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Pondering Gratefulness

I’ve done a billion journalings on gratefulness because I think being intentionally grateful about your life can often shift your perspective. So often we get caught up in the daily grind or the unmet desires that we forget how overwhelmingly blessed we truly are and so I’ve made it a practice to be intentional about considering my gratefulness during this month of thanksgiving however, this year I didn’t want to do the same old, same old… in steps this lovely little Pinterest post which asks some questions that I’ve never considered and ones, if I’m honest, aren’t as easy to find a quick answer for in the moment. Years ago I realized that I could be thankful for many of my disappointments if I fixed my eyes on Jesus and did some perspective fixing, soul searching. This year required much the same…

A Person I’m Glad to Have in My Life

The first person to pop in my head was a person that is currently not in my life and my gut reaction was to pick someone less complicated to reflect on but I AM glad that he was in my life and that he impacted me in ways I could not have imagined. Here are just a few…

He stretched my comfort zones and made me brave.

He was incredibly thoughtful and kind.

He helped me look at the world from a variety of perspectives, mentally and physically.

He made conversation effortless and vulnerability enjoyable.

He took the time to get to know the real me which I truly appreciate.

A Place Where I Feel Safe

Sitting in the recliner at my best friend’s house. Some people just provide natural resting places for tired minds, weary souls, sore bodies and fragile emotions. It’s one thing to feel physically safe but it’s another to find a place where your soul can rest. Friendships that provide that are priceless.

A Memory that Makes Me Smile

The day my brother called to tell me my sister-in-law was pregnant. Listening to my “baby” brother’s initial reactions to that fact and his overwhelming fear that he was going to have a daughter and “never be able to make a decision for [himself] again” was absolutely delightful. He is an amazing father, as I knew he’d be, and it brings me so much joy to watch him grow in that role.

An Accomplishment I’m Proud of

I’ve grown and changed. I’ve unlearned a lot of toxic behavior. I’ve gained healthier methods of handling my fears and the unknown. I knew the Lord was working on me over the last five years but until recently, I had not truly realized the impact of that change. I am not the same person nor do I have the same attitude and outlook as my former self and for that I am overwhelmingly grateful but very cognizant that it was all by the Lord’s grace.

A Future Event that I’m Excited About

I don’t know what it is but I know it’s coming. Have you ever had a moment where you could tell one season was closing and one was coming quickly? I always get a restlessness in my spirit when those moments come because I feel in limbo but I have also seen God do some amazing and unexpected things during those days so I wait expectantly for this unknown future event that the Lord has planned.

My Favorite Song that Improves My Mood

Music has a profound effect on my mood and I have had to become intentional about not listening to songs that will further influence my emotions when I know that isn’t good for me. My pastor suggested years ago that we create a playlist for the “dips” we face in life which I did and those constant reminders of God’s faithfulness, provision and future hope always improve my mood because they are based in the truth that I so often need to be reminded of when my emotions are hijacking my thoughts. Recently, it’s been “God Turn it Around” by Jon Reddick that has been on repeat from that list. It's the truth my soul knows that my heart needs reminding of from time to time.

A Book that I Loved Reading

Anyone want to take a guess?!? Did you say the Anne of Green Gables series? You know me so well!

My Favorite Food or Meal

I don’t have a truly favorite food because I just love to eat but I find that tater tots come up a lot in my life. Sick? Tater tots. Sad? Tater tots. Poor? Tater tots. They are the preeminent form of potato.

A Characteristic of My Home that I Love

My parents’ home was always super comfortable to anyone that visited and I always tried to emulate that. My friends would comment on how they felt right at home and perfectly at ease when they would visit the houses I grew up in and I hope that is translated throughout my life. To me that is the ultimate acting out of hospitality.

I Like This Part of My Body the Most

Well, this isn’t a question I like at all but probably one I should reflect on more often so with much uncomfortable and skirmy consideration I think my answer is my muscles. Not what you were expecting? Let me explain. My fitness coach likes to remind me that we shouldn’t dread doing yucky things like burpees but rather we should be glad that we are strong enough to do hard things. There was a time when I couldn’t lift more than a five pound weight. Moments when I couldn’t run for more than thirty seconds and occasions when I thought I may vomit mid workout but I’ve grown stronger in my training and easily do things now that seemed impossible five years ago. I’m thankful that my legs can carry me up mountains and that my arms can carry my nephew. I’m thankful for a body that can move and is an asset towards the purposes for which the Lord has called me.

My Favorite Aspect of My Personality

I typically have a “We can do it!” attitude about everything even if I’m worrying like crazy. The running joke around my friends is that you know I’m at my breaking point when I say, “It’s fine” about four million times. I guess I figure that for most of the challenges of life you’ve either got to figure it out or die trying so why not have a cheery outlook or the belief that it will turn out alright. Even if it doesn’t, that’s not the end if you’re still breathing.

The Task I Enjoy Doing the Most at Work

I love any task that leads to a group discussion with my kiddos. They are funny, creative, inquisitive and so very dear. It sounds cliche but they do teach me just as much as I teach them.

My Favorite Time of the Day

Without a doubt, I have come to love the early morning hours when I’m doing my devotion. It is the most quiet and peaceful time of my day and often when my soul feels the most at rest. Whether I’m at school in my quiet classroom with no one else on my side of the building or sitting on the deck in the cool Saturday mornings with only the squirrels to keep me company. I have grown to adore these moments. Also, I have found recently that the Lord often speaks more to me in the silence than through the devotion I’m reading. I can’t help but think of Elijah’s experience in 1 Kings 19…

The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.

The Outfit I feel the Most Confident In

I think most women would understand this but that changes based on the day but without a doubt stilettos make me feel fantastic. I love shoes and those are my favorites!

A Life Lesson I Have Learned

What lesson have I learned this year for which I am grateful? “It’s not fine.” My unthinking reaction to any personal hurt, problem or crisis has always been, “It’s fine” because I never want to make a fuss and cause issues for others but I’ve learned this year that it’s not fine and that’s okay. In fact, I don’t have to be fine. I’m allowed to hurt and cry which is not something I’ve ever truly felt permission to do until now, though Heaven knows I’m still not comfortable with that concept.

I’ve always said I wasn’t a crier and if I did cry I was alone and hidden away. I assumed that was just a personality thing until I had a situation in which I couldn’t help but cry sitting in my friend’s living room just trying to process my hurt and disappointment. I was so angry at myself for letting her see me cry because I felt like a burden. I kept saying, “It’s fine” over and over like if I said it enough I wouldn’t feel sad. Finally, she said, “It’s really not fine” in a tone that reminded me of my mother when I would get sassy as a child.

She was right. It was not fine. I was not fine BUT that was fine. It’s okay to hurt and no, it doesn’t make you selfish just because your hurt doesn’t seem as bad as everyone else’s hurt. I realized that I’ve spent a big portion of my life hiding my hurts because I didn’t believe my feelings were valid enough to bother others with, which is a lie from Satan and a great way to keep you entangled in overwhelming emotions and the shame associated with feelings you don’t believe you should be having. I pray you learn to not believe that lie, too.


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