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yesterday i was running around frantic and breathless all day. it was like time was just slipping through my fingers and i had so much i “HAD” to do. i was stressed through the roof!

do you ever have those days? at one point i was driving on my way to one of the many errands and i was thinking of why i feel so overwhelmed. seriously?! i mean, i’m doing a little contract work and i’m trying to study but overall i should have plenty of time. how is life still overwhelming me? how do i still feel like i can’t catch up?!

then a little whisper, ” I’ve missed you. Do you have time for Me?”

yikes. how is it that when we get busy we put aside our quiet times with the Lord? shouldn’t this be EVEN MORE important when i’m busy? don’t i claim that HE is my main purpose in life?

then i started thinking about how my “word of the year” is JOY and i started to wonder where my joy is? how have i lost focus on my pursuit of God’s joy? how is it that life is seems to be just sweeping over me and taking over every little thought and moment?

sigh.

i’ve really missed Him too. i’ve realized that since i’ve been so overwhelmed with little things of this moment my heart just isn’t at peace. i’m not feeling “right” if you know what i mean. so this morning i picked up Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts again. {seriously, have you all read this? if not, go get it RIGHT NOW. just two chapters in and i’m convicted and inspired. it’s beautiful}

this morning i was quickly reminded that for true joy in this life comes from real thanksgiving.

“Satan’s sin becomes the first sin of all humanity: the sin of ingratitude. Adam and Eve are, simply, painfully, ungrateful for what God gave.  Isn’t that the catalyst of all my sins?” (pg.15)

um yes. more days than not it’s hard to be grateful. i mean, maybe i’ll say i’m thankful for something but in my head i’ve usually made a list of everything else that could be better…

“As long as thanks is possible, then joy is always possible. Joy is always possible. Whenever, meaning -now; wherever, meaning-here. The holy grail of joy is not in some exotic location or some emotional mountain peak experience…The only place we need to see before we die is this place of seeing God here and now.” (pg 33)

what i’m reminded of this morning is that thanksgiving is the beginning of the joy that i’m seeking. of that seeking feeling that my life is so overwhelming but i’m missing something! of the peace that surpasses all understanding. my focus is wrong. and it all starts with thanksgiving.

“the one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me.”

Psalm 50:23

thanksgiving =  glorifying God = real joy

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may we all find moments today to notice God and to be thankful.  i’ll sure be thinking about this a lot today. i’m thankful for so much but i forget to think about it, ya know?!  to actually thank God for each little thing. really, i DO want to glorify God with my life! with my every day. even the crazy days i’ve had lately! to start that, i need to remember to be thankful.

have any of you had those kinds of days? have you noticed that your Joy is missing when you’re ungrateful or there’s a lack of gratefulness too? how do you remember to be thankful?

xo-kimberly renee

ps- in my “free printables” you can print off your own copy of my Joy painting above. tape it to the mirror or hang it by the front door to remind yourself to seek His joy! 

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things i’m thankful for today:

  • my parents came to visit last weekend!! best weekend ever! {i can’t believe it’d been over a year since i’d seen them when they came to visit in jersey! i’m the worst daughter in the world.}

  • exploring is fun: we went to Rockport{duh!}, Essex, Salem, Marblehead, Gloucester and everywhere in between.
  • trying new things: we tried out a diner that was featured on “diners, drive-ins and dives” and it had Husbuddy’s name!

{personally, i have no idea why it was featured and why it always has lines out the door… it really wasn’t very good… more like blech… but the memories are fun.}

  • good conversation with loved ones

 

  • learning new things and going to museums: …and husbuddy’s enthusiasm for history…

  • that husbuddy gets along with my parents. it’s like we’re all one happy family! that’s hard to find in this day and age. ha. but seriously… we both love our in-laws so much and i’m so thankful for that! :)
  • walks on the beach in the rain:

  • puppycakes’ joy found in playing and running in the sand: haha. hilarious.

 

what are you thankful for today?

One of the most peaceful things in the world is walking along the beach. Why is that?

After a long day of work or school it’s the perfect remedy for both us. And puppy cakes LOVES it.

Footprints in the sand is one of my favorite new daily things.

I’m thankful for this gift that is part of our new “normal” :)

we went for a little drive this weekend. it started out with Husbuddy asking if I wanted to go for a ride to go exploring since it was so sunny.

the problem was that when you say, “want to go for a ride?” puppycakes gets a little excited.

I wish I had the forethought to think of capturing his dancing excitement on camera. it’d be impossible to catch to though. it’s just something you’re going to have to come visit us to see in person.

it’s hysterical.

then puppycakes spends most of the drive either: a. pawing at the window button to get it to open(because, yes, he has figured that out) or b. with his nose out the window in typical dog fashion:

ride1

and in case you can’t tell what’s going on from the above picture:

ride2

haha. I know. we all have dogs who do this and we all think it’s the cutest thing and I just shared one of the most ordinary things about having a dog.

but I’m still thankful for that little guy and his cute little excitement about going for a ride.

part of what “going for a ride” means for me is to find new streets and get lost in new parts of Princeton that we haven’t seen before. it’s so fun to see where you end up! and I just LOVE sitting in the passenger seat while Husbuddy drives and we talk or sing along to the radio. it feels like we’re dating again when we used to drive from Spokane to Moscow together. it’s just one of our favorite things. :)

so on this little adventure we found some pretty amazing houses. the only one that I “HAD” to take a picture of is this one:

ride3

I know, it’s impossible to see past that huge gate, but basically, it’s a really interesting house that has taken an old stone barn and connected it to a modern farmhouse with a really contemporary-glass entry. le sigh. I wish I had the guts to knockon the door (or gate) and ask for a tour. it would be fascinating!

and then of course, we had to find a park for the puppycakes to run around in because he was just too excited to pee before we got in the car…

ride4

hee hee. he’s so funny looking.

last year at this time, I decided to spend 40 days(well, actually 46 if you count sundays) taking 1 picture a day. this was to help me focus on the beauty and gifts around me that God has given.  You can read more about it HERE. anyway, I found it very fulfilling and it was really cool to see, through the lens of my new camera, something new every day. it also was to help me get better at taking pictures :)

So, this year, I was sitting here thinking about what I wanted to focus on this year for lent. you see, rather than give something up for lent, it seems that lately I’ve been adding something to my every day routine. as usual, I have the option to make life easier (one less thing would be easier, right? ha)  and I go and decide to complicate life by adding something.  this is what I was thinking, do I give something up? or add something?

or how about I just do the exact. same. thing. as last year?

um… LAME you say?

yea, that was my first thought too.

But then I thought back to how interesting that experience was for me. I really was able to focus, even if just for a moment every day, on something artistic. I was able to see how I got better at using my camera. AND I was able to give thanks to God every day for something…through my camera.

and you see, this may come as a shock to you… but I’m still not very good with my camera… (I know, gasp!)

so I could really use the practice ;)

ha.

and I could really use the focus.

does anyone else seem to be running around like crazy these days? I really notice how out of it I am when I’m wandering around the house, trying to clean… I grab one thing, get distracted and set it down someplace else to be lost to the mess… somehow, next thing I know, I have a sponge in one gloved hand for cleaning the toilet and in the other I have the nail polish because somehow I’ve decided that it’s time to paint my nails! eek. out of control spaz over here!

so I feel like a routine like this would really help me to focus. to focus on God. to focus on thanksgiving and joy and what that means in this season leading up to Easter.

the other day, I shared this post with a quote from a book I’m reading. I’ve read two chapters of “one Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp and I’m hooked. Anyway, in the second chapter she talks about the meaning of life. ha. yup, just the second chapter and we’re that deep. hee hee. hang with me. She talks about seeing someone reading “1000 places to see before you die” and wonders if maybe that is the point of life… 1000 things by going to 1000 places, then you will have a full-filled life.  But that can’t be it. What about all of us who will never go anywhere? Will we not have a full life? Then she says this, and I love it, "

“The only place we need to see before we die is this place of seeing God, here and now.”

And I’ve been asking myself… how am I seeing God right here, right now? Do I live in Thanksgiving for all He has done for me? Rejoice in the Joy of all He is doing? Do I see His GRACE around me every day and in every thing?

thought provoking, no?

And that’s kind of what I’m stumbling at here. Through these silly little pictures I desire to see more of God in everything, HERE and NOW. This Lent season my focus(as really, it should be all the time) is going to be on Him.

day 1

{so yes, it made perfect sense to take a picture of my amazing birthday “cake” because that is what I’m thankful for today :) hee hee. thank You, Papa, for providing me with such a thoughtful Husbuddy who picks out just the thing to make me smile}

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hmmm. ii’s interesting that a little more than two weeks ago i say that CONTENTMENT is going to be word of choice for the year. Then yesterday I go on and on dreaming about having a house (and seriously, in the dreaming, not being content with what I have now!)

eeeeeek.

convicted.

thanks for holding me accountable, friends.

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in an effort to find contentment in this situation, i want to list all the things in my home now that i’m thankful for:

  • a roof over my head, that usually doesn’t leak…
  • a very comfortable bed, in a room that faces east so that on Saturday mornings i get to have my tea in the sunshine, in bed!
  • a desk on which i get to play with art supplies.
  • a clean, white kitchen in which i get to make yummy dishes with Husbuddy
  • lots of little dog toys to trip over, because really, it means i have a very playful dog!
  • enough furniture and artwork that i get to play at being an interior designer by constantly changing the layout and rearranging :)
  • a community where i can just walk around the corner to a bunch of friends. seriously-it’s like living in a grown up college dorm! marriage housing at a seminary is awesome!
  • Husbuddy. He is my home here. :)

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remembering to be thankful helps me to be content.  funny how that works together. ;) i AM content with where i am now, because this is where God has placed me and i am so blessed.

Phil. 4:19 “…and my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

1 Tim. 6:6-7 “Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing in the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.”

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ok, thanks for not rolling your eyes too much over my silliness.

xoxo-kimberly renee

 

just a few things i’m thankful for.

  1. my sweet husbuddy. today he texted me that he was proud of me.  so sweet. there’s something about knowing how much someone cares for you and admires what you do. when was the last time you got  or gave a text like that? amazing what it does for the receiver :) seriously. go text someone you’re proud of them. see what happens.
  2. a warm sweater, a comfy blanket and a pretty scarf.  those sweet little delights that make me happy during fall. have you seen this post at Inspired Room? so fun and comfy.
  3. my sweet job. i’m so thankful for it. {i’m thankful for my attitude change as well that allowed me to be thankful!!} for a job that i learn so much in, a job that stretches me, a job that pays me ;) a job that lets me go on the construction site and tell the construction works what they are doing wrong (jk), a job where i get to create cool new houses, a job that makes me think about the space that people will one day be living in, a job that makes me dream of my own house one day, and a job where i get so much experience! {always a work in progress to be thankful for my job;)}
  4. genius little blog posts about meal planning. um. seriously. if  you struggle with meal planing and recipe organizing like i do… check this out by Erin Leigh.  now if only i can find time to get this organized!!
  5. beautiful, inspiring art. like this blog. it’s inspiring. i really AM going to get more art up here on my blog soon. i have been working on things. i do want to share some of my beautiful ideas with you… motivation station: check out these cute fall-ish crowish-owlish cards. adorable. and motivational. i need to get my act in gear.  so i’m thankful for the little kick in the butt. {did i just say that in public and get away with it? just wondering} but i always love seeing all the beautiful art-y-creative-ness going on. Art is such a beautiful thing. and i’m so thankful for it in my life.

what are you thankful for this thursday?!

**update: sorry. just updated the link to the owl and crow cards. check it out!**

hi friends!

it’s a beautiful rainy cold freezing absolutly miserable day today! yay! haha. it’s also friday the 13th. my dad was born on a friday, on the 13th, so i don’t believe all the superstition because my dad is a good guy. i’m so thankful for such a loving father who has always made me feel special. i miss him so much!  as you can see my mind is all over the place :)

 i finally got my act together and am putting more stuff up on etsy for sale! today i just uploaded these cute little cards made from my original painting of Fall . I cropped it and made it all cute. i just love how the little girl is giving you a leaf from the painting, with a beautiful farmhouse and trees and a road and a little white picket fence in the background.  now who couldn’t resist to order some of these to send to friends to say, “I’m thankful FOR YOU this thanksgiving!” I know i’d love to recieve a card like that…:) check it out on my etsy site!