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November Challenge: Days 1-30

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Thanksgiving Journal

Thank you to those who joined me in this journey!
I hope you had fun – I know I did!
Day One: Earlier this week I had to make a very difficult decision, one that I hated to have to make. It was also a decision that may have cost me a potential friendship.  I, unfortunately had to back out of an amazing opportunity; a once-in-a-lifetime deal.  Scheduling restrictions played a major role, but what forced me to make the final call was a strong conviction on my heart. Unfortunately, through the ordeal, I was presented a lesson about the true character of the individual that I was to meet during this opportunity. It wasn’t a favorable revelation and made me realize that my decision was probably for the best, and assumed that the gut feeling was what would save me a lot of heartache down the road.

Nonetheless, I was hurt by the way everything transpired and just yesterday, began to have some doubts on whether my decision was the right one.  Today those doubts were wiped away when I received a message from my mom that my grandmother had fallen and had to be taken to the hospital by ambulance.  She said that I would need to stay with my sister (Kristin who has Cerebral Palsy) while she went out to the hospital this evening.  A knot formed in my throat because suddenly I realized that the gut feeling that told me that I shouldn’t accept the invitation had been right. Had I accepted, I would have been on the road tonight; I would have been off on a weekend getaway 4.5 hours away from home feeling guilty because I couldn’t be there for my family.  For the red flag/conviction/gut feeling and the fact that I paid attention to it, I am super thankful.

Day Two: Today I am thankful for a lazy day; one where I could sleep in until whenever I awoke. One where I could stay in my PJs well into the afternoon.  One where a late lunch was my first meal of the day.  One day, I hope, that I will be awoken by the cries of a hungry babe or the patter of little feet.  On those days I will miss days like today.

Day Three:  Beyond blessed and thankful to have been a part of the worship service at Covenant Community Church this morning.  Like in any area of our lives, change is not always easy, but the transition to a new worship was received with such gracious and open arms today.

The Spirit definitely moved through the congregation, especially as we sang Christ Tomlin’s, “Lord, I Need You”. As I stood before this crowd, I struggled to keep my emotions in check as I interpreted the song; being blow away by hundreds of voices belting out the chorus.

I am thankful for the hard work that has been put forth to make this transition as smooth as possible.  Your work is already paying off!  But most of all, thank you, Jesus for filling our hearts today and being there for us in our time of need, no matter the circumstance or at what hour.

Day Four: Even in my doubts whether or not my time spent interpreting at church and my abilities to teach sign language classes (hopefully starting after the first of the new year), God is working.  I should have known better after such an awesome service yesterday at church.

I received a call from another church member today, to let me know that a friend of her’s daughter and grandson (both Deaf) plan to attend our service in two weeks.  This is a definite answer to prayers since these two have not be able to attend church in years due to the lack of an interpreter.

The notice also presented a challenge as we would need an additional interpreter for the grandson to be able to attend CovKids (Sunday school) which takes place during the service.  But as always, God is greater and continued to work through His plan as I texted my team interpreter throughout the afternoon, seeking a solution.

Through it all, we’ve come to find more and more people praying for this ministry.  We’ve found two interpreters who are interested, but are still waiting on their schedules to determine if they are available.  It’s exciting and incredibly scary all at the same time!

But I am so thankful that I have a God who is greater than any doubt that enters my mind, and that through Him, I am able to do all things.  (Philippians 4:13)

Day Five: I am thankful for the amazing group that I bust a move with Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at Zumba. You all inspire me, keep me motivated and hold me accountable. Thank you for all of your support over the last five months, I don’t think I would have come this far without you. Love you gals!

Day Six: Today I am thankful that I ran out of my locally-made mineral makeup the other day.  I know this doesn’t sound like something that I should be thankful for (especially with my blotchy skin), but this lead me to contact the local businesswoman and friend who is also a Christian blogger.  In requesting another pot of powder, I was also able to ask her how things are going with her blog and also seek some advice on how to be more successful with my own blog.  She provided some incredible resources, including Christianmommyblogger.com.  

I immediately began digging into their tips of the trade and set a reminder for myself to join in on their Twitter party last night about becoming an #intentionalblogger.  Through the party, I was able to connect with some other incredible Christian women bloggers who graciously invited me to join their “mastermind group” where we intend to encourage and support one another in our missions of blogging for Christ.

I am so excited and thankful for how God is moving through these opportunities, I just hope that I can keep up!

YIKES!  I completely forgot to post this last night with all my productivity going on sprucing up the blog!  Sorry!

Day Seven:  Today I am thankful for the moment I shared this morning with a little boy that I don’t know.  As I drove to work with the rain pelting my windshield, I saw a father and son waiting to cross the road to his daycare.  I slowed and stopped so that they could cross, and watched as the father scowled at the world around him; from the rain or circumstances in his life, I will never know.  But what peeked out around him was his son, a sweet boy who waved at me frantically from underneath his bulky jacket.  I waved back just as excitedly.  He smiled and my heart smiled back.  I prayed for those two as I drove away, that the dad would find a way to smile as excitedly as his son and that the son’s smile would not find a reason to fade.

I am thankful for the reminder that if we allow it, it will only take small things to excited us and cause us to smile.

Day Eight: Today I am thankful that it is Friday.  TGIF!  I know it sounds cliche, but I am thankful.  I am thankful for another week of life, another 40 hours of work to earn a paycheck, and it’s another day closer to the weekend.

The weekend means more time to spend with my family, an opportunity to catch brunch with a friend, to spend time preparing for and participate in the worship service at church.  The weekend also allows me to prepare for some other areas of my life that will be seeing some changes in the not-to-distant future.

Day Nine: Today I am thankful for opportunities to spend time with the ones I love.  This morning, I ate a superbly prepared brunch/lunch at Avenue Eatswith my Kindred Spirit.

It never fails; no matter how long a week it’s been, grueling in tasks and assignments, responsibilities and chores, this girl can make me smile!  Thank you, Kayla, for all that you have been in my life over the past few years.  It’s been a lesson in learning, but a time of growth and change, and I love that even though there’s a 10 year age difference, we are able to connect on a level that is all our own!  Even if it includes ridiculous inside jokes like 6FW!

Oooh and thanks for encouraging me to eat dessert even though I was plenty full!  That PB&J cupcake was AWEsome!

Day Ten: Today I am thankful for the conversations that were had before and after the worship service in regards to the expansion of our Deaf ministry.  There are quite a few people who are very excited to learn to sign and it thrills me since we will be having a Deaf family attend next week and hopefully for weeks to come.

Many thanks to Sharon for her love, encouragement and time spent reviewing my plans for classes that will be starting after the first of the New Year.  It’s so wonderful to have someone to bounce ideas off of and that has a heart for this ministry!

A Confident Heart [affiliate link]

Day Eleven: Today I am thankful for the struggles I have endured over the past 30 years.  Looking back, I can see how God has worked through my darkest of hours and is a precious reminder that He will continue to carry me through any present or future trials.
I Peter 4:16 – If any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.

Day Twelve: Today I am thankful for the progress that I have made over the past six months in regards to my health.  I am just 11 pounds away from my goal.  I have dropped four pant sizes and am close to the fifth.  I have seen my body change before my eyes, into one that I don’t always recognize in the mirror at a quick glance.  And now I am receiving congratulatory comments from people in all walks of my life in response to the changes they have witnessed.  I am thankful that I have been able to remain motivated and that I’m making further process in the betterment of Bree.

Day Thirteen: Today has been full of blessings. The first thing I am thankful for is the “negative” comment that I received on my blog, my first ever.  You’re probably wondering how a negative comment could be a thing to be thankful for, but really it was.  The questions posed to me, though I may never know the real reason or intent behind them provided me an opportunity to dig down deep and step out of my comfort zone.  Biblical debate and reasoning have never been strong points of mine, so it forced me to sit down and really talk to God and seek his advice on how to answer these difficult questions.  I was also able to seek the advice of my mastermind group (thankful for this opportunity as well!) and found that the answers I provided were ones of worth. Praise be to Jesus for the words He provided!

And tonight I got to hang out with my sister in my apartment.  To the average person, this isn’t the most glamorous thing or even out of the ordinary, but it is in my family.  With Kristin being wheelchair bound, it’s hard to take her many places and is often easier to just stay at home where things are the most accessible.  But my mom had her book club ladies over to the house, so Kristin came home with me and we hung out, eating snacks and watching Nanny 9-1-1 on Netflix.  It’s the little things sometimes, but it was something big for us tonight and I’m thankful for the smiles that lit up her face from the experience!

Day Fourteen: Today I am thankful for the place I call home. The weather has changed and it’s cold outside. I am so thankful that I have a roof over my head, heat and a warmly and cozy bed to rest my head. It may not be the most well decorated (or cleanest) of places, but it’s home sweet home!

Day Fifteen: Today I am thankful for the many blog comments I received today, letting me know how much my post, Failing Forward, has touched them. I love the opportunity to connect with my readers! This has been my prayer since I began sharing my posts publicly; that others would be inspired and challenged to adopt a new way of thinking. God is moving and I am so thankful to be a part of His plan!

Day Sixteen: Today I am thankful for my mom’s hair-cutting and styling abilities.  My family is so blessed to have been able to save hundreds of dollars over the years in not having to go to a professional hairstylist or barber to get a trim.  I don’t think my dad has been to a barber for the past 40 years because of this!

With having to pinch pennies the past couple of months, I haven’t been able to go to my stylist to keep my super cute pixie cut short, so mom has been a trooper and stepped up to the plate to keep me from looking like a shaggy dog.  Thanks, Momma, for all that you do for our family!

Day Seventeen: Today I am thankful for God’s work through my church, my interpreting team and through the family of a mother and son who are Deaf that attended yesterday.  After interpreting since January for a room full of hearing individuals, that have been incredibly supportive, it was both exciting and nerve-wracking to interpret for an individual who needed the accessibility to the word of God.

We are so blessed to have another interpreter to join our team, and one more who is interested as long as her work schedule permits, so that we can provide accessibility to both the worship service and the children’s program that run simultaneously.

The family has not been to church in some time due to the limitations of other churches not being able to or unwilling to provide an interpreter, so it is so amazing to know that both mother and son enjoyed their first time being there and intend to return with the rest of the family next week and many weeks to come!

Day Eighteen: Today I am thankful for the opportunity to network with other creative individuals and the unique and thought-provoking questions that pop up in these conversations.  Technology, though it can sometimes seem like a curse, has been a true blessing in allowing me to “meet” so many incredible people to share my passions with, and find a place where we can build each other up though the miles separating us are many.

Day Nineteen: Today I am thankful for the motivation that I have had lately to keep trucking along with exercise and eating right.  I haven’t been as strict with myself in counting calories as I had over the summer, and I do allow myself to indulge occasionally on sweets, such as my new favorite ice cream flavor – Chai Tea and Chocolate Ginger Cookies by Private Selection!  Despite the extra calories in that yummy treat, I’ve managed to keep losing weight and as of last Thursday, I am down 30 pounds!!

Day Twenty: Today I am thankful for my iPhone. I know how superficial and materialistic that sounds, but please hear me out before you start rolling your eyes. My iPhone provides aid to my life in so many ways. Email, text messages, social media and the ability to update my blog from anywhere that I have battery and service, is such a blessing since it allows me to connect with friends and family that I do not see often and get to know so many other fantastically inspiring people that I may not otherwise have an opportunity to connect with. It provides me the means of carrying my ever/growing to-do list around with me and allows me the satisfaction of checking things off as they are accomplished. It provides me entertainment and tune age if the radio isn’t playing my favorite hits. And it keeps me on track of upcoming important events, like the return of Switched at Birth and Downtown Abbey and of course my 31st birthday. I heart that this one device can do all that and sooo much more!

Day Twenty-One: Today I am thankful for the music team at my church.  They are such a supportive group and though we all come from different backgrounds, work experience and walks of life, there has never been a squabble or bit of disagreement. We work together to get the job done for the Lord and I am so blessed to be a part of it.

Day Twenty-two: Today I am thankful for many things, including watching the Wheeling Christmas parade with the whole family, that my friend’s little guy got to ride with his hero on the fire truck in his full fireman gear, my mom and I completed our Operation Christmas Child boxes and we got to catch up on missed episodes of the Big Bang Theory and Elementary all while eating some scrumptious Caramel Apple Tart from a local bakery.

Day Twenty-Three: Today I am thankful for the progress that I was able to make in getting my home organized, cleaned up and somewhat decorated.  I’ve lived in this townhouse for nearly two years, so it was about time that I got something hung up!

Day Twenty-Four: Today I am so very thankful that two new Deaf attended church.  The family that attended last week was not able to make it, but these two were in town visiting family for Thanksgiving and the sister has been attending C3 for some time, so she encouraged them to come.  It’s been such a blessing to be able to share God’s word with them and I look forward to what other opportunities we’re provided in this ministry.

I also got to spend time visiting with my friends Erin and Scott and their two little ones.  What a blessing they all are and love the joy that they all bring to my family.  Thanks for keeping us young!

Day Twenty-Five: Today I am thankful for a few different emails that I received that have brightened my day.  News of approval for one venture of my life and one that could provide additional opportunities for me.  The latter of the two, I am not going to allow to shade my thinking and get my hopes up, but it was still a nice thing to hear today.

Days Twenty-Six: Thankful that I only had to work a half a day the following day, so I’d have more time helping my mom and preparing my heart for the big day of giving thanks!

Day Twenty-Seven: Thankful for my co-workers that came in for a half day and helped me catch up on the work that I had been falling behind on…and also for the rest of the afternoon off.

Day Twenty-Eight thru Thirty: Thankful for the time spent with family; for the amazing meal that we were able to share; for my Aunt Sandy’s AH-mazing stuffing, pumpkin and pecan pies; for the leftovers; for the laughter and the hugs. Thankful for the time shopping with my mom early morning on Friday, despite us both feeling under the weather, and for the nap on the couch. Thankful for the opportunity to rehearse with some of my dear friends and hear their incredible talents being lifted up to the Lord in praise.  Thankful my entire immediate family was present for putting up and decorating the Christmas tree this year. Thankful for the opportunity to worship freely with a packed house and that it has come time to begin offering a 2nd service because of the steady numbers of those attending.  Thankful for the great meal and fellowship following the service. Thankful for my mom’s amazing cooking skills and another nap on the couch before another church service.  Thankful for being so incredible and undeservedly blessed!  Thank you, Jesus!

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  1. Hi Bree, I love this idea of posting a thanksgiving every day. The day that you smiled at the little boy waving while it was raining was cool. Isn’t it wonderful how little kids are so expressive! Tomorrow morning my daughter is going to have a baby – my grandson and I am so thankful to be able to here. Grandkids are such a blessing and now that I live with my daughter & son-in-law & granddaughter – this household is going to be even crazier – but a fun crazy. I truly believe that being thankful is the key to being happy. And knowing our Lord is the great provider -it is so easy to be thankful to Him. Be blessed!

    1. Cherie, thank you for your kind words! Congratulations to you and your family on the new addition, what a blessing to be there for the reveal of such a precious gift! I hope that you’ll join me for the rest of the month in lifting up your daily blessings and things you are finding to be thankful for! If you post these on social media, be sure to include #30daysofthanks Many blessings to you!

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