// thankful sweetness //

     Have you ever looked back on seasons in your life and thought, "Man, I had it good. And I didn't even realize it." Life changes as time rolls on, our hearts mature (hopefully), our perspective widens, and we grow. At this point in my life, I look back on my high school and college years especially and realize how ungrateful my heart was. I think of things that were present in my life at that time - things I no longer hold or have - blessings of the moment that are now passed. I'm not just talking about physical things like a car that I may have driven at that time or the privilege I had of traveling to Europe several times. I think of people who graced my life at the time who have now gone to Heaven, opportunities to love on certain people who are no longer in my life, positions I could have used more wisely. I don't look back regretfully, because I see how God has used each and every one of my failings and omissions to work things for good (Romans 8:28), to accomplish His plan. But I am motivated by the musings on my ungrateful heart in the past... motivated to start afresh today and live differently. Perhaps you know what I mean, my friend. It's so easy to get caught up in what you need, what you want, what you don't have... always looking ahead, always planning, always moving forward (and these are good things in their place.) Yet, this focus on the "have nots" and the "wants" plants the seed of discontentment in our hearts and blinds us from seeing life with eyes of gratefulness, it causes the weed of disdain to grow in our hearts and it chokes out that graceful, soft place called thankfulness. 
    I believe that the act of taking the time every day to look up above our circumstances and give thanks is one of the keys to a contented life. Psalm 118:1 says, "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever!" My sweet readers... this is ENOUGH to give thanks for each and every day for the rest of our lives. God is good - and further, He loves me?! And that love goes on and on and on... no matter if I fail Him, no matter what mistakes I make, no matter how bad life gets, no matter what I lose or gain - He is good and His love goes on for infinity. For you! For me. And that's not all - each and every day is also full of small things we can be thankful for, little blessings we don't deserve.

   Just a few weeks ago I chose to purposefully bow my head in the middle of this messy, crazy, confusing life and thank the Lord. And when I looked around, I was not alone. You all were with me, linking arms and thanking Him too. 

      I love this little community of thankfulness. We're all scattered about this earth, but if we were in the same small town I can just imagine us sitting together in a cozy living room, hands cupped around mugs of steamy coffee and tea, passing plates of cookies and treats as we laugh, cry, and share all the little, silly, amazing, huge, incredible, sweet things we are thankful for. We'd take hands and thank Him together, little smiles on our faces. And in a way, this is what we are doing (thank you social media!) Would you like to join us? Simply write down (in any way you desire) 4+ things you are thankful for and share them on Twitter or Instagram (Hashtag #thankfulsweetness) or e-mail your lists to me. I am sharing them once a week here.

    IG: @emilyholland937                                          IG: @serogers22
    IG: @alesha_blessed                                           IG: katehomelove
 Can we just take a moment for these precious little guys? They joined in with their sweet mama and I just smile & get a little teary eyed every time I see what they're thankful for! 
   IG: @forthisseason   // their mom's amazing, wise blog: www.forthisseason.com 
    IG: @nicolevinson                                                IG: @samantha_grey
    IG: @_alwaysashley_                                         IG: @buckeyebelle
     IG: @ameera1214                                              IG: @bunkerboo 
  IG: @forthisseason   //I just can't get over the cuteness!// 
   IG: @julie_funnythingblog                                  IG: @snugly_duckling
     IG: @sweetlavendarbakeshoppe                     IG: @mariag928
   IG: @nikki_savingforarainyday                        IG: @buckeyebelle
    IG: @jessibridges                                                IG: @forthisseason   :)

Love to you all.