Every November, I have a tradition. I write down one thing I’m thankful for every day. It helps me remember my many privileges and blessings. It’s a chance to pause and show gratitude to God and the people around me. It helps me reflect on how I can help those who are not as fortunate. It’s a good tradition that has brought a lot of joy into my life. Here’s my list so far.
Day 1: Recess (It is a huge blessing the day after Halloween.)
Day 2: Indoor plumbing
Day 3: I’m grateful I was able to spend time with my friend Sara. We went shopping this morning. Shopping with friends is the best type of shopping. I’m also thankful for my breakfast omelet. Omelets are delicious.
Day 4: Sunsets
Day 5: I’m grateful for music.
Day 6: I am thankful I can vote. I honor the many brave woman who marched, went to jail and stood up to oppression.
I’m also thankful for my voting sticker. I absolutely loved stickers as a kid. I still think stickers are fun. It makes me smile to get my sticker. In fact, I have saved every voting sticker I’ve ever gotten and put it in my journal.
Day 7: My Mom is incredible. I love her so much. I’m grateful for all she has done for me. We talked on the phone yesterday. It’s a blessing to have a Mom.
Day 8: My car runs.
Day 9: I love my toothbrush. It makes the most delightful sound. Sometimes, I dance a little jig when it starts to buzz. There are so many simple things that brighten my day. I’m thankful for my toothbrush.
Day 10: Hugs. I’m thankful for hugs. I had a rough day. It was the kind of day that I just sat on my bed and cried. It was the kind of day that I told God that life is incredibly unfair. It was painful. It hurt. I’m thankful for the friend who gave me a hug. Hugs are a blessing. Friends are a blessing.
Day 11: I’m thankful to be alive. Life is not perfect. It’s good to be alive though. I’m thankful to learn, love and survive another day. I believe in happy endings. I haven’t gotten mine yet, but there’s always tomorrow. God be thanked for a new day.
It’s a good day to be thankful. That is why I do the Thankful Challenge every year. It helps me remember. What are you thankful for today?
“This a wonderful day. I’ve never seen this one before.” — Maya Angelou
Happy Birthday, little blog. Five years ago today, I started this adventure called my13daychallenge. It’s been fun to share the comings and goings of my life. Here are the top six blog posts based on the number of readers. It’s crazy to realize that I’ve had over 8,000 views on my bog. At least, that is what the statistics page tells me. It is possible that 4,000 of those views are from my Mom and Dad, but I hope that at least one blog post has inspired someone somewhere to reach for their dreams.
- My Back to School Photo
- The Turtle and the Hare
- Boxes are not just for little kids
- Wonder Woman: Meet SJ
- Be Brave and Get Rid of the Dress
- Life Lessons from my Garden
Happy birthday, little blog and thank you to all of my readers. Go be awesome today, dear readers.
Last New Year’s Day, I imagined myself on the brink of New Years 2016. I had a beautiful vision for my future. I didn’t get everything I hoped for last year for but I’m not discouraged. I still had a good year with lots of stuff going on. Good stuff. Bad stuff. Funny stuff. Hard stuff. Amazing Stuff. Stuff I have no idea how to explain. Just Stuff. That’s life, you know. We all get stuff and how we react is what ultimately creates the life we see at the end of the year.
Here are some of the things I learned in 2015.
I learned about the joys of green arrows and celebrating every step you make for a goal. Read the rest of the post.
I did my first 5K and came in last place.
I earned an award.
I learned how to make salad in a jar.
I also met and interviewed so many wonderful Wonder Woman. Woman like SJ who taught me to be a mermaid by being yourself. Woman like Josephina , Tiffany, Carrie and so many more. These conversations enriched my life and helped me to reflect on the power and beauty of the ordinary woman. After all, every woman’s success can be success if I let it.
Be Awesome in 2016!
Each night for the 13 days before Christmas, my siblings and I would sit at the dinner table. In the middle of the table sat a burning candle. Mom would read us a few scriptures to teach us about Christ. Then we’d sing a Christmas song. One year Mom told us that when the candle was all the way burned down to the bottom with nothing but a little wax left that she would make us a special cake. We were all very motivated by the idea of cake so the next night we each came to the kitchen table with our own candles. As Mom would read, we’d take our candle’s flame and gently encourage the Christmas candle to burn faster. This went on for a couple of nights as my poor mother tried to read us the words of Christ and we tried various means to make the candle burn faster.
The Christmas candle was taking forever to burn all the way down to the bottom so we decided to met before mom’s readings and burn it on our time. We felt guilty about just burning the candle though so one of us read the Bible while the others started burning little holes into the Christmas candle. Mom came in and saw what we were doing. We thought we might be in trouble but instead she just laughed and said, “Wonderful! I’m raising a bunch of pyromaniacs who read their scriptures”. Then she went and got a lighter and joined us in our quest to burn that candle all the way to the bottom. (By the way, lighters can burn candles faster than other candles can burn candles. We got to eat cake that night!)
(This cute little Nativity set was a present from my awesome sister Jenny.)
My latest challenge is connected with Advent. The 30 days before Christmas I’m remembering Jesus by reading some scripture verses and doing 30 days of kind deeds. The hope is that this will make Christ the focus of my Christmas celebrations. So far, it’s been a good experience.
And no, I’m not going to tell you what I did for my good deeds because it’s suppose to be anonymous. I’m also a little selfish because I want all those blessings in heaven. Don’t have any idea what I’m talking about? That’s okay. I will fill you in with the Bible story. When Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount he said people who do good deeds get rewards in Heaven. There’s a catch though. The angels don’t write it down on their heavenly Ipads if you blab all around town about it. Oops. I just told the entire internet all about my good deeds challenge. Somewhere there is a little angel who is hitting the delete button.
This challenge really has made this Christmas special though. What are you doing to make Christmas a wonderful time for you?
When I was in 3rd grade, my teacher told us a story about a man who came in last place in a race. The entire crowd stayed and cheered for him. He won even though he lost. I have sad news for everyone. In real life, the race organizers start cleaning up the track behind you when you are the last one. I know that because I was literally the last person to finish a 4th of July 5K race this month. I could see the workers in their clean up van taking down cones behind me. They offered me a ride back to the finish line several times. I told them no several times.
I took a wrong turn at one point, because those overzealous race organizers took down the directional signs before they realized I was still on the course. It’s really easy to get lost when you are far away from home and running in a city you’ve never been to before. I had to ask a friendly neighbor how to get back to the course. Lucky, he knew the way and I managed to make it to the end before they took down the big “FINISH” sign.
I may not have come in first place,but I’m happy to say that I finished the race. My sweet Mom and kind sister were there waiting for me and they cheered when I came in. Everybody else had gone home. The clean up van followed soon after me.
It makes a great story and some day when I come in 2nd to the last place I will stay and cheer for the person who comes in last.
Last year I participated in my own little Lent. It was such a good experience so I’m doing it again this year. The whole idea is to spend 40 days thinking about your life, evaluating where you are with God and preparing for Easter by spending more time reading scriptures and saying your prayers. I can wrap my head around that, because I’m like everyone else here on planet Earth. I’ve got a few favorite sins and weaknesses that could use some serious evaluating and reflection.
Oh, I’m also suppose to give up something up I really like. It’s a symbol that says I’m denying the natural man to make more room for God in my life. I could also add something to my life that makes the world a better place. It’s kind of hard to pick what to give up. I’ve got a ton of choices. Wasting time on Facebook. Sweets. Fast Food. Thinking negatively about myself. Chocolate.
I thought about giving up the spinach-vegetable-fruit smoothies I’ve been making the last few months. I really love those. It would be such a huge sacrifice for me not make them for the next 40 days. (wink-wink)
In the end, I decided to participate in one service activity a week as part of my little Lent. I’m also going to give up fast food chains. I spend too much money eating out on foods that don’t build a healthy me. I can still go to sit down restaurants with friends and family but no more drive through meals. At least that is the plan from February 18th until April 2nd.
Wish me luck and please send me easy to make recipes. I’m going to need them.