Wednesday, November 21, 2012


I'm thankful that Thanksgiving is no longer about the food for me.  Crazy huh???  For many years all I could think of was the large, happy meal that I would be ingesting.  Oh, and the rest of the other "thankful" stuff was mixed in there somewhere.

Praise be to God that He captured my heart AND my stomach and that now I can live a life, a I Thes. 5:18 life, of continual gratitude.

Don't get me wrong.  I will enjoy my MUCH smaller portions of turkey, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie and a roll tomorrow.  I'm just glad that it no longer has a hold on me.  I am hoping to start my day with a nice "Turkey Trot" with my friend Leslie.  We are hoping to get in at least 5 miles and start off our day on a positive note.

I'm up 2.5 pounds.  The scales are saying 186.5 and my goal is for them to say 150 by May 20, 2013.
Let's replace all of the weight I have lost (negative baggage) with happy, grateful thoughts.  Here are 101 things that I am ever so grateful and not only tomorrow.

My Gratitude List:

  1. A relationship with God through Jesus Christ.  My life is different because the Holy Spirit drew me to Him and I have given my life to God through Christ.
  2. A loving husband, Nathan, of 17 years.  Marriage hasn't been easy, but it is OH so worth it.
  3. Five amazing, unique, fun, challenging and inspiring children.
  4. Four boys that are rough, tumble, and someday WILL eat me out of house and home.
  5. A precocious tomboy named JoyAnn who is at the brink of young womanhood.  One day she wants to wear her favorite football jersey, the next, her dresses and cowgirl boots.  I love that girlie!
  6. Living in America.  As screwed up as our country is, it is in many ways SO wonderful.
  7. A faith family at Mountain View Church.  God called us away for a brief time, but I am so grateful to have returned there.  In the last 9 months my family has been immersed in the Word in a way that has impacted and changed our lives forever.  Our hearts have been stirred and there's NO GOING BACK!
  8. The experience of being introduced to inductive Bible study and having the opportunity to become a Precept Ministries trained leader.  I am falling in love with the Word of God afresh and anew on a daily basis.
  9. The gift of a humbling journey to empty myself of pride and anger and do the work to lose 101 pounds.  Although I am embarrassed to have allowed myself to become so morbidly obese, I am so glad to have been given the chance to live again!!!
  10. Good hair and good teeth.  I'm almost 38 and have never had a cavity.  I'm also blessed with thick hair.
  11. Having grown up in a military family.  By being exposed to diversity, multiculturalism and very good academic opportunities, I feel more rounded than some of my friends.
  12. A college degree (even though I really didn't want to finish).  I'm so glad I had the chance.
  13. A sense of humor.  Although I have learned the hard way quite often about my sarcasm and it's hurtful tendencies, my dry wit has come in handy over the years.
  14. Good skin.  My complexion usually doesn't give me any trouble.  
  15. The gift of growing up in a home with TWO parents.  So many people I know come from broken homes.  I love and appreciate my Dad and Mom.
  16. Qualified, patient and loving therapists to work with my son Joseph, who is on the autism spectrum.  Machelle, Bernie, Darren, Karen, Martha, and Mindy have all played a role in Joseph's improvements over the last years.
  17. Peanut Butter
  18. Movie theater popcorn with extra butter
  19. Learning to move more and eat less.  So grateful to have learned to jog and really enjoy it.
  20. Music that stirs my soul and causes me to weep with joy, pain, contemplation, desire, etc.
  21. Thick milkshakes that leave a mustache after you drink them.
  22. A wonderful woman named Nell Williams, my Nannie, that loved me gently and completely for 33 years of my life.
  23. Pizza.  Even bad pizza is still good pizza.
  24. Chiropractic adjustments.
  25. A warm cup of coffee with half and half.
  26. Laughing until your sides hurt.
  27. Watching my children sleep and knowing that they are safe in the care of their Creator.
  28. Celebrate Recovery.  The ministry of God's Word, the 8 principles and the 12 steps has reconciled my marriage, changed my heart and allowed me to say for the first time in my life (at the age of 33) "I like myself".
  29. Duct tape
  30. The feeling of slipping on a pair of jeans in a smaller size and being able to pull them up, and zip them comfortably.
  31. Picnics
  32. The variety of colors God created.  Especially when visible in the covenant rainbow.  Double rainbows are the BEST!!
  33. Warm bubble baths
  34. Feeling the sand between your toes during a walk on the beach.
  35. Having the ability to read, study and memorize the Word of God.
  36. Snow
  37. The majesty of sunrises and sunsets.  The creativity, beauty and unique splendor of each new day.
  38. Books.  Reading is such fun and a gift to be able to obtain knowledge in that way.
  39. Friendship
  40. Christmas music.  I could listen to it everyday, all year long!
  41. Date night!  I'm so blessed that my husband still makes time to be with me and counts it joy.  I love our moments together, if even brief.
  42. The opportunity to have helped lead/facilitate worship for the women's Bible study at the Cove for 9 years!!!
  43. Having had the chance to live on the East Coast and to live in the West.  I've seen lots of the country and have loved the unique qualities of each climate.
  44. The absolute gift of being a part of Elah Moriah Massey's birth.  Totally different experience than giving birth.  I LOVED it!
  45. The ability to type.
  46. Clean water to drink, cook, bathe, prepare food.
  47. The knowledge and talent to read music, create music and appreciate music!!!
  48. Flannel sheets
  49. Live Christmas trees
  50. The chance to start all over again.  No matter what the situation.
  51. Nathan's homemade apple pie.
  52. The crispness of the air in Fall and the splendid color of the leaves in the mountains of Western North Carolina.
  53. Warm summer evenings filled with nostalgia.
  54. Pictures that help to restore, relive and revive memories.
  55. Lifting heavy weights and putting them down....a LOT, and in repeated succession.  ;-)
  56. A mother and father-in-law that genuinely love and respect me.  They pray for me and help me in ANY way possible.  Oh how fortunate and blessed I am.
  57. Smoothies
  58. The BRIEF moment when your house is clean.  Granted when the children wake up or return from their outing that will change.  Yet, there is that brief moment when all is well.  ;-)
  59. Big breakfasts.  Biscuits, gravy, eggs, fruit, bacon and/or sausage. Maybe hash browns, cheese grits, and cinnamon rolls or other pastries.  Coffee, milk and juice top it all off with a glazed over smile.
  60. Butter.  Real butter.  Not this margarine crap.
  61. Men of God that have taught me and brought me into the TRUTH over the course of my life.  Praise God for pastors, teachers and counselors.
  62. Unexpected blessings
  63. Learning from my mistakes and the gift of trying to help my children not make the same ones.  
  64. Singing/playing at countless weddings and funerals and being a part of such sacred moments.
  65. The fact that my husband can SING!!!  His voice still moves me, after all of these years.
  66. The gift of home educating, although incredibly trying at times.
  67. Blogging and journaling.
  68. Good food accompanied by fabulous company, preferably topped off with great music.  That's my idea of an evening well spent!
  69. Fresh strawberry, spinach salad with stinky cheese and a poppy seed dressing.
  70. Gingerale and Saltine crackers during/after a stomach yuck.
  71. The feeling of having your teeth cleaned by the dentist.
  72. Having the privilege of a nice uninterrupted day at the hair salon.  A wash, cut, set/style and wax does a girl's heart good.
  73. Receiving/partaking in communion with fellow believers.
  74. The joy of encouraging another.
  75. Giving AND receiving love.
  76. That moment where you feel brave enough to do something that you've never done before.
  77. Sleeping outside.
  78. Sharing life with a small group of people that love you, encourage you and hold you accountable.  Conversations that challenge, inspire and lead you back to the cross are a true treasure.
  79. Having had the chance to worship in a variety of settings/denominations.
  80. Kisses.  Long, short, passionate, flirty, gentle.  Kisses.  All kinds ;-)
  81. The internet
  82. Raw cookie dough.  Oh and baked cookies too I guess!!!
  83. A good back scratch.
  84. Obsessive list making ;-)
  85. The fact that my children have a GREAT relationship with BOTH sets of grandparents!
  86. Three brothers.  All different.  All wonderful!
  87. Cheesecake.  Red Velvet cake.  Pumpkin pie.
  88. People that are gifted in different areas.  For instance my trainer, Leslie Raper, who knew exactly how to inspire, challenge, encourage me to enter the race to life, health, wholeness and healing.  I'm 100+ pounds lighter today because of her care/concern/knowledge.
  89. Prayer!!!!
  90. When someone sends you flowers or surprises you by bringing them over to your house.
  91. Late night phone conversations that last into the wee hours of the morning.
  92. Krispy Kreme donut runs at crazy hours of the night.
  93. Learning to "accept hardship as a pathway to peace".
  94. The smell of soup or chili simmering on the stove or in the crockpot.  Knowing that you are going to top it with cheese, pair it with fritos, crackers, bread and feel full, happy and blessed!!!
  95. Smiling
  96. Knowing that there is a difference between "first" love and "lasting" love!!!
  97. Crossword puzzles, word searches and other brain testing fun activities
  98. Hugs!!!
  99. Good movies.  Good books.  Good music. Good art.  Good poetry.  I LOVE the fine arts and am grateful for each genre.
  100. Grilled cheese sandwiches with high quality bread and cheese selections.  These are especially fabulous paired with tomato basil soup!
  101. Looking "girly", feeling "girly" and being noticed by your husband for being HIS "girly"!!!!
Thank YOU for taking the time to read my list.  Have a Happy Thanksgiving and keep practicing gratitude!!!

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