Welcome to September everyone!
We’ve officially experienced one full day of the first “Fall month” of the season. I don’t know about you, but the rain and cooler weather that perfectly crept it’s way into the Carolina’s yesterday (and today) got me in the Fall mood quick! So much so, that I woke up singing “Burn” by Usher…
Okay, so I don’t know how that relates to Fall… Perhaps a campfire?
Seriously though, I sat down at my computer and started thinking about this season we’re entering. I wrote about seasons earlier this week, seasons of life. But today I’m talking about the season of Fall and how it captivates my spirit with it’s coolness and pretty colors!
Furthermore, Fall inspires me to have this overwhelming feeling of thankfulness.
Does it do that to you as well?
So, as I sat down on this dreary, cool, September morning, with my window open and my pumpkin spice coffee; my intention was NOT to write a blog post, but I became submerged into this feeling of being Thankful and decided that I would complete a Thankful blog post to share with you!
I am really thankful that you take the time to come over and read what I share with you when I share it. Since the beginning of 2016, you know my passion for I Answer to Mom is to provide meaningful and encouraging content to inspire you and help you through life when you are struggling with some of the things that I may have been through.
So I hope that as you read this, you consider taking this challenge with me!
Wait… Didn’t I mention this was a challenge? Yeah. The more I am writing, the more I am thinking that I don’t want to just share what I’m thankful for each week – I want to SEE what YOU are thankful for as well!
To get us started, I will share 7 things that inspired me to be thankful this week. Then, every Friday we will come back here and share things we are thankful for that week, and the next, and the next, all throughout Fall.
Hopefully keeping an attitude of gratitude will prepare us for the next season of giving that is quickly approaching. My pastor mentioned once that he gives out of gratefulness, not based on the way someone is treating him. He was specifically talking about when he tips waiters and waitresses at restaurants, but this statement resonated with me on another level.
It’s been awhile since he mentioned this, and I still remember him saying it because it spoke so deep down into my soul. At Christmas time, I am q u i c k to think back to what I got (or didn’t get) from someone the year before and then purchase (or not purchase) a gift based on what I was given. Sad right? But hey, I’m just being transparent.
This is going to be really hard at first. Especially if you live on the negative side of life most days, like I do. You will sit and stare at your list and remember all of the times your kids got on your nerves last week and struggle to be thankful for something they did. But push through it. Because the next week, your mind will go through a shift and start looking for things to be thankful for!
Keep up with your list in a notebook, on the computer, or (if you’re feeling adventurous) start a blog! 🙂
Share one thing you’re thankful for this week, with me, by commenting on my posts each week.
This is going to be so great, I can feel it! Before I get to my list, I wanted to share a bible verse with you to get you into the gratitude-mood.
Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way. – Colossians 3:15-17
I’ve written about us moms being responsible for the emotional part of the household. All tones, feelings, ways of speaking and thinking, these are all set by us. Whether we realize it or not. This verse is saying that with a focus of Christ being in the center of our families, we develop an attitude of being thankful. Surround ourselves and our families in the deep, deep love of Jesus and in every small detail of our lives, be thankful.
We set the tone.
So take this challenge and run with it. Literally. Have your family complete it with you if you want! Have them make their own list, or have a notebook for the whole family to add things to. We’ve got one job to do this season and that’s to cultivate thankfulness within our homes.
Can you imagine how that one task is going to set up your home for an amazing Christmas season?
Let’s cultivate thankfulness by getting into the gratitude-mood!
Wanna tweet that? Just click this [I’ve already written the tweet for you!]
Now, onto my list!
7 things that inspired me to be thankful this week
- The mountains. Last weekend we took a (somewhat) spontaneous trip to the mountains for the Centennial Celebration for National Parks here. It was a great trip to end summer with! Mostly because it was about 20 degrees cooler 😉 Looking at the pretty scenery, making memories with my husband, and watching my kids take it all in was such a great reminder that I have a lot to be thankful for. Including the mountains. Regardless of how steep the path was that me (and my husband) got to push the stroller up to reach the top.
- My daughter’s school. Her first day of third grade was Monday. This year, her school has a theme – “Be the change you want to see in the world“. What an audacious theme! Knowing that she is in an environment that not only teaches her the basics to pass a standardized test, but also teaches her how to be a better person is overwhelming sometimes. But I am so thankful that she is surrounded by positive leadership while she’s away from our home most of the week.
- My daughter’s teacher. I knew when her teacher made me cry at open house, this was going to be a year to be thankful for. The fact that she has been consistently blessed each year with amazing teachers from early on when she started preschool at four years old, humbles me when I think about God’s provision this year. Thinking about third grade, in all honesty, had me stressed out and full of anxiety. God totally stepped in and put my little girl under the leadership of not only a great teacher, but a solid role-model who truly loves teaching and has a big heart to develop lasting relationships with kids. Her willingness to be a “school mama” is just the icing on the cake when it comes to my sanity, because I know that when my little girl leaves me for hours at a time, she is in the care of someone who truly adores her as much as I do.
- Opportunities to show love when it’s beyond difficult. Ever had those awkward moments where you just want to word-vomit all of the reasons why someone should do something you’re passionate about. But all that person wants to do is list the reasons why the thing you’re passionate about is ridiculous? Yeah, I had a moment like that this week. But you know what? I’m thankful for it. It was awkward (sorry I used that word twice, but there’s no other way to explain it), it was borderline embarrassing, and it made me feel so helpless afterward. But I was able to show love (and continue to show love) anyways. The opportunity is what I’m thankful for in this situation.
- Working out. If you know me personally, you know “activity” is something I stay far away from 🙂 I’ve never stuck with a diet more than two hours (literally). But on June 23rd of this year, my husband started doing low-carb again and I decided to join him, for real, this time. It sucked giving up the things I lived on, like sugar, bread, pasta, ice cream. But when I dropped ten pounds the first week, I knew I was on a path of finally loving myself! I’ve lost 30 pounds to date and still going strong! But something that’s made it “fun” to workout, is dance routines! I look c r a z y doing them, but they really are fun and I am sweating at the end of it! So, yes, working out has inspired me to be thankful this week! Who would have thought?!
- My Pastor. He always brings an amazing message to the table every. single. week. He allows God to speak through him, almost always, directly towards me! Because of his faithfulness, we have had the opportunity to invite people to join us the past two Sunday nights, in a living room, and watch the worship experience online to reach people who are far from God in our hometown. Just the opportunity to help host an environment where people can hear the truth that my Pastor is sharing that week is humbling. God is truly growing the people who have joined us so far. Especially me. I’m thankful I get to see what God can do through me when I am obedient and humble myself to help other people.
- My husband. The love of my life. The apple of my eye. The guy that holds my heart. The father of my kids. The leader of our home. The man who promised me forever. The guy that loves me when I’m unlovable. The man that asks me to dance in an apple orchard barn as some old guy sings Jimmy Buffett. The kid who makes me laugh when I don’t feel like laughing. The cornerstone that keeps our family on the right track. The greatest example of humility, honesty, integrity, faith, leadership, and love. The guy who works hard to support our family. The dependable, always-willing, smart, talented, funny, flipping handsome man of God that I get to spend the rest of my life with…
Lilo said it best, “yes, he’s good! I can tell!”
My man inspires me to be thankful everyday because sometimes I just can’t even believe that I get to be his.
I know I’ve already said that I am thankful for you, but I just wanted to let you know that I truly am. I’m excited about this next season of thankfulness! I hope you are finishing this blog feeling inspired to start your own list t o d a y ! Don’t wait… It’s never too late (or too early) to start being thankful for something or someone.
Also, don’t forget to let those people know that you are thankful for them and what they bring into your life! The best part about gratitude is inspiring someone else with your gratefulness. It will truly be the highlight of your week!
Have an awesome weekend, friends!
Ps. Don’t forget to join me on the Thankfulness challenge! Click the photo below so you can be encouraged to continue to be thankful even when you aren’t really feeling it! I’ve got prompts and lots of exclusive info about this challenge! So don’t miss out! 🙂