Wednesday, November 30, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness Challenge - COMPLETE

Every year on Facebook, there is a challenge to do 30 Days of Thankfulness. I decided this year to put them all in a Word document so that I could keep it for years to come. I thought that I would share it with my readers. God has truly blessed me. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

Day 1 - I am thankful for my relationship with Jesus Christ. Although I have walked with him for over 8 years, I don't think I've ever been closer to Him than in the past year. He has revealed Himself to me in such a real way and shown me how much I need Him every hour. He gave His life for me. It is my prayer that I live my life for Him.

Day 2 - I am thankful for my husband who honors the Lord in everything he does, loves unconditionally, and works diligently to provide so that I can stay home with our kids. I am thankful that he understands my passions and lets me follow them. I am thankful that through all we have been through, the Lord just seems to strengthen us. I am thankful that my kids get to have him as their father, a responsibility and privilege he doesn't take lightly. I am thankful for his quiet strength, big heart, and sweet smile.

Day 3 - I am thankful for my son, Luke. His name means "bringer of light" and he is perfectly named. From the day he was born he has brought light into our life. It is my prayer that he takes the Light (Jesus) into the world and does great things for God's glory. Thank You, God, for gifting me with this awesome person. I can't wait to see what You do in his life.

Day 4 - I am thankful for my son, Nathan. His name means "he God has given," which is amazingly perfect for Him. I know that all children are gifts directly from God, but Nathan is most definitely special. He is my little miracle baby and being his mom has helped me get through the toughest time of my life to date. He brings so much happiness. My friend says he has double smiles. I think she is right. :)

Day 5 - I am thankful for my daughter, Alexis Faith. Her name means "defender of faith," and WOW! it is so accurate. Before my loss of her I would wonder, "Lord would I have faith if life wasn't so wonderful?" I now know that there is nothing we could go through in this life that God cannot get us through with our faith in Him. Alexis has shown me that life and memories can happen in just 35 weeks, that our love for our children isn't based on time, but depth, and that we should cherish every second and make the most of it all because we aren't promised anything.

Day 6 - I am thankful to be a stay-at-home wife, mom, homemaker, and homeschooler. This is definitely not the life I had planned 10 years ago when I was just dating Lee, but God has different and better plans for our lives. I love being able to pour into my children a Biblical foundation and motherly love. I love being able to make our home a place of fun, rest, and a safe place to land. I love being able to watch cartoons in PJs and snuggle. I love being able to teach Luke (and eventually our other children) Biblically, academically, and life skills. It is an amazing ministry and I am thankful that God has placed me here.

Day 7 - I am thankful for the 3 integral people who raised me, my mom, my grandma, and my grandpa. My mom taught me strength, courage, and perseverance. My grandma taught me self sacrificing commitment to family, confidence, and "a place for everything and everything in its place." My grandpa taught me integrity, hard work, and loyalty. It has always been my heart to make each one of them proud of me. This post in memory of my grandpa who went to be with Jesus November 7th, 2000.

Day 8 - I am thankful for my sister and her family. Growing up we drove each other crazy, but as adults, we are best friends. God definitely restored what the locusts had eaten. She is the best sister, friend, wife, and mom. I love my brother-in-law so much. He is the greatest BIL and uncle anyone could want for their kids. I love my neice and 2 nephews. Being an aunt to them is one of my greatest joys. I miss them all so much but am thankful that we can connect on trips and with technology.

Day 9 - I am thankful for my "little" brother. He is like a foot taller than me, but he is still my little brother. I am thankful for the man he is growing into everyday. I am thankful that he has found his wonderful fiance to share his life with. I am thankful that they love our children and look forward to the day (many many moons from now) that they bless our family with more kids.

Day 10 (A Little Early) - I am thankful for my church. A church is not a building, but the people inside. My church has some of the most amazing Godly, loving, serving people you will ever meet in your whole life. The hearts of the people are just amazing. With all we have been through in the past couple of years, it is so awesome to have people who have/are praying for us, sending us cards and words of encouragement, bring us meals, and just love on us so much. It is my heart to be able to pay it back and forward as much as possible. Specifically, I am thankful for our pastor who brings the whole word of God and nothing but the word of God to the pulpit. He stands for what he believes in and never apologizes for it. He is a true man of God in his pastor role, marriage, parenting, and all that he does. Every church needs a preacher like him. Specifically, I am thankful for my moms' group which is full of ladies who love the Lord, love their husbands, and love their kids. All of these women are walking examples of Deuteronomy 6. I am so thankful each time I am with them we encourage and edify one another. Wednesday night Bible study is one of the highlights of my week. I enjoy our dinners out and nights in at someone’s home. It is just an amazing group of women. These are women I have been praying to have in my life for years.ourage and edify one another. Wednesday night Bible study is one of the highlights of my week. I enjoy our dinners out and nights in at someone's home. It is just an amazing group of women. These are women I have been praying to have in my life for

Day 11 - I am thankful for our veterans who do what most couldn't and wouldn't do to defend and protect our country. Freedom isn't free. There is a price and I am thankful that they are willing to pay that price. I am thankful for their families who give up holidays, birthdays, and everydays with them so that we can have our safety and freedom. HAPPY VETERANS' DAY!!!

Day 12 - I am thankful for my mother and father-in-law who have taken me in ever since the very first time that I met them nearly 10 and 1/2 years ago. I am thankful for the Godly wisdom and love that they pour over our family. I am thankful that Becky prayed for me before I was even born. I am thankful that they love our kids and take them for the night so that Lee and I can have date nights. I am truly blessed with my in-laws.

Day 13 - I am thankful that I can come boldly to the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16) because of Christ's death on the cross. I am thankful that God's compassion never fails and that His mercies are new everyday (Lamentations 3:22-23). I am thankful that if we confess our sins that He is faithful and just to forgive and cleanse (1st John 1:9). I am thankful that as far as the east is from the west, He has removed our sins (Psalm 103:12). THANK YOU, JESUS, FOR TAKING MY SIN DEBT AND PAYING IT IN FULL ON THE CROSS. THANK YOU THAT ONE DAY I WILL HEAR "NOT GUILTY."

Day 14 - I am thankful for intercessory prayer.

Day 15 - Today I am thankful that after a week and some change of Luke waking up at 6:30am (an hour + earlier than normal) because of the time change, that after a few tricks, he woke up at 7:45am. I was able to get up at almost 7:30am and spend time with the Lord, get a shower, do my makeup, fix my hair, and get dressed before they needed me at 8:00am. I know this seems small, but getting up so early has been rough on all of us. THANK YOU, LORD!

Day 16 – (Part 1) I am thankful that even though I burnt the bacon which in turn burnt my overeasy eggs, that my toast wasn't burnt. I am also thankful that I have bacon and eggs to burn. So many people don't have any food.

Day 16 (Part 2 - after reading the news) - I am thankful that there will be a day when we will no longer hear stories of INNOCENT children being beaten, abused, molested, and/or murdered. "There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears. There will be a day when the burdens of this place will be no more...WE'LL SEE JESUS FACE TO FACE."

Day 17 - I am thankful for my homeschool co-op. It is awesome that Luke gets to do 2 classes a week outside of our regular school time to learn about things that fascinate him - building things and inventors. It is nice to be able to serve in various capacities and to have a bible study with homeschoolers to talk/learn about this journey of homeschooling. :)

Day 18 - I am thankful for MOMS' NIGHTS IN at various friends' homes. We get together at 8:00pm on the last Friday of each month in someone's home and share food, laughs, games, prayers, our hearts, and fellowship. It is the best group of gals in the world.

Day 19 - I am thankful for Papa John's when I don't feel up to cooking. Praying I feel better.

Day 20 - Today I am thankful for answered prayers and God's faithfulness. 2 years ago on Thanksgiving Day I miscarried our 2nd pregnancy. It was devastating to say the least. I went through a brief (thank God) period of being angry with God and feeling an injustice had been done. Sometime around the end of December or beginning of January, I went to the altar and surrendered my hurt, my pain, my selfishness, and my pride and completely gave my future (or lack thereof) children (biological or adopted) to the Lord. Within a month, I found out that I was pregnant again. God answered my prayers with Nathan. I have been struggling again (not with anger, but more with fear). Today my pastor reminded me that God is always faithful and that even at a crossroads or a crisis, He will go through everything with us. I know He is faithful and can’t wait to see what He does next.

Day 21 (Part 1) - I am thankful that God heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds (Psalm 147:3). So many people say that "Time heals all wounds." I disagree. Have you ever seen people that are still hurting, angry, or unforgiving 5, 10, 20, or even 50 years later? I truly believe that God is the only One who can completely heal the brokenhearted. I know that is true in my life. I am thankful that He heals my broken heart.

Day 21 (Part 2) - I am thankful for God's Word. For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. - Hebrews 4:12 - Also thankful that I live in a country where I am free to own my Bible, read my Bible, and share the truths of Scripture without fear of being arrested or worse.

Day 22 - I am thankful for my son, Luke. I know that I already shared my thankfulness for him on Day 3, but I am just reminded today how much God is working in his life. I am thankful that God is pulling him toward Himself more and more everyday. Hearing him pray is just awesome. I am thankful for his servant's heart and how much he loves his little brother and helps me out with Nathan and around the house. I am thankful that he works hard in school and is learning so much Biblically and academically. I am thankful for his energy and excitement about pretty much everything. I can't wait to see what God does with his life.

Day 23 - I am thankful that my mother-in-law and mom are cooking our Thanksgiving dinners and all I have to bring is apple pie. No stress, no mess. Get to enjoy the day with my boys in our PJs watching movies and playing. Tomorrow we get to eat with my in-laws and Friday with my side of the family. Can't wait to see everyone and eat that yummy food. :)

Day 24 - I am thankful for a day when everyone really stops to think about what they are thankful for. We have so much to be thankful for.

Day 25 - I am thankful for the excessive meal I am going to have tonight at my mom's house - turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, stuffing, mac n cheese, green bean casserole, veggies, potato salad, deviled eggs, and a bunch of desserts. This is the meal that I wait all year for. :)

Day 26 - I am thankful for Yellow Butterflies, the ministry that God has placed in my heart to reach those who have lost babies to miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss. I am thankful that He has carried me through my own losses to be able to potentially help others. I am thankful that He is turning my pain into beauty. God truly is amazing in the ways that He works! I am thankful for all of those who support this ministry as well. :)

Day 27 - I am thankful that I got to hear 13 little kids make a joyful noise to the Lord and hear what they were thankful for. I am also thankful to friends for making instruments for us. What a clever idea. Working with children teaching them Scripture and how to praise the Lord is such a blessing. Children are a blessing from the Lord. I them!

Day 28 - I am thankful that our family is such an amazing team. We all work together to make things run smoothly. Lee is such an awesome provider and works hard, but when he is at home he gives his family 100%. No task is beneath him or not in his "job description." Luke helps me out so much with Nathan and household tasks. Nathan does his part by being super cute. ;) It is nice working together and having one another to count on. Thank You God for each one of them.

Day 29 - I am thankful for the trials of life. "We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love." - Romans 5:3-5

Day 30 - I am thankful that even though I don't know what the next year(s) will bring, I know that God is in control, He works all things together (Romans 8:28), and He will be with me wherever I go (Joshua 1:9).

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