Day 21

Today was a busy day!

I was able to deliver all of the reupholstering jobs that I had been working on. :-D

I am thankful that everything turned out so well!

I am thankful that my parents truck was available for use today!

I am thankful that my sweet and wonderful husband was willing and able to haul all of the pieces from our second floor apartment to the truck.

What are you thankful for today?

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Day 20 - Cooking

I love to cook. I love to cook for one, two, or 20.

I do most of the cooking for family meals and holidays and it's something that I really do love.

Today I'm cooking about 30 meals for my brother and sister-in-law who are expecting their first baby. The above picture is of 20lbs of potatoes that will get processed for the following! (When I asked my sister in law what she wanted me to cook, she answered "Lots of potatoes" :-)

Mashed Potatoes
Shepard's Pie
Chicken Pot Pie

and of course dessert...

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

I am thankful that I have a family who loves my cooking!

I am thankful to have the time to give this gift.

I am thankful for the love of doing things for others that God has blessed me with.

What are you thankful for today?

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Day 19 - In Between {Five Minute Friday}

Trying something a little different today. I'm joining the Five Minute Friday link-up! 

Quest: Write for five minutes; no editing, no filtering, just pour out your soul over the prompt... 

In Between

Five Minute Friday


We are preparing, dreaming, hoping. We are ready for the next step.

We have prayed and pleaded for this season of our lives to end, to change.

We are ready. Aren't we?

This step, this season has taught us so much. Our marriage has thrived. Our careers have solidified. Our talents have increased. And yet we long for the next step.

A family. A homestead.

Is it greedy to want more? Am I ungrateful to ask for more blessings?

We see the next step, we see how to get there. We see God's light shining down on the path before us, and yet He asks us to wait just a little while longer.

The in between time has a purpose too doesn't it? A question that can quickly be answered "of course". Then why does it feel like a waste? To wait for His timing when we could push forward in our own strength and disregard His plan.

His plan. I want to be in His will. But this in between time is killing me.


Today I am linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker and a wonderful community of women for Five Minute Friday.

I am thankful for this desire for family that God has given to me.

I am thankful for the trust in His plan that is growing in my heart.

I am thankful that even though I am sometimes sad, God's blessings shine all around me.

What are you thankful for today?

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Day 18 - Answered Prayers

2 1/2 years ago I prayed a silly little prayer.

God, I want to be able to make clothes for my family.

I had always known how to sew, but never really felt all that confident in my ability to make quality clothing.

2 days after I prayed that prayer, my mom came home from the fabric store and said that she had met a sweet little lady in need of some help in her alterations business.

I called the next day, which happened to be the day before Thanksgiving, and then I started on Black Friday.

That experience was amazing. I learned so much in the year and a half that I was there.

Yesterday I spent the day working on a new wardrobe for myself to wear during the next school year and I reflected on God's love and provision.

I am thankful that God is sometimes quick to answer prayers.

I am thankful that He cares about me enough to answer a silly little prayer.

I am thankful for the patience of the seamstress who taught me so much.

I am thankful for the opportunity to so often use my sewing skills for myself and those around me.

What are you thankful for today?

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Day 17 - Losses

My sister in law lost her grandfather on Monday. Today is the viewing and the funeral is tomorrow.

The last few days have been full of reflection for me.

Remembering the loved ones I have lost, the ones I still have, and the ones I haven't met yet.

I am thankful that through Christ we have the promise of eternal life in His glory.

I am thankful that each family member I have lost knew Jesus.

I am thankful that I know I will see them again.

I am thankful to still have some time left with my parents and both grandfathers.

I am thankful that I have never lost a friend.

I am thankful that there is a new little life coming into our family in the next few weeks.

It's been a sobering week, in many ways, but there is still much to be thankful for.

What are you thankful for today?

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Day 16 - Tiny Thanks


Today I'm going to take a few moments to give thanks for some of the littlest blessings in my life.

I am thankful for warm homemade buttermilk biscuits this morning.

I am thankful that there was one jar of homemade strawberry jam still buried in the back of my pantry.

I am thankful that I was able to surprise my husband with them and for the smile that lit up his face.

I am thankful that my to-do list keeps rapidly shrinking.

I am thankful for the delighted laughter of the theater full of children as Monster's University played. It truly filled me with joy.

What are you thankful for today?

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Day 15

Isn't it beautiful? I'm so in love with the way these turned out! Only 2 more to go... And yes, I am a seamstress. Two sewing machines and a ton of scraps in the background ;-)

Anyway, yesterday was amazing. It was probably the first time in my life where work and play found that perfect balance.

I did so much work, but was also able to go out for lunch with my husband and not worry about all the things hanging over my head.

I even stopped working a little early so we could watch a movie together. That was something I never would have been able to do in the past. I couldn't seem to enjoy anything because there were always a million things waiting for me to finish.

Not the way I wanted to live my life, that's for sure! So, I've been steadily chipping away at the part of me that is an overachiever... it's not gone by any means, but it doesn't rule my life the way it did.

All that to say, yesterday was fantastic!

I am thankful for the cinnamon crunch bagel from Panera Bread that was absolutely perfect.

I am thankful for this double welt tutorial that helped me to make the above chairs so beautiful!

I am thankful for the massive amount of work God has sent my way this summer. 

And I'm especially grateful that He continues to bless me even though I'm pretty whiny sometimes. :-)

What are you thankful for today?

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Day 14 - Count it all joy

Yesterday was a frustrating day. It seems like most days are frustrating so far this summer.

I guess I had a different idea in mind for my summer vacation from school. But I forgot to take into account that I am also a full time seamstress.

Summer time is usually slow for alterations, since no one really cares what they look like. It's just shorts and t-shirts until school's back in session!

This summer however, I have been absolutely slammed with work. I'm talking, up at 6:30 and still working at 11pm.

Yesterday though, I had a veritable cornucopia of issues with my equipment, I burned my hand really badly on the iron, and I started to get a little bitter about having to work so much over my "vacation".

But God quietly reminded me what this work is for. 

The Scholar and I are trying to buy our first house, but we have some debt that we want to pay off first. All the money that I make doing alterations and such goes directly towards that debt.

I thought about the constant provision that God has shown for us and how He has blessed me with unending work for almost 3 years of owning my own business.

Suddenly the work didn't make me bitter.

Suddenly I was daydreaming about how I would decorate this room or that in my new house... and I was able to work faster and more efficiently.

I so want to rid myself of the negativity that is prevalent all around me. I want to see God's provision and be thankful for everything right away without having to go through this process of doubt and frustration first.

I'm working on it. And I'm constantly reminding myself of James 1:2-4

I am thankful that I was able to work uninterrupted for so long before my tools quit working.

I am thankful that my husband was willing to go out and exchange my broken tools on a moment's notice. 

I am thankful that God always provides for our needs, even if I'm not always as grateful as I should be right off the bat.

I am thankful that the burn on my hand went away after a lavender application. 

I am thankful that I got to take a break in the evening and see a movie with a friend!

I am thankful that God has blessed me with a skill that I can use to help my family through financial hardships.

What are you thankful for today?

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Day 13

My hands are blistered and my back is killing me. A full day of ripping staples out of dining chairs (6 total) will do that apparently.

But it is all finished. The chairs are stripped down to the wood and ready to be put back together in a lovely new fabric.

I am thankful that I got all the ripping done in one day.

I am thankful that putting the chairs back together is much easier than taking them apart.

I am thankful that lavender essential oil will soothe these blisters!

What are you thankful for today?

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Day 12 - Friendship

This week has gone by like a snail traveling from El Paso to Dallas.

Seconds went by like hours, minutes eeked by like days, and hours stretched on for millennia...

Dramatic? A bit. But it felt true nonetheless.

But, as it always goes, the moment you want time to stand still so that you can hold on to a small period of time for just a little while longer, it flies right out of your hands.

So it was yesterday. After an excruciatingly long week, a friend came to visit for the afternoon and I was so looking forward to some time with her.

We've known each other since we were 11 (*cough* 19 years *cough* oh my goodness I'm almost 30 *cough*)... and over the last 8 years there have been marriages and babies, moves and job transfers, along with a myriad of other things for both of us. Consequently we haven't gotten to spend any time alone just the two of us in over 5 years.

It was just as amazing as I had remembered it. 8 hours flew by and I don't think either of us drew a breath.

I am thankful for friendships that are so strong it seems like only hours have passed since our last conversation, even though months or years may have passed. 

I am thankful for friends who would adjust their schedule to accommodate my crazy life so that we can spend time together.

I am thankful for technology that allows us to stay connected even though we may be hundreds of miles apart!

What are you thankful for today?

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Day 11 - Family

This is my brother helping a 4 year old make rope with a Boy Scout rope making machine!
As I mentioned yesterday, I am teaching a series of camps over the summer for some of the kids at the school where I teach during the year.

I would like to say that I am Superwoman and need not a bit of help from anyone. I plan, cook, clean, and teach all on my own.

Ha, yeah right.

My mom and one of my younger brothers have been such a huge help with these classes. I would not have been able to function during the last week without them. And it's not just this one thing that they've helped with...

My whole family, parents, siblings, in-laws, and husband... are always amazing when it comes to pitching in and helping in any way they can. I am so blessed!

I am thankful for such an amazing family of talented people!

I am thankful that they are close by and willing to help! 

I am thankful that I have the opportunity to help them when they need it as well :-)

What are you thankful for today?

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Day 10 - Legend of the Bluebonnets

So the legend goes, if not for a little Indian girl called "She-Who-Is-Alone" sacrificing her most beloved item, her people would have been lost to a Texas drought.

"The night was very still. 

The air was hot. 

I kissed my doll and said, "O Great Spirit, here is my doll. It is the only thing I have. It is very special. Please send the rain." 

Then I thought about all of the people who would die without rain, and I threw my doll into the fire."
                              Excerpt from The Legend of the Bluebonnets 

I read this story to a class I'm teaching over the summer. This week we are learning outdoor skills; making solar ovens, beef jerky, fruit leather, and water filters... how to identify different plants and animals. Just general outdoorsy skills.

Thinking I would add a bit of "culture" to the class, I found this story and read it to them.

Half way through I found myself getting misty eyed. I even had to take a few deep breaths to keep the emotion out of my voice as I read.

A sacrifice to save her people. Sound familiar?

God, The Creator of the universe, gave up His only Son to save a bunch of lowly sinners like us.

His perfect Son. God loved us even more than His Son.

After I finished the story I asked the kids a few questions...

Who created the bluebonnets?

Can you think of anything that God sacrificed for us?
His Son.

Do you think He wanted His Son to die for us?

He Did. He willingly let His Son die for us, and Jesus did so willingly as well. So that we could be saved from sin and go to be with God in heaven someday.


A few of the older girls had tears in their eyes. My mom sitting in the back of the class had red eyes as well.

It isn't something that I allow myself to fully feel very often, but the powerful realization that God gave His SON for us. Us. Me...

Gets me every time.
I am thankful for the opportunity to share God's love with others.

I am thankful that I have even the tiniest of capacities to realize God's sacrifice for me.

What are you thankful for today?

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Day 9 - Living Room Full of Blessings

Today was a whirlwind day. I had the opportunity to pick up a large reupholstering job.

4 hours of driving, 3 car changes and 2 round trips to my house. But at the end of it all, I now have 6 dining chairs waiting for my attention.

Add those 6 chairs to the large wing-back chair that I just finished upholstering for the same customer, and my living room is very full right now!

Though I'm exhausted from just picking them up, and my living room is stuffed to the gills, I am so thankful for the work.

I am thankful for the fact that my little brother was able and willing to help me so much today. He carried all the chairs around, secured them in the truck for the long journey, and carrying them all up the stairs to my apartment. 

I am thankful for the availability of my parents truck to go and get the chairs.

I am thankful for the blessing of work. Though it can be tiring at times :-)

What are you thankful for today?

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Day 8 - Father's Day

Today was Father's Day, and without going into too much detail, it was a little bitter-sweet.

I got to see my dad, grandfather, and younger brother- who is getting ready to be a dad for the first time. That was amazing!

But the bitter part of the sweet was that my own wonderful husband doesn't get to participate in this celebration... beyond wishing his own dad a happy Father's Day.

While parts of today were sad, I still have so many things to be thankful for.

I am thankful for a wonderful father who has sacrificed so many things to help me grow into the person I am today.
I am thankful that my family is close enough that I get to see them several times a week.

I am thankful that I married a man who will be a wonderful father someday.

I am thankful that I serve a God whose plans for my life are for my good and His glory.

Romans 8:28 (NIV) - And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him...

What are you thankful for today?

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Day 7 - Super Short Sunday

I just got home from a 14 hour round trip to visit my in-laws, so this will be a super short post.
I am thankful for the wonderful relationship I have with my in-laws.

I am thankful that The Scholar and I were able to stay away for such a long day/drive.

I am thankful for a beautifully overcast day that made driving so easy on my little eyes!

What are you thankful for today?

Note: I write these posts the night before... in case you were wondering how I had just gotten back from a 14 hour trip at 7am ;-)

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Day 6 - "What To Do" Jar + Printable!

I made my very own "What To Do" jar!

Basically, it's a jar with little strips of paper folded up inside... each one has a fun idea (or sometimes just a word to get the ideas flowing!) of something that you can do with your spouse, or whoever you're dating.

I made this one to give away to a family member this weekend.

151 ideas for dates that you would actually do. Nothing too crazy or cheesy. I went to several sites that had "date ideas" and filtered through them for the ones that I thought most people would actually enjoy doing!

I was so pleased with how they turned out, that I thought I would share the printable

Get The List... Click here!
I am thankful that I have a spouse who would let me make up silly dates... and actually go on them with me!

I am thankful that I have a spouse who craves a relationship with me as much as I do with him.

I am thankful that I was blessed with the time and patience to put together such a long list of date ideas! That truly is a blessing... Patience is not always my strong suit :-)

What are you thankful for today?

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Day 5 - Legacy

The picture above is of my great-grandmother, known to us as Grano. She was a seamstress, as I am. She had a deep faith that she passed down through her children to her grandchildren, who in turn passed it on to their children... who are now having their own children.

It wasn't just Grano who passed on a love of Christ, but every member of that generation within my family. My parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents on both sides shared these strong beliefs that are now prevalent in so many lives.

I am so blessed to have such an amazing legacy of believers. I know many people who are not as blessed as we are... families who fight over belief systems and have no relationships left at all because of that fighting. I am very thankful that that is not my lot.
I am thankful for a heritage full of believers.

I am thankful for parents who raised us as believers in Christ. Not for the simple reason that it was what they had been raised under, but because they asked questions, sought answers, and truly believe the Word of God.

I am thankful that I get to leave my own legacy for Christ.
What are you thankful for this morning?

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Day 4

Since my husband is working from home now, I thought I would be amazing wife and make fresh chocolate chip cookies for him. Just a surprise for the middle of a regular old day.

My new cookie sheets did not like this plan.

Though I have made this recipe countless times, I had not done so with my new cookie sheets. I didn't realize that the time would need to be adjusted and so I simply set the timer and walked away. When the timer went off, I bounced into the kitchen and wrenched open the oven door only to be greeted by a billowing cloud of black smoke. The cookies were black on the bottom.

I grabbed the cookies out of the oven and tossed them on the stove top... frustrated!

The smoke had hurt my eyes so much that I wasn't able to see clearly for about 3 minutes. I went to wash my face and was ready to head back into the kitchen to assess the damage.

But before I could do so, The Scholar had come into our bedroom with a blackened cookie in hand.

"You know, this isn't your best work... but these are still really good!"

I'm reminded that we don't have to be perfect to be loved and valued.

Romans 5:8

"...while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

I am thankful that I have a husband who would not only comfort me when I "mess up", but would praise my efforts!

I am thankful that even though I burned a batch of food, we will still save plenty to eat.

I am thankful for a Savior who would sacrifice His life for a sinner like me.

What are you thankful for today?

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Day 3

I'm beginning to see how much ingratitude I send out everyday...

But God has been quick to correct my heart.

Yesterday I left the house on a 10 minute errand. The moment I shut my car door to leave, it started pouring!

I was immediately thankful for the rain, we need it so badly here, but I started grumbling in my head about other things.

I didn't want to drive in the flash flood rain...

I didn't want to walk into the store in the rain....

I didn't want my purse or my purchases to get wet...

I didn't want my leather sandals to get wet and smell later...

Grumble, grumble, grumble.

Then God corrected me.

As I pulled into a parking space at the store I was going to, a man on a bike rode past me. Sheets of water running over every part of him. His fast food uniform clung to his skin as steered his bike into the entryway of his employer.

I felt so abashed.

I am thankful for a car to drive as I go about my day.

I am thankful for air conditioning in my car! (Something that didn't work until recently!)

I am thankful that my umbrella is so ridiculously large that none of my purchases got wet.

I am thankful that God would care enough about me to help me on this journey of growing a Thankful Heart.

What are you thankful for this morning?

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Day 2

Yesterday was a stressful day.

My husband, The Scholar, just started working from home. This was supposed to be a wonderful blessing and amazing experience for us.

We have been married for almost 8 years, we haven't had kids yet... I have the summer off and The Scholar would be working from home! We were so excited for this great opportunity to just be together... even if he had to work!

As with many things that are built up to be so wonderful, this dream shattered first thing in the morning; his first full day working from home.

Everything quit working at 9am.

The phones. The internet. The computers. The printer. Everything.

This was not good. Try as we might, we could NOT make ANYTHING work.

Fortunately, God's blessing shown through and our amazing friends came to the rescue! 1 hour after texting them in frustration, they were at our house and the problem was fixed.

I am thankful for a full hour of work that was accomplished this morning.

I am thankful for friends who would drop everything at a moments notice to come and help us in a dire situation.

I am thankful for my new view across my desk!

What are you thankful for this morning?

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Houston, we have Facebook...

Hop on over to Facebook and help spread the word by "liking" this blog!

Like us on Facebook!

Thank you for helping. I have no idea what God has in store of this blog, but I'm sure that the more people who know about it, the better!

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What is a Thankful Heart?

This is the question that has been plaguing me for years.

What does a thankful heart look like?

Does it mean running around in the midst of tragedy with a huge smile on my face and the age old platitude "God is in control!" bursting from my mouth at every turn?

I really don't think so.

Even Jesus, who knew that God was in control, grieved in the depths of tragedy.

When Jesus came to see Mary, the sister of the currently dead Lazarus, and saw her tears He was moved to tears Himself.
John 11:33-35 (NIV)

33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.... 35 Jesus wept.
Now Jesus knew that He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead. He knew that all would be well. And yet He grieved in the pain of Lazarus' family.

We can grieve and still be thankful. 

We can wonder and still be thankful.

We can search for answers during times of uncertainty and still be thankful.

Accepting the blessings that we are given, freely given, everyday is what a thankful heart does. That may seem like another platitude, but when you get right down to it, that's what a Thankful Heart is.

Now the real question... how do I transform my heart into a Thankful Heart?

 That's what this journey is all about. I hope you will join me!

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Day 1

Update: You can follow my journey into Thankfulness by starting here at Day 1 and at the bottom of the page clicking "Newer Post"... continue to do that all the way through the blog.

I hope you find your own Thankful Heart growing as you read on...


Here we go. Miniscule things today...

I am thankful for warm sheets to snuggle into for just one more minute....

I am thankful for the last moment of a dream remembered as I open my eyes to a new day.

I am thankful for the soothing motion of the brush running through my hair as I try to wake up.

What are you thankful for this morning?

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A Journey Begun

I want to be happy.

I want to be thankful.

I want to be joyful.

I want to be fulfilled.

These things I so desperately want and ask God to grant them to me... I beg for them to be granted.

This thought flitted across my mind yesterday as I prayed and studied my Bible. Why am I not feeling those emotions which I crave. Is my life really so difficult that I should throw myself at the feet of God day in and day out, pleading for that which is not given.

I don't want to spend the relatively short days I have on here on this earth craving that which I have not been granted, while missing out on the vast gifts and blessings that have been bestowed upon me.

Not just things like "I am thankful for my marriage" or "I am thankful for my job"... but the littlest of things. The tiniest, most miniscule of blessings that get trampled and overlooked in my hectic bustle of everyday life.

The simplest of things are still a blessing from God.

With a mixture of excitement and trepidation, I am embarking on this journey. I have no idea what this next year holds for me. So to commit to being thankful day in and day out, regardless or what comes my way, is a little frightening.

However, I cannot wait to see where God takes me in this season of growth.
Please join me here every morning with your Thankful Heart and post your thanks in the comments.

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