Monday, December 3, 2012

Day 33

Today, we reached TWO major milestones... First, we reached 3,500 reasons for giving thanks.  Can you believe it?  That's a lot.  And it's so exciting to celebrate!  I hung our latest milestone ornament on the Thankfulness Tree.  I can't tell you how much I appreciate you joining me in this experiment.  The accountability for me is huge, and the joy of learning to be thankful with others is such a blessing. 

The second milestone we're celebrating today is the official halfway point of the experiment.  Here's how it all began 33 days ago:

Welcome to The Thankfulness Experiment! You are invited to join me on a 66 day journey to see if being thankful really makes a difference. The task is simple… list 5 things you are thankful for each day on this blog. The goal? To reach 10,000 reasons we are thankful by January 5th. Is this possible? Absolutely… if you invite your friends to join in… and if we work together to turn journaling thankfulness into a habit. 
So, for the past 33 days, I've been writing about my own experiences with The Thankfulness Experiment.  God has taught me about thanksgiving through nature, through trials, and through my boys.  I've had days where thankfulness was on my mind all day long... and other days where thankfulness was barely a blip on my radar screen (and quite frankly, thankfulness probably wouldn't have been a blip if I wasn't doing this experiment).  It's been quite a ride.  But I'm really lovin' this thankfulness stuff.  I discovered how much more enjoyable a trial can be if I choose to give thanks (remember Toilet Troubles from day 30?)  Laughing with my boys about sewage flooding the floors was so much more pleasant than yelling about it.
I've also learned that thankfulness is a journey.  It's not like I'm thankful all the time just because of this experiment.  I'm learning that it's OK to not be perfect with thanksgiving... and that sometimes doing a double take each evening when I post (see day 31) can show me some blessings I overlooked during the day.  I'm so thankful that God doesn't expect perfection from me or you... and that He takes great delight in our daily thankful lists.
I've also heard from some of you.  Sometimes, coming up with five reasons is so tough... but you sit there and reflect until you find your five.  I love that you are persevering and committed to finding five reasons each day.  Other times, five can be too easy, so maybe you're challenging yourself to list more than five reasons.  That's the beauty of this experiment.  We can each take our own spin on the concept and follow where God leads us.  I'm just thankful that we're doing this together. 
So, thank you for joining me each day.  Thank you for embracing the concept of thanksgiving.  Thank you for partnering with me to make thankfulness a habit.  I can't wait to see where we are in 33 more days...  Here's two verses to celebrate the halfway point:
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise.  Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.  For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.  Psalm 100:4-5 NKJV
Tonight, in honor of our halfway point, I would also like to invite you to share your own reflections of the first half of The Thankfulness Experiment (in addition to your thankfulness list).  What have you learned?  How has thankfulness impacted your life so far?  How would you rate yourself on our baseline question after 33 days:  “How thankful am I right now?  Rate yourself using a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 beingMy life stinks! Why should I be thankful?” and 10 beingI’m thankful all the time… in fact my picture is in the dictionary next to thankfulness!”  Feel free to answer any of these questions or just share a thought about your experience so far.  I'm excited to see what you're learning from this!
Tonight, I'm thankful for...
1.  Giggles of delight over an upside down muffin that was affectionately called "upside down mushroom"
2.  My seven year old doing something nice for his younger brother this morning
3.  Getting a $70 coat for $30... and free shipping too!!
4.  My three year old sitting on my lap and playing with my hair
5.  My seven year old volunteering to read our devotion this morning
6.  An empty dishwasher ready for dirty dishes
7.  Speed cleaning this morning
8.  Boy Scouts
9.  My seven year old's penmanship
10.  Watching a movie with my three year old tonight
11.  Reaching 3,500 reasons
12.  Being at the halfway point of The Thankfulness Experiment
Here's to 10,000 reasons... Only 6,456 to go...


  1. I am thankful for
    1. Getting my grocery list made for the week and
    for our party Friday.
    2. Going to get my paper plates, napkins, and
    tablecloths for the party.
    3. Going out to lunch with my husband and
    4. Going to the grocery.
    5. Going to the bank and them having the same
    amount of Sunday school money as I did.
    6. Making dinner that my 3 year old
    granddaughter liked and her telling
    me what a good cook I was.
    7. Watching a Christmas Movie with My husband
    and granddaughter.
    8. Our granddaughter going straight to bed
    without a fuss.

  2. I am thankful for:
    1. that clean teeth feeling after a visit to the dentist
    2. dental hygenists
    3. Christmas shopping done!
    4. the Lord's prompting to write an encouraging note, and time to write it
    5. the Word of God - it is alive and active
    6. shared laughter with my daughter when we try a new hairstyle on her
    7. not needing a coat the last few days as I run in and out of stores and appointments

  3. Thankfulness is a beautiful thing, choosing to be thankful in everything can certainly be a challenge! Adopting a thankful attitude has so many benefits I've found. It soothes a stressful situation, it lifts your mood to think about what you do have instead of focusing on what you dont have, it protects relationships and it can even be fun ! I don't know about you but FUN is a big motivator for me. I have peace when I am thankful. I am humbled by slowing down and sifting thru my day revealing all the little and big ways GOD blesses me everyday. Little stuff big stuff - this girl is all in. Getting to be a part of this experiment has been such a blessing. I always look forward to reading all the lists and thanking GOD for everyone's blessings. Thankfulness builds a bridge over troubles to real peace the kind of peace GOD wants for us. Peace be with you friends today and always. Let's continue the journey, life is a wild ride, let's be thankful for every second we get to keep hanging on :-)
    I am thankful for
    My giant NIV Bible
    The uber strong bag I've been carrying all my books to class in.
    Reading glasses
    Study notes cards I've written all semester that have come in very handy for preparing for the final.
    A super supportive husband and daughter.
    My sweet friend Denise whom I greatly miss.

  4. This thankfulness journey has certainly helped keep thankfulness in the forefront. I feel like I'm doing better at developing the new habit, but have a long way to go. I like having the accountability of knowing someone will read what I post. It makes me make it happen.
    I am thankful for:
    1. the gift idea God gave me out of the blue.
    2. breakfast for dinner.
    3. an overcast day that reminds me not all of life is sunny and fun, but that God is still all over it.
    4. my husband who doesn't mind doing the dishes.
    5. being able to get a cricket out of the house. I hope Jiminy can still get around on one leg...I might've accidentally missed placed one of his.
    6. a low-key evening ahead watching Rudolph.
    7. my daughter refraining from doing a cartwheel in the bread aisle at the store.
    8. not having to give my daughter a hands-on chitchat for doing said cartwheel.
    9. being able to get out the door on time even though I had trouble prying myself out of my bed.
    10. getting my online scrapbooking done.
    11. my husband's cousin who is battling cancer. She is an inspiration to many.
    12. chai tea.
    13. lime crunch.
    14. chocolate.
    15. a phone call from a friend.
    16. getting inspiration for cake from the strangest things.
    17. seeing the excitement of my kids during this season.
    18. the note of encouragement to my son on his homework packet.
    19. my kids thinking my ghetto lunch I made them was cool.
    20. espresso crunch.

  5. The first half of this experiment has come at an "interesting" time in my life, and not necessarily one that would in the past be filled with thankfulness. Knowing at some point each day I will be sitting down with this list has definitely changed my perspective within each day. At times when it would be easy to get frustrated, upset, anger or fearful, I have not stayed in that place too long, but instead been overly encouraged by 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. It is a verse that made it to a post-it note in my kitchen over the summer and has never left. When I've been focusing on that verse, I have felt God challenging me to not just find 5 things to be thankful for each day but to really look at my day and see Him in all the details. I have loved particpating in this experiment, and am excited to see what God has in store for the next 33 days.

    I am thankful for...
    1. 7 hours between feedings for my 11 week old
    2. having a to do list that doesn't frustrate me when it doesn't all get done
    3. crock-pot dinners
    4. having my 2 year old put carrots, onion and potatoes into the crock-pot as I cut them up
    5. being able to share my love of cooking with my 2 year old at such a young age
    6. laughing at my 2 year old eating a raw potato, thinking it was an apple
    7. finding something that my husband thought he lost, even though that means I have to return to the drawing board for his Christmas gifts
    8. the smiles of an 11 week old
    9. quick runs to Target and Costco, without a 2 year old
    10. finishing a large project
    11. starting the next big project
    12. a God who loves me even when I'm not lovable
    13. Christmas cards in the mail
    14. conversations with friends
    15. my grandpa who loves me and God so much
    16. cookie recipes waiting to be made
    17. God's word speaking to me at just the right time
    18. God being the same yesterday and today
    19. being certain that while I do not know the future that God does
    20. a husband who works to support our family
    21. prayers of a 2 year old
    22. songs that never get old
    23. God using music to get my attention
    24. the joy of Christmas
    25. friends that desire to be obedient to God and encourage me to do the same
    26. friends to hold me accountable
    27. friends that can be honest with me, regardless of the conversation
    28. love
    29. hot cocoa
    30. the warmth of Christmas, even with the warm weather outside
    31. the hundreds of snowmen decorating my house that make me smile
    32. God's grace
    33. the chance to see God do immeasurably more than I could ever ask or imagine in my life, in my family's life and in lives of those I love

  6. Amanda L.
    I'm thankful for the warm weather.
    I'm thankful for the bright moon.
    I'm thankful for pastor buddy saying that there is a need for SOAR at adventure Christian church.
    I'm thankful for Leslie Thomas .
    I'm thankful for this experiment.

  7. Today I am thankful for:
    1. A surgery cancellation that let my daughter fill it to get the medical attention she so needs.
    2. The lady at the surgeons office who worked us in even w/o a referral
    3. A job that allows me to help people doing something I enjoy
    4. Customers who are patient with me and my co-workers
    5.The super grumpy lady who came in today, she made me realize how fortunate I am to have joy in life through God above
    6. doors for the privacy they provide
    7. my daughter cleaning the cat boxes before I got home
    8. the mechanic who is working on my truck and has charged me a very fair price
    9. my truck
    10. the hot water I am about to enjoy bathing in
    11. God's grace

  8. 1. My daughter's excitement at exceeding her fundraising goal for church.
    2. A night out with one of my best friends.
    3. New tires.
    4. Laughing with my fifth graders.
    5. Really good hand lotion.

  9. I am thankful for ...
    1) Trader Joes
    2) Completing another small project
    3) lunch with a special friend who is an incredible example of Christ to me. She is a single mother of 2 boys who both are severely autistic, yet she is always giving thanks to God, joyfully serving others and generously giving to His ministry.
    4) my husband who is always helpful by picking up around the house.
    5) for my Redeemer!

  10. 1. Being caught up 11 days on the thankfulness experiment
    2. Double date night
    3. Cuddles with my man
    4. Summer dresses
    5. Meeting his parents