thankful journal: count your blessings even when it’s hard

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Have you ever gone through a season in your life where it seemed like nothing was going good?  I feel like we’ve been in and out of those seasons so often over the last couple of years.  It’s easy to cry out, “Why me?”

It’s hard to stay thankful and grateful.

I admit to doing both quite well.  I always want to be thankful and count my blessings.  I don’t always do it.  Even with the most well-intended fantasies of being that perfectly content and loving person, I FALL SHORT.  I get bummy and grumbly.  I forget what I already have and whine (in my heart) about what I don’t.

Over the last month I have done something to remind myself each day that I have so many things to be thankful for.  I made a little thankful journal.  It’s a sentence or two everyday.  It takes less than a minute, and it really helps me to see that even on the worst, most stressful, heart-breaking days, there is always at least one thing that caught my attention.  One thing I can say, “Thank you Lord.” for.

I just read through it before I wrote this post.  It’s amazing how many things I already forgot I was blessed by.  Isn’t that just like us humans?  We are so quick to remember the hardships and trials, and so quick to forget just what God has done good.  I would like to to challenge all of you to “Count your blessings.”

Write down a moment or a thing you are thankful for everyday.  Write it in a fancy journal.  Write it on a notebook.  Write it on the calendar.  Just pick a place and put that paper somewhere you won’t forget.  Somewhere that you will see it and not forget.  You might have to put it in your purse and take it with you.  Perhaps stick it on your nightstand– you get the idea.

There have been a few days I missed.  I try to think back and write what I remember.  Don’t beat yourself up if you forget a few days. The point is to walk over a write your thoughts as soon as you can so you don’t forget the little things that blessed you.  You may have to dig deeper some days.  Hey!  Some days are better left forgotten, but try to find even the tiniest gift for those days.  One of my days said, “Isabel made breakfast.”

I remember that day.  That and the breath in my family’s lungs was truly about all the good that happened.  But that is a blessing, isn’t it?

So, do it!  Comment what you’re thankful for below if you want.

Thankfulness isn’t just for this week.  It’s a life choice to be grateful and blessed by the lives God has placed us in.

Difficult times may be all you know.  I realize some of you have had trials I couldn’t imagine.  I know God is faithful, and maybe ALL you have is him.  Praise him for his presence.  He is worthy of our praise and thanksgiving.

Always.

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friends

This weekend we had some friends come and stay with us.  Really, they are more than friends.  They are so much like family it’s hard sometimes remember that they aren’t.  They’re the kind of friends that are there in good times and bad.  We love them dearly.  I was beyond blessed to just be with them.

When I first gave my life to the Lord, this couple discipled me, loved me, got me a job, and played vital roles in my growth and walk with Jesus.  I can’t really explain how much they mean to me.  Wonderful friends.  It was so nice to have them around.

Not only did we enjoy some great talks and hearty laughs, they helped us…lots.  They packed boxes, did some handy work, cleaned, bathed kids.  Goodness.  That is a friend.  Our children, all (nine of them), are great friends too.  I love that so much.  It is so exciting just to know that ten years from now when our oldest girls are driving (okay stop thinking such thoughts Jennee), they will still be friends no matter how far apart we live.  The other nice thing is that we adults be will too…praying for our teenagers just as we pray for our littles now.  True friendship is hard to find.  We are blessed that God arranges the deepest, most loving friendships for us.

Here are the brood of children that were squealing and laughing and eating plenty of sugar, and staying up late, and waking so very early…and climbing trees and getting filthy and have a marvelous time doing it all.

Girls are adorable.  Babies are sweet and fun.  Boy are shirtless, dirty savages…I love it.

10,227 days of life

That’s how many days I’ve been given thus far.  Today is my 28th birthday.  My truly wonderful husband set up a massage session for me as a surprise on Monday.  He said it was for my birthday and Valentine’s day.  What a blessing. 

I’ll admit it was a new and at times awkward experience.  I kept asking what she meant by “get ready” but it took a few more questions before I understood what she meant.  Have you ever had one?  Well, if not lets just say I was more “exposed” with that women than anyone else…besides Nick.  Yes, there was a blanket, but I knew what was under it.  So, that was Monday. 

Today I didn’t expect anything since my gift came early, but another surprise awaited me.

My guy is so sweet isn’t he?  I love that these mums will be planted and kept forever.  I was told when my new camera arrived in November, that it was a year of presents.  I was more than happy with that, but my guy wasn’t :)  I feel so blessed and loved today.  Really, always.