Day 21 – Giving Thanks In The Moment

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As a Canadian I celebrated Thanksgiving back in October, but everyday gives me the opportunity to embrace being thankful. As a mom of two little girls, a wife of 14 years, and a trained Early Childhood Educator with a family child care program, my life is pretty busy, and there are many times in my day that I should be thankful but instead complain, or just take my blessings for granted. 
Earlier this year I read a book that has changed my life, and the lives of many others. One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp will take you on a journey like no other. You will laugh, cry and be challenged to find the blessings in your everyday, to embrace thankfulness to it’s fullest even in the small things, but especially in the hard times. And better yet, you will be challenged to start your own journey to journaling one thousand gifts. Here are a few thoughts from Ann and One Thousand Gifts:
The way to give thanks in all things: give thanks in this 1 small thing. The moments add up”
Do not disdain the small. If we miss the small moments, we miss the whole.
I only live the full life when I live fully in the moment
On every level of life, from housework to heights of prayer, in all judgement and effort to get things done, hurry and impatience are sure marks of the amateur.
Eucharisteo—thanksgiving—always precedes the miracle.
And when I give thanks for the seemingly microscopic, I make a place for God to grow within me.
Thanksgiving-giving thanks in everything-prepares the way that God might show us His fullest salvation in Christ.

I have always found journaling therapeutic, whether I am writing my personal feelings or keeping track of favorite quotes or Bible verses. One of my most treasured journals  was the one I wrote after my cancer diagnosis in 2005. As I read that journal now, I am reminded that God was with me each step of that journey and now six and a half years later, He is still with me. That was a situation I had no control over, and had to draw all my strength from Him and only Him. But journaling helped me relinquish that control and gain that strength. I was able to journal my prayers, quotes and blessings from others. What a beautiful reminder I now I have in my possession and an encouragement to me even now. 
I will sometimes use plain notebooks to record thoughts, but more often than not I like to get a pretty journal and special pen to do so. There is just something about a pretty notebook that allows feelings to freely flow onto paper. 
 Often though I find I start journaling, get going for a while, then stop. However, this time is different. Making the time to deliberately write down that which I am thankful for has been so amazing. Even on the hard days, I look at my little white journal and see those things I was thankful for, and my heart smiles at all that I have been blessed with. The children playing dress up, the crisp fall air, the potty training successes and failures (more that then success sometimes) and even the messes made by having six children under the age of five in my home on a daily basis. 
God has used this wonderful woman, her book and her blog (A Holy Experience) to work a miracle in my life this year and I urge you to look at your life, and do as she challenges: journal your thousand gifts, regardless of how small you think they may be or how messy you think your life is.
 I started my 1000 gifts journal in the summer and currently have about 500 listed. I try to journal at least five gifts each day, as part of my day end reflections, as a thank you to my Lord for His blessings on my life. I have noticed that as I journal my gratitude my attitude has truly changed for the better. Even the hard days are better because my attitude is better, and naming my gifts reminds me that I am not alone in this life. He is here with me each step of the way. Always and forever.
Here is one final word from Ann, that I have posted on one of my kitchen cupboard doors to see daily:
We only enter into the full life if our faith gives thanks. Because how else do we accept His free gift of salvation if not with thanksgiving? Thanksgiving is the evidence of our acceptance of whatever He gives. Thanksgiving is the manifestation of our Yes! to His grace.

Thankful Challenge:

Take a moment to start writing down the small things that you are thankful daily. Before you know it you will have a list that you can look back on to see God working all around you.

Thankful Challenger:

My name is Shirley and I am a Canadian SAHM and WAHM with two beautiful girls, ages 3.5 and 2 years. I have been married to my Briercrest Bible College sweetheart for over 12 years and he is my best friend. I run my own home daycare, love to read, scrapbook and spend time with my friends and family. I am a five year cancer survivor and also a Christian! I hope and pray that my life reflects the Lord’s will in everything I do and say! Shirley blogs over at A Mom After Gods Own Heart and Facebook.

Link up to the challenge:

I’d like to invite you to link-up if you are participating in this challenge, or if you have written a post that will encourage women to be more thankful.

If you are not a blogger you can link up too – just use Becoming a Strong Woman of God URL in place of your own to indicate that you are committed to this challenge.

Bloggers, if you are linking up below, may I ask that you post the “30 Days of Being Thankful” Challenge button on your site so that other women will join in the challenge as well.

Serving Him With Joy,

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About Sonya

I am a sinner saved by grace trying to move through this broken world as a wife, mom and homeschooler. I have 3 gorgeous sons {24, 17 & 11} and a wonderful husband of 13 years, that have my heart! I don’t have all the answers however sharing my life with you in hopes that it will drawer you closer to Him. I pray that when you leave here you walk away knowing Him better.

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