It all began in November….
Thanksgiving is of course the time when we annually list all of the things we’re thankful. Since Caveboy is 4 this year and can grasp the concepts of thankfulness and gratefulness a little better, I wanted to begin a family tradition for our family. I found these cute little thankful tags from Emily’s Jones Design Company, that just happen to be free printables on her site and printed off the ones I liked best.
All of the tags are blank for you to use however you want, but Emily also provided (Thank you Emily!) a wonderful list of scripture verses centered around thankfulness. I copied my favorite verses on half the Fox tags because they are bigger and then used the skinnier “I AM thankful FOR” tags to write out the things we are thankful for at the end of each day. I would typically write something I was thankful for and then have Caveboy do the same.
Emily suggested making a Thankful Tree, but for us I knew that just wouldn’t work.
So I used a length of Jute twine and simply taped each thankful tag to it. I spaced the Fox tags (somewhat) evenly along the twine, leaving spaces for us to add our skinnier thankful tags. Caveboy and I also cut out fall leaves and acorns to embellish our Thankful Banner. He loved it and we even carried our nightly ritual into mid-December.
I knew I didn’t want to just simply pack our Thankful Banner away but remember it throughout December and keep our focus on the real reason for CHRISTmas. I had grand visions of us getting a real tree (I’ve had these for decades, but it only comes into reality once every Blue Moon) but it rained so much we were never able to get one. So we made the best of it and used our simple 3′ Christmas tree on a table instead. I really wanted to put the banner on the tree but Caveman suggested we lay it around the bottom so we could continue to read it. I would love to tell you we read it every night and that I never lost my focus during the Christmas season, but that would be a lie and I don’t lie. We did look at it sometimes but God has a way of bring me around without my even knowing it.
Our Tree 2013: You can see the banner lying on the table under the tree. And Caveboy trying to redecorate the tree yet again….
Over Christmas, as we inched ever closer to the New Year, I began praying more earnestly and God answered. My prayer was to become a better wife and mother, as you may have picked up on in my previous post. Of course this has been my prayer for years, but this time it was different. This time my heart was different. My heart was broken if you will, ready to submit my will fully to God and open my arms wide to receive God fully, His Grace fully, His gift of the Holy Spirit. I’m still figuring this one out, second by second, of each day.
It was around this time that I actually picked up and started reading the book that has been on my dresser for over a year, “Forgotten God“. Our Sunday School class read this book a year ago but I missed most of the classes because I was with Caveboy. I love this book so far. I’ll do a full review once I’m done.
And it was also at this time that, while perusing Instagram before church last week I found the #JoyDare by Ann Voskamp and began counting my #1000Gifts for 2014! Though her website I was also drawn to this year’s #MemoryProject2014, Scripture Memorization for the Rest of Us: The #JesusProject. I’ve never been good at scripture memorization and as Ann to eloquently put it, “Christ’s weapon against Satan in the desert was memorized Scripture. And if you aren’t memorizing Scripture — what IS your weapon in your battle?” Good point! I encourage you to hop over and read her entire post, multiple times. It’s life changing each time you do. I’ve been going back through the years on her blog and sort of starting at the beginning. The more I read and learn, the more intrigued I become… I want to know Ann more, but more importantly to know Jesus as she does!
The Scripture Memorization for 2014 is the year to Fly and I’m so going to do it too! “For centuries …. Because Jesus was beautiful to God’s people — His Word was beautiful to God’s people.”
I’ve read lots of other people’s words or phrases for the upcoming year. This year I think my word for the year is going to be JOY. I want to live a JOY filled life, giving thanks to God each and every day. “Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shot JOYfully to Him with psalms.” Psalms 95:2 As we give our thanks to God we receive JOY from God. That is what I need.
I’m not exactly sure I clearly stated this through my ramblings thus far, but hopefully you can see how God has been leading me, guiding me over these past few months into living a life of thanksgiving. As I stated in my previous post, 2014 has a
great, awesome, huge, spectacular, exciting, amazing feel to it. God is going to move mountains this year, not only in my personal life but in everyone’s life just wait and see.