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 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 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 6

As today is Election Day, the most obvious thing to be thankful for is my right to vote. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m totally grateful for that right, but that’s not at the top of my thankfulness list today.

Scrolling through my FB feed, along with all the photos of “I voted” stickers, I was surprised by what I’ve seen. Friends of mine, most with varying viewpoints, writing thoughtful statements of understanding of those who might vote differently than them.

Two years ago the atmosphere was volatile between a lot of people of varying views and beliefs. People saying they no longer wanted to be friends with those who may have voted differently than themselves. People saying hateful things all because of a box someone checked.

I have hope that some truths were learned in the last two years, on all sides, about how letting party lines divide friendships, families, cities, a nation helps no one at all. In the end no one wins if we are a people divided.

I may sound naive and idealistic. I can’t say I’d argue with that, because it’s probably true. I am thankful, though, to see people encourage others to vote, knowing the boxes checked may be different than theirs. I am thankful to see people be open with their thoughts on the matter and also admit that others have the right to their own thoughts. I am thankful that people have said outright, “How you vote will not effect our friendship, just please, go out and vote.”

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

Thankfulness: Day 2

Today I’m thankful for days like this; the last warm ones before fall and winter completely take hold. Ones where I can take the kiddos outside without jackets and they can run and play for however long they want (or, more often than not, until their mama comes to pick them up and take them home).

This was our afternoon, a good one after a long day of grocery shopping, lunch, napping for the little one, and a little tv watching for the one a little too big for naps.

Whatever the weather where you are, I hope there’s a bit of it you can enjoy; a bit that reveals the Maker to you, the beauty of His creation, and His goodness.

Love & Blessings,

KJ