173) When I read this over again, not only do I remember them but I can “see” where I was.
172) My car made it to work and back!
171) Tea with honey.
170) My friend who willingly drove me around to finish up Christmas shopping.
169) The boy who hummed “O come let us adore him” while he washed his hands at church.
168) Saw a friend and college roommate at church.
167) My spiritual brother let loose and preached a powerful word.
166) All but one of the children who heard my children’s message held on to the candy (as a promise) for almost an hour and came back to get more. Love it.
165) When you walk to church you don’t have to scrape the ice off your windshield.
164) Jonathan made me laugh when I told him that I had to get some things out of the soup and he said, “Like the broccoli?”
163) I made soup, on purpose, for the first time.
162) Delicious breakfast and fantastic fellowship with my pastor and spiritual brother.
161) Realizing that God’s timing is perfect: my car slows down just as my life does.
160) Chickpeas look and smell awful, but taste..not too bad.
159) Jonathan has worked off his library debt.
158) Hearing hysterical laughter from games that boys play.
157) The “mess” is now contained to one room.
156) My car made it to the school twice today.
155) Finding the right words.
154) Caleb said the cupcakes were “a hit.”
153) A cheesecake for a hug? Fair trade.
152) Winter storms that are more bark than bite.
151) When something did not happen today I was able to say, “I guess that isn’t for me today.”
150) I’m learning that I don’t have to <em>like </em>being obedient.
149) I don’t know that I have ever said “Please, Jesus” or “Thank you, Jesus” so much in one day.
148) I’m grateful that I was excused before the rights were terminated.
147) Two miles is a perfectly fine distance to walk.
146) For a warm shower and dry clothes when I’m cold and soaking wet.
145) The lady who helps students cross the street by my house, always says “thank you” when I wait. As she stands in the pouring rain today, I only want to thank her.
144) Theodore, you make me laugh – hard.
143) Joshua’s quote about fog, “It’s fun to be mystical in, but it’s probably not the safest for driving.”
142) Hearing “I love my gifts.”
141) Christmas gatherings where I can receive.
140) Christmas gatherings where I can give.
139) Even under an electronics restriction, Caleb and Jonathan had fun playing a made-up game with a ball – for two hours.
138) I have successfully moved all of my mess to half of my house. Progress.
137) Henry has a great gift of hospitality.
136) The seven of us who gathered for the Bible study and Christmas celebration had not been all together in…months!
135) The car was overheating, blowing cold air…then the car began to work as it should.
134) Caleb wants to draw – manga style – the story of “Immanuel: Our Protector.”
133) Joshua had a good day with his school work.
132) The last two days I have noticed, and deeply appreciated, the sounds of the playground at the school across the street.
131) I’m learning to trust in the face of doubt.
130) It’s good to receive unexepected gifts.
129) It’s good to give unexpected gifts.
128) The 2nd-grade girl who prayed for me prayed that I would become a “mighty man of God” and “grow in intimacy” with God. Wow.
127) Students laid hands on me and prayed for me. A boy prayed that I would become “so cool.” I will keep an eye out for the answer to that prayer.
126) I had the privilege of reading, “Immanuel: Our Protector” to a classroom of 2nd and 3rd grade students.
125) Two weeks ago, when I offered to lead devotions in a classroom, I didn’t know it would be after an event like the tragedy in Connecticut. God did.
124) Not only was I able to find two gifts that I wanted to give from the same store, I found the last one of each in that store.
123) When my spiritual brother and his wife came to hear a young lady share her word in service, as they promised, she said, “Oh my goodness, they actually came.”
122) After three young ladies used their gifts in our worship service, there were four young people who came up and offered to share something in a future service.
121) My son, after hearing the story “Immanuel: Our Protector,” said, “That sounds like a story C.S. Lewis would write. Best. Compliment. Ever.
120) She makes me laugh.
119) Sunday afternoon naps.
118) I am grateful for pastors who reveal their broken heart.
117) My son, who claimed he was NOT tired at the Christmas party, fell asleep coming home and has been asleep ever since.
116) Made 9 free throws in a row.
115) Time with aunts, uncles, and cousins that I don’t get to see enough.
114) Monkey in the middle, when I play because I want to.
113) An idea for a story, and I know it’s not mine alone. Love my co-author.
112) After years of attending ths family Christmas party, I finally was organized enough to receive back the bags I used for my sons’ gifts.
111) The lost are found.
110) Laughter with friends who are intentional about continuing to meet.
109) My youngest son asked me how I did on my goal.
108) God totally rearranged my last 24 hours. Go ahead.
107) There is a commonality that we recognize in ourselves when we have realized that our hearts break with the things that break the heart of God.
106) Even when we have learned that something does not fit, we have learned.
105) Hugs from the students who said I “can’t” leave.
104) My counterpart makes me laugh so much. I will miss that.
103) I am thankful for those who believe that apologizing is the right thing to do.
102) A young lady, who I wouldn’t have expected, said she will miss me. I will miss her too.
101) I was again thankful for the food that was offered to me. And that I was even offered seconds.
100) I still don’t know “why,” but more and more of my kids keep popping back up.
99) Thankful for an offer to clean up the cafeteria.
98) The courage of Daniel.
97) Time for an unplanned conversation.
96) A female student read my poem (after she had been in an altercation) and asked, “You go to church?”
95) Adolescent boys still love the story of Daniel.
94) Time with my “sister”.
92) Unexpected power outage = students going home early.
91) I felt peace with not “pressing” two things that I thought I should.
90) God knows how to fill the empty spaces.
89) Reading back through Joshua’s quotes makes me laugh.
88) Skittles for a student made her day.
87) God clearly showed me two things that I “missed.”
86) Hoodies, hats, and space heaters.
85) All five of us were able to have a meal together.
84) I have a new understanding of what I thought God was doing.
83) My “daughter” said she got the job!
82) Caleb drew an awesome “response picture” at church again.
81) My sons asked to “have church” at home again.
80) There is progress on the laundry front.
79) Joshua still has the sweetest voice when he prays.
78) Unexpectantly saw two kids (now young adults) that I used to work with.
77) Have a great new idea for my front door.
76) I put two, and not three, of my boys to tears today. (There’s room to be thankful there.)
75) Shopping with my “daughter.”
74) I appreciate the honesty of my nine-year old who told me (essentially) to put my beard back on – I trimmed it significantly – because he can see too much of my face, AND, “No offense..it’s just a question..but why is your bed always a mess?”
73) Even though I may have woken up a friend by my excitement for the first snow, she was gracious enough to respond.
72) Just as 3:30 always comes, so does Friday.
71) God put someone in the path of the mother of my sons in order to give her a ride home.
70) God answers prayers even about the delivery of energy drinks.
69) Jonathan sometimes chooses my old bed to sleep in, just like he did almost seven years ago.
68) I would still be able to sing my “solo” from 25 years ago. Someone taught me well.
67) I “won” an unexpected math “quiz,” but really was just glad to see my competition.
66) God answered a prayer so clearly and directly today. Absolute confirmation.
65) Caleb had nothing “extra” to pray for because, “If I did, it was covered in youth group.”
64) Glad to be able to write this by a Christmas tree that I did not have to decorate.
63) Grateful to feel better at the end of the day than I did at the start.
62) When thoughts don’t flow, words still do. Humbled.
61) Peppermint mocha.
60) Scored the winning bid at a silent auction for friends pursuing international adoption. Double win.
59) Heard “I love you” from two different people today, from two different walks, and both have “found” me. Those are the best.
58) Every time I start to wonder about my beard, I receive an unexpected compliment. For now it stays.
57) 3:30 always comes.
56) The 90-second Word on the radio was given by the pastor whom I referenced in my writing yesterday.
55) The 90-second Word on the radio was the same Scripture that I intended to share in my writing.
54) The first song that I heard on the radio was once again Plumb’s song..a very confirming song for me.
53) Today was the first time that I realized, and saw, that a bird’s song is its worship.
52) I am thankful for truth-tellers who allow the Spirit to guide them, like my spiritual brother Jason.
51) Now when I say something is “perfect,” I know what it means – that it went the way that God wanted it.
50) We had an amazing church service – in our home.
49) I am finding a slower pace within life. That’s good.
48) I am thankful that I found the right tool to fix a slow drain. That’s a pretty big deal.
47) I am thankful that coincidences aren’t.
46) Laughing at my overlooked typo in “Proverbs”: I typed “Fear of ma” instead of “Fear of man”
45) Saw the coolest license plate on the way home, on a route I would not have taken except for bringing a friend home. License plate? XORCIST
44) The boys were ready on time for school, and we waited for a train on our route, all to be at the exact right place at the right time to give a friend a hug.
43) The moon was amazing on our drive to school.
42) Today when I thought upon the struggles other children are having, I felt deep gratitude for the grace extended to my own.
41) I have amazingly compassionate children. I love that.
40) On the night we conducted a funeral for Snowstorm and Moonlight – Jonathan’s birds – there is a brilliant full moon
39) My friend’s Word for the day on her app contained the exact words – hidden treasure – that I shared with her yesterday.
38) Someone from the court showed up at EXACTLY the right time that I needed them – twice – for the same student.
37) God was my radio DJ again this morning. The first song was about being “restless” in search of Him. I am. And after having the thought of establishing a writing ministry for youth to tell their story, the next song was Plumb’s song, “Need You Now.” Lyrics are, “Everybody’s got a story to tell. Everybody’s got a wound to be healed.” It was the first time I really heard the words.
36) That I found my sock I needed, but only after I stopped looking.
35) For the beauty and brilliance of the moon.
34) For hearing the heart of my friends and coworkers, and for them hearing mine.
33) For the student who faithfully makes sure that I receive my lunch every day.
32) That I am willing to be prompted by Matthew Redman’s “Ten Thousand Reasons” to make a new goal for this post.
31) For God pointing out a meaning to 6:05 so clearly that it stopped me in my tracks.
30) On the way to school, Jonathan prayed thanksgiving that we can put our hope in God – six hours after I wrote “The Fruit of Hope” – and he did not know that I had written that.
29) That it is already becoming easier to be thankful.
28) That my oldest son was ready to “punish” the cats when he thought they were the cause of the birds’ death; his attempt to help “make it right” for his brother.
27) That I was able to see the men of my Bible study, even though I could not stay.
26) To have a friend who hears my “vents.”
25) For receiving an overflow of encouraging words when I most needed them; and knowing that it was God speaking through others directly to me.
24) That I received two sincere and unexpected compliments from students today.
23) Knowing that God is the God the small (my root canal) and the big – orchestrating successful 8-hour brain surgery for a friend.
22) To feel relatively zero discomfort hours after a root canal.
21) To have the time and the silence that allowed for an afternoon nap.
20) That my son displays a new maturity today, less than 24 hours after losing his two birds.
19) To have one-on-one time with youngest son; an unfortunate rarity as a single parent.
18) That someone thought to give a homemade pie to someone who thought to share a piece with me and my son.
17) A hug from my father.
16) Thankful for safe travel and quick passage into and out of Canada.
15) Grateful to have parents who are so intentional about spending time with their children.
14) Thankful for remembering to be thankful when I wasn’t feeling especially thankful.
13) Joy at hearing of the safe birth of a baby to my friends, even with a tinge of sadness for other friends. It reminds me that each one of us truly is a miracle.
12) I am thankful for the different colors that I see in my beard – it reflects the different seasons in my life.
11) I noticed when my son thanked me after the meal and again after the purchase at the museum’s gift shop.
10) I am thankful for a text message that made me smile.
9) Glad that my sister’s dog was fine after running out of the house and crossing the street.
8) Thankful for the time and energy to play our own variation on dodgeball at the park.
7) I was glad to hear Joshua say that he misses his mom – that is the way it should be.
6) I marvel at the creativity and cooperation of my nieces and my sons as they made a two-part movie today, complete with blooper reels.
5) I am thankful for a day full of delicious, homemade food. The echoes of my grandparents live on in the care put into the meals.
4) Twice I was reminded that my grandmother didn’t think too highly of the hilarious Calvin character. Apparently she believed that he needed more discipline, and I am grateful for my grandmother’s wisdom, and that she didn’t raise a “Calvin.”
3) I am thankful for the time that I had to read from a Calvin and Hobbes collection. I am grateful for laughter.
2) I am thankful for my sister’s chili. It was delicious, and a reflection of her thoughtfulness because of the time and planning it required.
1) Early today I saw a beautiful picture of one of my “daughters.” This was a good start to my day, especially since I was discouraged for another one of my “daughters” last night. I am thankful that God sees a much bigger picture than I see.