Friday, November 26

the thanksgiving project :: the end

when i first set out to do this project, i wasn't sure how it would end. would i even follow through? would my lens be any different? will i learn anything? will i be a more thankful person?

well, here we are. (: and 26 days later, i can say that my days are filled with more things to be thankful for than i can write down or even recognize. signing on for this project forced me to open my eyes and to be more conscious of my life. each day i'd be taking mental note: is this what i'd like to write about today? 

bad days still happen. i still find myself disappointed. or frustrated. or sad

but i have a month's worth of gifts to look back on and be thankful for. 

being thankful is a character trait. that is what i am striving for. the more i open my eyes to the blessings around me, big and small, the easier it is to give thanks in the bad times and the more i realize i have infinite blessings in my life. for that, i am thankful.

Tuesday, November 23

tidbits and tangents

day twenty-three: i'm thankful for unseasonably warm weather. 

i'm thankful for people in new york who care about me and have made my transition in living here enjoyable. 

i'm thankful that i am 3.5 hours away from a 6-day vacation that includes spending the thanksgiving holiday with my man and his fam and then spending some much needed time with my own. 

i'm thankful to have an apartment to come home to every evening. 

i'm thankful for a job. 

i'm thankful that i am being challenged in so many ways right now and have hope that God is doing a great work in me and will not finish it until it is complete. 

i'm thankful for Love.

Monday, November 22


day twenty-two: tonight i am thankful for encouragement. i received unexpected words of affirmation this evening, and i am especially thankful because it came at a time when i have been wrestling with whether i should keep pressing on in something or not. so often we admire things in others, but so rarely do we tell them. my encouragement to you is to encourage someone today. 

affirm the gift of hospitality in someone. 

let someone know how much you appreciate being able to have heart-to-hearts with her. 

tell a friend how much you love her recipe for spinach dip or chocolate chip cookies. 

encourage the friend who is striving to be a writer. 

if i'm honest, most of the time, i see gifts in others and i walk around feeling inadequate and forgotten. comparison and envy are crippling to the soul and draining to the body. they do no good, and they simply aren't true. God has gifted me and you. He has created us with unique passion and purpose in mind.

instead of looking around and getting hung up on what you are not, bless someone today by letting them know you notice them and their gifts. and trust that others are noticing yours. i promise that blessing someone else, you'll find yourself blessed too.

Saturday, November 20


day nineteen: i am thankful for my sister, heather. 24 years ago she was born (boy, does that make ME feel old!), and from that time i've had a best friend. she's endured many trials, especially in this last year, but she keeps going with strength i'm not sure i even have. she is a fabulous mother, a faithful friend, and a complete goofball. i'm so thankful to have someone in my life who has been there for so much of it, who knows me, who gets me, who shares an interest in so many of the quirky things i do, and who i know i can go to any time of day or night. happy birthday heather. i love you!

Friday, November 19

a day off

day eighteen: i am thankful for a day off. my only commitment was a dinner with john for the YMCA he works for. it's such a blessing to have a day to myself, to do all sorts of things i want to do - watch movies, clean, nap, pay bills, set up christmas decorations, and schedule doctors' appointments. *sigh* i love being an adult. despite all of the grown up things i took care of, it was still a day of rest, a much needed one. and i'm glad to have a weekend right around the corner!

Wednesday, November 17

test results

day seventeen: i am oh-so-thankful for my dad. he deserves a post of his own, but today, in particular, i am thankful that he is cancer-free. i've been filled with a bit of anxiety the last few weeks, from the night he called me to tell me the doctors wanted him to have a biopsy because a test came back with not-so-hot results to the biopsy last week to the waiting, waiting, waiting for the results. i just heard from my mom that they found out the biopsy was clear, and i'm just overwhelmed with joy and relief. 

i've been challenged to surrender to whatever God's will is, in all circumstances and situations, to whatever will bring Him glory and to trust Him. this has been extremely hard, and God has once again overwhelmed me with His love and mercy.

i'm just so thankful that my dad is ok.

Monday, November 15


day fifteen: tonight i am thankful for being stretched. it's uncomfortable and it hurts. sometimes things snap and sting for some time. but i hope that through this current time of being stretched i am growing and being molded into better shape. i pray that i am pliable enough to not resist being stretched, but to embrace it and allow God to do what He wants in my life through this process. i'm thankful that He loves me enough to desire to make me look more like Him.

Sunday, November 14


day fourteen: i am thankful for rest. after a very full week, today is my day of rest. a day full of paninis, naps, movies, and lots of couch time. (: i'm thankful that God created us to work hard and then to enjoy rest.

Saturday, November 13


day twelve: i am thankful for teamwork. i try to do things on my own a lot of the time in pride. but this day i would have never gotten all that i had to do done at work without several helping hands. i'm thankful for people who are willing to come alongside me and show me that it really is better to not walk alone.

Friday, November 12

so much time, and so little to do

strike that, reverse it.

day eleven: i'm thankful for seasons. this last month or so has been stressful. i've had a lot to accomplish, especially at work, and i'm getting to the point of feeling like i'm running on fumes with little to give. and yesterday, i pretty much reached my breaking point. but, because of the awareness that this is only a season, things didn't get too messy. (: just a couple more days to give my best, and i'll be able to enjoy some time off and spend a season refreshing and rejuvenating. 

there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.
ecclesiastes  3:1

Wednesday, November 10

my patient Padre

day ten: tonight i am thankful that God is patient. i can look back each day and see all the things i should have said, all the things i should not have said, the help i should have offered, the way i should have spent my time... and right in the midst of it all, He is there, and He is patient with me. i mess up over and over again and as years go by, i am frustrated that in feeling like i really haven't made as much progress as i thought i should have with those same sins. weren't we working on this in me ten years ago God? why haven't i got it yet? but He never gives up on me. He reels me back in, gently, patiently, and teaches me again. His love for me never fails.

drive to dream to live

day nine: i am thankful for a vehicle. with a working car, i can get to work, i can go out on my lunch break, i can get home, i can go visit with friends in the evening. i can get out for a drive when i'm stressed or to go admire the beauty of God's creation. with a vehicle, i am able to visit my family and friends in new jersey and (hopefully sometime in the next 6 months!) visit friends in ohio! i'm thankful to have money to put gas in the tank too. cause, you know, a working vehicle with no gas is really not a working vehicle at all. (:

Monday, November 8


day eight: today i am thankful for mistakes. a mistake at the cafe next to where i was working this morning meant a free chai latte for me! (whipped cream? you bet. cinnamon topping? oh. yes.)

i'm a person with a pretty strong fear of failure. i hate to mess up. i can literally make myself sick over stress. mistakes don't sit well with me.

so to benefit this morning from a mistake got me thinking. what if mistakes were opportunities i or someone around me would have otherwise missed? what if mistakes were moments for me to practice grace? what if mistakes were simply part of my human condition - therefore something to be expected - and also not something to put so much energy worrying about? what if, now that i expected them, i also pushed myself to learn from them?

i'm not condoning laziness or carelessness in responsibilities, but rather doing the best i can, striving to become better, and keeping my eyes open to how my mistakes might become opportunities.

mistakes don't have to act like a stopper. they can be chances to grow and flourish and learn something i wouldn't have if everything had gone according to plan. today i'm thankful for a simple mistake, for the warm beverage it gifted me, and the perspective it's helped me to see.

Saturday, November 6

honeycrisp apples

day six: honeycrisp apples. oh yes, i am thankful for honeycrisp apples. they couldn't be more appropriately named - they're as sweet as honey and snap when you bite into them. they really are the most delicious apple. add a little caramel, and my taste buds almost don't know what to do with themselves. thank you, God, for honeycrisp apples!

Friday, November 5

date night

day five: i'm thankful to be a few minutes from walking out the door to go to dinner with my stud and one of our favorite couples. longhorn steakhouse is the plan (also know as the restaurant john and i had our first date *swoon*). our friends have a sitter for their kids for the night, so for the first time in ever (for me!) we're hitting the town! i'm thankful for good friendships and the opportunity to treat ourselves a little bit.

time to go... i can almost smell the steak. yum!

Thursday, November 4

the daily grind

day four: tonight i'm thinking back on my day and am thankful to work with people with whom i can share the things that are going on in my heart and in my personal life and find compassion, understanding, and prayer. there are so many people who aren't in jobs where they have someone to relate with them on a faith level, so many who are the light day to day, so may who don't find encouragement from their coworkers. i'm blessed to be able to sow daily in a place whose very mission is to help prepare God's people to further His kingdom.

Wednesday, November 3

rise and shine

day three: i am thankful for sunny days. my soul breathes easy when there is sunshine to see and feel.

"Anyone's life truly lived consists of work, sunshine, exercise, soap, plenty of fresh air, and a happy contented spirit."
Lillie Langtry

Tuesday, November 2

for passion and purpose

day two: today i am thankful for passion - for opportunity to figure out what i'm here to do and who i am to be. i'm thankful for how God interweaves my being and doing into purpose. i'm thankful that even though i don't have it all figured out and i sometimes question what the point of it all is, He promises me hope and a future. i'm thankful i am fearfully and wonderfully made. and because of that, there are things that make me feel alive and excite me and fill me with joy. it is the uniqueness of these things, things i see, hear, and do, these passions, that make me who i am.

Monday, November 1

the thanksgiving project

it seems as the days start to get shorter, my words are carried away on cold winds. i just don't feel i have much to say these days. as i do a little evaluating of myself, my direction, and in particular, this blog, instead of taking a hiatus, i am going to try something a facebook friend posted about today. it's the beginning of november and thanksgiving is a few short weeks away. with the tendency to jump right over turkey day to christmas, i don't want to miss out on all that this month of thanksgiving can hold. each day i am going to try to write down something i am thankful for. this thankfulness thing has come up in various places over the last few months, and even though i've had steady reminders, i'm just not there yet. i hope, if nothing else, that this month will be one in which i come to understand thankfulness more.

day one: tonight, i am thankful for a warm bed and a good book beside it to read as i drift off to sleep!
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