October 1st to December 31st is my favorite time of the year. Yes, I love fall. Yes, the colors of the trees changing make me smile. Yes, I do get out my Christmas decorations super early and start planning for the holidays (more on that In the next post). But those aren’t the only things I love about the holiday time.
When I met John 20 years ago it was pretty much love at first sight. We immediately started talking about our future. Where were we gonna spend our holidays and who was going to sacrifice? Would we go to see his family then mine on Thanksgiving? Would we do Thanksgiving with one then Christmas with the other? I was very excited when I found out that John loved Thanksgiving as much as I loved Christmas. We wouldn’t have to sacrifice anything. We could do Thanksgiving with John’s family and uphold their traditions and do Christmas, which is my favorite holiday, with my family. John LOVES Thanksgiving. The food. The focus. The family. Everything. On Thanksgiving Thursday we would spend the day with John’s maternal family. There was always turkey and ham, tons of sides and lots of desserts. We would spread out over his grandparents house in Central Arkansas to eat and visit with family we usually only saw once a year. Then on Friday we drove an hour north to his paternal grandparents home where we had sandwiches and appetizers and peanut brittle … and we would celebrate Christmas! It made me so happy. They did this because they knew that Christmas is a busy time and it’s hard to get all the family back together just 4 weeks later. We drew names and exchanged gifts and just had a wonderful Thanks-Mas.
In 2011 I was in a funk. John didn’t have a job and he was in school full time. We were in the midst of our “faith journey” (following God has John prepared for full-time ministry). November was approaching and I realized that I was losing my excitement for Thanksgiving. I was so excited for Christmas that I was glossing over Thanksgiving. I began daily writing down one thing that I was thankful for. I posted my list on Facebook so I could be reminded each year of the ways God took care of me and for others to be inspired to do the same. I’ve done this every year since.
“So then, just as you have received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, being rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and overflowing with gratitude.”
Colossians 2:6-7 CSB
Each year on January 1st, our family “prays through a word.” We have been through “joy”, “believe”, “faith”, and “trust” (and many more). All words that turned inward. They were things that I could do to better myself and allow God to work in me. It was time for a change. I wanted my daily life to be saturated with God and what He was doing in my life and a way to give back to Him, so I choose the word “Gratitude.” Each day I would come up with something that God had done that day to remind me that He is in control and blessing me. 365 days. Some days it was easy. A home. My family. A friend. Church. But some days I really had to think hard about it. But these challenging days helped me to find God in the madness. It was beautiful. It helped me to fall in love with God every single day and remind myself what all He does for me. It was sad for me when the new year rolled around and I wasn’t posting every day all that God was blessing me with. I enjoyed the intentionality of looking for ways to find God and His blessings for my life. I was eager for November 2019 to begin so I could start my daily “Thanksgiving Blessings” list (I know I can do this every day and don’t have to wait for November. But God has given me a new word to focus on this year).
Even though November has already started, go ahead and start your daily Thanksgiving list. It’s not too late. It truly is a blessing to see what God is doing in your life and see how He blesses you all day, every day.
“Never be surprised, but always be in AWE”~Mark McEuen, refering to God’s blessings.
Tonight, I was IN AWE of my Heavenly Father when a friend brought over 30 bags of groceries & toiletries for our family. She did not know that we were down to our last items in the pantry, but God did. HE IS AMAZING!
THANKFULNESS, DAY 17: Second Chances
God has given me 2nd, 3rd, 4th … the list goes on. But I am extremely grateful to the Lord this year for second chances in regards to this baby. I had my [miscarriage] surgery on MAY 12 and Mother’s Day was MAY 14. Michael Whitehead sent me a text on Mother’s Day that I still have: A very special Mother’s day to you, I know this one will be different, God feels you today & loves you so much.
God has truly shown his SECOND CHANCES this year. My due date for this baby is MAY 14 … a year to the day of Mother’s Day, just two days after my surgery. How special I am to have a God who loves me & gives me second chances!
DAY 26: John’s call
I am proud & excited that John has embraced and us obedient to God’s call into the ministry.
I grew up with a music minister as a dad and John grew up in the home of a pastor. We both know how hard this is, but he is still willing to serve.
John loves the children’s ministry. He has so much fun acting, being crazy, and hanging out with kids…but his passion is for Christ and his desire is that every child will learn about Jesus.
Day 8: my mothers legacy
Today I am celebrating my moms birthday by being with friends and doing the thing she loved: scrapbooking.
I scrapbooked the photos I took of her hands. Her beautiful hands were those of a servant. “Honor her for all that her hands have done and let her works bring her praise at the city gate” Prov 31:31
BLESSINGS DAY 15: multi-generational church
I love that my kids are being ministered to by every walk of life, every age. From a student serving in the nursery to an 80+ year old great grandma giving out hugs, my needs are met at Broadway Bapt Church
“Do everything you say or do in the name of the Lord Jesus. Always give thanks to God the Father through Christ.”
– Colossians 3:17 NIRV
BLESSINGS, Day 14
My lil’ blessings
I am grateful that I got to spend the day with my kids. I love them so much & enjoy their company. And hugs. And kisses. And giggles.
Branson with friends
10 trips, many hair colors, a million laughs … and a few secrets!
Gratitude, Day 330: homeschooling
Some days are fun, some days are difficult, and all days are rewarding. Spending extra time with my kids, teaching them, doing our devotional together. All the time we spend together is a blessed time. Even if we do get on each other’s nerves…because we are together. It’s not for everyone, but for us, it works!
I am so grateful that God called me on this journey 18 years ago. I knew when I was pregnant with Sean that I was going to be his teacher and we would learn together. It’s been a joy, honor, and privilege to stay at home and teach my kids
Thanksgiving Blessings, Day 2: technology
My dad (Phill L. Wilson) & Wenjuan just made it to Thailand after 6 months in China. I was pleased to wake up to 40+ videos from Wenjuan this morning 😂 I watched every single one … sometimes twice. This one of my dad saying “hello, Megan” I may have watched a dozen times. I am grateful for the chance to “travel around with them” on their adventures and “talk” to them. Wenjuan is very intentional on making sure he greets me at least once a week. And “proof of life” videos as we commonly refer to them gives me a peace of mind as they travel throughout Asia. Today I am extremely grateful for phones and apps that allow us to keep in touch (especially after 12 hours of no WiFi in our last night 🙄). #thanksgiving #blessings #technology #hifromasia