Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Being Thankful: No Matter What

It's hard to believe it, but on Thursday, Oct. 8, it will be the 1-year anniversary of my very first post. One of the main reasons I started a blog was to keep track of the gratitude list I began back in December of 2010, when I challenged myself to write down 100 things I was thankful for. That list grew and grew. In the spring of 2011, I purchased and read the book, "1,000 Gifts" by Ann Voskamp. By October, I was struggling to keep the list going, and so, I began to blog. 

God has continued to teach and bless me spiritually over the past year. Just last month, I posted my one-thousandth gift! Gratitude is such an amazing thing. It lifts me up when I'm feeling down, gives me a new perspective of my life, and helps me grow closer in my relationship with the Lord. That doesn't mean it's always easy to write down what I am grateful for. Sometimes I have to really dig deep and look around. 

The past few weeks have been just that way for me. Family illness, stressful circumstances, and the cold, overcast, fall weather has taken it's toll on my emotions and attitude. In spite of some rough days, God has allowed me to experience His love in extraordinary ways. Number one, I had the opportunity to go to a Chris Tomlin concert. Now, you have to know that Chris Tomlin is my favorite musician/worship leader of all times! I knew for awhile that he had a concert coming up near my hometown, but because of some circumstances, I didn't think we would be able to go see him. That was up till the day of the concert, when a few seats opened up, and my sweet hubby went to some great lengths and got them for us. 
And, what an amazing evening of worship and praise we had! I really needed to have that evening!

God has also been speaking to me through our pastor at church, as his sermons, along with a book I am currently reading (Unglued, by Lysa TerKeurst) have touched specifically on how our thoughts have such an great influence on how we view God and our lives as a whole. It's so amazing how the Lord brings things together to make a point and talk to us through others!

As Thanksgiving draws closer, we tend to think about all that we have to be thankful for. I have found that to be something I need to do every day, no matter what time of year or what circumstances I am going through. God made us to give thanks and look to Him for our joy in life. 
 1 Thessalonians 5:18 - In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

When we go to Him with a grateful heart, He lifts us up and we find renewed strength through Him. 
 Psalm 28:7
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. 
My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.

There are so many things I am grateful for in my life, each and every day. 

Today, though, I struggled to find things to give thanks for.  I decided to take my camera outside, on this cold, dreary, fall day. By the time I walked around my yard and even got down by the waterside of the lake I live by, I couldn't feel my fingers, it was SO cold! But I did find some extraordinary things, small as they may be, to thank our Great Creator for! Even on a day like today, God is so good and gracious!

Counting my blessings:  November Joy Dare
3 Gifts Overjoyed:
1,058 - Last minute tickets to see my favorite musician!

1,059 - An evening out, with my hubby!

1,060 - God's providence, in the midst of hardships.

3 Gifts Hallowed:
1,061 - A beautiful venue for a worship concert. (A gorgeous 75-year old theater).
1,062 - Being in and feeling the presence of God, through music.
1,063 - Each new day, that God shows His presence and love to me.

3 Gifts Eaten:
1.064 - A big pot of yummy goulash, made by my hubby!
1,065 - Chocolate - a little sweetness to energize me when I'm tired and worn.
1,066 - Subway sandwiches, filling and healthy!

3 Gifts Worn:
1,067 - Leaves that have fallen from the trees
1,068 - Water-worn, soaked, and stressed days
1,069 - My aging body, when winter winds blow and seem to go straight through me!

3 Gifts that start with N:
1,070 - Nature...a leafless tree, tall and exposed.
1,071 - New boots - my favorite footwear in the winter!(Any kind of boots.)
1,072 - "Nothing is impossible with God!" Luke 1:37

3 gifts:
1,073 -Gathered: some shells, pebbles, and seeds along the shore.

1,074 -Given: A reminder from God in sermon and book.
1,075 -Good: God's goodness, in the midst of so much evil in this world.

3 Gifts Acorn-Small:
1,076 - Double A batteries for my camera....allowing me to take pictures.
1,077 - Small treats for my dogs...and seeing their excitement as I get a few out of the box for them.
1,078 - Small stones and seashells - small, but so many different kinds.

3 Gifts Government:
1,079 - That God is in control!
1,080 - That I am still able to freely pray to and worship the Lord in this country. (Someday that may change and I appreciate it, while I am able.)
1,081 - Our government was established on Biblical concepts and by godly men and women.

 Always remembering to do this....
 Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will].
1 Thessalonians 5: 18

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  2. Congrats on one year of blogging!! It is such a spirit booster when we are intentional about focusing/listing what we are thankful for! Thank you for sharing that even in difficult times we can still be thankful...most of all for our awesome God!

    Blessings, Joan

    P.S. I loved your pictures!! (Also, sorry I deleted my first comment... Typos typos!

    1. Thanks, Joan! I remembered halfway through writing this post that it was a year already! And it really does help to think on those things that God blesses us with! Don't worry about the typos and deleting...haha...I've done that so many times. My typing isn't the greatest. It's what you share from your heart that is important!

  3. GOD has used Ann's book to bless so many! Congratulations on your year of blogging!

    1. Thanks, Connie! I agree...God has shown His love and how to find joy through her words! Blessings to you!

  4. What a lovely blog space! I love your gratitude list! And I agree, this past month or so has been quite dreary for me emotionally as well. Thanks for sharing some encouragement! So lucky to get to attend such an awesome concert! Wooohoo!

    1. Your welcome, Alisia! Glad I got to encourage you, too! Blessings, friend.

  5. Congrats! So many have been celebrating landmarks in their blogging journey. It's making me realize I don't even now how long I've been at it. I think I should look into it. Anyway, love all of your gratitude, and that concert venue is absolutely beautiful!

    1. Thanks, Lori. It was such a wonderful concert! God is so good!

  6. I am so with you on #1065!! :) 1063 too!


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