oxenreider for their help, as well as my furry intern, Ginny. I’m Tsh Oxenreider, and I’ll be back with you soon — thanks for listening to The Good List.