November was full and lovely and rich in community and quiet time. I am thankful for growing friendships, abundant fellowship, lots of sunny and warm days, and plenty of opportunities to learn.
antiquing adventure day with my friend Mel / reuniting with my friend Jenn who came home from Malaysia / volunteering at the Big Daddy Weave concert / a spontaneous dinner with my Grammy and Tappy / serving alongside my youth group girls at an outreach event for our community / sweet moments of laughter and shared wisdom with my friend Tara / watching Rachel Nordgren’s Influence class with my friend Cara / winning Thanksgiving trivia with my sweet little cousin Avah / decorating the church for Christmas with some of my favorite ladies
The idea for monthly gratefulgrams was inspired by the lovely Nancy Ray
The infamous ‘Black Friday’ is upon us and it is so easy to get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of the sales and the temptation to buy new things. There is nothing wrong with shopping and taking advantage of the sales, but the posture of our heart in it all is really important. In scripture, we are instructed to guard our hearts, and I am thankful for the reminders I’ve seen this week to check the posture of my heart in this holiday season. As I scrolled through Instagram yesterday morning, I began to see a theme among the ladies I look up to, and it inspired me to talk about it here.
A photo posted by Valerie Woerner (@valmariepaper) on
Friends, let’s continue our gratitude today, and tomorrow, and throughout the entire holiday season. Let’s check the posture of our hearts and remember that there is no purchase or product that can fill the cravings and desires in our hearts in the way that God can. Gather around the table to share in a game with your family, curl up with a good book, go for a walk and enjoy this late November air, catch a sunset with a warm mug of cider, and be present. May your gratitude and praise be bigger than any shopping spree or urge to buy. We are abundantly blessed right where we are.
Happy Thanksgiving, Friends! I’m fighting a little cold that has had me moving more slowly, taking hot baths, and sipping tea more than usual this week, but I’m looking forward to gathering around the table with my family today to celebrate all that we have to be grateful for. Yesterday I got to decorate the church for Christmas for much of the day and then my family cozied up in the evening to watch our annual Thanksgiving-eve movie of choice. The holiday season is upon us and it is so important to remember what truly matters in the midst of all the hustle and bustle.
The past few months have flipped my world upside down in all the best ways. My days have been full and the months have felt long, filled to the brim with moments that God has used to shape and grow me more than ever. After many months of painful refining, my heart has been stretched and my capacity to love Him and trust Him wholly has grown more than I ever could have foreseen. That in and of itself has filled my heart with gratitude. It has taught me that joy and contentment are not conditional on circumstances, and that God loves to surprise His children with the best gifts. I’ve been learning to listen to His voice and to follow His leading, even when it doesn’t make sense in my limited understanding. I’ve learned that He answers prayers and that He blesses the things that we place in His hands, even when the outcome is different than we’d imagined or planned for. I’ve learned that I am held by Him and that the story He is writing for my life is far better than I could have ever written for myself. In all of this, I have become more steady and passionate and full of life than ever before, and for that I am the most grateful.