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Thirty Days of Praise

November 2, 2012

I don’t know who started the thirty days of Thankfulness, but it’s a beautiful practice.  Of course, we should be grateful everyday, and carry the spirit of Thanksgiving in our hearts at all times, but as the holiday season is now in full swing, it’s nice to express our gratitude for the blessings in our  lives, both great and small, in a public manner.

I want to list thirty things right now that I’m most thankful for, and of course, I wouldn’t even be alive if it weren’t for the love and mercy my Heavenly Father has shown me, so I’ll start there.

1.  I am so very grateful for my first and always love, my Savior, my Friend, my All in All, Jesus Christ.  I am grateful for His sacrifice and for the forgiveness that has healed me in a mighty way!  I am grateful for His protection and most of all for His Amazing, Satisfying Love, Mercy and Grace.
2.  I am grateful for a loving, faithful, hard-working husband, whose sacrifices are many.  He puts up with me and all my eccentricities, God bless him!

3.  I am grateful for my four healthy, happy, exciting boys that keep me on my toes and allow me not only to be their mother, but to be their friend.

4.  I am grateful for my Mama, who instilled a great love of the Lord in my heart from birth onward.  I know that I am beyond blessed to have come from her womb.

5.  I am grateful for my Dad, no matter how hard he has been on me, it has always come from a place of love, and his example of perseverance has served me well, as has his social abilities.

6.  I am grateful for all four of my grandparents, whose examples of love and faith permeate my very being.  They taught me about staying with my husband through thick and thin, the good times and the bad, and they took me to church every time I spent the weekend with them, as a young girl.  Again, I recognize the amazing ways God has blessed me!

7.  I am grateful to have a roof over my head.  This is something I cannot take for granted, as many have to go without such comforts.

8.  On the same token, I am grateful for running water, air-conditioning, and electricity.  Many of us Americans are so spoiled.

9.  I am grateful for my brother and my sister and the amazing family they have added unto me.   They were my first best friends, and I am grateful to say that we remain very close to this day.

10.  On that note, I am very grateful for my first best friend from school, Leslie.  She has been my BFF since I was very young and remains my bestest to this day.  We have grown together and have shared our trials, heartaches and accomplishments.  I couldn’t ask for a better best friend!  She is a teacher now and continues to make me proud with her accomplishments!  I am so proud to know her and call her my always BFF!

11.  Later in life, my Father in Heaven granted me with another BFF!  How blessed am I?  I am grateful for Linda for many reasons.  She gave me a job the first day we met.  She increased my value and skills and offered encouragement and confidence.  I honestly don’t know where I’d be today without her!  We are bound by our mutual love of the Lord, and there’s no one I’d rather sing a duet with than with her!  She’s amazing!

12.  Soon after meeting Linda, I met yet another BFF!  I knew Jina would be a dear friend right from the start.  She has been a strong sister of faith and has been a lovely prayer partner.  We have laughed together and cried together, and no matter how much time passes between calls, it’s like no time has passed at all!

13.  I am grateful for the gifts God has granted me and increased through out my life.  From the time I was four years old, I declared that I wanted to be a singer when I grew up.  I have been able to realize this dream in many ways through out my life.  God has also blessed me with an ability to write.   This gift was first recognized  in 6th grade when I placed in a UIL writing competition.  I have been writing ever since, anything from poems and songs, to short stories and things like this blog.  A gift realized in the past ten years is my ability to draw and create paintings.  Working with Linda only increased this ability and I now declare myself as not only a singer/songwriter, but an artist as well.

my latest artwork

14.  I am grateful for the gift of laughter and the ability to make others around me laugh.  I love being a clown.  I love turning a frown upside down!  I am grateful for this social strength and the pure ability to laugh in times of sorrow as well as the good times…even if I do sound like a hyena doing so!

15.  I am grateful for all the struggles I’ve been through, both self-inflicted as well as the unexpected struggles, for they have proved that I am able to lean hard on my Savior during these times, knowing that He is protecting me and growing me through the rough patches in order to be able to serve better during the good times and bad to come.

16.  I am grateful to be an American and to experience the freedoms that may now be fleeting, but all said, this is a beautiful and diverse country and I’m so glad that I was born and raised in the USA, free to praise my Father publicly!

17.  Even more so, I am grateful to be a Texan.  If Texas were a country, that would be even better!  It’s surely big enough!  Texas has it all, hills and valleys, lakes, rivers, beaches, deserts, tropical areas, dense forests, big sprawling cities, sparse rugged landscapes and sunsets like no other!  The people here are friendly and inviting and everything is truly is bigger here, starting with the hearts of it’s occupants! 😉

18.  I am grateful to have good fellowship with a beautifully strong group of Godly people.  There are no bounds such as church walls, because my friends come from many churches around the world!  They are so special to me, their friendships are so divine.  Perfect examples of the love of Christ.  I will not mention them all here, because I’d run out of space, but if they are reading this, I feel confident that they know who they are.

19.  I am grateful for my old choir friends from high school.  They are still just as rockin’ cool today as they were in the days we first hung together in the choir room and at each others’ homes.  I cannot explain why, but they are a group that to this day, I still long to hang out with and it seems to be pretty mutual.  Sometimes groups just bond and click like that and I’m so grateful that I was a part of those golden days of yore.

20.  I am grateful to have a vehicle.  It’s not the best, but it gets us to where we want to be and it’s better than nothing.

21.  On the same token,  I am grateful we have the minivan, so that my husband has a safe, trustworthy vehicle to get him to and from his job.

22.  Oh yes, his job!  I am so grateful for his employment status!  We have had several thin and questionable periods within our 16 years of marriage.  I am glad he works for a successful company, even at a time when many are without work, God has provided him with a grand job that affords me the ability to homeschool my boys.

23.  I am very grateful for the opportunity to homeschool my boys.  I know I will never regret having this time together with them, and really enjoy this new adventure.  My favorite part is our daily Bible studies.  I feel that if nothing else, we are learning the Word of God together, and they will leave my home fully equipped to handle all the trials that will face them once they fly the coop and are no longer under my protective wings.

24.  I am grateful for the instruction and wisdom within the Word of God.  It is alive and I love that I can read a passage over and over and always gain new knowledge and wisdom from it.  What a precious gift…as one friend once said, “the only instruction manual you will ever need.”  He found this inscribed in a Bible he found in a truck he once bought.  He was searching for the truck’s instruction manual. 🙂

25.  I am grateful for my sight.  I am able to see God’s beautiful creations and I don’t take this for granted, for I know many are born without the gift of sight.  I love sitting in the presence of the trees, and seeing my favorite creations, the birds, butterflies and dragonflies.  Of course, I love seeing the sunlight on a streaming river’s surface and the big puffy clouds in the sky.  There are so many things my eyes love to feast on, and so many more things I’d love to see in the future, God-willing.

26.  I am grateful for my hearing.  To hear the songs of the variety of birds in the early morning, to hear the trickling of water rolling over a creek bed of stones.  The ocean’s waves and my children’s laughter, so many  sounds bring joy to me.  A bluesy saxophone, or a romantic guitar, the rhythm of a stand-up bass, or a piano concerto…so grateful to be able to hear these things when I know there are those who cannot.

27.  I am also grateful for silence.  As a mother of four, such a thing can seem extinct at times, but in precious moments of silence, I marvel at the many wonders that are of my Heavenly Father.

28.  I am grateful for the modern conveniences of the internet and smart phones.  I have truly enjoyed reconnecting with family and friends in this manner.  I also am grateful for the vast amount of information to mull over.  I love learning now, even though I truly took it for granted while in school.  I am very happy to be able to continue learning through the many tools available to us these days.

29.  I am grateful my hands work.  They may not work as well as others’ hands, but I can somewhat play my guitar, and can paint and write and make delicious dinners for my family.  I can steer my car and can build things.  Of course, I am also grateful for my feet!  They take me all over the place!  They hold me up and allow me to climb, run, skip, and jump!  I am basically grateful for full mobility, understanding that there are those that do not have such abilities.

30.  I am grateful for the very air I breathe and the trees that provide that air and the Creator who created life and gave it to me.  That is why I offer Him praise.  Not only did He allow me to be born into a loving home and be blessed with wonderful friends and family, He offered me a new life, a better life, and I took it!  I am grateful to face eternity, knowing that even my last breath on Earth, does not mean my demise…no, it’s just the beginning.

I encourage you to ponder the things you are grateful for.  I am sure I could go on, but I will stop at thirty, as is the purpose of this post.  For each day in November, give all Glory, Honor and Praise to the one who gives you life!

Until next time, Vaya con Dios!

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