Sunday, January 6, 2013

Day 66

Wow - where do I begin?  Sixty-six days ago, The Thankfulness Experiment started like this:

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.

And so began our thankfulness journey.  After 66 days, I am definitely more thankful than I was on November 1st.  I've discovered that it's amazing how you recognize so many things to be thankful for when you are INTENTIONAL about thanksgiving.  Can any of you relate?  The original plan was for each of us to list 5 reasons a day.  And now that we're at day 66, the lists are incredibly long... ranging anywhere from 10 reasons to 100 reasons.  It's amazing!  And to think that even our longest lists only begin to scratch the surface of all the blessings God gives us each day.  I love having thankfulness on my radar screen.  I love that I can whisper thankful prayers throughout the day.  And I love the joy that comes from being thankful.  

During The Thankfulness Experiment, I learned that thankfulness is a choice.  In every circumstance, I have a decision to make... be thankful or complain.  While I don't always choose thanksgiving, I've learned that choosing to give thanks makes such a huge difference in my outlook and attitude.  Thankfulness is often "the road less traveled" and I've discovered that it makes all the difference as Robert Frost so poetically penned in his famous poem "The Road Not Taken."

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-- 
I took the one less traveled by, 
And that has made all the difference

God has used the past 66 days to teach me about so much more than thankfulness.  He's used it to refine me... and quite honestly, it's been painful at times.  God has revealed sin in my life through His gentle conviction.  I've learned that my desire to be perfect is a sin.  And after that gentle conviction, God prompted me to be vulnerable with my own personal struggles with thanksgiving.  This is not how I expected the blogging to go... but it was God's plan and I'm so glad that it went His way instead of mine.  God has taught me to focus on obedience instead of outcomes.  He's taught me the difference between His gentle conviction and Satan's harsh condemnation.  And God has proven that He will never leave me or forsake me.  God has been faithful every moment of The Thankfulness Experiment.  And I wouldn't trade the past 66 days for anything.  I know God better.  I've experienced Him in such special ways.  I've heard His still small voice.  And I've been transformed into a more thankful gal.  

God invited me to start this blog 66 days ago and I had no idea what I was getting into.  It's been an amazing journey and I'm so thankful that you joined me!!  I'm also curious about your experience with giving thanks.  As you type your thankful list today, please share what you have learned during The Thankfulness Experiment so we can celebrate how God has used this in each of our lives.  

"Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" (1 Thessalonians 5:18) has been our theme verse for The Thankfulness Experiment. I have to admit, that after 66 days, I'm not there yet.  I don't always choose thanksgiving.  But thankfully, God doesn't expect perfection.  And I am more aware of being thankful.  I realize I have a choice now.  I've made small improvements during the experiment and I've learned that choosing thankfulness will be a life long journey.  It doesn't end now that The Thankfulness Experiment is coming to a close.  There's so much more to give thanks for... 10,000 reasons is only the beginning.  And we are so close to 10,000 reasons!  Here's a picture of our tree with two more ornaments - 9,000 and 9,500!!  You can see that this branch is getting really crowded with all the reasons that have poured in this week.  I love it!!

On January 6th, 2013 around 10 PM EST, I'm going wrap up The Thankfulness Experiment.  My final post will cover what's next and where do we go from here.  And, of course, it will include the final thankful reason count.  We have so much to celebrate!  

Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.  For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.  Psalm 100:4-5

Tonight, I am thankful for...

1.  My sweet boys snuggling in bed with me 
2.  Our morning breakfast routine
3.  The boys waiting to eat until we pray
4.  Having all the ingredients in the house to make chocolate chip cookies
5.  The smell of homemade chocolate chip cookies filling the house
6.  The boys asking if they would get to eat any cookies
7.  Their delight to eat cookies BEFORE lunch
8.  Getting a hot shower
9.  My hair dryer
10. My curling iron
11.  iPhone map app
12.  Figuring out how to follow the blue dot when the list directions disappeared
13.  Getting to my destination without getting lost
14.  My boys putting so much time and effort into making a cards for their friend
15.  My three year old writing his own name
16.  My seven year old complimenting his brother on writing his name
17.  Getting some girl time with a dear friend
18.  Snacks
19.  A girl that's a trooper and full of life and smiles in spite of tough circumstances
20.  Monsters, Inc. in 3D
21.  My three year old trying to touch the movie
22.  Seeing all the boys in the family with 3D glasses on top of their heads
23.  Family movie time - at the theater
24.  Coupons for $8 off 3D movie thanks to Christmas presents
25.  My hubby's amazing impersonations
26.  My seven year old saying my hubby can be all the characters in every movie
27.  My seven year old trying to impersonate like his Daddy
28.  Hot, yummy pizza for dinner
29.  Bath time
30.  Putting the boys to bed
31.  Hearing my boys pray
32.  Singing songs to the boys before bed
33.  Reading through my Thankfulness Experiment journal and reflecting on all God has done and taught me the past 66 days
34.  My dear friend reminding me that people post after my post, so I need to keep have one more day for everyone to finish
35.  God's love
36.  The smell of fresh popped popcorn
37.  My Tassimo - one of your lists reminded me of this one!
38.  My oven and knowing how to adjust the temperature so food cooks properly
39.  All the reasons pouring in again today
40.  The ability to choose thankfulness
41.  The realization that God truly blesses us more in more ways than we could ever count

Here's to 10,000 reasons... Only 134 to go...


  1. I am thankful for...
    1. A friend's obedience to God that motivates, encourages and inspires others, including me
    2. The blessings that come from obedience to God
    3. God's faithfulness
    4. God's goodness
    5. External processing
    6. Coffee and scones from Starbucks
    7. Time with a new friend
    8. The absence of fever
    9. Popcorn
    10. Granola bars
    11. Snowman kits
    12. Paper bags and crayons
    13. Hot chocolate
    14. Homemade chocolate chip cookies
    15. Time outside of a 12x12 hospital room
    16. Girl time regardless of length
    17. Patience that can only come from God
    18. The right words in a frustrating situation
    19. Decisions of a medical team
    20. God's perfect timing that I don't always understand
    21. Tuna salad on a toasted croissant
    22. A visit with such a loving family that had blessed my family so greatly
    23. Fruit cups
    24. Homemade chocolate peppermint cookies
    25. A treadmill at my house that will need much use after all of this wonderful food
    26. Laughter
    27. People loving on me, my hubby, my son and my daughter
    28. Wi-fi
    29. Text messages to provide quick updates to multiple people at the same time
    30. Nancy
    31. Wilson
    32. Ryan
    33. Kevin
    34. Yogurt
    35. Clean towels
    36. Hospital socks that have so many functions
    37. Homemade cards from dear friends
    38. Sesame Street
    39. Hospital staff that make us feel so comfortable
    40. Three musketeers bars
    41. Sleep
    42. Continuous prayers
    43. Encouraging emails
    44. Encouraging voicemails
    45. Encouraging text messages
    46. Sippy cups
    47. Emma
    48. People that deliver gifts to those they do not know
    49. The freedom to give
    50. The freedom to pray
    51. The freedom to worship my God
    52. The freedom to talk to others about my savior
    53. Televisions and DVD players
    54. Football!!!!
    55. My buckeyes
    56. Being able to say "there's always next year" as a tortured fan of Cleveland sports teams
    57. Cold weather
    58. Possibility of snow in the winter months
    59. Changing of seasons
    60. Getting to see the change of seasons
    61. Fall leaves
    62. Colors
    63. Tickle time with my daughter
    64. Yellow socks
    65. Things that are special to me that I don't have to justify or explain to anyone else
    66. The joy of playing "remember the time when..."
    67. Freedom in Christ
    68. Knowing that the mess of my past is part of my message to others about God
    69. Knowing that God doesn't make mistakes
    70. Knowing I don't have to be perfect
    71. Hand sanitizer
    72. Stickers
    73. Blankets
    74. Trash cans
    75. The alphabet song and the joy it brings my daughter
    76. Talking about Jesus with my 2 year old
    77. Hearing my 2 year old spontaneously burst into "Jesus loves me"
    78. Music
    79. Organization
    80. Safety features
    81. God telling me not to fear, not to worry and not to be afraid
    82. Peace that only comes from God
    83. Forgiveness
    84. Unfailing love of God
    85. The sacrifice of god's only son for me
    86. Being convicted to give thanks in all circumstances
    87. Seeing a change in my life because of this thankfulness experiment
    88. Being witness to the incredible people sharing their lives through this blog
    89. Heather's commitment to God
    90. Every single day of this experiment

  2. Amandal .
    I'm thankful that we made it.
    sermon from buddy today.
    talked to several new people.
    adventure Christian church
    God leading me to help women in S.O.A.R.
    that I have the opportunity to serve
    the windy day.
    The color green
    Brown hair
    blonde hair
    God talking to me today loud and clear.
    the face of Megan getting a dog from Jonathan priceless.
    the joy that the dog brings to Megan.
    the joy of watching Jonathan giving the present to Megan.
    the hugs.
    the joy of watching Jonathan give his mom a hug and kiss.
    the wind.
    Carrie Baptists .
    carries smile.
    my bible.
    Heather snider .

  3. 1. Sleep
    2. Crayons
    3. A bed
    4. A house
    5. A cell phone

    1. I will post more after nap time promise

  4. 1. Alone time with The Lord
    2. Toby's laugh
    3. People who love and see Toby for him not a disability or inconvenience
    4. For Toby's will to push forward and the little boy God made him to be
    5. For BMs I say this because with angelmans they have really bad digestion and trying to keep the regular and not going to the hospital is a blessing
    6. My daughter Evelyn who has a heart of gold always wanting to be by her brothers side my it be at the hospital or therapy
    7. Acc
    8. The amazing donations made to the angelman foundation so we can in day have a cure

  5. 1.pillows
    2. Laundry day
    3. Energy drinks
    5. Fresh water
    6. Towels
    7. Epom salt
    8. All special needs parents who make me feel like I'm not alone
    9. Hot water
    10. Christian friends who push me to be better
    11. Role models
    12. Internet
    13. Research
    14. Birthdays!! Because of Christ birth and death I am made new
    15. Pain- with out pain and struggles I would never be able to feel God live and strenght
    16. Pastor Buddy
    17. Pastor Richard
    18. The ACC family
    19. Christian Authors
    20. Prayers
    21.that Toby is able to kiss
    22. My daughters smile and laugh she helps so much
    23. My mom who got to come to ACC today
    24. Friends who will try new fitness stuff with me

  6. 1. Groupings and coupons to help me stay on budget
    2. Pictures
    3. For the wedding of my dreams
    4. For our wedding bands
    5. Netflix
    6. Pandora so I can listen to no stop Christian music
    7. Pain relievers!!
    8. Car seats
    9. Sports!! Go cards
    10. For WOW bible study

  7. I am thankful for:
    1. the surge to the finish and seeing the race complete...whatever the race may be.
    2. a great day w/ my sis yesterday.
    3. playing games w/ my fam including my sis.
    4. relaxing day before the routine starts back up.
    5. having a total family day today.
    6. generosity of friends.
    7. fewer sweets in the house...I write that w/ mixed feelings :)
    8. seeing an old friend out of the blue yesterday.
    9. routines...even though I dread having to send my kids back to school tomorrow.
    10. finishing my book.
    11. my faithful friend, Heather, who has diligently followed God's leading to create and maintain this blog.

  8. I am thankful for :
    1. The power of choosing thankfulness !
    2. Heather's obiedence to GOD thru this 66 day journey.
    3. New habits formed
    4. Sharing in others thankfulness.
    5. Being moved to tears reading others lists.
    6. Commited faithful friends
    7. Being ok with not being perfect .
    8. Learning to recognize my jealousy of others and being able to ask GOD to forgive me for it.
    9. The strength to keep moving forward
    10. The courage to ask for help.
    11. Every second I get with my Eden Mae , she truly lights up my life.
    12. The spoken and unspoken love of my Superman- a true Prince among men !
    13. Rest
    Bonnie Lawrence

  9. 14. Raisin cakes
    15. Popcorn
    16. Clementines

  10. I am thankful for:

    1. this Thankfulness Experiment - it challenged me to look at my daily experiences with a thankful heart. My perspective and outlook on the day was so positive, so exciting, as I looked for things to be thankful for. I enjoyed reading other lists, seeing what was going on in the lives of some of the participants I know. I will be lonesome tomorrow night when I go to wrap up my day without this familiar orange, swirly background, and lists from other people.
    2. Heather Snider - and her obedience to follow God in this adventure
    3. Bonnie's crazy sense of humor - and my secret snack bag she sent home with me this evening
    4. my Mom's unexpected decision
    5. Pastor Buddy's awesome sermon this morning
    6. New women signing up for Bible study
    7. the commitment of the women who are helping with the upcoming studies
    8. the privilege of teaching the upcoming study - "Knowing God By Name" - may I learn to know Him more deeply as I study His name!
    9. our Life Group
    10. God's clear answer to prayer for a precious family at the hospital right now
    11. modern medicine, and all it can accomplish for our physical bodies
    12. the last step of a really big project that my daughter has been working on ... Thank You Lord for seeing us through
    13. the Lord's reminder that i still had groceries in the trunk of the car - before they spoiled
    14. the quick "yes" of a friend whose help I asked for
    15. new possibilities
    16. God's miraculous power
    17. a God-ordained conversation and scripture at church this morning
    18. my family
    19. the body of Christ
    20. my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ - who is far above every ruler, authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in this present age, but in the one to come!

  11. I am thankful ....
    1) to hear my husband sing out loud at church
    2) to watch my daughter takes notes while listening to the church sermon
    3) for the hug from my son
    4) to have my husband spend time telling me about the last book he read (Killing Lincoln)
    5) that my husband took the time to watch 2 season's of Downton Abbey with me over the Christmas break so I would be caught up before joining my friends to watch Season 3, Episode 1
    6) for the playful teasing from my daughter
    7) great time son had playing basketball with his friends from C-group
    8) for my bible
    9) for my mom, dad, sister and 2 brothers
    10) for my husband's parents and brother
    11) for my church family
    12) for my Savior
    13) that the Lords hears our prayers and His Spirit speaks to us
    14) that the Lord loves us and answers prayers
    15) that the Lord has helped me to be consistent in writing out words of thanks for 66 days:)