Thankfulness: Day 30

Well, this was an interesting experiment. I did not keep a perfect record of writing every day, but I did make it a point to think about something I was thankful for each day.

After a season of not really being sure what there was to be thankful for this was a really good exercise.

Today it was more of the simple things. We’ve had various commitments in the evenings for the past few days and tonight we got to just hang out, which included breakfast for dinner, pj’s by 6, and watching a movie. I’m thankful for this relaxing evening at home.

I’m also thankful that tomorrow is December 1st & Christmas preparations will begin. We’ll tidy up so we can put up the tree. I’ll soon be baking up a storm to have a supply on hand for Christmas parties, gifts for friends and neighbors, and just because. Most importantly, though, is the preparation inside myself. Preparation to celebrate the coming of the Lord. The preparation of remembering what He left behind to come into the world as a totally dependent baby. All to bring the Father glory and restore a right relationship between us and Him.

I pray, as the season of Advent begins, you, too, will take time to prepare. Not so much with gifts and cookies and decorations (though those are all well and good), but with remembering the reason behind it all. The glorious miraculous birth of the One who will make all things new.

Love & Blessings,

KJ

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Thankfulness: Days 22-28

Another catch up post. I was doing pretty well, even while away, but then being with family, Thanksgiving, a birthday party, and traveling home (and recovering from it all) left little time. I have been thinking of things with each passing day, just haven’t had time to get them down.

Day 22:

Family. Plain and simple. The one I have been born into and the one I’ve acquired through marriage. we got to spend today with a lot of my family, some that we hadn’t seen in two years or longer. I am just so thankful to them all for being such a great support system and encouragement to me over the years. Plus Steve got to see that my crazy was (mostly) inherited from my family 😁

Day 23:

Today we got to spend time celebrating my youngest niece’s 2nd birthday. I’m so thankful that we were around for that. It’s been a while (over 6 years) since I’ve been with any of them for their birthday. This day I didn’t have to see photos posted on Facebook with the longing of having been there. I was there and got to delight in all of the silliness and fun.

Day 24:

I know I wrote before about being able to chat with friends after years of not and being able to pick right back up with them. Today I’m thankful for something similar, but not exactly the same, so it counts.

Today I’m thankful for meeting up with friends; old and new. This afternoon we got to meet up with an old friend that I hadn’t seen in 16 years (16 years!!!). We have both moved away from our home state and have always seemed to just missed each other when traveling to visit family. I’m so glad it worked out to finally meet up.

We also got to have dinner with friends who we hadn’t seen in only a few months. They moved to Michigan over the summer and it was nice to catch up and see them and their adorable baby boy.

Day 25:

While parents are a part of family, today I am thankful especially for them. For being willing to wake up in the wee hours of the morning (3:30am) to take us to the airport. For hosting us in their home all week long. For supporting me in all of my crazy endeavors (“Yes, I’m going to move far away to go to college, and after that I think I’ll live in Alaska for a couple years, then I’ll be off to Pennsylvania. After that I think I’ll move back home for a bit and then head out to New Jersey.” I can’t imagine what they’ve thought about all of that). Things definitely would not be the same without them.

Day 26:

Today I am thankful to be home. Traveling is nice, but nothing beats being able to sleep in your own bed.

Day 27:

Today was back to business as usual. Both kiddos decided to sleep in a little bit today so I actually made a point to read my Bible (something that I’ve been sadly lacking in). I’m just so grateful for God’s Word. How it is unchanging and how it changes us. The passage I read was Jeremiah 33 and I was just reminded how He is truth and His promises are forever. Such a comfort to be reminded of this.

Day 28:

Today we had our first appointment with the OB. I’m thankful for people in the medical profession who have the knowledge of all thing pregnancy related and can answer questions and tell you of things you never even thought of. All of the information is a little overwhelming, but we have a bit of time to look through it all.

I’m also really thankful for the amazing technology that not only allowed us to see the baby (we have a few times now), but also hear it’s heartbeat. So very amazing. I can’t fully wrap my mind around it all.

Hopefully, I’ll be back later with today’s thought. Praying you are well and finding things, both big and small, to be thankful for.

Love & Blessings,

KJ

Thankfulness: Day 20

Today I’m thankful we were able to share this news with the everyone: come June we’ll be welcoming a little one into our family.

It has been a journey, but really it’s only just begun. We are thankful for the faithfulness of the Lord. For Him allowing us the opportunity to be His ambassadors to a child.

I have some things I’ve written in the in between; before I got pregnant, before I knew I was, and after I knew I was but didn’t yet want to release that info into the world. I’ll be posting periodically and hope they may be an encouragement to those of you going through similar situations.

I know not all stories of infertility end this way; with the happy news of a baby on the way. I still know that feeling and I pray for those of you going through it. It is a difficult, exhausting, heartbreaking journey. Through it all, know that you are thought of, prayed for, and loved. By me, yes, but more importantly by the Good Lord above.

Love & Blessings,

KJ

Thankfulness: Day 18

Creation resounds with praise to the King.

Without voice, of His glories it sings.

Sky and wind and tree and brook,

They all partake in, they cannot forsake Him.

While we sleep, it does not rest.

The stars take up their unending quest

To bring praise and honor to the Lord.

While we think of ourselves great,

We are really quite small,

In comparison to this celestial ball

As it makes its way around the sun.

He made it all, so of Him it tells.

Let us sit, and listen a spell,

As creation sings praise to the King.

Love & Blessings,

KJ

Thankfulness: Day 17

I am not really the sort of person who sets up the Christmas tree before Thanksgiving. It’s rare that I’ll listen to Christmas music before then either. There is one Christmasy thing I do enjoy before Thanksgiving has had its day, though.

One word.

Shoeboxes.

If you’ve never heard of Operation Christmas Child, I highly encourage you to check it out. This organization collects shoeboxes filled with gifts and distributes them to children around the world. More importantly, though, is the fact that the Gospel goes with it. Each child who receives a box is also taught about Christ and many take part in a longer program to learn more. The gift acts as a physical representation of God’s love.

Think about it. What would you think if you received a gift from someone across the world who didn’t even know you? Surely there is another power at work here. I challenge you to go to the site and watch some videos of adults who received boxes as children and then try to tell me that’s not true. God uses unusual means to get His message across; I believe this is one of them.

Today I am thankful for this ministry and getting to be a part of it. At my previous church I organized our participation in this project and even got to volunteer at one of the processing centers. This year I got to organize the packing party at our current church. This morning members gathered with items they bought to pack their shoeboxes and write notes to the children who would be receiving them. It’s just so neat to see the love of Christ at work in people’s lives; especially when they are passing it along to others.

While Monday is the last day to take shoeboxes to a local drop off location, you can still build a shoebox online.

Whatever you may do to celebrate this holiday season, I pray part of it includes sharing what blessings you’ve received with those less fortunate. Take some time to spread good news with great joy.

Love & Blessings,

KJ

Thankfulness: Days 11 – 16

Soooo, have I ever mentioned how I have difficulty with follow through? I was doing good for the first week or so and then we went away and I spent a day doing mostly nothing at a condo in Virginia and that was that. I have been thinking about it every day, pondering what I have been thankful for. Here’s my catch-up list; in hopes that I’ll now stay on track.

Day 11

One of these little girls turned 7 today (bottom right)! I am so thankful to be their auntie! They have brought me countless laughs and smiles over the years. It has been a joy seeing them grow and seeing my sisters become mamas. Super thankful that I’ll get to see two of them next week (though sadly, have to wait until next summer to see the other two).

Day 12:

Today I am thankful for the simplicity of some dinners – soup and grilled cheese it is! Little prep and little clean up makes for a happy lady and an evening spent doing other things other than the dishes 🙂

Day 13:

Today Grandma would have been 103 (if I’ve done my math right). She and Grandpa and Baba (my mom’s mom) were such big parts of my life. We saw Grandma & Grandpa close to every weekend and some of my most fond memories in childhood involved spending the night at their apartment over the summer or during Christmas break. Baba lived with us since I was 4. I would watch her “stories” with her when I got home from school and often retreated to her “house” when I wanted to be away from my sisters. She’s been gone 3 years now, but I still can’t think of that section of my parents’ home as anything other than Baba’s house.

I am thankful for them all today and all the things they have taught me in my formative years; about sewing, cooking, gardening, storytelling, and life in general. I’m thankful for the memories passed along. The truth. The wisdom. The love.

Day 14:

Today I got to chat with friends I haven’t talked to in at least a year. Not for any one reason, just life being what it is and people moving and having new things added to their lives. I still find it amazing how we can pick up right where we left off like no time has passed at all. I’m so thankful for these friendships that stand the test of time; not all do. That’s how you know they’re pretty special.

Day 15:

I meant to take a picture of our first snow before it got dark, but it was a little bit of a crazy day. Not that I’m thankful for the snow – it was the cause of some of the craziness. It was pretty, though. No, today I’m thankful for growing up and learning to drive in a place that has frequent snow. So now, as I’m in a place where people go crazy over an inch (and the roads aren’t always well maintained during it), I can be ok (for the most part) and know what not to do while driving in it. I suppose that was also learned by landing in ditches a couple times in college because of the ice and/or snow.

Day 16:

Today I am thankful for a half day of school which means I get to do some crazy running around/baking/laundry done before our very busy weekend and then flying out to Michigan on Monday. We are both very ready for a longer vacation and the chance to see more family! I’m so grateful for this time to get a few things done because we still have to get through this weekend before vacation really starts.

Whew! What a wrap-up! Here’s hoping I can stay on track even through our time away. As you prepare for the coming week I pray you have some time to stop and think about those things you’re truly thankful for as well as the One to whom we owe all thanks.

Love & Blessings,

KJ

Thankfulness: Day 8

Since yesterday I’ve had the hymn “Sweet Hour of Prayer” stuck in my head. I found it ironic, because if I were to add up my prayer time for the month so far, I might get up to 30 minutes.

This has been something I’ve been struggling with for some time; finding taking the time to spend with my God. To cry out to Him. To call upon His strength. To repent and ask His forgiveness. To praise Him for His many blessings.

And then this songs pops into my head. And I suggest it as one we use to open our LifeGroup tonight. It reminds me that I can leave it all with Him. All my worries, sorrows, pain. And I can find rest there.

So today I am thankful for two things: these songs that were written to remind us of Truth when we’ve forgotten; and a God Who is always ready to listen when we come to Him.

Oh that I would remember that daily and put it into practice. I hope you’re able to do the same.

Love & Blessings,

KJ