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: Day 29

Tonight I went to a mosaic class with my mother-in-law. There were just 6 of us there, plus the teacher, and everyone’s project looked so different despite the fact that we all were working with the same base and materials.

I am so thankful and in awe of the creative process and how everyone approaches it differently.

When I think about the oh so many art forms out there (and I’m sure there are some I don’t know about) I’m overwhelmed by it all. That two people could see a sunset or perhaps a snowy lane and respond so differently. The scene could be painted or written about in numerous ways. You could choose to photograph it, weave a story of it, create a melody from the emotion it brings forth, cook something delicious based on a memory brought about by it. The possibilities are endless.

And when you think about it, can you really be surprised? With a Creator Who fashioned those sunsets. Who designed such creatures as jellyfish and moose and hummingbirds. Who created us in His very image (and how very different are we, even when just looking at us, not to mention adding in our personalities?).

I’m just so grateful that we have so many ways with which to praise Him and all He has done, created, promised.

I hope you have found at least one way to express your gratitude, friend. A way which you can bring glory and honor to our Maker Who so rightfully deserves it.

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: 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

Thankfulness: Day 4

Today I am thankful for the community of faith where the Lord has placed me. I have not been a part of this church for very long (a couple years), but this family is one I am ever grateful for; a place I can go to be renewed by the Word and worship the Lord.

Here I find likeminded people who aren’t just a part of a Sunday morning tradition, but are part of my life. We stay connected through the week, encourage each other, speak truth to each other, mourn & rejoice with each other.

There is a reason we are instructed to gather regularly as the Body of Christ; this whole being set apart from the word thing isn’t easy on ones own. But with Brothers & Sister by your side, to remind you of the Lord’s promises when you’ve forgotten or to tell you, in love, the sin they see present in your life when your eyes are closed to it, it’s definitely more manageable.

I cannot fully put into words the great effect my various church families have had on my life; from helping grow my faith and teaching God’s Word, to countless discussions on salvation, singleness, infertility and prayer upon prayer. By the grace of God, these people have been used by Him to draw me deeper to Himself and there isn’t gratitude enough in my heart to say just what it means. I only hope that I never turn from opportunities the Lord puts in front of me to do the same.

Have you such a community, friends? I pray you do. And if not, I pray for wisdom and guidance that you may find one.

Love & Blessings,

KJ

Thankfulness: Day 3

Today I’m thankful for this man; my husband of two years. A great friend who listens to my crazy ramblings, helps me remember things that get lost in my ever-scattered brain, and never fails to make me smile (even when I’m really grumpy and just don’t want to). I’m thankful for how he humors me and follows me all around Target as I wander aimlessly without tapping his foot or seeming like he’d rather be elsewhere. How he washes all the dishes as I take a nap because the day just wore me out. How he loves me and lets me cry on his shoulder (even when I soak his shirt). How he patiently listens when we’ve just gone to bed and I’ve gotten my second wind and want to talk his ear off. How he has been by my side through this season of infertility, reminding me that we’re in this together. How he points me to a Savior; One who truly loves me and is working for my good no matter what, when I’ve felt overlooked and unworthy.

I pray, friends, that you are blessed with such a person in your life, whether it be a spouse, a parent, a sibling, or a friend. One who encourages you and helps to hold you up when you are weak. One who speaks truth to you, even if it’s hard. One who loves you.

Love & Blessings,

KJ