Thursday, October 5, 2023

Weekly Gratitude Journal

Oh my goodness! I used to be so faithful to post my gratitude list every Monday. Now it's often weeks in between postings. When I let this space become more quiet in order to devote more of my time and attention to what God was asking me to do in our church and in my "in real life" relationships, He took me up on it! But I also recognize that there is still time that I
waste that I could use to do more writing and posting.

In the past fourteen years I've counted and kept record of over 17,000 things for which I give God thanks. I've filled many little journals with each day's date and at least three God given blessings per day. I want to be sure that anyone who still pops by here to read my infrequent posts understands that I've lived through many highs, many lows and many ordinary in-between days in these fourteen years. The key is not to give God thanks whenever things are going good in life, but to notice God's goodness even on the worst of days. In the photo above I posted a verse from Habakkuk. The prophet, Habakkuk lived in a time of great moral decline in his nation and was facing an impending invasion and subsequent captivity by the Babylonian empire. It is in this context that he said this....  

Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet, I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights. Habakkuk 3:17-19  

We have a choice to make each day. Not just in how we spend our time, as I mentioned above, but also in our mindsets and the meditations of our heart. In Habakkuk's case, He made a choice of his will to rejoice in the Lord and to be joyful in God in spite of his dire circumstances. "I WILL rejoice in the Lord. I WILL be joyful in the God of my salvation."

 Keeping a gratitude journal/list is one of the tools that helps me to remember that God is good and there is always something to be grateful for even on the hardest of days. I WILL give thanks. It's a choice.

Since 2009 I've been counting my blessings thanks to the prompting of Ann Voskamp.
 I continue to count my thanks, 
piling up gratitude day by day in my journal.
(and capturing some of my blessings via my camera or iPhone)


-a strong, healthy body
-God's help when I faced something I didn't know how to handle
-two friends with "just in time" financial miracles

-waking up to the delicious sound of an unexpected summer thunderstorm and some much needed rain
-a sweet Friday date day with my guy
-lunch outside by the river together 

-2 Corinthians 1:3 The Father of mercies-The God of all comfort
-a clean house
-a good phone conversation with my daughter
-the amazing way God provides for even our small needs 
(and seeing it happen in a beautiful way for a dear friend)

-photos of our sweet youngest granddaughter sporting a "bow hawk"

-seeing God work in unexpected ways in the lives of people
-lunch with our nephew and his family

-God's provision
-a heathy body that can walk and exercise 
-seeing answers to prayer in a hurting one's life

-cooler temps, rain, leaves blowing in the breeze-the season is shifting
-lunch, planning and working on a sewing project with a friend
-an afternoon outing with my guy

-anniversary plans
-cozy candlelight

-early morning prayer time with friends
-passport renewed!
-watching a favorite movie together

-blueberry waffles with Maine maple syrup

-heart talks
-pumpkins in front of the grocery store

-an early morning walk
-the Holy Spirit ministering to my heart as I listened to worship music while cleaning house
-a photo of our four youngest grandkids who are all together this weekend

-early Sunday morning coffee and quiet time in the Word
-a great discussion time after today's message
-a yummy Labor Day weekend bbq/potluck with our church family

-our anniversary!
-anniversary card, coffee and yellow roses
-a lovely dinner out at a new to us place
-our six year old grandson and four year old granddaughter facetiming us and singing "Happy Wedding Birthday to you"

-a phone call from my daughter 
-a good talk with my guy
-help with our yard work

-a good visit with a dear one from church
-buying a little gift for someone I love
-texting my two oldest grands

-praying with friends to start the day
-a lovely drive for a little post anniversary getaway and listening to a book together on the way
-the beautiful Puget sound
-clam chowder outside on the deck overlooking the water

-a beautiful day
-breakfast in our room
-my guy taking me on the ferry to Whidbey Island to a specific beach that he read has a lot of seaglass

-adorable Coupeville!

-Isaiah 26:3
-driving home through the place we fell in love and eating lunch by the lake
-a tiny copper pot to add to my collection

-praying together at church for our son-in-law and daughter's church (today they are officially installed as lead pastors)
-lunch and deep heart conversation with friends
-ministering to a hurting young mom

-God's love, God's help, God's correction-it's all good
-baking an applesauce cake with cream cheese frosting 
-a nice long FaceTime chat with my oldest daughter and two middle grand girlies

-God speaking to me through His Word
-talks with my guy about what God is doing in our lives
-a huge answer to prayer for a loved one in need

-a mess up on a delivery for some gravel we ordered for a project that ended up saving us a lot of money
-a really good talk with our oldest granddaughter
-getting to see our youngest daughter and son-in-law who are in town from Florida for his best friend's wedding

-help for my husband's back pain
-brunch with our daughter and son-in-law
-a phone chat with my oldest brother

-Friday date day!
-a cute terra cotta jack o'lantern

-God's help with a difficult conversation

-praise God for help with some big yard projects
-a huge homemade baked ziti gobbled up by the crew
-a generous and unexpected gift 

-taking our daughter and son-in-law to the airport before church
 (sad to see them go though!)
-catching up with one of the young mama's that I haven't had a chance to talk to in a while
-my daughter and son-in-law made it safely back to Florida with two vintage cookie jars intact in their suitcase (one was my husband's mom's and one was a wedding gift to us)

-drizzly cool morning that gave way to a sunny afternoon
-a helpful county worker and construction project foreman who answered some questions for us about the ongoing road construction behind and beside our house
-discovering a big issue before they put in the new sidewalk

-dinner with a young mama/friend outside by the river on this beautiful almost autumn day
-a fingernail moon in the blue hour sky
-the Holy Spirit really is our helper! Thank You, Lord!

-a check we payed for a repair, (that was delayed in the mail for over two weeks!), finally cleared!
-flowers from my guy
-the pea gravel project in the backyard is done!
-Hula Boy for dinner! Yum!

-so many scriptures about God's peace
-a beautiful sunny day for a walk by the river with a friend
-good news about our college freshman, football player grandson
-help to move our backyard shed

-the last day of summer
-a beautiful drive up the Columbia River Gorge to the Hood River Valley on this lovely Friday date day

-fantastic pizza for lunch
-pumpkins, dalias, zinnia, big bins of local fruit

-baking pumpkin muffins with maple glaze
-the guys from our church who are helping us with our yard
-asking my girls to pray for me, (having a hard day of missing them all so much)
-them calling and texting me

-worshipping You!
-lunch with friends
-watching a favorite movie together while munching popcorn

-our youngest granddaughter asking for a purple Bible with a pink Bible cover and being able to watch a video of her opening it when we sent it to her
-comfy, cozy new slippers

-Soup night! Three kinds of soup for tonight's growth group!
-discussing what God is doing in our lives and praying together

-perfect over easy eggs on crispy sourdough toast
-a refreshing morning walk
-our three daughters!❤️❤️❤️

-God's provision for us
-Canadian geese honking as they fly overhead in their V formation
-a mid-week date night

-praying together to start the day
-a refreshing morning walk
-a great Bible study

-Friday Date Day
-after saving up and looking for over a year, finding a new leather couch for 40% off and then the manager giving us another 50% off on top of that to make room on the showroom
-a friend's help getting the couch to our house

-walking up feeling fine after thinking I as coming down with the flu last night
-a sweet quiet time
-the little frog who lives outside my home office window 
-an unexpected settlement check in the mail
-a new rug to go with the new couch for 40% off plus another $10 off on top of that

-it's October!
-powerful worship and word today
-lunch with a dear young couple and their baby

-strength to get a lot of things done in spite of a lingering migraine
-a chat with my middle daughter and my youngest daughter
-help from a trusted leader to process through something I wasn't quite grasping
-our oldest grandgirlie called her Papa today which made his day

-a FaceTime chat with my youngest grandson who tried to share his tootsie roll pop with me over the phone
-the trees all golden yellow on my walk today
-God's grace, goodness and presence in our meeting with the women of our church 

-God's peace and presence
-my guys help and encouragement about redoing our living room
(Our old leather furniture was 24 years old!)
-God is answering my heart's cry

still following,

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