The Blessings of 2016
It’s that time of year again where we all really start to focus on our blessings and give thanks for all we’ve been given. Today I want to share with you a few of the many things I am grateful for in 2016. As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday I am being reminded of my blessings more and more every single day. I hope that sharing what I’m thankful for will help remind you to give thanks in all the big and small moments of your life.
Over the last several weeks I’ve really been trying to focus on being more grateful. All of this started when I went to the Smart Money Conference in October and heard Rachel Cruze speak. Her new book, that I wrote a little about here, is all about being more grateful and not comparing your life to someone else’s. Rachel talks about how she started keeping a list of all the things she is grateful for. Like Rachel, I tend to check my social media before even letting my feet hit the floor and I realized how TERRIBLE that was! So, taking Rachel’s advice, I now open up the notes app on my phone first thing and write down two things I’m grateful for.
I’ve now been doing this every single day since October 9th and it’s getting HARD to think of new things! Haha. It’s actually crazy that it’s already getting difficult, but when you’re purposely not repeating anything you start to get real specific and grateful for the tiniest things in your life. I literally just wrote “a warm bed” the other day when I woke up all snuggled in my blankets. I’ve been grateful for my dog, my creativity and even a budget for my money!!! I know, right?!
Well, I should be grateful for all of those things. We all should.
This list has really helped me realize all the things I am grateful for, in 2016 specifically. None of these things are more important than the other and this is not in any specific order. I hope seeing my list may help you to start your own and really go into Thanksgiving with a truly grateful heart. I hope you will know that you have more than you deserve and couldn’t have the life you have without the grace and love of our Good Father above.
I’m so thankful for the new adventures that I got to experience this year! Brandon and I went on our first cruise for our anniversary in May. We visited the Bahamas, and it was just the BEST time together. I loved having quality time with my hubby. I sometimes think people think we’re crazy because we spend so much time together and don’t go out a ton, but I LOVE being with just him.
Brandon and I were best friends for over a year before we ever went on an actual date. Then we dated for over a year before got engaged and another 2 years before we were married. He was my best friend before, and he’s still my best friend today. That makes every day a fun adventure with him! Don’t get me wrong, we’re still two people trying to form a life together, but I’m still happy to see him every single afternoon when he gets home and spending my weekends just with him is still my favorite. :)
Another adventure we got to have was going to Dave Ramsey’s Smart conference. We’ve never done anything like that and it was awesome to go together and learn together. We learned so much about marriage, kids, money and retirement. It was awesome! And TOMORROW we get to go to a Pentatonix concert! We bought the tickets in June for my birthday and we’ve been waiting! I’m so excited. I know it’s going to be a super fun night! How blessed I am to have such fun adventures!
We joined a new church this year, and I am so grateful for God’s guidance through that process. As some of you know, I was (until recently) a contractor for a large church that we had been going to for several years. A few months ago, when we knew my time at that job wouldn’t be much longer, we started visiting another local church and fell in love. Since I quit my job, we’ve been able to become even more involved at our new church and have joined the greatest small group. Our new small group was a total God connection, and I am so grateful for all of the wonderful friendships!
Our new church has made me feel like a part of something again. Brandon and I used to be VERY involved in our church. We basically lived there, but before we got married we moved churches and just felt like God was calling us to a season of rest and out of the spotlight of ministry. But I’ve recently been feeling God tugging on my heart to get involved again, and I’m so glad it will be at Gwinnett Church. For those of you curious, this church is a part of Andy Stanley’s Northpoint Ministries. We’ve loved everything about it and look forward to a great future there!
Brandon started a new job in June. It’s been a bit of an adjustment but also very exciting. I know it’s been hard for him to jump into his new role, a new company, new hours, new responsibilities, etc. But he’s so amazing and works so hard. He is working so hard to become the best at his job, and I know he does that for me; I couldn’t be more grateful. I’m so glad God opened this new door for him because he is learning so much, and we can really see how God is working in this role to prepare him for the future. We are so excited for that.
This may sound weird, but I’m grateful that I found Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover and have learned to create a budget. I’m grateful for that because I feel more peace about our finances than I ever have before. We’ve learned to communicate so well about money and we actually enjoy talking about it instead of ignoring it all together. It’s been a great thing for us and has given me a peace of mind knowing I don’t have to stress about the holidays because of money. I actually get to enjoy the holidays and the gift giving this year. Who knew making a budget would feel like a blessing? ;)
One last thing I want to share is my gratitude for God’s restoration, provision and plans for my life. This year has been tough. It was tough with my job and tough personally in our family. However, one thing I’ve learned over the last several weeks is that God is a God of restoration and a God of dreams. God opened the doors for me to leave my job and since then has opened one door after another that I never saw coming.
Small steps in the direction of my dreams is a BIG DEAL for me because, as I’ve written about before, I struggle to find my purpose. I often feel discouraged when I feel like I can’t see one step in front of me. God has allowed me to see small glimpses of His plans lately, and I am so grateful for that. I’m grateful for His will and His direction. I’m thankful He restores life and relationships, and I’m thankful that He loves me enough to even think about my dreams and desires. He loves fulfilling His dreams for me and that just amazes me. He is a Good, Good Father!
There are obviously so many other things in my life that I can say I’m grateful for, but I’m trying to keep it somewhat short for you guys! ;)
What are a few things you’re grateful for this year? I would love to hear about it!
I hope you all understand how blessed you are and how much our Heavenly Father cares for you even when it may not feel like it. He is Good and He is Faithful.