Monday, January 13, 2014

A Year of THANKS!

Wow!  It’s hard to believe it is a new year.  2013 was a year full of thanks for my family.  At the beginning of the year we determined to watch for, write down, and thank God for all of the awesome things He did through out the year.  When we prayed for things and our prayers were answered… it went in the “Thanks Jar”.  When we received unexpected checks in the mail or we accomplished something we had been working hard for... it went in too.  It was fun watching for things to be thankful for.  I’m not saying everything went WELL in 2013, but we did find a lot to be thankful for. 

We were SO surprised New Years Day to find piles of papers we had collected over the year to read.  A new tradition for us had begun… collecting thanks through out the year and then reading our “thanks” on New Years Day.  It was awesome and overwhelming all in one breath to see how very present God was in our year.

Our year was filled with lots of ups and downs…. After 4 months of pain, various tests, procedures, and doctor visits, I had my gall bladder removed.  I finished my last class (American Lit.) online to complete my degree after 18 years of waiting.  I celebrated 20 years of marriage to an amazing man.  The incredible house we were blessed to rent, sold and we had to move.  My doctors all agreed after special treatments in the fall of 2012 that I was officially in remission with my autoimmune disease.  This list went on… the boys got almost all A’s on their report cards, they BOTH made the basketball team, they made new friends, etc… God opened doors for us in many ways.

It was emotional to read each piece of paper and see the piles we still had yet to read full of thanks.  God is good.  This is a new tradition we are keeping.  A Year of Thanks!  I challenge you to become treasure hunters looking for all of the good things God is doing in YOUR life.  Take it a step further and write it down.  Save it up all year round and read your thanks on New Years Day just like us.  What an awesome concept!  Below you will find my original post and how I found the idea.  I pray your year will be amazing and full of thanks!

Living to leave a legacy,


My husband has a new name for me… he calls me the “Pinterest Queen.”  I finally gave in to join the Pinterest craze in the fall.  I kept seeing posts on Facebook of creative ways to do things, fix things, clean things, or make things and I couldn’t take it any longer and gave in to join.  Since then I have made SO many awesome creations.  Some have gone well while others have ended terribly.

 One of my projects could have ended disastrously, but luckily didn’t.  My goal was to do something creative with a mason jar.  I had seen pictures on Pinterest of candles placed in a mass of coffee beans which peaked my interest.  I decided to attempt it one night.  I poured the vanilla cream beans into the jar to fill it half full and then added the votive candle.  I pushed it down into the mixture of beans just like the picture.  It was perfect and smelled awesome.  I lit the candle and walked away to allow the aroma to fill the kitchen.

Later my husband exclaimed, “Why does the kitchen smell so strongly of coffee?”   He is a coffee drinker unlike me, but hadn’t made any.  He knew I had the candle burning, but it was EXTREMELY strong smelling.  He rushed into the kitchen to find my jar of coffee beans… ON FIRE!  It didn’t smell like smoke, or anything burning, the smoke detectors didn’t even go off… it just smelled like strong coffee.  We snuffed the “small” fire out with the lid and went on with the night.  My husband looked at me with a smile and said, “I think you need to chill a little with the Pinterest thing.  I don’t know if I can leave you unsupervised in the house again. Who knows what might happen.”

 I have steered away from candle projects for now and have moved on to new things.  I saw something awesome on Pinterest that I am definitely doing this year.  It’s a “blessing bottle” of sorts.  It’s a way to collect and record all of the ways God has blessed us over the year.  God has done some amazing things in 2012 and I don’t want to ever take His blessings for granted.

The boys and I have a morning routine we started over the past year.  Before they leave for school each day we read a devotional book together and pray for needs.  I ask each boy what they would like to pray for and then we all take a turn praying.  Some things we have prayed for over the past year were needs, some were wants, some were healing for the sick, new jobs, and more.  The boys have been persistent in their prayers each day.

They were shocked when God started answering their prayers.  The blessings started to pour in… free camper, free flat screen TV, larger house, new job, money given anonymously when we needed it most, the sick getting well, people we prayed for who didn’t know God giving their lives to Him and more…  They were so excited!

Philippians 4:6 says…
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” (NLT)

That is what we are going to do this year!  We are going to plan ahead to have thankful hearts.  My “blessing bottle” is made now it’s time to start collecting.  This is what the excerpt from the Pinterest post I read about this whole idea said…

 “Start the year with an empty jar and fill it with notes about good things that happen. Then, on New Year's Eve, empty it and re-read all of the amazing things You have done in your life that year...I love this!!!”

I challenge you to find a way in 2013 to be thankful for all that God does in your life.  I don’t want to miss one blessing.  Happy New Year friend.  The best is yet to come!

Living to leave a legacy,


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