November Gratefulgrams

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.
November Gratefulgrams Kyla Mary

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

 

Let’s Continue Our Gratitude

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 few days ago I had to fight for a spirit of thankfulness. I seemed to run out of everything – I’d run out of time to accomplish all I needed to do, energy to care for our home like it should be, mental strength to get my booty out the door for a run, resources to fill those orders or have a proper consultation with a client… I walked in a spirit of “lack.” But today. Today was different. I look around and realize I really do have more than enough. I walked through the mountains of North Carolina – just me, Will & Milly, and I realized in that moment I really lack nothing. Sometimes we have to fight for it. But sometimes God’s goodness so graciously fills me to overflowing that all I can do is thank Him. Whether you are in a season where it comes easy to you or not, get after it. Get after a grateful spirit. It’s worth it every time. #getaftergrateful

 

A photo posted by Nancy Ray (@nancyray) on

 

Thoughts and an exercise this Thanksgiving morning. This week I came across a verse in my Planted study from @lifelivedbeautifully (highly recommended btw!!) Psalm 143:5 “I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the work of your hands.” The notes on this verse in my study Bible said “Being at the end of his strength need not mean that he gives us; if he can remember the days of old, he can have fresh courage to stretch out his hands to God. The weary soul thirsts for God as its source of energy.” Fresh courage? Source of energy? I got to experience this, this past week as I remembered how the Lord transformed me and filled me with an incomparable peace during my pregnancy with Vivi through lots of prayer. Remembering past moments where the Lord worked really did give me fresh courage for my future. It got me thinking, this Thanksgiving, I truly want to remember and ponder all those things the Lord has done in my life. Not to simply say thanks, but to let it fill me with hope that God is mighty and at work in every day to come. Tonight after the turkey is gone, conversations enjoyed and the house is quiet, I am going to do a little exercise in remembrance and I invite you to join me, especially if you have lost hope or courage or energy. Exercise: Take a sheet of paper and divide into 6 (or more!) boxes. At the top of each, write a different area of remembrance. Here were some of my ideas but I’d love to hear if y’all have any others! People – Mentors or those God used in your life Rough seasons – Those times you felt like God forgot you but later saw how He worked or will maybe see now for the first time Childhood College Career Family Give yourself time to really think of how God has worked in so many ways in your life. Find courage as you see His loving hand that’s been there all along. And if you haven’t been a believer very long or even if you wouldn’t call yourself a Christian now, God has been working behind the scenes. Look back on those past memories with fresh eyes. Happy Thanksgiving y’all! 📷 @nataliemetrejean

 

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.

Grateful

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.
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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.