The day I stepped out of my comfort zone.
Do you ever have an idea and then you realize that idea is floating a little further away from you than you’d like so you quickly grab it before it pops your “bubble” …?
Well, today I had one of those…
But, every time I turned around it had slipped out of my fingers and was floating up again. So finally, I stopped trying to grab it and keep it under control.
When I woke this morning I had a lovely post waiting for me from one of the bloggers I follow, Jennifer Dukes Lee, and in it she offered a “30 Days of Gratitude Chellenge” …Which, I accepted. There are thirty days in November, November is the home of the “thankfulness” holiday, so to start on the first seemed like a no-brainer to me.
I screen-shotted the list of ideas and went about my day. But, I kept thinking about it and how lately a lot of the verses brought up in various studies have been about inspiring others to “good works.” And I think taking a moment and be intentionally grateful is important…
But, that seemed like a big undertaking. So I pushed that idea riiiight to the side.
And it came riiiiight back.
By the third time I had everyone’s contact lined up in a text message ready to go, I decided to just do it.
It wasn’t like these women were scary either, they are friends and close acquaintances. Whom I love. Still, I was second guessing myself and that little voice telling me to share… and so that’s why I did it.
Here we are a month later, it is now the first week of December 2017 and I have learned a lot…
I have learned more about the people I love and their view on things. I have learned that everyone is going to come to a topic differently; depending on what season of life they are in, their age, how their day is going… and that is so beautiful. I have learned to look at things from multiple angles and levels. I have learned that you don’t have to have the perfect answer for every question; just be honest and real.
But, I think the main thing I learned from this challenge is that God has blessed me, and those around me, with a truly amazing life…
Everything we listed or talked about were things already in our lives. Taking a moment to be grateful for what is already there (especially as we enter a season where it is so easy to get swept up into thinking about what we want and what we “should” get for x, y, z person…) is so important to me.
At the risk of this quickly turning into a novella let’s dive into my recap of the “30 Days of Gratitude Challenge!”
Day #1 – What unexpected blessing are you grateful for?
(For some reason unbeknownst to me I didn’t save the first day’s answer… Sooo… I will do my best to remember all I said.)
I could write a post and a half on the unexpected blessings that have come into my life. If you know me/have been reading along for any length of time you know this. But, for both of our time’s sake I will just mention one… less, obvious one.
There are so many amazing factors around this vehicle… God’s timing is truly perfect. It is awesome to watch God’s hand orchestrate everything around you; when you let Him. His timing truly is perfect. I could not have imagined what He was going to bless me with. I always say that I couldn’t have prayed for this because I didn’t know it existed for me… but, He really hears us. He knows our hearts. It was when I was quiet for a moment, when I stopped looking and trying to figure it out on my own that He threw open the doors.
I am so very grateful that I get the opportunity to bless others through what He has given me.
Day #2 – What friend are you grateful for?
Honestly… all of you. I was nervous to start this challenge because I don’t talk to a lot of you on a daily, or even weekly, basis. But, you all welcomed it so enthusiastically and inspire me to reach out more!
More specifically, if I had to pick one friend I am grateful for right now I would have to pick Ariana. She inspires me to just be me. To speak the truth and what’s on my mind in an up-front, honest and loving way.
(Bonus: She always makes me laugh!)
1 Thessalonians 5: 11 NKJV“Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.”
Day #3 – What childhood lesson are you grateful for?
I am grateful for learning that life is hard and bad things happen; but, that when they do the “heaviness” won’t last forever. Thank you Jesus for time, healing and carrying us through the deep waters.
Isaiah 43: 2 – 4 NKJV
“2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. 3 For I am the LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I gave Egypt for your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in your place. 4 Since you were precious in My sight, You have been honored, And I have loved you; Therefore I will give men for you, And people for your life.”
“The pain doesn’t go away but it gets easier with time.” – my Grandma
Day #4 – What attribute of God are you grateful for?
His steadfastness. When I think about my life my Heavenly Father has been the one constant. I wish I had always seen/appreciated that. His constant patience, faithfulness, forgiveness, love, protection… He is so good.
(I loved one of my friend’s answers: creativeness. I had honestly never thought of that before… He made not just each of us so uniquely down to our DNA, but every animal, every flower, every tree, every sunset… and He never runs out of ideas! …When I am doodling I consider it a success if I make it through one page without reusing ideas.)
Day #5 – What family member are you grateful for today?
My brother Kasey. He always inspires me to do and be better at everything I do. To never just accept what I am told but to research and figure things out for myself, according to God’s Word.
Proverbs 27: 17 NKJV
“As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.”
Romans 12: 2 NKJV
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
Day #6 – What provision are you grateful for?
It may seem cliché… But, the provision I am most grateful for is water. I used to drink no where near enough and now that I have such good water readily available to me, I realize how blessed I am to have it.
Day #7 – What song are you grateful for?
“I have decided to follow Jesus.” This song has really spoken to my heart lately. I am so grateful for the encouragement it brings.
Mark 8: 34 NKJV
“When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, ‘Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.'”
Day #8 – What tradition are you grateful for?
I am grateful for the tradition of traditions… I have never really had consistent traditions; but, I always wanted them. GOD heard me! He gave me a family and a life full of constant celebration and traditions. So, now that I have them, that’s what I’m grateful for. Again, if I have to pick one… I would probably pick, doing the advent calendar. I love that we celebrate Jesus Christ’s birthday all month long by doing fun activities with ones we love.
1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18 NKJV
“16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ for you.”
Day #9 – What book are you grateful for?
I have three:
I am grateful for my Bible. I love it so much, it was gift and I realize how blessed I am that I live in a country where I am able to pull it out and read it whenever I want. I am grateful for the book “Boundaries” by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend and also “You are already amazing.” by Holley Gerth… I highly recommend all of these books.
2 Timothy 3: 16-17 NKJV
“16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Day #10 – What memory are you grateful for?
Oooo… tough one. I am grateful for the memory of riding in a horse carriage by the bay with my mom when I was little it was such a fun eventful night and I hadn’t given much thought again until now.
One more, I am grateful for the memory of my first time really playing with Sophie in her little yellow dress. Offering up an M&M every time she signed please and thank you.
Day #11 – What talent are you grateful for?
I am grateful for the talent of writing that has led to God’s work and history being passed on through the years.
Isaiah 40: 8 NKJV
“The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.”
Day #12 – What Bible lesson are you grateful for?
Paul on the road to Damascus. I am grateful to know that no matter where, or what, we come from God takes us right where we are. He makes us new and uses us just as we are.
2 Corinthians 5: 17 NKJV
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
Isaiah 43: 18-19 NKJV
“18 Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. 19 Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert.”
Day #13 – What technology are you grateful for?
My cellphone (surprise, surprise). More specifically, I am grateful to be able to instantly connect with family and friends, at the tap of a screen.
Day #14 – What mission or charity are you grateful for?
Samaritan’s Purse. I love that you know where your money is actually going and that it’s toward the causes that you care about. I also love that you can donate to so many different needs right there in one place. God is so amazing.
Acts 20: 35 NKJV
“‘I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.””
Day #15 – What silly moment are you grateful for?
Today the silly moment I am grateful for is when I was holding Jonny’s hand walking through the store and we would stop quickly and try to catch the person off guard. I love Him! He always makes me smile.
Job 8: 21 NKJV
“He will yet fill your mouth with laughing, And your lips with rejoicing.”
Day #16 – What surprise are you grateful for?
I am grateful for all of the surprises that are found in each week/day there is always something fun and random happening. I love that my days never look the same. I love my life.
Day #17 – What view are you grateful for?
I answered this question both ways… I am grateful for the view of the sunset each night. God is such an amazing artist and paints it so different every night. He is truly amazing. And I am also grateful for the view of the Bible and of the world that I have now.
John 8: 32 NKJV
“‘And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.'”
Day #18 – What kindness are you grateful for?
My little siblings always offering to help me. I am so blessed to have a family that is always looking for ways to serve one another.
Proverbs 10: 4 NKJV
“He who has a slack hand becomes poor, But the hand of the diligent makes rich.”
Day #19 – What product are you grateful for?
My Tom’s of Maine fluoride and SLS-free toothpaste. I am grateful to have safe and and healthy products to use.
Day #20 – What teacher are you grateful for?
I am so very grateful for Mama. She has taught me, and continues to teach me, so much about being a woman of God and what that means. I could write a novella (and actually have) on the things that this amazing woman has taught me. God has truly shown me favor by placing her in my life.
Proverbs 3: 5-7 NKJV
“5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil.”
Proverbs 19: 20-21 NKJV
“20 Listen to counsel and receive instruction, That you may be wise in your latter days. 21 There are many plans in a man’s heart, Nevertheless the LORD’s counsel – that will stand.”
Proverbs 31: 26-28 NKJV
“26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness. 27 She watches over the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her:”
Day #21 – What room are you grateful for?
The kitchen. We make so many memories in there and it is the room we most often find ourselves standing in just talking and doing everything. I see so many people blessed out of our kitchen.
Bonus: I love baking… Ha!
Galatians 6: 10 NKJV
“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
Romans 12: 5 NKJV
“so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.”
Day #22 – What Bible character are you grateful for?
(I am going to change it to: What historical Bible figure are you grateful for?)
And I never want to say, “besides Jesus” so instead, I will say, “beside Jesus.”
The Apostle Paul. I am so grateful for his strength and his perseverance and his love in bringing us the Good News. Selflessly, truly wanting others to grow closer to God. He gives me so much hope and encouragement.
Day #23 – What hour of the day are you grateful for?
Firstly, (really truly) whatever hour of the day my Heavenly Father wakes me up and gifts me another day. And secondly, aboooout 11pm. When the littles are down with shows, us bigs are winding down a little, having bigs conversations, eating and starting to watch an episode of our show for the night. So grateful for this time.
Ecclesiastes 3: 1 NKJV
“To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:”
2 Peter 3: 8 NKJV
“But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”
Ephesians 5: 16 NKJV
“redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
Psalm 90: 12 NKJV
“So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
Day #24 – What household task are you grateful for?
Dishes. I used to strongly dislike doing the dishes; but, now I am extremely grateful for them. I am grateful God has provided food (through Dad) for my family and friends. I am grateful for being able to serve God through serving my family and any guests we have by doing the dishes… and I am grateful that it has become a nice quiet time at night to relax and pray.
Colossians 3: 23 NKJV
“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,”
Day #25 – What happened yesterday that you’re grateful for?
Playing the game catch phrase, rotating family members. Games make me so… pumped. I get so excited and energized! And it is SO NICE to just relax and play and laugh and make memories.
Day #26 – What ordinary object are you grateful for?
Pens. I love… LOVE writing. The mental process of getting thoughts out. The physical act of it. Watching letters and thoughts form. Hand lettering. Drawing. Doodling. Etc. And so, I am very grateful for all of the pens God has supplied me with.
James 1:17 NKJV
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”
Day #27 – What struggle are you grateful for?
I can think of quite a few that I am truly grateful for, all for the same reasons… They cause me to draw closer to my Heavenly Father. To go to Him first and to think about it before I go to someone else. (To really question my motives behind why I am even reaching out/sharing with someone else.)
Day #28 – What change are you grateful for?
Oh boy… there are just too many. But, if I had to pick just one I would have say… the change in the way I view the world. (Family/all relationships, courting, marriage, music, social media, media in general, etc.) He is so faithful.
Romans 12: 2 NKJV – See day #5.
Day #29 – What story are you grateful for?
I am grateful for so many stories…
Isaiah 40: 8 NKJV – See day #11.
That was my whole answer I didn’t have a really good solid answer for this one. I can think of many events in the Bible that I am grateful for; but, I have a hard time referring to them as “stories” and I can think of a lot of memories that I love.
Topic #30 – What promise are you grateful for?
I am grateful for the promise of salvation through my Savior Jesus Christ.
Romans 10: 9 NKJV
“that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
That if I confess my sins, repent, turn from evil and follow Him I will be saved through the blood of my Savior Jesus Christ. I am grateful for the promise that my Heavenly Father will “never leave nor forsake me.”
Hebrews 13:5 NKJV
“Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you not forsake you.'”
Matthew 6: 30-34 NKJV – See day #27.
…I want to thank everyone who joined me on this little adventure. It has really given me a better sense of gratitude for the things already in my life and opened my eyes to all of the different levels held in certain topics/questions. Taking into consideration the different ways people may see things. It also inspired me to reach out and invest in the people around me more. Thank you Miss Jennifer Dukes Lee!
Until next time; I pray your day, every day, is blessed.