Each year starting on November 1, the kids start writing a gratitude list on leaf stickers to attach to our Thankful Tree. I never posted last year’s list (I had foot surgery and got a little behind), but this year’s list was very similar to 2008’s, 2009’s, and 2010’s lists.
Katie’s list: friends, family, God, food, entertainment, love, birthdays, neighbors, church, our treehouse, the couch, school, books!, sleep!, bacon, clean water, music, the Bible, pineapple, chocolate, geocaching, hikes
Jackson’s list: Liam, Lauren [teacher’s baby], pets, Mrs. XX [teacher], my famuley [family], movies, my birthday, Dade [Daddy], my skabrd [skateboard], gum, pets & pizza, Toys R Us, crees [trees], Katie, tigrs [tigers], skoll [school], spidrs [spiders], teeve [TV], books, Mage [Maggie – Grandma’s dog], Adam, momee [Mommy]
Throughout the month of November, I decided to post things I’m thankful for on Facebook every day. Here are my posts.
1. It was a good day. I'm thankful for that!
2. I'm thankful for a church that brought me Home, and a Savior who doesn't give up on me.
3. Tonight, I am thankful for the blessing of friendship. Two friends spent their evening walking through a grocery story with me, giving me tips and tricks for living with a food allergy. Thank you, Gina and Brian! You are an inspiration to me, and make me feel much more confident and educated. Another friend organized a love ambush from 15 women I have never met. They texted me to thank me for something I created which they received. It was an amazing feeling to hear my phone chime over and over again with words of encouragement. Thank you, Jilly!
5. Tonight, I'm thankful for sleep and the 10 hours I got last night. I felt like a new woman all day! I'm so glad God made our bodies with built-in reboot systems.
6. I added today's sticker to my collection on the closet wall. I'm thankful for all twenty years I've been blessed to wear this badge of honor! (And, no, the collection is not complete and doesn't include EVERY voting sticker I've ever worn... just those I happened to save! Along with my Oscar Meier Weinermobile sticker, blood donor stickers, church name tags, and Museum of Transportation stickers. Quite the hodge podge.)
7. Today, I'm thankful that my Leader wasn't elected. Say what you will, but my life was changed when I stopped following religion and chose to follow the King instead. My hurts ache less, my joys have multiplied, and my hope has been secured. In the midst of a changing world, His love is unfailing and everlasting. Christ is my Leader, my Redeemer, my Savior and my best friend. I didn't elect Him; I invited Him in to my brokenness and surrendered my life to Him. It changed my life, and that kind of change is good!
8. Today, I'm thankful for new beginnings. There are too many to name, but this photo I took yesterday illustrates just one of them. Yep, outside the window is a John Deere tractory-thing-a-ma-bob in my church's back yard.
9. I'm thankful for the adoration my kids feel for their daddy. This was the view this morning at her bedroom window, as they waited on pins and needles to wave to Daddy as he pulled out of the driveway. When he gets home from work, they argue over who gets First Hug. (Luckily, we started a new system based on whether your birthdate is an odd or even day and whether today is odd or even. It has helped lots!)
10. Today, I'm thankful for technology. It allows me to log in to the office on Saturday nights (Google Drive), watch old TV episodes on the couch with my honey (Survivor), take photos of my friends and family (DSLR!), connect with people from all the circles of my life (Facebook), go to church any day of the week (www.wcrossing.org), read a book in the dark at bedtime (Kindle), look up great ideas for every hair brained idea I have (Pinterest), and make the kids laugh with the Afro Circus song (YouTube). We live in a great world, my friends!
11. Today, I am thankful for the Uncommon generosity that made my church possible: those who came before me 20+ years ago and started meeting in someone's living room, and the brand new ones I got to register today for their first visit to The Crossing. Happy 1st birthday to my church campus, The Crossing at Mid Rivers!
12. I'm thankful that my sister heard something in my voice and knew I needed someone to listen, so she called me back instead of going to bed. I'm thankful she's a teacher and can give me feedback when I need it, and I'm thankful she is a bossy big sister who reminds me to snap out of it with her words of wisdom: "Yellow isn't the end of the world." I love you, Mary! Thanks for being such a good substitute for Mom and Dad.
13. Today, I'm thankful that I get to work with a group of unpaid people who give of their heart and soul to teach little ones about grace and joy. From the team of ladies who come in on Tuesdays and tirelessly scrub toys and organize lessons and help me decorate rooms (and make Pinterest-worthy contraptions like this sticker holder!), to the dedicated 100+ volunteers who show up on Sundays and donate their time in making our church a safe, caring and dynamic place... I am so grateful that I get to spend my days being surrounded by people who WANT to be in my "office" (my church). Talk about job satisfaction!
14. Today, I'm thankful for the medicine that treats my lupus and Raynauds Syndrome. I am blessed to feel as good as I do, and I would be miserable without it. Thank God for researchers, doctors and nurses who help make modern medicine happen!
15. I don't understand how I can be a college-educated, responsible, middle-aged (!) adult and yet I still burn the bacon Every. Single. Time. I cook it. So tonight, I am thankful for a husband who brings home the bacon AND cooks it soooo much better than me!
(And I'm thankful for the parents who taught him to be such a good husband!)
18. Today, I'm thankful for this little soul God has allowed me to shepherd. She is a light in my life, even when she is full of spark and fireworks. Today, I got to walk her first labyrinth with her [at Delmar Baptist Church]. Tonight, she asked me about camera techniques so I taught her focal points and depth of field. My girl is my heart!
20. Forgot to post this last night: I am thankful for my kids' Grandma and Poppy, and that my children will grow up with so many memories of being loved by their grandparents.
21. Tonight, I'm thankful for this little guy. He is scrappy, passionate, and his love is all-consuming. His life has changed quite a bit these last few weeks, but he is rolling with it beautifully and only had one food tantrum (darn Froot Loops!). Tonight, he didn't understand why he couldn't have the money in his Living Water donation jar, until we spent time remembering kids who don't have clean water. The next thing I know, he's digging in random spots where he has hidden pennies all over the kitchen (like a squirrel) and putting them in the jar. Atta boy!
22. Thankful for extended families: the one I married in to (who I can always count on for a hike after a holiday dinner) and the one I was born in to (and I'm trying unsuccessfully not to miss tonight). They are the ones who remember our stories and can tell them back to us. Thankful that they tie our yesterdays to our tomorrows.
25. Tonight, I'm thankful for my kids' school - and that it's in session tomorrow! They have great teachers who take such good care of them and partner with us parents to encourage learning at home too. Teachers are a blessing in my life!
26. Thankful for beautiful movies that remind me what a splendid world we live in. I got to see one of them today. What is your favorite movie? I have nine and can't decide on my very favorite.
27. Driving behind a student driver today, I thought of all the things I have mastered and taken for granted. Tonight, I'm thankful for lifelong curiosity and the ability to keep learning every day of my life.
28 & 29. Today's thankful post is a two-for-one deal for today and yesterday. I'm thankful for days OFF and days ON: A day OFF with my husband yesterday, and a day ON for him as he started his new job today! I'm thankful for new beginnings.
30. A few years ago, I started this texting thing with my friend Jill. We began sending each other scripture, as a way to keep God in our lives every day. That texting has now grown into an abundant blessing (and a ministry) in my life. Tonight, I am thankful for the friends, family, and neighbors who let me fill up their phones with God's love letters to us. These people allow me to enter their lives and periodically respond back with incredibly moving stories of how a little text changed their day/week/life. I'm thankful that God uses technology to continue speaking in new ways to us!