For the past few years, I've been posting daily what I'm thankful for during the month of November. I've compiled the entire month's worth of posts here:
1: the Word of God. will and the girls. family, extended and adopted, near and far. friends - old and new, facebook or face-to-face. a van. a van that works. the privilege and responsibility of prayer. that the name of Jesus is so sweet and so mighty. the renewing and transforming of my heart and mind by the aforementioned Word. the girls requesting 'amazing grace' as their bedtime song.
2. the sounds of little ones getting up in the morning. hot tea on chilly mornings. knowing that we're being prayed for. God's daily provisions. the throne of grace. living in America. isaac, noah, & luke and their moms katie, ashley, & brenda. the Bible House. fuzzy socks. when the girls want to snuggle and read with me. the group of moms that i'm going to be studying the Bible with this morning.
3. indoor plumbing. electricity. supermarkets. sanitation. and all of the other things that are considered standard in our country but are only hoped for in other places. the prophets who chose obedience to God over their own reputation and comfort. being able to read. elizabeth's thoughtfulness, abby's humor, and hannah's joy. the sunrise, which reminds me that God's mercies are new today!
4. early morning whispery-giggly conversations between sisters while they're still in bed. friday morning being waffle morning in our house. psalm 119!! the freedom to educate my girls at home. random jammy-days. the birds who live on (...in) our porch, as a visual reminder of matthew 6:26. my mom & dad. God's absolute sovereignty! friends who encourage & admonish - refining me as iron sharpens iron. will and his dedication to being an example for the young men by leading MOG. my 'beautiful you' ladies. having enough for just today, and that being sufficient
5 Hannah only waking up once last night. another sunrise (His mercies are new every morning!). jerel & kimm visiting this weekend. the quiet that happens in the moments directly following the beginning of a meal. good news from a far country being like cold water to a weary soul (proverbs 25:25). farmer's casserole. that God's promises never fail and His Word never returns void. hannah getting stronger every day! abby & elizabeth being best friends. the steadfast love of Jesus, who is the anchor of my soul
6. getting in an extra hour of 'snuggle' time this morning with the girls because their bodies didn't reset with DST. :) the imaginations and insights of my children. the Word being living and powerful, able to discern the thoughts & intents of my heart. chocolate mint tea. our church family. my dear friend katie, and today being her birthday. looking forward to spending time with my sister-in-law this afternoon. handmade blankets. the freedom to worship and follow Jesus.
7. the many ways that God has softened and changed my heart over the years. the ten commandments, and the whole of God's law as the 'tutor that brings me to Christ'. candles that make my home smell like i've been baking all day. how elizabeth & abby just love on their little sister. being nudged out of my comfort zone, so i can grow. sonlight (our homeschool curriculum). whoever invented the crock pot.
8. long talks & praying with good friends. leftovers. hannah's physical therapist (Miss Becky). the Word of God, which never, ever changes. will ♥ martin luther. being a wonder to many, but God being my strong refuge [psalm 71:7]. when things don't go the way i planned!! butter toast. dirty laundry & dirty dishes, which mean that my family is clothed & fed. sunny days. did i mention will yet? he is a godly husband, dad & leader in our home
9. the girls sneaking downstairs in the morning and ambushing me with hugs & kisses. sunny mornings. not feeling well because it forces me to admit that i can't handle the day in my own strength, so i rely on God's. job 38-42. christmas carols. the moms from Bible study (even though we're not meeting this morning!). the theriault family, whose obedience is bringing blessing! and coffee....... :D
10. my little brother, jerel, who was born on this day a number of years ago (love you bud)! a good night's rest. the ladies in my life who encourage me to rightly divide the Word of Truth and who strive to live what they're teaching. waiting on the Lord. those little ghirardelli chocolate squares. love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, & self-control, against which there is no law [galatians 5:22-23]!
11. men & women who have served in the military, not for their own glory but for the love of their country. freedom of the press, religion, assembly, and speech. spending time in prayer and in the Word with young ladies like kaila, tricia, brianna, & hannah. joshua 1:9. when e & a ask tons of questions. mild november weather. a husband who is doing what he loves & is called to do. hearing the girls pray before bed
12. such a beautiful morning! my mom & dad ♥ when people choose to shop local & support the Bible House. that God is not the author of confusion but of peace [1 Cor 14:33]. the marvel family. long talks with dear friends. early morning "mom, will you read to me?" requests. some convenience foods, like frozen waffles. the privilege of being a full-time wife & mom!
13. for a day of rest. romans 8. psalm 119. james 3. revelation 21. psalm 51. proverbs 31. john 1. exodus 20. 1 corinthians 2. deuteronomy 6. hebrews 12. 1 samuel 17. genesis 1. well, okay, all of the other chapters, too!
14. Jesus' sacrifice on my behalf, even though (and especially because) i'm a wretch. that the morning brings with it a new start. the power of words, when they're used for encouragement & building up. squeals of joy from two girls who've learned a hard lesson about taking care of what they have, when they earn back their favorite dolls. being unable to sleep - it usually means extra snuggle or prayer time. that first cup of hot tea in the morning.
15. the privilege of praying!! hearing "mamamamamamama" and knowing that means me! the chance to hang out with elysia for a late-night chat and dunkin's. that God promises to never leave nor forsake His children. the honest cries of the psalmists' hearts. our usborne venture. having 3 daughters for whom God has a magnificent purpose. walking through life with will for the past 11+ years.
16. A Bible Study for Moms!!. that the girls are so forgiving. God being my shield, refuge, fortress, strong tower, & defender. late-night dinner and movie 'dates' with will after the girls go to bed. the truth that when we seek God and His righteousness above all else, He provides for our physical needs (matt 6:33). the impossible being possible with God. gideon (judges 6-8). hugs.
17. the knowledge that God is at work and still faithful, even when I can't see tangible results. hannah being able to stand all by herself for a few seconds :) the girls' love of books and reading. the way the Word convicts me of those areas where i need to change. Jesus being the anchor of my soul and God's promise that i will not be moved from His love regardless of the circumstances i find myself in.
18. homemade gifts. music. restoration of the saints. that God promises to use all things for the good of them that love Him and are called according to His purpose! (romans 8:28). when hannah wakes up in the middle of the night and all she wants to do is snuggle for a minute before going back in the crib. the example of the early church in acts. homeschooling this week = learning a little about tudor england, hudson taylor, being good stewards of the earth, and the battle of jericho with my kindergarteners.
19. godly wisdom & counsel. a husband who is encouraging & supportive. my supercomfy ksc hoodie. running water (after going a goodly part of yesterday without it!). chicken noodle soup. spending time at mom & dad's. the anticipation of seeing will's family next week. the lessons i've learned from each of my four babies. technology that allows me to be connected to family & friends no matter where they are.
20. oswald chambers. amy carmichael. jim & elisabeth elliot. stephen. gladys aylward. brother andrew. hudson taylor. george mueller. corrie ten boom. william & catherine booth. brother yun. bruce olson. paul. john. peter. and all of the other men & women who have and are currently counting everything as loss for the sake of knowing Jesus and following His call!
21. the girls' honest and deep observations about my character & actions. God's protection. that those who believe in Jesus have not been given a spirit of fear, but a spirit of love, of power, and of a sound mind (2 tim 1:7)!. will's side of my family. everything bagels. open spaces. hannah being slightly mobile (scooting!). abby's 'mothering' of her little sister. elizabeth's patience in teaching abby how to do things.
22. coffee. brilliant sunrises. veggies right from the garden. the girls learning an appreciation for where their food comes from. emily & mike. coooold mornings that make for a good excuse to stay in warm jammies under cozy blankets while enjoying aforementioned coffee. a chance to celebrate christmas and thanksgiving this week. that if i confess my sins, God is faithful and just to forgive me [1 john 1:9] and remove them as far from me as the east is from the west [psalm 103:12]
23. that the Lord sometimes prevents our plans and reminds us that His plan is better! snow for our "thanksmas" celebration :) leftover turkey and all the trimmings. when hannah gives hugs and kisses. construction paper, which tends to spark oodles and hours of creativity. will getting up with hannah at 5 so i could sleep in!
24. ...is thankful today. <3
25. plaid friday, and the growing movement to shop local. a marvelous time in ny. Jaffrey Bible House and the man who runs it. handmade blankets. God promising to fill us with His peace, which surpasses all understanding and guards our hearts & minds in Christ Jesus [phil 4:6-7]. that elizabeth's tummy & succeeding digestive organs are functioning much better. no bloody noses for abby last night. and hannah has figured out how to scoot - she's mobile! ♥ ♥ ♥
26. that the Lord's mercies are new right now. for the conviction of the Holy Spirit. that the Word is like a mirror and it reveals the depth of my depravity and the magnitude of God's grace. for time to catch up with my BU girls. :)
27. 13 months of getting to know & love hannah. cheerios. tough times pressing me to know Who, what, & why i believe. treasured memories. jbc. a good night's rest. that the girls play so well together. will's spiritual gifts (teaching, discernment, & generosity), and how my gifts complement his. oversized tea mugs. praise dance parties with the girls ♥
28. the mornings when it's hard to find something to be thankful for, because it brings me back to the Word. God's promises - that He will provide for us when we seek His kingdom first [matt 6:33]. that He will never leave us nor forsake us [josh 1:5]. that He will work all things together for the good of them that love Him [rom 8:28]. that He will keep us in perfect peace when our minds are stayed on Him [isa 26:3]. and so many more. His ways and His laws are perfect, and He is faithful and true, even when we can't see or understand what He's doing.
29. examples in the Word of unrestrained praise and devotion. the sound of my mom's voice on the phone after a long day. dear friends. the last of the potatoes & carrots from gram's garden in ny (so good!). talking with will about our dreams. today being taco tuesday at our house. that God loves me with an everlasting love, and that He will not relent!
30. quiet time in the morning to read before everyone else wakes up. books. that all the rain we got last night wasn't snow. toast & blueberry jam. the law of God being our tutor to bring us to Christ [galatians 3:24]. the group of moms that i get to study the Bible with on wednesday mornings, and the ladies who care care of our children while we study. unexpected visitors and 'interruptions' in my schedule. the promise that Jesus will be coming back. a whole month of giving thanks, turning into a lifetime habit of giving thanks ♥
Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever!
[1 Chronicles 16:34]
Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus!
[1 Thessalonians 5:18]
With a thankful heart,
for His glory!