Monday, November 30, 2015

30 Days of Thanks 2015: Day 30

This month has flown by! It has had lots of ups and downs. Great moments and not-so-great ones. 

I'm always reminded at the end of the month how important it is to give thanks every day.  We have been given so many blessings.  Life and breath itself is a gift.  Every moment, every situation, even difficulties are opportunities for us to look past our circumstances and find thanksgiving.  Acknowledging that everything we have comes from God is something we often forget. 
I challenge you not to end your daily thanksgiving just because it's November 30th.  Spend the rest of 2015 giving God the praise and thanks that He deserves.  

This year, our family tried to record our thanks every day of the year.  We've missed some days and sometimes even a week of recording, but it's such an eye-opening experience to express our gratitude to God.   

Continue to give thanks in prayer to God for who He is and what He means to you.  Draw close to Him through praise and thanksgiving!  

Thank you for joining me the last 30 days!

Be thankful in all circumstances, 
for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18

Sunday, November 29, 2015

30 Days of Thanks: Day 29

Today I give thanks for the season of Advent.  Jesus came as Messiah over 2000 years ago, but He's coming again one day.  The first Sunday of Advent, we are reminded of the hope that we have in Christ.  The hope of His return!  The hope of eternity with Him!

I give thanks for time spent together as a family working on a symbolic mosaic that will serve as a reminder to us during Advent.  I'm thankful that we can work together peacefully and that our home is a safe place. 

"And having heard the king, they went their way; and lo, the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them, until it came and stood over where the Child was. And when they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy." 

Matthew 2: 9-10

Saturday, November 28, 2015

30 Days of Thanks 2015: Day 28

Today I continue to give thanks:

  • for time spent with family

  • unseasonably warm weather
  • that I'm almost finished with my Christmas shopping
  • for my crockpot that lets me feed my family and visitors wonderful food with less work
  • sunshine and rain
  • God's comfort in our times of grief
  • love
  • continued mercy and forgiveness

Friday, November 27, 2015

30 Days of Thanks 2015: Day 27

It's the day after Thanksgiving and I'm still giving thanks!

Today is one of my favorite days of the year.  Decorating for Christmas!  All the memories and ornaments remind me of how God has been with us throughout the years of our lives.  I hang the ornaments that are over 70 years old and think of my grandparents.  I look at the ornaments that our moms sent us our first Christmas on our own.  I see the ornaments with 2 figures, then 3 figures when Tera was born.  Two years later, we moved up to 4 figures.  2009 marked the last addition to our family and our 5 figure ornaments began.  

We hang up Michael's "Answered Prayers" angel ornament and remember how God spared his life.  We hang up the ornaments made for us by others that were a part of our lives at that moment in time.  So many people, so many memories.  I give thanks for God's goodness and faithfulness! 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

30 Days of Thanks 2015: Day 26

It's Thanksgiving Day! Today and everyday I give thanks to God for all His many blessings in my life. My family, friends, comforts and freedoms.

I particularly give thanks that my grandmother is doing better.  She is on antibiotics, and all the tests came back fine.

I give thanks that I get to see these smiling faces every day! 

I give thanks for the abundance of food on our table and this wonderful dessert!

I give thanks that we enjoy being together!

I give thanks for God's comforting presence in our lives.

I give thanks for forgiveness, mercy and grace!

I give thanks!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

30 Days of Thanks 2015: Day 25

Today I give thanks to God:

  • that my grandmother's symptoms were the result of an infection rather than another stroke. She is still in the hospital, but I'm thankful things weren't as bad as we originally thought. 
  • that my kids didn't realize today was the last day of school until the holidays are over and rejoiced when they found out.
  • for fun times spent together (Our second annual Charlie Brown Thanksgiving lunch)

  • for our new fridge (With Thanksgiving tomorrow, I'm reminded how much I'm thankful for the blessing of getting our fridge replaced.)
  • for medicine that makes you feel better.
  • for four whole days together as a family without any outside obligations.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

30 Days of Thanks 2015: Days 23 and 24

Thanksgiving Day preparation have begun. Company is coming this weekend. Dress rehearsal for Tera's choir last night and concert tonight. Telemarketers calling me ALL day. Piles of laundry to put away. The frames I bought didn't work for gifts I needed this weekend. Losing my patience with my children. Back pain. 

There are those days when you struggle to get past the craziness and see the blessedness.  But counting  your blessings does not depend upon how you FEEL about your circumstances.  You can still give thanks to God for His many blessings in your life, even though life isn't going the way you'd prefer.  

So, here goes:  

I thank the Lord for piles of means we have clothes to wear, a washer and dryer that works and uniform shirts mean my husband has a good job.

I thank the Lord for a working phone that lets me call for help when needed and stay in touch with the ones I love.  It lets me do business over the phone saving gas before driving somewhere.

I thank the Lord that even though the frames didn't work, I can still use those for a different project.

I thank the Lord for His forgiveness when I mess up things and even if I lose my patience with my kids.

I thank the Lord that even though I have back pain today, I have medicine available and stretches that always help.

I thank the Lord that my daughter loves music and being part of a choir.  

I thank the Lord that my Thanksgiving Day meal shopping is done and the crowds have been light.

I thank the Lord for loving families and a nice guest room for them to stay.  

And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus,  
giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
Colossians 3:17

Sunday, November 22, 2015

30 Days of Thanks: Day 22

I give thanks for times of worship, fellowship and Bible study with other believers. 

I give thanks that my children take their faith seriously and are active contributors to our discussion of the Bible. 

I give thanks for a house that needs cleaning. 

I give thanks for family willing to help me with chores. 

I give thanks that all are appliances work. 

I am thankful that things we no longer need can be given to others and that we are able to pass along the blessings. 

I am thankful to live in a free country that allows me to worship God freely. 

I am thankful for the ability to read. 

I am thankful for a specific answer to prayer. 

I am thankful for the power of Scripture to pierce our hearts and souls!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

30 Days of Thanks: Day 21

Today, I give thanks to God for:

  • a fun night with friends
  • an early Thanksgiving dinner potluck with our girl's game night group. I ate way too much!
  • a husband that I can work alongside to get a job done
  • days spent cleaning at home
  • kids' laughters
  • Michael's toothless grin

  • a daughter that loves to cook and bake
  • sons that love to eat whatever she makes
  • more blessings that I could ever list!

Friday, November 20, 2015

30 Days of Thanks 2015: Day 20

Today, I give thanks to God for the things around me that I can hear:

Thank You for the sound of running water which means we can take showers, flush toilets, wash our hands and dishes.  Thank You for clean drinking water.

Thank You for the chatter of children talking nicely to each other. 

Thank You for the sound of Mazey barking.  He is such a good dog and never barks incessantly, but only when he hears something or someone is near the house.

Thank You for the sound of your Word being read.

Thank You for the humming of our new refrigerator.

Thank You for engine sounds on a car that runs and gets us where we need to go.

Thank You for conversation with family and friends.

Thank You for songs that speak to our hearts.

Thank You, Lord for giving us ears to hear and help us to tune our spiritual ears to hear what You want to tell us. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

30 Days of Thanks: Day 19

Today I give thanks to God: 

  • for answered prayers
  • for praying friends
  • that my refrigerator reimbursement came today 
  • AND that they had one delivery spot open for TOMORROW---I am giddy!
  • that no matter what anyone says about us, we can still be at peace if we know the truth.
  • that God is a God of peace
  • that this life is not the end--eternity with Him awaits those who believe in Him.
  • for the last few beautiful trees of fall
  • that I could wear shorts one more time before it's too cold
  • for safety
  • for God's comfort and presence in our daily lives

 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. 
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
John 14:27 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

30 Days of Thanks 2015: Day 18

I give thanks that I have a bed to rest my weary body. 
I give thanks for days spent at home. 
For a dry home in the midst of rain. 
For food on the table. 

I give thanks for clarity of mind.
I give thanks for the moments when learning just clicks.
For good books.
For good music.

I give thanks for a car that runs.
I give thanks for encouraging words.
For keeping up with friends on Facebook.
For organ donors that give life to others.

I give thanks for peanuts and candy corn.
I give thanks for all the hard situations that make us more like HIM!
For clean water.
For a partner to share the load of life.

Be thankful in all circumstances, 
for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

30 Days of Thanks: Day 17

Today I thank God for: 

Kids that love art...

Tera's Snoopy drawings (not traced)

Michael's drawings

Kids that love to cook....

Kids that love to do nice things for others...

Kids that still enjoy "G" rated movies and hanging out with their parents...

With all the sadness in the world right now, we had a nice evening of laughter and fun together and for that I give thanks!

Monday, November 16, 2015

30 Days of Thanks: Day 15 and 16

We traveled to Alabama on Saturday and Sunday for the 80th birthday party of my childhood pastor, Bro. Jerry. It was a surprise party/gospel singing. I sang, I cried, I got lots of hugs.  I'm thankful for their impact on my life! 

 Bro. Jerry and Mrs. Dean

We got to spend time with Granny and Papa Fred!  Even got to see my brother and his family if only for a bit!  I'm thankful for time spent with family.

We love swimming, but this is the time of year that things are starting to wind down for the holidays.  I'm thankful for our teachers, but also for a break.   Today was fun day, which is always the most anticipated day of swim lessons.

I'm thankful for beautiful Alabama sunsets!

I'm thankful that "wherever we go, that's where the party's at..."

I'm thankful for safe travels and to be at home in my own bed! 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

30 Days of Thanks: Day 14

I give thanks to God for music!

I'm thankful that God gives us beautiful things to enjoy!  That He gives us a unique way to give Him praise and worship!  That He speaks to our hearts through music!

Here are some that speak to my heart: 

Friday, November 13, 2015

30 Days of Thanks: Day 13

Today, I give thanks to God for:

  • freedom from fear

  • my three children that are truly blessings to me and for their unconditional love

  • my husband that knows what I'm thinking before I can say it, that keeps me grounded, that loves me and prays for me and works hard for his family

  • my extended family--my mom, step-dad,  brothers, sister-in-law, niece and nephew, my aunts, my grandma, uncles and cousins and all my in-laws.  They've known me longer than anyone else and still love me!

  • my friends that encourage me, pray for me and are just awesome people to hang with!

  • good neighbors

  • living in a small town

  • electricity and new-fangled electronic gizmos that keep me in touch with those I love.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
James 1:17

Thursday, November 12, 2015

30 Days of Thanks: Day 12

Today, I give thanks:

  • for grace when I don't deserve it
  • that I can exercise and take care of my body
  • that God is in control, even when situations are out of our control
  • crockpot dinners
  • for the wind that blew all those leaves waiting to be raked somewhere else
  • that God is bigger than the boogie-man

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

30 Days of Thanks: Day 11

Today, I give thanks to God for:

  • our veterans that have served and are serving our country defending our freedoms

  • getting things done that usually get put off until after Thanksgiving

  • being able to teach my kids to serve others

  • medicine when we need it

  • another day of living

  • my Kindle

  • the privilege of homechooling

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
1 Thessalonians 5:18

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

30 Days of Thanks: Day 10

Today, I give thanks to God for His Word given to us.

All through my life, the Scripture has spoken to my heart and changed my life in so many ways. As a teenager when I was having a hard time, my pastor's wife wrote out this scripture on an index card that I probably still have somewhere:
"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10
When I got the news that my brother had been killed, I grabbed my Bible and read two scriptures in Psalms over and over again: Psalm 34 and 46
"I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears. In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened; he saved me from all my troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Selected verses from Psalm 34
As we were driving in the dark through the night, this scripture felt like it was written specifically for me!

"God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
    and the mountains quake with their surging.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day."
Psalm 46:1-5

There are other scriptures I continually return to in hard times:
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior"
Isaiah 43:1b-3a

"He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber. Psalm 121:3
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:17
I'm thankful for a God who speaks into my life on a daily basis through His Word!
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us,
and we saw His glory,
glory as of the only begotten from the Father,
 full of grace and truth. 
John 1:14

Monday, November 9, 2015

30 Days of Thanks: Day 9

Today I give thanks for all the teachers in my children's life:

  • At karate, Mr. Shane, Ms. Christy, Mr. Nick and Mr. Wyatt that are teaching my son respect, discipline, and physical skills that I do not possess.  

  • At chess, Mr. Tom, Dale, Russ and Mack that have coached, encouraged and taught my kids how to excel at more than just a game. 

  • Mrs. Veal that pushes Daniel to do his best at flute, includes him in her ensemble, and encourages him to use his gift and talent.

  • For Ms. Tanya, the only person that could EVER teach me how to swim and all our college student teachers over the years!

  • Mr. Luna that teaches fencing, for finally giving my kids a sport they love!

  • For our 4-H volunteers, Ms. Leanne, Ms. Rebecca and Ms. Elithe that teach us how to use our head for clearer thinking, our heart for greater loyalty, our hands for greater service and our health for better living. 

  • For our choir directors, Alan and Mrs. Purvis for giving us the opportunity to share the love of music with others. 

  • For Ms. Henrietta and her contagious laugh, her artistic talents and her love for our kids.   

I'm sure I left someone off this list, but I am truly thankful for how God puts the right people into our lives.  Teachers that are self-sacrificing and love to share their knowledge with young people.  Thank you, Lord for these wonderful people!


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