Wednesday, November 30, 2011

2011 Giving Thanks Challenge - Final

I absolutely loved being a part of the 2011 Giving Thanks Challenge!
That doesn't mean I was any good at keeping up with my intention of posting a weekly synopsis, but I did add a few thanksgivings to my side bar each day and they really added up!
Best of all, I know it made a difference in my thought life
when I was tempted to worry, grumble or complain

Believe me when I say I was tempted in all of those areas,
but intentionally keeping an attitude of thankfulness really helped.

Here's the end of my list of thanks giving!

25. A fabulous Field Trip day!
26. Warm sunshine seeping into my bones
27. Unexpected ice cream - yummy!
28. Sister helping brother learn a really hard memory verse.
29. Rain and falling leaves.
30. Cozy sweaters, hot tea and my Soother Sac.
31. Friends who help in time of need.
32. Rosy cheeks from playing outside.
33. Soft tissues for a runny nose.
34. Mops, brooms, buckets and the other tools my trade.
35. Math break-through - yeah Storyteller!
36. My laundry helpers.
37. Pumpkin bread.
38. Sparkling clean windows 4 down, 27 to go.
39. Preparing our hearts for worship.
40. A Sunday afternoon nap.
41. A brisk walk with my son - 2 miles!
42. Warm breezes in November - so unexpected!
43. Praying for others who are hurting.
44. Being trusted by our new neighbors.
45. Crunch, munch, snap - fresh veggies being eaten by hungry children.
46. Caramel apple dip - yum!
47. Bach played in time - a metronome is a good investment after all
48. Family who are flexible.
49. Sewing for a friend - so fun!
50. Unexpected blessings.
51. God's timely provision - enough to share
52. New friends
53. Cranberry sauce.
54. Lumpy gravy - which I don't eat and can't make very well, but is good for a few laughs!
55. The excitement of our Storyteller in his first parade
56. Leftovers made into a steaming hot savory pot pie
57. A fun family day on the cheap - just looking at antiques
58. Seeing the heart of our Pastor during worship
59. Repentance
60. Routines
So much to be thankful for! 

I cannot believe that we are in the last hours of November 2011! 
Our sweet Dreamer said she is just getting used to writing 2011 and soon she'll be writing 2012 - it's a bit mind boggling to me that even a 14 year old is comprehending the ever more rapid passage of time.
I know I didn't have that kind of insight at her age.
For me, it is such great incentive to use the days we have, as fleeting as they seem to be, wisely.
Wasting time in ingratitude, which for me translates in worry, envy and complaining
just isn't what I want to be about! I don't have time for that!
This month long challenge has been a discipline in thankfulness that
I really hope will last throughout the coming year!

Thank you Leah from South Breeze Farm for hosting 
- you've been a blessing to many!

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

2011 Giving Thanks Challenge - Week 1

It's been so much fun to have new friends joining in the 2011 Giving Thanks Challenge come for a visit this week! Your lovely comments were so encouraging to read! Thank you! I hope I'll have more energy to come visit your blogs and say hello!  I really wonder how the Challenge has affected your heart attitudes this week - because I know it has made a difference in mine

I have to admit that I've been more tempted than usual to grumble and complain this week.  It's not that it's been a bad week, or even a particularly difficult week, but the children have not been in top form and that's made a difference.  I don't like it when they don't feel well!  Though they both maintain generally cheerful spirits even when under the weather, tempers do get short at times and there's just less joyful laughter warming our home. You know, right?

Even so, I have found myself contemplating thankfulness at many moments in my week, and just realizing it's profound power to alter, not my circumstances, but my attitude towards those circumstances. Thank you Lord - what a blessing.

I've got a pretty varied list of blessings so far, so I've decided to put them in this post and clear off my sidebar for this coming week's list! 

1. Salvation because of the death, burial and resurrection of God's Son Jesus Christ.
2. The Word of God - true from the beginning! Thy Word is true from the beginning and every one of Thy righteous judgements endureth forever. Psalm 119:160
3. Family - my husband and two children who make me laugh every day!
4. The sacrifice of thanksgiving - the ability to offer praise to God.
5. Hard times, struggles, losses and the valley times we all travel through.
6. Evidence of God's faithfulness.
7. The smell of clothes dried on the line making our folding area smell fabulous.
8. The power of prunes.
9. A great cup of tea.
10. Brownies. Get thee behind me!
11. Morning sun filtered through the sweet gum tree.
12. Hot showers.
13. Clean clothes.
14. AWANA - children hiding God's Word in their hearts!
15. Morning sounds - a humming boy and cereal poured into a bowl.
16. Dreamer - tackling and conquering a very challenging Bach piece!
17. Central Heat at the flip of a switch!
18. Cool crisp sunny mornings - a scattering of leaves everywhere.
19. Saturday morning to sleep in!
20. A pretty painted closet and new shelf!
21. The Word made clear through the preaching of truth.
22. My inherited baking abilities (thanks Mum) and the joy of feeding others good things to eat.
23. Soother Sac's, warm blankets, big pillows and an understanding hubby when I 'crash' after doing too much for this poor body.
24. Clean teeth and attentive hygienist - pointing out my next battle with gum disease.

So there you have it so far - and obviously I didn't limit myself to one thanksgiving a day because I just don't think I can ever be too thankful, do you?

This verse caught my attention as something I should study this week:
Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God. 
2 Corinthians 9:11
I have seen how God has enriched my week with thanksgiving to Him - how contentment and joy have replaced dissatisfaction and worry when I  focus on our blessings rather than on struggles. This week I want to look more at what God denotes as bountiful - and I'm quite sure it has nothing to do with the pile of sale flyers that lay on my kitchen table promising beauty, happiness and peace ... with purchase!

Where is God leading you in this journey of intentional thankfulness?

Are your eyes more prone to tears this week when thanksgiving washes over your soul and brings unexpected joys in quiet moments?

I pray so!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Giving Thanks - 2011 Challenge

This year I am joining Leah from South Breeze Farm and her friends in her beautiful 2011 Giving Thanks Challenge. Here's what Leah writes on her blog about the Challenge:
 "In honor of the month of November, which boasts a most wonderful holiday, I'd like to encourage all of you to join me for the 5th Annual Giving Thanks Challenge! All you have to do is post one thing you're thankful for each day somewhere on your blog. It doesn't even have to be an actual thought-out post. Just start making a list on your sidebar if you want - somewhere you can see it every day to encourage an attitude of thankfulness."
I truly believe that a heart of thanksgiving is the best cure for many of the things we struggle with daily. We recently celebrated our 39th Thanksgiving meal as a married couple - having been married on Canadian Thanksgiving set a tone of thankfulness for our marriage that has continued for twenty years! Still, it is easy to get bogged down in daily circumstances and forget the joy that a heart of thankfulness brings. I am hoping that my daily listing of thanksgiving this month with Leah and the others who join in will help keep my heart in focus!

Please watch my sidebar under Leah's beautiful 2011 Giving Thanks Challenge Button for my list of thanksgiving - once a week I will post a brief wrap up and let you know how this intentional choice for thankfulness is blessing my heart! 

I'm focusing on these 5 verses from the Psalms this week:
  1. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. Psalm 95:2
  2. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.Psalm 100:4 
  3. And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing. Psalm 107:44
  4. I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD. Psalm 116:17
  5. Sing unto the LORD with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God: Psalm 147:7


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