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
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
30. Putting the boys to bed
31. Hearing my boys pray
32. Singing songs to the boys before bed
through my Thankfulness Experiment
journal and reflecting on all God has done and taught me the past 66 days Reading
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...