I will thank you, Lord, among all the people. I will sing your praises among the nations. Psalm 57:9 It seems like as soon as October 1st hits, the Holiday and Christmas rush begins. I think November is a wonderful time to slow down and look around our lives at the many blessings God has bestowed on us. It's a time to rejoice in all things. To be honest, I really want to live with a grateful heart all times of the year. I am documenting 30 days of thanks in pictures for the second year in a row. I loved looking back on these sweet blessings at the end of November last fall so I knew I wanted to do it again.
I have been reading 1000 gifts by Ann Voscamp since summer (I am a slow reader) and it really is a beautiful way to live...to really seek God in all things. To live a life seeking the beautiful gifts awaiting us each day. They may not always seem big, but they are never insignificant. This way of life doesn't mean we will not face heartache, bad days, rough patches, despair, loss, or any thing else that can bring us down. No, we will always find valleys in our lives,but you can find beauty and light even in these dark hours. You just have to have your eyes open to it.
I am thankful that no matter where I look in my home, there are traces of children, traces of life, love and living together as a family. I never want to take these for granted.
This picture is a little reminder of a day painting leaves, because otherwise our leaves here in Florida do not have much color.
I love that many mornings we wake up with one or two or even three extra bodies in our bed; even if it feels super crowded and my sleep is disturbed. I love this because most days it feels like they are growing up way too fast, but this is a reminder that they do still need us..that they still love our comfort, our touch, and our presence. And this fills my heart.
"your lovely even with your scars" -amy grant
I have struggled with people pleasing and perfectionism as long as I can remember. In doing this, many times I have questioned if I am enough? I am starting to see that my oldest daughter struggles in similar ways. Today, I am grateful for the way God brings His message to us through music. We were in the car when Amy Grant's Don't Try So Hard came on the radio. It was a such a blessing to be reminded that we are more than enough in the Lord, and that His Grace is never ending. To be reminded we don't need to try so hard. And what a gift to talk about the meaning of this song with my 9 year old.
Over the past six years Alzheimer's has taken so much away from my father-n-law and our family. But today I rejoice and am beyond thankful that there are still precious moments like these. I am so grateful my children get to have this time with their Grandfather and can see the love that he still feels for them. It's a reminder that even in the hardest of circumstances, God is still very much there.
At first glance this photograph looks similar to many others I have of our four year old--our sweet child who loves to paint. As her mama, I know the story and feeling behind the pictures making each one unique and special. I could capture her like this daily, in her world, in her element. I feel so blessed to get to watch her enthusiasm, her imagination, and her love for creating come alive. I pray she will always have this spirit.
I must admit I am not the best doggie mama at times...somewhere between having our children and my husband leaving for countless deployments our faithful friend seemed to get less of my attention. But, I am so grateful for the 14 years of companionship he has brought us. I am grateful that my children give him the love he deserves. We have so many memories with him and I am forever grateful. My children have never known life without him...he is our family♥
This week I realized we had reached a milestone in our home. It was the first time in almost 10 years that no one needed a diaper or a pull-up. (not for day, not for night, not at all) I think back over these years of there always being a baby in the home. I am grateful to all the memories...the life that has been lived. Long nights at times. Tantrums. New Words. Giggles. So much learning in the early years. Today I look at our three little people..our three blessings and I thank God for who they are each becoming. It's hard to realize they are getting older, but I see them in a such a beautiful way with the wings they are growing.
When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. And when life is bitter, say thank you and grow. - Shauna Niequist
You can come back next Friday to see my next week of gratefulness. And if you are doing a project too, I'd love you to comment. I am enjoying following so many other people on this journey this month.