This is my FOURTH edition of Heart of Thanksgiving; where I chronicle what I’m most thankful for around Thanksgiving. Why do I do this? I think I said it best in my last edition of this tradition:
If you think you are someone who has trouble being thankful for the things in your life: live intentionally and in the moment. By living intentionally, you are refusing to just let life pass you by, you insist on doing everything purposely. If you live in the moment, you can rejoice in both the triumphs and the tests, and remember that it is just temporary. I learned this from my husband years ago whenever I was sick, sad, stressed, etc. he would always say “it’s just temporary.” This is so true.
When you are thankful, you are also most likely living in the moment. When you live in the present, you are more aware of your current surroundings. If you’re constantly worried about the future, you can’t be thankful for what you already have.
Sometimes we get so upset over petty things that we completely miss the lessons in life and blessings that we truly have, even blessings in disguise.
Making a mental list, writing it down on paper, or typing it up on your blog (!) can help you really solidify your thoughts and is a great way to put purpose and thought into what you’re thankful for. Honestly, I think if we did this every week (made a list of what we are thankful for) it would have such a positive impact on our life to strive to live intentionally and with purpose. Yesterday, Nick asked me what I was thankful for and he shared what he was thankful for. We didn’t give surface-level answers but really talked deeply about what we are grateful for.
So, drum roll please, here is my 2016 edition of what I’m thankful for (and I strongly encourage you to make a list!):
- Jesus. Always and forever, Jesus. Give thanks to him day and night. In Him, we should always have a heart of Thanksgiving. To have a friend in Jesus is a pretty amazing thing and I’m grateful for my faith.
- Freedom. I love America. Election time has brought out some seriously nasty things in our fellow Americans. How any American can live here and partake and take advantage of the amazing opportunities here but at the same time openly bash it is very sad.
- Our house. I am so grateful that we are so young but were able to purchase the home we wanted! It keeps us warm, cool, dry, and safe and I’ll never take this for granted.
- Marriage. I think marriage is an incredibly amazing bond. Nick is my best friend and I’m so thankful to have such a supportive partner in life, marriage, and parenthood.
- Our son. Oliver has such a sweet soul. He has taught me so much in his first year of life. He makes me slow down and be cognizant of everything. He grounds me and reminds me what really matters. He loves to play, love, and laugh. He is the greatest.
- Health. Oliver has not gotten sick even once! This is AMAZING! In babies’ first year, on average, they get sick 6-12 times. He hasn’t had an ear infection, cold, nada. I never take good health for granted.
- Breastfeeding. Might seem silly, but I am thankful everyday for being able to have a wonderful nursing relationship with Ollie. I love the bond it creates and we are still going strong at one year!
- Staying at home. I’ve always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom and I’m grateful for a husband that supports us (with income and also emotionally) and appreciates me.
- Haircuts. Yup. I got about 8 inches cut off a few weeks ago and I am wondering why it took me so long to decide to chop it. I LOVE it. And it makes me happy.
- Dates. I’m really attached to Ollie and Nick encourages it but he also brought the topic of investing in our marriage by spending quality one-on-one time together into light. I was hesitant on the idea of bi-weekly or weekly dates but as Ollie is nearing a year and I see how much he enjoys a few hours with grandparents every other week or so, I am thankful for a husband that reminded me the best thing we can do for Ollie is to love each other well. This means intentional quality time and I’m thankful he is leading us well.
- Family. Couldn’t express how much I love my family. We are so surrounded by love and support. We had lunch at my parents yesterday and dinner at Nick’s mom’s house and it all reminded me how blessed we are for such a great family!
- Christmas. We spent today decorating the inside and outside of our home for Christmas, while burning festive candles and playing Bing Cosby Christmas music. I love, love, love the holidays and can barely contain my excitement! And, you guys, we have a mantel to actually hang stockings (dream come true!).
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that you enter this Christmas season with joy!