Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thankfulness Wrap-Up

To wrap up my "Month of Thanks", I think I will just list off a few things I've been thankful for the past two days, and then have some final thoughts.

(Why I felt the need to explain that, I have no clue.)

I am thankful for:

1) The fact that today is my parent's 39th wedding anniversary (Happy anniversary, Mom and Dad!).  I am so thankful for the blessing of their marriage.  I have come to a new appreciation for the commitment, selflessness, and work it takes to be married for any length of time.   I am very thankful for the example they have given not only my sisters and I, but also the next generation of our family.  It's a real gift, and I am thankful.

2) The Little man never letting me down when it comes to making me laugh.  Yesterday, after discussing the next big Kindergarten unit at school, Kindergarten Economics, he announced that his dream job when he got older was to be a Game Show Announcer. 

I have no clue.

Since he was dead serious, and after a few questions I discovered he also knew exactly what he was talking about,  I just tried to do my best to not burst out laughing.  I think there was also a moment when he actually suggested that, "Someday the guy who's on Wheel of Fortune might want to take a break".  The Hubs was also dead serious when he said, "I just hope that's something he grows out of.".  Which was also outrageously funny to me. 

Honey, if you are reading this, I think we're safe.

Oh, laughter, I am thankful for you!

3) The gorgeous weather I was able to soak up today, especially knowing that tomorrow will be a day full of snow and cold.

4) Having a great conversation with two of my sisters in the last two days.  I am so thankful that, as adults, we choose to be each others friends and support.

5) Running into a friend at the library.  Through catching up on each other, she spoke truth and life to me, and I to her.  Each one of us unknowingly.  I am so thankful for the Holy Spirit and the way he leads, councils, and encourages.

Lastly, and at the risk of sounding corny, I am so thankful for this "Month of Thankfulness".  I will confess that at the beginning of the month I thought I needed a little help with my attitude, and as a traditionalist, since I had done this before felt almost obliged to do it again.  However, through the month I have been convicted over and over again of my lack of thankfulness and gratitude.  I had let the sin of complaint, feeling sorry for myself, and over all joylessness creep into my heart and take up residence.  I have allowed myself to believe that it was OK to do these things because of circumstances that have surrounded our family for this past year.

Finding things to be thankful for each day has put me into a better position to draw nearer to my Lord.  I cannot believe some of the ways He has gently and loving spoken to my heart this past month, through my morning devotional, about my sin.  He has opened up my eyes not only to the problem in my heart, but also to the freedom only He can offer me.  The freedom of being joyful and thankful in any and all circumstances.  Thankful that my life is perfectly planned out by a loving Father with eternal perspective.  That each thing He chooses for me, He chooses out of love.  Thankful that I have a Father who does not compromise.  Even when that means I have a difficult road to travel at times.  These are things worthy of praise and thanksgiving.  I love the way Sarah Young's devotional Jesus Calling kind of wrapped up my month yesterday when she wrote (from the perspective of Jesus speaking to me):

"...However, I have taken you along a path that has highlighted your need for Me: placing you in situations where your strengths were irrelevant and your weaknesses were glaringly evident.  Through the aridity of those desert marches, I have drawn you closer and closer to Myself.  You have discovered flowers of Peace blossoming in the most desolate places.  You have learned to thank Me for hard times and difficult journeys, trusting that through them I accomplish My best work.  You have realized that needing Me is the key to knowing Me intimately, which is the gift above all gifts."

And that is how I would wrap up this month.  God is most certainly working on my heart in the area of thankfulness in all circumstances.  It's hard work.  Painful work at times.  But I know that He is faithful finish the work He has started (Phil. 1:6), that he will never leave me nor forsake me (Deut. 31:6), and that nothing will seperate me from His love (Rom 8:38).

I can be thankful for those things 365 days a year.

Monday, November 28, 2011


Today I am thankful for laughter.  I little comic relief.  Sometimes I take life a little too serious, and I miss out on the times when I can just laugh. 

Tonight, as we watched TV together, as a family, one of the people on the TV started speaking in Spanish.  At some point she said "Mi Amor".  The Girl quickly picked up on that and said, "Oh I know what she is talking about.  She's talking about love and kissing."  I responded with, "Oh really? How do you know?"

"Because, Mom, I heard her say 'amor' and that means love.  Remember, I take Spanish in school?"  She taught us the words for love and kiss. That's about the only useful thing I have gotten out of that class!" she came back with, very matter-of-fact like.

Laughter.  It's something to be thankful for.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Family and Time

Saturday, November 28th
Today I am thankful for my family.  I am thankful for each person separately as well as our whole family unit.  The Hubs works hard, and is probably the most generous person that I know.  The Girl is very compassionate and is such a great care taker.  She never has to be asked to help someone hurt or sick.  She just does.  Instinctively.  And The Little Man, he's an encourager in his core.  He also loves to give, just like his dad. 

Today, as we went shopping for The Girl's Christmas gift, I had to explain to him that Christmas lists are something we can use to get an idea of what people like.  They aren't a list of everything we need to buy for that person.  He just responded with, "But these are all the things she wants, and I want to make sure she gets all of them."

Love that.

As I met with some girls at dinner and we talked about family dynamics, marriage, and children, I couldn't help but notice how content I was with what God has given me.   He has blessed me abundantly in this area, and I feel as though my heart could burst with thankfulness.

I am thankful for the amount of time we have had off from school and schedules, and the amount of stuff that was accomplished in this time.  I think we need to have two-day-weeks more often.  I feel very rested and ready to start a new week.  I feel organized and ready to take on the tasks that lay before me.  I feel thankful for the time off, and thankful that I am not dreading going back. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Post Thanksgiving Hangover


I feel so "eh".

If that is even a word.

As I was out for a walk today, I realized that this was the first Thanksgiving in five years that I wasn't part of some sort of Turkey-Trot or did some sort of pre-feast damage control in the form of a long run.  With the bum hip this year, the run was a no-go.  Yesterday, I didn't really miss it at all.  It was quite wonderful to have a full day focused on my family and enjoying the day.  Today, I felt it.  Thankfully, I had time for a short walk, which really  helped.  I am also thankful to have something to look forward to on Monday: back to scheduled workouts. 

Tonight I am thankful for traditions.  It's Polar Express night in our house.  I love this family tradition that we have.  It is such a great way to kick off the Christmas season.  I am thankful for the consistency in it, and that the kids look forward to it as much as I do. 

(So, after searching for the link above I discovered that this is our SEVENTH year of this tradition! We started this tradition two years before I started this blog.  Time flies when you are having fun.)

It's time to snuggle into some warm jammies, get the hot cocoa going, and get ready for Christmas!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

At Least I Posted on Thanksgiving Day

So, my track record posting here each day is less than stellar.  I realize this.  However, I was bound and determined to be here on Thanksgiving day.  

Tuesday, November 22nd:
So thankful that today is the last day of the school week.  I don't know about the kids, but I am so looking forward to having some time off of school.  Some time not to pack lunches, not to wake up early, and NO HOMEWORK!  I am also looking forward to spending some time with them at home.

With me. 

I love and am thankful for that part the most. 

I am also thankful for the walk that The Hubs and I got to take together today.  It was so nice to be able to re-connect in the middle of the day.  I am thankful for his job that allows him to work from home, which allows for spontaneous walks.  I think that Gracie (the dog) was thankful too!

Wednesday, November 23:
I am so thankful for the time I got to spend with the kids today. Before I got out of bed, I had some wonderful prayer time.  I asked the Lord to help me to be especially intentional with them today.  Without His help, I can sometimes lean more towards the "go find something to do with your sister/brother, while I find interesting things on the computer" method.  Yup, I can be a pretty stellar mom sometimes.  But I really wanted something different for today.  And I loved how our day turned out.

We started off by planning some fun Christmas activities, since, you know, December starts next week.  Then we watched a couple of cartoons together (I cleaned up breakfast as well).  After that, we went on a walk together (the kids rode their scooters while I walked).  I loved watching them have so much fun riding around, racing each other, trying new tricks.  The sky was super blue, and I had the perfect praise music the whole walk.  It really was a wonderful 35 minutes.  Even the dog did pretty well on her leash, and I didn't have to clean up after her once.  That's huge!  Later, we went to lunch together, and ate out on the patio.  The weather was stellar, and the kids and I were able to have some great conversation.  I am so thankful that we are in a stage of conversation.  I love hearing what's on their minds and hearts.  Next, we did a little Christmas ornament shopping.  We were bummed to find out that we were not going to find the types of ornaments we were looking for in the stores, and would have to go online instead.  It's just not as fun online.  However, when we got home, we decided that something a little more personal would be better.  So, using our Halloween pics, we made our own ornaments through a photo site.  I'm excited to see how they turn out.  Then, we wrapped up the day enjoying some Survivor together.   I am just so thankful for the time we got to spend together. It was just what my mommy heart needed. 

Today, I am thankful for my family.  We were so blessed to have both sets of parents, as well as an uncle of mine, over to our home today.  The house was full, but not overwhelming, the food was good, and the conversation nice.  Everything seemed to be low-key.  I got to try my hand at making my first pumpkin pie, and I was pretty impressed, if I do say so myself. 

Our parents are so important to us, especially in this past year.  It was nice to have them around the table, and to give thanks together.  We did not have had the best set of circumstances this year, so it was nice to have those who understand the weight of it all, and who could appreciate the gratitude that we have in our hearts. 

I loved and was thankful for my devotional today (Jesus Calling by Sarah Young) which reminded me of the importance of thankfulness:

"Thankfulness takes the sting out of adversity.  That is why I have instructed you to give thanks for everything.  There is an element of mystery in this transaction.  You give me thanks (regardless of your feelings), and I give you joy (regardless of your circumstances)."

It goes on to say, "Thankfulness opens your heart to My Presence and your mind to My thoughts. You may still be in the same place, with the same set of circumstances, but it is as if a light has been switched on, enabling you to see from My perspective.  It is this Light of My Presence that removes the sting from adversity."

What a great reminder on this day of thankfulness. 

Lord, help me to see all the things that you have placed in my day that are worthy of gratitude.  Thank you for loving me so much that you have gone before me and placed little treasures for me to find.  Open my eyes to your gifts.  Help my heart to trust you in all circumstances, giving thanks to you for your promises, which I can hold onto with assurance, despite the adversity that life brings.  Amen.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thankful to Blame it on Him

November 20
So....I have this really great husband.  Most of the time he is a couple of steps ahead of me in whatever is going on.  Many times that means he is closing down shop for the night, in our house, before I can get to the computer to do my "Thankful Post".   What I am trying to do here is tell you why it is nearly impossible for me to get to this blog more that two days in a row.

He's my excuse. 

He's what I am thankful for. 

Even though he has been incredibly ill this entire year, he never stops.  He is always doing his best.  He is super generous,  and is always giving more than he takes.

After this past year, I am more thankful than ever to have him here with us each day.

Today, I am thankful for my husband.

I saw this on Facebook (sometimes there are some good things on that site!).  It reminded me of why I wanted to do "A Month of Thanks" again this year.  I think sometimes we just get too wrapped up in ourselves, and we forget just how blessed we are. 

I am thankful.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

He Is Always at Work

Friday, November 18th
I had the opportunity tonight to share the "highlights" of 2011 with a group from our church.  It's no secret that 2011 hasn't been kind to us.  This year has brought a lot of pain, sadness, and circumstances that I do not want to remember, re-live, or "highlight".  When I shared this with the group, who all know what this year has brought to our family, The Hubs said, "Oh, come on, Hon!  Surely, there is something good.  Right?"  And you know what?  He is right.  With the yuck this year has come tremendous amount of growth.  Growth personally, growth in my marriage, growth for us as a family.  We have learned so much this year about who we are, what is important, and how much we need and love God.

I don't want to do 2011 again, but I am thankful for what was learned and how I/we have grown.  I wouldn't trade that in for any amount of gold, and I am thankful for the change in my perspective.

I am thankful for the opportunity that has been given to me to share God's love with the girls in a detention center in my area.  I am thankful that He is moving and working in that dark place.  I am thankful that there are no places off limits to Him.  He sees all, He loves all, and He is waiting patiently for them.  I am so thankful for the privilege of being apart of what He is doing in that place.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Thankful for time with a friend.  Nothing better than some good laughs and a few tears, to be heard, and to be understood. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Still Playing Catch-Up

GAH!  I'm not sure how so many days have gone by without me posting.  I will say each night that I have gone to bed without doing a "thankful post", I have been awakened right as I was falling asleep remembering that I had forgotten to do my post.  Let's hope that by getting all caught up today, that I will get in a wonderfully full night's sleep tonight...A girl can hope.

Sunday, November 13th:
Church, a nap ( Hello!  That's praise worthy all by itself.), flowers from my men, and the kids playing themselves silly OUTDOORS.  It was a blissful day.

Monday, November 14th:
My sister's birthday (so thankful for family!), a little substitute teaching (thankful for provision and joy in my work), some much needed girl time (SO, SO thankful for friends who encourage, listen, laugh, and challenge (in an iron sharpening iron sort of way), and last but certainly not least, OK, it's probably one of the biggest thanks I have had in months, my cousin asking Christ into her heart.  I had the absolute honor of praying with her for her salvation.  It was so awesome, humbling, wonderful, and joy-filled.  Really, there are no words to totally describe it.  I am so thankful that I will get to see her in Heaven one day, and we can now be called "Sisters" in Christ.  What a blessing!  He is the Author and Perfecter, and WOW he totally showed off!

Tuesday, November 15th:
I am so thankful for my health.  And for what amounts to a large zit.


I had a doctor's appointment for a very suspicious spot that sort of came up out of nowhere.  It was funky in color and had a hard cyst-like thing underneath it.  Having had skin-cancer recently, I knew I shouldn't fool around.  However, I got a little nervous about what they were going to say, and then I got a little busy, and then I had a big bout of denial I was trying to deal with.  Well, finally, I got up enough nerve to just go to the doctor.  The Hubs was so comforting through the whole ordeal.  I mean each and every time he would look at me he would remind me, "Oh Honey!  That is cancer on your face.  You better get to the doctor right away."  or "Whoa!  That is looking so horrible.  I'm serious, Hon.  You should get to the doctor.  It has to be cancer."

So, basically I was full of peace and surrounded by encouragement and comfort.

Anywho, it turned out to be a cyst, which the doctor is pretty confident is NOT cancerous.  The way she described it made me ask her, "So, basically what you are saying is you think I have a ginormous zit on my cheek that is buried so deep that I'll never get the chance to pop it?"  To say she was impressed with my tact and vast medical understanding is a total understatement.

I walked out of the office so super thankful for my ginormous zit.  But mostly, I am so thankful for my health.  I do not want to make light of the fact that some people yesterday were not blessed by the news I received, but instead heard other news. 

So thankful, again, for provision.  Today, while walking back to my small group for Bible study, the line for the food pantry at the church was so long.  I couldn't help but notice all the faces.  These are real people.  They have real needs.  And there were many.  I am so thankful for food pantries, for those who share their abundant blessings, and a chance to be reminded to look out of my own small world.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Doubling Up...Again!

November 11
Today, I am thankful for the gorgeous weather we have been blessed with this far into fall.  It has allowed me to enjoy walks either in the morning or afternoon.  While I miss running (I've been sidelined for about a month now due to a nagging injury that happened back in March), I'm enjoying being able to share these walks with both the dog and The Little Man.  Most of the time The Little Man brings his scooter along and zooms way out in front of me, driving the dog crazy since she insists on being "lead dog".  Today, however, The Little Man decided he wanted to challenge himself and run the whole way.  I am happy to report: He did great! 

He did not run the entire distance, choosing to stop and walk a couple of times, but once he caught his breath he was back at it again.  Towards the end of the route, he was needing some encouragement.  So I started challenging him to make it all the way to a chosen landmark without stopping.  As he arrived to each chosen spot, he would look back at me with a huge smile on his face and wait for me to give him a thumbs-up.  Then we would choose a new spot and start again.  The last leg of the walk was the longest.  As I watched him run off into the distance I could see that several times he was struggling.  He kept grabbing at his side and his steps would slow.  Just when I thought he would stop, he would pick up his pace again.  As I came around the corner to see him waiting for me at our chosen landmark, he looked at me with the biggest smile on his face.  I hollered out, "Did you make it?"  His thumbs went up. 

As I got closer, he told me, "Mom, I can't believe I did it!  I kept wanting to stop, but I just wouldn't let myself.  Then when I got here, I almost started crying I was so happy.  I did it, Mom!  I did it!  I just can't believe it!"

I love it when my kids realize they are capable.  When they try and try and then achieve.

I am thankful I got to see this achievement by The Little Man.

On a not-so-tender note, I am also thankful for Harry Potter 7 part 2, which came out on DVD today.  I loved it just as much at home as I did in theaters. 

Today, I am thankful for an early photo shoot which freed up the rest of my Saturday to do nothing.  Well, I did go grocery shopping.  Other than that, there were just some small house chores and a Harry Potter marathon.  I am also thankful because, after today, I officially have a couple week break from photography.  After a busy, "busy season", I am looking forward to catching my breath.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Two Days of Thankfulness

November 9,
Thankful for:
  • A refreshing walk in the crisp autumn air with good music.  
  • An easy pre-made dinner.  I just warmed it up and we ate.  (So thankful for those snow days we've had in the last few weeks which bought me the time to make quite a few meals ahead of time for the freezer!)
  • A dog groomer who let us sneak in an emergency bath after Grace rolled in something I don't want to talk about.
  • Survivor.  Our family loves that show.
  • Time all by myself yesterday afternoon.  Since The Hubs works from home (which I am also VERY grateful for) it's a rare occasion that I get the whole house to myself.  It was nice.
  • My first day, in MANY years, back in the classroom.  I had my first sub job today at the kids' school, and it went great!  
  • Two kids with two great report cards.
  • Red Robin.  The place we celebrated the great grades, and where I found reprieve from making dinner.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Picture Does No Justice

After picking up The Girl from drama club, I got to see this beauty on the way home. 

I know you can't tell from my stellar iPhone photography (that I waited until I was at a stop light before I took thankyouverymuch), but the sun was actually pink.

Not the clouds around the sunset, but the actual sun.



Of all the different ways God could create the world we live in to look like, He chooses beauty.


Monday, November 7, 2011

Not For The Faint of Heart

I'm not too easily scared by animals or insects.  It's not like I enjoyed it when I went into my garden four summers ago and found it infested with six or seven large garter snakes.  And yes, I get a little jumpy if there is a rodent in the vicinity.  Also, if a bee or spider is in the area, I'll leave the area quickly, or quickly stomp or swat the little bugger.   But, you won't usually find me squealing, jumping up and down frantically (well, sometimes a mouse will get me in a small tizzy if I'm caught off guard), or avoiding activities/events because I have a fear of an animal or insect.  (Mostly because I try to channel all of the fear I can possibly have in life towards something else...which I will not mention because I can't without sweating.)

However, today, as I was reaching into a corner to put away some of my photography equipment, I saw this:


That is a Black Widow. 


A poisonous spider in a living area in my home. 

There she is hanging out near the carpet along one of the baseboards.


I was a little freaked.

Actually, I wasn't too freaked in the moment, even though I did have The Hubs come and kill her.  But that was mostly because I wanted confirmation of what I was looking at.

No, actually after she was dead, that's when I really got scared.  That's when I started running through all the "what-if" scenarios. 

What if I would have reached down without seeing her there?  What if she would have climbed into my camera bag and then I reached in later?  What if she would have not crawled to that corner in the wall, but instead over to the pair of shoes that The Little man left out just a few feet away? 

Then my mind went to thinking about where in the world she came from.  As I looked around the room at all my studio equipment and props that I had gotten out just a few days ago for a session over the weekend, I realize that I knew exactly where that spider came from.  She came from my equipment or props which I haven't pulled out from storage in about six months, since all my sessions have been outdoors.  Then my pulse quickened again as I realize that the poisonous spider that The Hubs just killed could have just as easily bitten one of my clients (one of whom was only seven weeks old) who were using all that equipment and props.

Today, I am thankful for God's protection.  So many bad scenarios could have happened, but they didn't.  Recently I've been praying back, and meditating on, Psalm 91 over my family.  Here are verses 3-6, 9-14.

"3 Surely he will save you
   from the fowler’s snare
   and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
   and under his wings you will find refuge;
   his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
   nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
   nor the plague that destroys at midday..."

"... 9 If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,”
   and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
   no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
   to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
   so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
   you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

 14 “Because he[b] loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him;
   I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name."

Thank you, Lord, for your protection over my family as well as the people I invited into our home.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Weekend Catch-Up

Yesterday (and every day since I bought this devotional), I was super thankful for one of my morning devotionals, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.  Yesterday she had this reminder from Philippians 4:12, Genesis 28:15, Philippians 4:19, and Romans 8:38-39.  The way that this devotional is written is from God's perspective to us, His children.  Each morning, I am so touched by what is in this devotional.  It always seems to hit a soft spot in my heart.  Yesterday morning was no different.  Not only did it hit a soft spot, but it was also encouraging, as well as a wee bit (OK, may be a LOT) convicting.  She writes:  "People tend to think their circumstances determine the quality of their lives.  So they pour their energy in to trying to control those situations. They feel happy when things are going well, and sad or frustrated when things don't turn out as they'd hoped.  They rarely question this correlation between their circumstances and feelings.  Yet it is possible to be content in any and every situation...Don't let your well-being depend on your circumstances.  Instead, connect your joy to My precious promises: I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go.  I will meet all your needs according to My glorious riches.  Nothing in all creation will be able to separate you from My Love."

I was even more thankful that The Lord gave me an opportunity, not too much later in the morning, to encourage and love on someone else with these exact words.   I love it when He does that!

Today, I am so thankful for our church.  Sunday is my most favorite day of the week.  Nothing can be sweeter than having a full day devoted to worship, praise, and spiritual cleansing, especially when it is done with other believers.   I am fully aware that not all people have the opportunity to worship with others freely, as I do each Sunday.   It's such a gift, and I am thankful.

Friday, November 4, 2011

I Heart Teacher In-Service Days

Thankful today for the kids having a day off of school.  I rolled over, looked at the clock, and it was 8 am.

That may not sound too terribly late to you, but normally on a school day, I'm up at six.

An extra day to catch up felt wonderful.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Looking in the Right Direction

1.  So thankful, today, for the warm sunshine to return.  After a snow day, like yesterday, it's always good to see the sun again.

2.  On Thursdays, I have been volunteering in The Little Man's classroom teaching some of the higher level math kids in a small group.  After having a few lessons fall a bit short, I was so thankful today for a smooth flowing lesson, where all the kids participated, and where no one was left behind.  I am really enjoying doing some teaching again, and am amazed at the change in my heart towards this.  Since having children of my own, I was certain I would never return to the classroom again.  Teaching and raising my own kids at the same time sounded like a nightmare.  In the last few months, God has really changed the way I feel about this.  It's actually been an answer to prayer.  Even though the answer looks so much different than what I expected, I can see how He is answering. 

3.  On the same note, I am thankful for the opportunity given to me today to come back and do some substitute teaching next week.  I am excited to get back into the classroom, and also nervous to find out how rusty I really am.

4.  I am thankful for this blog post that I stumbled upon while on Pintrest today.  Each year I try to find something to prepare our hearts for the holiday season, and I think this is it.  I know she did her 35 random acts of kindness to celebrate her 35th birthday, but I think I may adapt this for advent this year.  I have been thinking all day of all sorts of different ways we can serve and show the love of Christ to others in our own community.  While I do have some ideas of my own, I am totally going to steal many of hers.  I can't wait!

All in all it was a great day.  I felt like I was continually looking for that "thing" to be thankful for.  So much better than finding something to be crabby about!  The Lord gave me this great reminder before I started my day today:

"Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful." -Col 4:2 NIV

I also loved the way The Message translated the same verse:

"Pray diligently. Stay alert, with your eyes wide open in gratitude."

A good reminder that I must be devoted/diligent to being thankful.  My eyes need to be "wide open".

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


So, remember last year when each day (or as close to each day as I could get) of November I posted about something I was thankful for?  Well, I wanted to do that again.  In fact, I had every intention of doing that again.  Except, it's only the second day in November, and I'm already behind.  I fear that this might be some horrible foretaste of what's to come.

However, while I thought about it today, I decided I wasn't going to let getting off on the wrong foot stop me from doing something I really wanted to do.  Plus, it's my blog.  So, you know, I totally make up the rules, and there is no one to contest them.  Score. 

I think the best way for me to keep up with this is to keep things very simple.  Maybe some days just a few words, on others lists, and maybe a real post here and there.  This is what I am going to tell myself so that I won't feel too overwhelmed, at least.  I think this exercise is important for me because I am feeling as though I really need to work on my perspective in life.  It's pretty easy, in this world, to see all the bad things around us.  People's negative attitudes, listening to others tear one another down, focusing on what's fair and what's not, etc.  But none of that breathes life.  None of that builds each other up.  None of that encourages, loves, or helps.  It doesn't help us see others, but keeps us continually focused on ourselves.  Which in turn breeds a negative attitude, keeps us focused on what's fair and what's not, etc. It's a vicious cycle.  Unfortunately, I can get sucked in pretty easily.  Thus, I really need to set up a focused time in which I concentrate on gratitude, thanksgiving, and praise.  It might sound silly, but in the few times that I have done this, it has done wonders.

So, here's to a Month of Thanksgiving 2011:

November 1:
So thankful for the beautiful weather that we had.  The weather reports told us that there was a blizzard waiting for us later that evening, but you would never have known.  So beautiful and calm.  I am thankful that I got to spend some time outdoors soaking it up before the storm.

November 2:
It was a snow day today!  I am so thankful for unplanned time off.  It's such a wonderful gift to be given a free day when you are totally not expecting it.  This lavish gift of time was not wasted today.  I never felt rushed and enjoyed living in each moment. 

I am also thankful for the abundant provision of a home, warm clothing, and food.  On a day like today, when it is horribly cold, snowy, and windy, I am reminded that not everyone has these things.  We have been blessed beyond measure to have what we do.

Lord, help me to be a good steward of the abundant blessings you have given to me.  Help me to see needs and be as generous as possible, knowing that when I "serve the least of these", I am really serving you.  Amen.