1,000 Things for which I’m Thankful

Well, this was supposed to be a list of 1,000 things I was thankful for, but before I knew what was happening I looked down and it was 1,035 things. Because you know what? There is a lot in life to be grateful and praise God for.

It took me two hours and forty-five minutes to compile this list. I wrote it while sitting in my car outside my adopted parent’s (also known as skunk parent’s) house. Papa Skunk has Covid and pneumonia and is in the hospital due to having trouble breathing. Mama Skunk is quarantined at her house so I can’t go inside to be with her, but I didn’t want her to have to be alone so I took some time off work and am staying in my car outside her cabin so she has someone nearby. Thankfully my brother lives nearby so I can sleep as his house.

I’m on day three and the hours get long when there’s nothing to do but sit and wait, and so I started thinking of things I’m thankful for. Normally I write a list of 1,000 things I’m thankful for on Thanksgiving Day, but I figured why not share the list early this year? Because despite everything – or maybe because of everything – I’ve been overwhelmed over and over again this year with how much I have to be thankful for.

Like a job. And a boss who will let me take time off of said job in order to sit in a quarantined way with my mama. And a mama to sit with in the first place. See what I mean? When you start thinking of all there is to be thankful for, then the list just starts growing.

There’s so much I didn’t include on the list – like wheelbarrows and lawnmowers and butterflies and falling leaves and snow and popcorn and… Well, you get the idea. I had to end the list somewhere though, so I just went with the first thousand things that came to mind – very sporadically I might add. There’s no rhyme or reason to the order they’re in, most certainly not in order of importance because that would be impossible.

Also, I’m sure I forgot to mention some exceedingly important things, so there are sure to be some very obvious things not on the list. And, um, I kinda have had some big things in my life happen recently that I haven’t blogged about yet, and those things might be included in this list. Don’t worry though, I plan on catching up with blogging some day.

Despite the worry and sadness, craziness and stress, the odd times and unknowns, I’m exceedingly thankful. God is good even when times are not, and for that, I’m grateful.

Today I’m thankful for…

  1. my family
  2. people who care about each other
  3. small joys that make the world happier
  4. the chance to be happy
  5. the choice to be thankful
  6. having joy even when things are rough
  7. birds
  8. bird feeders
  9. bluejays and how pretty they are
  10. the brilliant colors of cardinals
  11. being able to see colors
  12. being able to see shapes
  13. being able to feel textures
  14. the cozy feeling of wrapping up in a fuzzy blanket with coffee
  15. scones
  16. biscotti
  17. lemon
  18. working fridges
  19. big freezers
  20. food to put in them
  21. coffee
  22. spring water
  23. the ability to taste
  24. money to buy food
  25. a car to keep me warm
  26. heated seats
  27. gas that isn’t incredibly expensive
  28. charger packs
  29. brothers
  30. being able to think and reason
  31. an iPad to borrow
  32. my blog
  33. that in the midst of changes God is still God
  34. white chocolate
  35. Walmarts
  36. the countryside
  37. tall trees
  38. seasons
  39. coziness on cold, rainy days
  40. that I can think and reason
  41. my job
  42. the people who I get to interact with on a daily basis
  43. all the friendships I’ve developed this year
  44. that in the midst of Covid God is still in control
  45. music
  46. my iPhone
  47. a pretty case for my phone
  48. the ability to write
  49. wood to burn
  50. porches
  51. porch swings
  52. rocking chairs
  53. desks
  54. tables
  55. A working chimney
  56. a house of my own
  57. a roommate for said house
  58. a place to live
  59. a place to park my camper
  60. answered prayers
  61. a front porch
  62. flowerbeds
  63. a barn
  64. a yard
  65. nice neighbors
  66. fields next door
  67. the Ohio River just down the street
  68. making memories
  69. Madcap Mondays
  70. people who help with paperwork
  71. that most of the paperwork is done
  72. dreams coming true
  73. a nice living room
  74. my little nook
  75. that I can call my house a burrow
  76. beds
  77. nice mattresses
  78. sheets
  79. closets
  80. shelf space
  81. dressers
  82. a couch
  83. a chair
  84. blue walls
  85. pretty paint
  86. nice trim
  87. not having to redo lots of stuff in my house
  88. wood floors
  89. a rug
  90. a wood burner for heat
  91. enough wood for the whole winter
  92. budgeting
  93. a place to hang pictures
  94. pictures for which to hang
  95. Mom covering the extra window
  96. pretty fabric
  97. bookshelves
  98. books for the shelves
  99. people helping me move
  100. people helping me set up my house
  101. red dishes
  102. clean counters
  103. a hot water tank
  104. a working water pump
  105. a well
  106. running water
  107. not having to winterize my house
  108. a washer and dryer
  109. a bathroom
  110. a bathtub
  111. a beautiful sink and mirror
  112. keeping my camper close by
  113. being organized
  114. that I went through my stuff several years ago and so don’t have as much any more
  115. that I’m learning what is excess and what is helpful to have
  116. that I can cook on a full-size stove
  117. that I have people to cook for
  118. that I can afford to buy healthy food to eat
  119. that I enjoy cooking
  120. that I enjoy most healthy foods
  121. that I can splurge and eat food that isn’t the healthiest but is yummy
  122. for all the new foods I’ve discovered how to cook this year
  123. MeaLime
  124. this year
  125. being able to help my family move
  126. spending good time with siblings
  127. getting to stay with my oldest sister for a month
  128. helping my oldest sister
  129. being able to bless others while I was laid off during the spring
  130. getting to know young nieces and nephews better
  131. having good conversations with older nieces and nephews
  132. making memories with nieces and nephews
  133. connect four
  134. red headed woodpeckers
  135. milking goats – and not having my own goat to milk
  136. warm and cozy blankets
  137. fuzzy socks
  138. sparkly socks
  139. people who know how much socks mean to me and give them to me
  140. cotton candy
  141. eating cotton candy late at night with people
  142. Christmas music
  143. Christmas decorations
  144. pretty books
  145. vibrant colors
  146. being able to see
  147. being able to hear
  148. being able to touch
  149. hugs
  150. holding small children
  151. a new nephew
  152. nice names
  153. answers to prayer
  154. being able to pray
  155. knowing God listens
  156. serving an all-powerful God
  157. being on the right side of the battle
  158. knowing what the ultimate outcome is
  159. knowing other people who also serve God
  160. knowing that I can make a difference for eternity
  161. clean clothes
  162. warm sweatshirts
  163. love
  164. joy
  165. happiness
  166. squirrels
  167. the range of emotions I can feel
  168. that I grew up in a family that encouraged emotions, but also truth
  169. that truth doesn’t change
  170. that I can know what truth is
  171. that I can read the Bible
  172. having a Bible
  173. having an audio Bible on my phone
  174. All the apps I can use as tools
  175. spellcheck
  176. trees
  177. fences
  178. blue skies
  179. gray skies
  180. clouds
  181. science
  182. that we can learn and grow
  183. that we live in a time and age when we know how things work
  184. history
  185. learning from history
  186. historical fiction
  187. fiction in general
  188. nonfiction
  189. being able to learn from books
  190. growing up in a family that encouraged reading
  191. enjoying reading
  192. the eyesight to read well
  193. glasses
  194. glasses lasting for a long time
  195. babies!
  196. laughter
  197. listening to children
  198. reading to children
  199. having good relationships with nieces and nephews
  200. emails from nieces
  201. Facetiming with nieces
  202. sisters
  203. sister-in-laws
  204. a good relationship with my grandma
  205. visiting my grandma
  206. playing games with Grandma
  207. Grandma’s 90th birthday
  208. growing up with grandparents in my life
  209. numbers
  210. being able to count and do math
  211. that even though numbers get mixed up in my brain, I can still work with them
  212. knowing how to spell, hard though it may be at times
  213. being creative
  214. growing up in a family that encourages creativity
  215. puzzles
  216. working on puzzles with Grandma
  217. playing cards with my family
  218. my dad playing an active part in raising us kids
  219. growing up in a big family
  220. having a stay-at-home mom
  221. being homeschooled
  222. having parents who cared enough to keep going to doctors until we found out I had Lyme disease as a teenager
  223. being able to fight the Lyme disease
  224. how healthy I am today
  225. that I am continually getting better
  226. that I have so much energy
  227. my job
  228. that I can do work that suites me so well
  229. that my work is so rewarding
  230. that I have so much fun working
  231. how many people I know at work
  232. that I get to do uniforms at work
  233. that there are other people who can take my place when I’m gone
  234. that I can be with my skunk parents right now
  235. that I have a family who’s willing to drive to give me stuff
  236. that there are people praying for my skunk papa
  237. that I have people in my life who will embrace my craziness
  238. that I can caw at people at work and they take it in stride
  239. that when I caw at some people at work they bark back
  240. Christmas decorations
  241. Thanksgiving decorations
  242. that I have a house I can decorate
  243. that I can put red ribbons places
  244. candles
  245. curry
  246. smelling yummy food
  247. that I still have a job
  248. that my job reopened
  249. that the Museum still has people coming to it
  250. that people get to learn more about God and His amazing-ness
  251. that God is all-powerful
  252. that God cares about me
  253. smiley faces
  254. being able to keep in touch with people through texting
  255. that I have people I want to keep in touch with
  256. that I know how to type
  257. candy
  258. pizza
  259. being whimsical
  260. jumping in the Ohio River when it’s cold
  261. having people care about my safety
  262. warm dresses
  263. Spotify
  264. holidays
  265. rocks
  266. pens
  267. smooth pens that glide over paper
  268. journals
  269. prayer journals
  270. my dream-come-true trip out west
  271. getting to vlog about the trip out west
  272. that Logan and Johanna came with me
  273. that our parents let us take the RV
  274. that after 19 years of dreaming the trip happened
  275. that there weren’t a lot of restrictions when we went on the trip
  276. that I can always have those memories
  277. Yellowstone!
  278. that we used Google Maps
  279. that we did all our own cooking
  280. being able to shop along the way
  281. what I learned on the trip
  282. how I grew on the trip
  283. good sibling time
  284. being able to watch online church while far away
  285. having a church I really like
  286. learning to having a new church in Kentucky
  287. moving to Kentucky for good
  288. car seats that are comfortable to sit in
  289. following the Oregon Trail
  290. learning how to spell Oregon after years of trying
  291. how long 3 weeks felt on our trip
  292. not getting bit by rattlesnakes
  293. seeing a rattlesnake
  294. seeing bears
  295. seeing moose
  296. seeing foxes
  297. seeing lots of buffalo
  298. all the other wildlife
  299. cool mountain air
  300. seeing snow
  301. lovely sunsets
  302. drone shots
  303. playing games with Johanna
  304. French toast in Montana
  305. camping by a big creek
  306. driving across ALL of Montana
  307. Wyoming
  308. how different places look so different
  309. the Badlands of SD
  310. getting to see where Laura Ingalls lived
  311. touching the real school she attended
  312. seeing Mount Rushmore
  313. visiting museums
  314. walking on the Oregon Trail
  315. Riding Lightening on the Oregon Trail
  316. driving through Oregon
  317. driving through Washington
  318. driving the RV, but not for long
  319. having a picnic in the middle of the road
  320. postcards
  321. humus
  322. carrots
  323. pretend horses
  324. an imagination
  325. water
  326. apple cider
  327. egg nog
  328. ice
  329. sweet tea
  330. gas stations
  331. campfires
  332. camping out
  333. tipi´s
  334. all the new states I got to visit
  335. the dream of someday living out west
  336. dunking in the Ocean when we reached the coast
  337. marking so many things off my dream list
  338. being able to dream in the first place
  339. living in a family that encourages dreaming
  340. that the RV never broke down
  341. getting to finally visit Kaitlyn even if I didn’t surprise her
  342. having friends all over the place
  343. getting to see Tim and Meagan and the kids
  344. that I live in place where it’s easy to breathe
  345. beautiful mountain views
  346. open plains
  347. TRAVEL
  348. being home
  349. Logan meeting his future wife on the trip
  350. getting to spend time with the Smith’s
  351. long four-wheel rides with the setting sun
  352. how beautiful the sunsets were
  353. being a morning person
  354. spending time with God before others woke up
  355. learning to be more chill
  356. doing the dishes with ease since I was used to heating water
  357. having a bathroom on the move
  358. painting
  359. watercolors that are pretty
  360. maps
  361. the notebook Dad helped me do
  362. Idaho!
  363. Finding out how different various states are
  364. crossing several more states off my list
  365. the Smith girls taking me to Kansas
  366. a keyboard that works
  367. that I was able to go on my dream trip before buying a house
  368. all the travel I´ve gotten to do during my life
  369. the cultures I´ve gotten to see
  370. having a blog, even though I don´t blog much currently
  371. cats
  372. dogs
  373. kittens
  374. puppies
  375. not having any pets currently
  376. knowing I can get a kitten if I want
  377. freedom
  378. the ability to make choices that are good
  379. my team at work
  380. Allen
  381. Alex
  382. Autumn
  383. Livviya
  384. Landis
  385. Elizabeth
  386. Niki
  387. Roger
  388. my coworkers
  389. Rebeccah
  390. Miss Viviann
  391. Hannah
  392. Mark
  393. Bekah
  394. Sharon
  395. Johnny B.
  396. Candy
  397. Liz
  398. Hannah
  399. Yvonne
  400. Danielle
  401. Laura
  402. Lori
  403. Deborah
  404. Chris
  405. Connor
  406. Kayla
  407. Mike
  408. Mason
  409. Jessica
  410. Katie
  411. Laurie
  412. Caleb
  413. Kirsten
  414. Andy
  415. Sherrie
  416. Samuel
  417. Samuel
  418. Miss Betty
  419. Zack
  420. Miss Valerie
  421. Rose
  422. Brittney
  423. Faith
  424. Grace
  425. Kathryn
  426. Arielle
  427. Kori
  428. Anna
  429. Scott
  430. Ronda
  431. Felicia
  432. Ryan
  433. Hezekiah
  434. Hannah
  435. Isabella
  436. Noah
  437. Isaiah
  438. Ethan
  439. Ethan
  440. Jason
  441. Mr. Carlson
  442. Tom
  443. Thomas
  444. Naomi
  445. Naomi
  446. Julie
  447. Heather
  448. Celeste
  449. Esther
  450. Jonathan
  451. Zane
  452. Judy
  453. Carol
  454. Andrew
  455. Paul
  456. Paul
  457. Tiffany
  458. Joe
  459. Mr. Boone
  460. Carlotta
  461. Ryan
  462. Ben
  463. Ben
  464. Sarge
  465. Bill
  466. Joe
  467. Matt
  468. Darcy
  469. Heidi
  470. Olivia
  471. Stephen
  472. Gary
  473. Gordon
  474. Heather
  475. Matthew
  476. Geneva
  477. Ben
  478. Jim
  479. Danette
  480. Leanne
  481. Leighann
  482. Suzy
  483. Caleb
  484. Barbara
  485. Ernest
  486. Tim
  487. Faith
  488. Rebekah
  489. Gary
  490. Les
  491. Stan
  492. Henry
  493. John
  494. Jonathan
  495. Brandon
  496. Nathaniel
  497. David
  498. Karen
  499. Vanessa
  500. Elizabeth
  501. Chloe
  502. Diana
  503. Rosemary
  504. Jerry
  505. Frances
  506. Mary
  507. Quinn
  508. Cheryl
  509. Haley
  510. Bethany
  511. Mandy
  512. Adam
  513. little babies on the way
  514. Kyle
  515. Dustin
  516. Mr. Ken
  517. the Creation Museum
  518. the Ark Encounter
  519. AiG
  520. Susan
  521. our friendship
  522. being able to visit comfortably
  523. that even when we can’t do much together, we always reconnect easily
  524. Josiah
  525. Amelia
  526. Tiber
  527. the baby
  528. Kathryn letting me cook for he
  529. Kathryn’s sweetness
  530. Cody and Lucy
  531. them selling to me
  532. them working with me even when out of contract
  533. people I haven’t seen in ever helping my family move my stuff
  534. trucks and vans
  535. Katie giving me her bed
  536. David and Sarah going with me to pick up the bed
  537. getting my house set up so much
  538. Mom making the sound-bouncy-thing so pretty
  539. accordion doors
  540. piano players
  541. cute little rodents
  542. reading books to little children
  543. the ability to smile
  544. I Saw That cards at work
  545. Marta
  546. Bruce and Bonnie
  547. Joie
  548. Justice
  549. Madalyn
  550. Su
  551. the variety in my job
  552. having my own office
  553. having a work computer
  554. staff meetings
  555. team meetings
  556. how much I love working with my team
  557. being able to help people all day long
  558. all the friendships I´ve developed at work
  559. how much the people at work mean to me
  560. having time at work go so fast
  561. getting to work full-time
  562. having energy to do so much
  563. the War Room
  564. things staying more clean at work
  565. laughter at work
  566. group projects
  567. working with people who really care
  568. having a life outside of work
  569. Rebeccah being in my life
  570. coffee at Rebeccah´s
  571. reading books with Rebeccah
  572. having someone who will borrow and read my books
  573. hearing Rebeccah´s opinion of my books
  574. Rebeccah´s perspective and point of view
  575. Rebeccah´s generosity and observations
  576. Rebeccah´s hospitality
  577. Rebeccah´s yummy food
  578. Rebeccah being a good balance in my life
  579. Rebeccah pointing out things to me
  580. taco nights at her house
  581. staying up late and talking
  582. getting coffee and going to the park
  583. her being willing to do the driving
  584. game nights with Rebeccah and Allen and family
  585. that Hannah comes along now
  586. Allen´s kindness to all the people who he meets
  587. Allen´s determination to help me have a life
  588. Allen giving gifts
  589. Allen making people feel welcomed
  590. Allen taking care of everyone
  591. Allen showing us how things should be done
  592. the Carlson´s
  593. texting with Miss Viviann during quarantine
  594. getting to know Hannah
  595. Hannah´s way of helping me understand myself better
  596. the way Hannah listens
  597. Hannah being there when I need someone
  598. Hannah´s sense of humor
  599. Hannah being willing to try crazy things with me
  600. Hannah´s voice of reason
  601. Hannah being a steady presence in
  602. having the Carlson´s house be my second home
  603. all the help Miss Viviann was when I was buying my house
  604. how I can simply be at the Carlson´s
  605. Miss Viviann´s being willing to make phone calls
  606. our deep conversations
  607. the way we relate to each other
  608. her office being a safe place
  609. that she thinks I´m funny
  610. reading in her office
  611. our friendship
  612. How much I’ve learned from her
  613. the way she checks on me
  614. her welcoming me into her life
  615. her desire to learn and grow
  616. how much she cares for people
  617. that we get to work together
  618. that we like the same kind of foods
  619. salt
  620. tofu
  621. soy sauce
  622. hash
  623. bread
  624. mashed potatoes
  625. vegan sausages
  626. hard boiled eggs
  627. CJ
  628. CJ´s generosity with music
  629. the way he makes people feel included
  630. his hard work at his job
  631. the way he dreams big
  632. having lunch with Miss Viviann and Hannah
  633. Hannah working at the museum!
  634. how quickly friendships develop in the right atmosphere
  635. that this year had the right atmosphere
  636. that I really have people who mean a lot to me
  637. that I can count on the people in my life
  638. that I can do things that bless those in my life
  639. late nights of talking
  640. being welcome in other people´s houses
  641. chipmunks
  642. granola bars
  643. loan offices
  644. signing papers
  645. Johanna taking pictures
  646. Johanna´s craziness
  647. Johanna´s love for others
  648. Johanna in general
  649. All I´ve learned from Johanna
  650. how trendy Johanna is
  651. Johanna´s health getting better
  652. Mariah
  653. Mariah living her dream
  654. Mariah having such cute children
  655. Mariah making the most of life
  656. Mariah being able to have people over to her house
  657. Mariah´s kindness
  658. Mariah´s clean style
  659. Leo
  660. Leo´s coffee business
  661. Leo taking good care of his family
  662. Leo caring about others
  663. good talks with Mariah and Leo
  664. cuddling Charlette and Charles
  665. getting to see Charles when he was just a day old
  666. how darling the Charlies are
  667. that the Charlies can grow up surrounded by so much love
  668. Betsie
  669. Her new baby
  670. Regaining her health
  671. the sweet way she handles children´s shenanigans
  672. her calm spirit
  673. her joy in the Lord
  674. Gordon
  675. how he provides for his family
  676. how he leads his family
  677. Elisabeth
  678. how she´s getting her heath back
  679. how good she is at being a big sister
  680. her joy in the Lord
  681. her sewing abilities
  682. her cheerful personality
  683. Susanna
  684. the way she embraces life
  685. her happiness with little things
  686. how she likes to write
  687. that we have so much in common
  688. her artful ways
  689. the way her parents encourage her art
  690. Samuel
  691. his mature way
  692. how he likes working with his hands
  693. his ability to work hard
  694. his creativity
  695. Isaiah
  696. his spunk
  697. his love for others
  698. his soft heart
  699. his fun grin
  700. his joy at living
  701. Faith
  702. the friendship we have
  703. how she sees so seriously
  704. her desire to be a help
  705. the person she´s going to grow up to be
  706. Mercy
  707. her craziness
  708. how she enjoys life
  709. her jump in feet first personality
  710. how she likes the outdoors
  711. the mischievousness in her eyes
  712. Roy
  713. his sweetness
  714. how he gets included
  715. the way he explains things
  716. his soft heart
  717. his excitement for life
  718. Marian
  719. her adorable
  720. the way she tells stories
  721. how she acts so grown up, but so little at the same time
  722. all the times she made me laugh
  723. her big sisterish actions
  724. Naomi
  725. that she´s such a happy child
  726. her pleasant personality
  727. her cuddles
  728. her contentment in life
  729. her being in the family
  730. Noah
  731. that he was born
  732. that he has his whole life ahead of him
  733. that God has a plan for his life
  734. that he´s got a good name
  735. Tim
  736. his helpfulness
  737. his love for his family
  738. his love for God
  739. his sense of adventure
  740. Meagan
  741. how she´s a good mom
  742. how she cares for others
  743. her steady way
  744. her patience with her children
  745. Kenzie
  746. how shés such a Howe
  747. her sweetness
  748. her love for others
  749. her outgoing personality
  750. Titus
  751. his kindness
  752. his sweet heart
  753. the way he feels deeply
  754. how he will help others in life
  755. Emma
  756. how she relates to others
  757. her quiet personality
  758. how she balances out others in her family
  759. how spunky and creative she is
  760. her thoughtful way
  761. Lucas
  762. how he´s so cute
  763. his place in our family
  764. the plans God has for him
  765. all he´s learning
  766. Logan
  767. that he went out West with me
  768. that this year his dreams came true
  769. his generosity
  770. his way of loving well
  771. him sharing his house with people
  772. the friendships he has
  773. how he´s learning and growing
  774. that he moved my camper
  775. Whit
  776. that I get a new sister
  777. that shés so kind
  778. how much we all already like her
  779. that shés going to fit into our family so well
  780. David
  781. how much help he always is
  782. that he winterized my camper
  783. his help around the house
  784. that when I need help I know I can call him first
  785. his knowledge
  786. his love for others
  787. how good of a dad he is
  788. how cute he and Sarah are together
  789. Sarah
  790. that I get to have her in my life
  791. our FaceTime coffee chats
  792. that we can stay close even while we live far away
  793. how we can share with each other
  794. that she can come visit me, and I can visit her
  795. how creative she is
  796. how pretty her art is
  797. that even as an adult and busy mom she hasn´t lost her curiosity and wonder
  798. Clara
  799. how kind and sweet she is
  800. her loving personality
  801. how smart she is
  802. how she cares so well for others
  803. how amazing she is at being a big sister
  804. the way she notices and helps
  805. Katey
  806. how she´s grown so much
  807. her observations
  808. the way she puts her thoughts into words
  809. that she likes books and quietness
  810. how content she is to do her own thing quietly
  811. what Ive been able to learn by watching her
  812. Helena
  813. that we only live two hours away from each other now
  814. that even though we are both busy we make it a point to stay in each other’s lives
  815. that she loves well
  816. that she´s living her life and digging roots deep
  817. all the influence she´s had on my life
  818. that she finds joy in little things
  819. Joshua
  820. his generous nature
  821. the way he takes care of his wife
  822. his steadying presence
  823. his eagerness to be a part of the family activities
  824. his kindness and thoughtfulness
  825. Moses
  826. that he´s my buddy
  827. all I´ve gotten to learn from him
  828. how he seeks God´s wisdom
  829. all he does for others
  830. how kind and sweet he is
  831. how he´s such a hard worker
  832. how dedicated he is to his school
  833. the cool things he tells me about
  834. playing games with him
  835. him adding so much to my life
  836. Mom
  837. how shés willing to do so much to help her family
  838. all the caring she´s done over the years
  839. that she´s doing so well after her wreck last year
  840. the huge help she was with me buying a house and moving
  841. how supportive she is
  842. her shopping for household stuff for me and with me
  843. her knowledge of sewing
  844. how she raised us kids
  845. having coffee with her
  846. all the good memories I have of growing up
  847. Dad
  848. the way he´s taught all of us to be generous
  849. how he´s played such a huge part in all of our lives
  850. how good he is at quality time
  851. how he´s helped us live our dreams
  852. that he gives such good advice
  853. how he loves God
  854. how he teaches each of us to have relationship with God
  855. the value both my parents put on spending time reading the Bible and praying daily
  856. how my parents have invested so much in my health
  857. Hosanna
  858. getting to video chat with Hosanna
  859. how well Hosanna knows me
  860. Hosanna making me laugh
  861. the way Hosanna and I relate to each other
  862. her job with children
  863. how well she knows how to take care of babies
  864. all the growing up we´ve done together
  865. Melody
  866. the way she makes my life better whenever I see her
  867. that I can be included in her life
  868. that we´ve known each other for so long
  869. all the inside jokes we girls have
  870. all we´ve experienced together
  871. Phil
  872. the way he´s not afraid to be real
  873. his accents
  874. his way of helping others grow
  875. how he wants to grow
  876. his steadiness at being a friend
  877. James
  878. Dorcas
  879. Daniel
  880. Ben
  881. him helping me have a credit score
  882. him always being so supportive and excited about life changes
  883. the way his life is changing and flourishing
  884. Nate
  885. Leanne
  886. Steve
  887. Uncle Zane
  888. Aunt Denise
  889. Zane
  890. Zack
  891. Alexa
  892. Zach
  893. Jackson
  894. Aubrey
  895. how we can work on goals together
  896. how we´ve helped each other stay focused in life
  897. the creativity we share
  898. how both our lives have changed a lot
  899. That we can support each other as we chase our dreams
  900. that we have dreams
  901. that we live in a country where we can have dreams
  902. that goal setting is something we both have in our nature
  903. Zeb
  904. Zeke
  905. Katey
  906. Zion
  907. Annie
  908. Abbie
  909. Uncle Matt
  910. Aunt Lori
  911. Megan
  912. Liz
  913. Olivia
  914. Uncle Chet
  915. Aunt Becca
  916. Jesse
  917. Susie
  918. Uncle Nick
  919. Aunt Angie
  920. Isaiah
  921. Isaac
  922. Inika
  923. Ilijah
  924. Uncle Dan
  925. Aunt Cindy
  926. Uncle Dean
  927. Nathan
  928. Eleonore
  929. all the years with Grandpa
  930. that Grandpa isn´t suffering any more
  931. that we all got a chance to say goodbye to Grandpa last year
  932. rolling hills
  933. woods
  934. streams
  935. oceans
  936. rivers
  937. National Parks
  938. glaciers
  939. Alaska and how I still want to go there some day
  940. Papa Skunk
  941. that he can be in the hospital
  942. that he´s getting better
  943. that he has people caring for him and people praying
  944. Mama Skunk
  945. how well she´s feeling
  946. that I can be here with her
  947. that she is trusting in God and not letting things pull her down
  948. that she loves so well
  949. that her life makes a difference
  950. how Papa and Mama do so much for me
  951. Pastor
  952. Miss Laurie
  953. Nicole
  954. Jamie
  955. Joshua
  956. Bell
  957. Dave and Becky
  958. Sophie
  959. Natalie
  960. Shayla
  961. Heidi
  962. Dakota
  963. Brook
  964. Taylor
  965. Lily
  966. Connor
  967. RJ
  968. all my children´s church children
  969. Garrett
  970. Kilmney
  971. Raquel
  972. Daniel
  973. Sophie
  974. Chapman´s Coffee House
  975. getting to work there for a day
  976. How much I get to walk at my current job
  977. how I get to know so many people at my job
  978. the interactions I get to have with my coworkers
  979. how I get to meet people from all over the world
  980. the way we get to share God´s truth with people from so many backgrounds
  981. How good of a leader Roger is
  982. that I can work directly for Roger
  983. that Roger really cares about the people at the Museum and wants to help them live life well
  984. the balance Roger provides
  985. Cayle
  986. nicknames
  987. that I get to work with Alex
  988. how Alex does such a good job in growing each of us
  989. the leadership qualities I’ve learned from Alex
  990. the way our team has grown so close this year
  991. the friendships I’ve developed while working
  992. how time goes so fast at work
  993. the books I’ve read this year
  994. that I can still review books, despite how much my life has changed
  995. Biblical fiction
  996. Connilyn Cossette
  997. Roseanna M. White
  998. Stephanie Morrill
  999. Sarah Loudin Thomas
  1000. learning from other people’s perspectives
  1001. finding out about my personality and how I can harness the good and change the bad
  1002. that I don’t have to go house hunting
  1003. that God provided the perfect house for me so I never had to go house hunting
  1004. how God’s timing work
  1005. That God puts people in my life at the right time
  1006. that I can be a blessing to others because of the gifts God has given me
  1007. That I can drive
  1008. that I now know how to drive through traffic
  1009. Youtube
  1010. Instagram
  1011. what I’ve been able to learn online
  1012. the Youtube videos I made this year and how fun they were
  1013. that I get to learn and grow each day
  1014. log cabins
  1015. brick houses
  1016. good roads to travel on
  1017. living in this era, even though the olden days would have been cool
  1018. how good this year has been despite everything
  1019. that my friendship with the Carlson’s and Rebeccah has florished
  1020. Bible Study
  1021. the Bible Study girls
  1022. Kayla and Connor asking me to be their flower girl
  1023. Connor and Kayla getting married soon
  1024. huggers
  1025. getting huggers as gifts
  1026. Homer
  1027. Amelia
  1028. Emily
  1029. Novel
  1030. that I had pets growing up
  1031. that I have such good memories of my childhood (not only are they happy, but also that they’re clear)
  1032. for adventures – little though they may be
  1033. driving around to look at barns
  1034. learning to understand people
  1035. that crazy though I am, I still have people who understand me

Cranberry Thanksgiving

Happy Almost-Thanksgiving, folks!

I’ve started a new thing where I’m working at having my vlogs be right at two minutes, I’ll explain my reasoning later, but I’m excited about it! 🙂

And That Changed My Life

This is the week of Thanksgiving so of course people are going to be talking about being thankful – and that makes me really happy. What makes me even more thankful though is that thankfulness can be an every-day part of life.

Having an attitude of gratitude (yes, cheesy, I know) and making random lists of things that I’m thankful for literally changed my life back when I was a teenager. That’s one of the decisions I made that I’m most thankful for.

See, I spent all my teen years fighting undiagnosed Lyme disease. That meant I would spend weeks, and sometimes months in bed at a time, not knowing why. It was horrible, and I quickly fell into the habit of feeling quite bad for myself. I fussed. Complained. Wanted to give up on life. I threw myself a grand pity party and then attended it with zeal.

Somewhere during that first year my dad gave me a book to read. I’m pretty sure it was Think on These Things by John Maxwell. (I can’t remember the exact book, but I know it was by John Maxwell.) At first, the thought of reading the book was completely overwhelming to me – the Lyme disease had made it so my brain was all fuzzy and it was hard to concentrate. Dad insisted that I read a chapter each week and give him a short book report on it. At the time I thought that was a totally unfair requirement, but looking back now I’m really thankful for it.

In reality, I don’t remember anything the book said, and it took me several years to make the connection between the book and my attitude change…. But eventually, I made the correlation. I began to change my attitude, and when I changed my mindset from one of whining to thankfulness, the rest of my life changed as well.

Yes, I was still sick. And yes, I was still in bed. And yes, it was hard. (Really hard.) But, since I was no longer drowning in a well of self-pity, I was able to do something while I had zero energy. It started off with me praying for people. I chose various people who were in ministry – both those I knew personally and strangers – and began praying for them. Then I started writing them encouraging notes during the long, nearly sleepless nights that I lived for years. Getting the focus off of me and on to others helped a tremendous amount, although of course there were still times when I would feel all sorry for myself.

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One day when I was nineteen (and still sick), I read a novel where the main character was challenged to think of ten things he was thankful for each morning when he woke up. It sounded like a good idea to me, so I took the challenge as well.

There were some mornings when I would think of ten things and be good, and then there were other mornings when I would wake up in so much pain and hopelessness, so I would just keep going. Sometimes I would continue my list until I’d gone over a hundred things I was thankful for. Although I didn’t always feel like doing it when I started, by the time I ended I was able to look at the world through clearer eyes, even though my physical issues hadn’t changed.

When I eventually got diagnosed and on the road to health life actually got worse as my body reacted to treatments. The thankfulness continued, and one of the huge things I was thankful for was that I now had light at the end of the tunnel – I knew why I was feeling the way I was, and eventually, it would be over.

One day, after about a year of waking up with thankfulness each morning, the doctor told me that I was getting well enough that my constant pain should soon stop. She informed me that my body was so used to feeling pain by now though (by this time I’d been in nearly non-stop pain for six years), that my brain needed to be retrained. She said it was so used to sending pain signals to me, that it would continue to do so, even though I was getting better and I no longer had so much pain. She then told me that the way to change that was to re-train my brain by thinking of something other than pain when I first awoke. I excitedly told her how I’d been being thankful each morning when I woke, and she said that yes, that literally could help speed my recovery process. I was thrilled.

By now I’ve been thinking of things I’m thankful for each morning for over six years. It’s now such a part of my life that I generally have things I’m thankful for going through my mind before I’m even fully awake. As I wake up, turn off my alarm, wonder if I should push snooze, and make my bed… All the while things that I’m thankful for are running through my mind, reminding me of how wonderful my life is.

If you notice all throughout this post I talk about things I’m thankful for – that wasn’t on purpose or planned, that’s just because I really am overflowing with gratitude for all the blessings I’ve received.

And, I’ve really got to run now or I’ll be late for work, but I thought today would be a perfect day to share this story with you. I hope it inspires y’all to be more thankful because thankfulness really did change my life. 😉

What are some things you’re thankful for today?

A Thousand of the Things I’m Thankful For {Happy Thanksgiving!}

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!

As I’ve done the last several years, this morning I sat down and wrote a list of a thousand things I’m thankful for. It’s (obviously) not an exhaustive list – in fact I’ve already thought of several more things I could have written down. Isn’t it amazing how many blessings we have?

Of course I don’t expect y’all to read all of it, I just enjoy spending some time thinking of all I have to be thankful for. This list took me an hour and forty minutes, not including a couple of breaks here and there. It was a lot of fun and I hope it inspires you to be more thankful.

What are some things you’re thankful for today?

Today I am thankful…

  1. For my coffee shop job
  2. The people I get to work with there
  3. THat I get to make food
  4. That the food I get to make is really fun and yummy
  5. That I get to make people happy by serving them coffee and good food
  6. That my boss is easy-going and forgiving
  7. That I finally learned how to work the register
  8. For how my office is set up
  9. For the beautiful view of the field and woods from my window
  10. That I can type
  11. That I have a computer to type on
  12. That I live out in the country
  13. the delightful country road we live on
  14. walking in the cold
  15. coffee
  16. that there’s such a thing as decaf coffee
  17. mommy buying me decaf coffee because she’s so sweet
  18. my mom
  19. all the work mom does
  20. for how mom raised us to know how to do household tasks
  21. for mom teaching me how to cook
  22. Thanksgiving – how we get to have a day dedicated to being thankful
  23. spellcheck
  24. that my family is gathering for Thanksgiving
  25. All of my lovely family
  26. my nieces and nephews
  27. my new niece that should arrive next year
  28. that Susanna likes to write
  29. that Susanna is like me and we have fun together
  30. that Susanna likes to read
  31. for Elisabeth and how mature she is
  32. that Betsie has Elisabeth to help her with everything at home
  33. that Elisabeth has a good imagination
  34. all the years Elisabeth and I have ridden Chesnut and Lightening together
  35. for my time in Peru
  36. That I have so many memories from living there for two months
  37. getting to journal when I was there
  38. all the emails I Have from when we were there
  39. that even though my computer didn’t work I could still use the internet cafe
  40. the experiences we had when I was there
  41. that I could use those things I learned to help tell another friend what to expect when she was going away
  42. the food we have in America
  43. the traditions we have regarding Thanksgiving
  44. that I live in a family where we have fun in the kitchen together
  45. that we have a kitchen
  46. that our kitchen isn’t really small
  47. that we grew up in a kitchen where we were allowed to sit on the counters
  48. all the memories I have of David, Helena, and I sitting on counters in our old house
  49. That I come from a big-ish family
  50. That my family loves and accepts me
  51. That my family doesn’t make fun of me for my weirdness
  52. all the fun we have playing games together in the winter
  53. long winter evenings
  54. how much fun it is to hang out with people when they aren’t on their phones
  55. that I have a phone
  56. that I’m learning balance with my phone
  57. that I’m not addicted to my phone
  58. that my phone is a tool and something that can help me
  59. for two dollar bills
  60. for people who tip well at the coffee shop
  61. that I now know how nice it is when people give tips
  62. that I can give people tips
  63. that I have a car
  64. that my car works well
  65. that Leo keeps putting air in the tires
  66. that I can afford gas
  67. that I can listen to music while driving
  68. that I can drive with the windows down
  69. that I have a sky roof
  70. for tea
  71. tea from Kaitlyn
  72. my Keurig from my adopted parents
  73. getting to go to Montana
  74. having so much fun on the dinosaur dig
  75. the turtle shell I found
  76. the fossilized sequoia cone
  77. making memories while traveling
  78. having a good enough memory to remember those memories
  79. getting to vlog
  80. having so much fun vlogging
  81. that I like to edit as much as I do
  82. for picmonky
  83. for iMovie
  84. for Youtube
  85. for everyone who watches my videos on Youtube
  86. for those few Youtube channels that I like to watch
  87. for learning from other Youtubers
  88. for my blog
  89. for moving over to WordPress
  90. for all those who read my blog
  91. for the friends I’ve made through Noveltea
  92. for being able to email some of them
  93. meeting some of them in person
  94. Hosanna who keeps me in the know
  95. for how Hosanna is always encouraging me with my writing
  96. brothers
  97. Hosanna’s sense of humor
  98. her large vocabulary
  99. how much she reads and the fact that we can share books
  100. that she surprised me last month and came early
  101. and that I wasn’t actually surprised because she’s Hosanna
  102. for her being a very comfortable person
  103. that she knows what I’m saying even when I phrase it wrong
  104. that she helps out so much
  105. that she’s so kind to her family
  106. that we can video chat
  107. that she’s patient with me
  108. that my family loves her and she loves them
  109. that we’re forever gonna be friends
  110. that she’s a touchy-feely person
  111. that she knows what it means when I say “low-key loneliness”
  112. that she’s willing to try new things
  113. that someday we might go on a road trip together
  114. that someday she’ll drive out here and visit me
  115. all the memories we have together
  116. all the memories we’re gonna make in the future
  117. that I’ve gotten to meet a lot of her friends
  118. Whimsy
  119. that I’ve had him for a year now
  120. that he’s the best indoor pet basically ever
  121. that I only have one indoor rabbit
  122. that he’s easy-going
  123. that we’ve gotten into a good routine
  124. music
  125. Christmas music
  126. getting to listen to Christmas music at work last night after closing
  127. dancing in the rain with strangers
  128. having rain to dance in
  129. that we have enough water
  130. that we aren’t flooding
  131. that we have had some snow
  132. that before long we should get more snow
  133. that this autumn was the most beautiful thing
  134. that I could visit my adopted parents three times in October
  135. how beautiful Maple trees are in the autumn
  136. that I live in a place with all four seasons
  137. that I live in Ohio
  138. that I can learn from what I live around
  139. gravel roads
  140. dirt roads
  141. old side roads
  142. that I know how to speak English
  143. that I get to work at the retreat
  144. that I get to cook a lot for a lot of people
  145. Chadwin
  146. how much fun Chadwin and I have together
  147. all the puns regarding me and Chadwin
  148. getting to cut the grass
  149. enjoying that task so much
  150. having so much grass to cut
  151. how fast the grass grows in the summer
  152. long summer days
  153. hanging out outside with family and friends in the summer
  154. sitting on the porch steps and watching the fireflies
  155. all the stars
  156. living out in the fresh air
  157. listening to the whipper-will
  158. all the night time creatures
  159. reading late on the porch
  160. reading late altogether
  161. good books to read
  162. that I can read
  163. that my eyes don’t tire easily
  164. that I can write
  165. that my writing can be used for God’s glory
  166. that I enjoy writing
  167. that I’m finally getting writing work done again
  168. that I can review all the books I read
  169. review sites like Amazon and Goodreads
  170. that I get books free in exchange for review
  171. that I’ve gotten like 60 free books this year
  172. that I’ve read so many nonfiction books this year
  173. that this year has been one of learning and growing and changes
  174. that Kaitlyn reminded me this year that I’m growing roots
  175. that roots are important
  176. that it’s been good growing deep
  177. that even hard times can be used for good
  178. that I have wise people around me
  179. for the wisdom people have poured into me
  180. our church
  181. our church family
  182. getting to help out with Sunday School
  183. all my little darling Sunday school kids
  184. the friendships I’ve made with them
  185. how our church is growing
  186. how people are changing
  187. how friendships are made
  188. our pastor
  189. that he’s so strong in God’s Word
  190. the truth of God’s Word
  191. that we can learn and grow and become who we are supposed to be while following God’s word
  192. my seat at church
  193. our group at church
  194. Jamie being such a fantastic leader
  195. Nicole being such another fantastic leader
  196. Nicole and how supportive she is
  197. Jamie and Nicole and how cute they are together
  198. how much they love each other
  199. the example they are to the rest of us
  200. the way that they really want what’s best
  201. how they give of themselves for others
  202. how they help us connect
  203. how they really want to help us grow
  204. how they prepare
  205. Andrea
  206. Stephen
  207. Brad
  208. Josh
  209. John
  210. Javin
  211. Veronica
  212. Dakota
  213. Jared
  214. Ben
  215. Leo
  216. Cameron
  217. Emily
  218. Gloria
  219. Ian
  220. Jamin
  221. Jeremy
  222. Jordan
  223. Paige
  224. Peyton
  225. Samantha
  226. Susan
  227. Tiffany
  228. Tyler
  229. Sara
  230. Ben
  231. Susie
  232. all the good conversations we have
  233. the retreat we had
  234. our good connecting time
  235. campfires
  236. memories of the girl’s cabin
  237. that it was close to home
  238. Marty
  239. Ruth
  240. our fun time talking in the kitchen
  241. getting to work in such a big, nice kitchen
  242. Miss Becky
  243. Mr. Dave
  244. Easton
  245. Josie
  246. Abbey
  247. Hannah
  248. Abbie
  249. Sophie
  250. Natalie
  251. Shayla
  252. Jacy
  253. Macy
  254. Zoey
  255. David
  256. Matthew
  257. Colton
  258. Uncle Zane
  259. Aunt Denise
  260. Zane J.
  261. Zack
  262. Zebb
  263. Zeke
  264. Zion
  265. Annie
  266. Alexa
  267. Aubrey
  268. Zach
  269. cousins who live close by
  270. cousins who live far away but we still get to connect with
  271. weddings
  272.  Uncle Chet
  273. Aunt Becca
  274. Susie
  275. Jesse
  276. Uncle Matt
  277. Aunt Lori
  278. the times they open their house to us
  279. when they come for a visit
  280. Olivia
  281. getting to hang out with her more this year and connect
  282. Mark
  283. Megan
  284. Carson
  285. the cool stuff going on with them
  286. Elizabeth
  287.  Uncle Dean
  288. Uncle Dan
  289. Aunt Cindy
  290. Nathan
  291. Uncle Nick
  292. Aunt Angela
  293. Isaiah
  294. Isaac
  295. Inkia
  296. Ilijah
  297. getting to see family in Nashville
  298. meeting Leo’s family
  299. Leo and Ben
  300. all of the happiness of hanging out with friends
  301. Mr. Leo’s Dad
  302. Miss Ada
  303. Ruth
  304. Susan
  305. Lilly
  306. Julie
  307. Jesse
  308. James
  309. Jaylin
  310. Female Human of the Shrock Family Number Six
  311. Mary Ada
  312. fun times at the retreat this summer
  313. how well the retreat went
  314. everyone who came to help out at the retreat
  315. how much each of the people wanted to serve
  316. all the lives that were changed
  317. the kitchen crew
  318. listening to Antshilvania in the kitchen
  319. Kaitlyn coming
  320. Kaitlyn being such a kindred spirit
  321. all I’ve learned from Kaitlyn
  322. how we have our own secret code
  323. all the inside jokes we get to share
  324. the encouragement she’s been as I deepen my walk with Jesus
  325. the blessings she gives others
  326. fun times with her younger siblings
  327. working in the kitchen with the lights
  328. family breakfasts
  329. Moria
  330. i58
  331. all that we can be part of on a worldwide scale
  332. getting my health back in order
  333. dreams for the future
  334. the ladies we know who come to the MWR
  335. soybean candles
  336. Miss Laurie
  337. Pastor Larry
  338. Josh
  339. Mish
  340. Nate
  341. Paige
  342. Brooke
  343. Taylor
  344. Tyler
  345. Heidi
  346. Kristiana
  347. Miss Diana
  348. Di
  349. Su
  350. Carol
  351. Jo
  352. her children
  353. Mark
  354. Grandma
  355. how well she’s doing
  356. that she went through the flood
  357. that we were able to visit her
  358. that we can show her love
  359. that we love her
  360. all the good times we’ve had together over the years
  361.  that my parents are in a place where they can spend a lot of time with her
  362. Grandpa
  363. Elenore
  364. how much they’ve done for us over the years
  365. that they used to live here
  366. all the breakfast times
  367. reading Paddington Bear up on the porch
  368. the goat barn
  369. all the years of raising goats
  370. that we don’t have goats anymore
  371. dogs
  372. my dog
  373. my animals over the years
  374. that I live in a place where I can have pets
  375. the snails I’ve found
  376. the plants I’ve tried to raise
  377. the years I’ve had gardens
  378. Mariah’s garden
  379. Mariah’s hard work
  380. her good skills
  381. her yummy food
  382. her kind heart
  383. her fastness with housecleaning
  384. her kindness with children
  385. her hopes and plans
  386. her love for others
  387. her friends
  388. her life
  389. David
  390. how so many of his dreams have come true
  391. how he’s such a good dad
  392. how much he loves his family
  393. that he lives close by
  394. that we can be friends
  395. his work
  396. his blessings to others
  397.  his knowledge
  398. his new little one
  399. his sense of humor
  400. his work with the kids at church
  401. the changes he’s making
  402. his wisdom
  403. his running
  404. his health
  405. his half marathon
  406. four-wheeler rides with him
  407. skunks
  408. cats
  409. baby animals
  410. foxes
  411. sunflowers
  412. lilacs
  413. roses
  414. sayings
  415. quotes
  416. stories
  417. words
  418. life
  419. love
  420. happiness
  421. joy
  422. truth
  423. sisters
  424. memories
  425. streams
  426. bags
  427. corn husk dolls
  428. stacking dolls
  429. my mommy doll
  430. pens
  431. pencils
  432. salt
  433. ink
  434. books
  435. pictures
  436. Amadou
  437. getting the letter sent out
  438. glitter
  439. the postal service
  440. parents who help direct
  441. stuffed animals
  442. salt rocks
  443. licking salt rocks
  444. sticky-notes
  445. notebooks
  446. WriteMind notebooks
  447. coffee mugs
  448. matches
  449. pumpkins
  450. Lifeproof cases
  451. warranties
  452. Christmas lights
  453. bowls
  454. spoons
  455. forks
  456. plates
  457. napkins
  458. audio books
  459. popsicle sticks
  460. crafts
  461. magnets
  462. hair
  463. hair clips
  464. soap
  465. clean bathrooms
  466. clean kitchens
  467. hats
  468. dried flowers
  469. bookshelves
  470. rocks
  471. roots
  472. trees
  473.  white trees
  474. pine trees
  475. dandelions
  476. Where Dandelions Grow
  477. book releases
  478. theinternett
  479. CDs
  480. dolphins
  481. heart rocks
  482. running through airports with rocks and not falling
  483. ice cream
  484. yummy food that is healthy
  485. white chocolate
  486. friends who give special gifts
  487. love languages
  488. personality tests
  489. where I am in life
  490. that I’m doing fulfilling stuff
  491. random papers
  492. brooms
  493. that we can give thanks
  494. that rejoicing always really does help
  495. that I don’t live in my own power
  496. Susan
  497. Cassie
  498. My adopted Mom
  499. my adopted Dad
  500. Steve
  501. Trish
  502. security guards
  503. the Creation Museum
  504. God still being God no matter what
  505. God being more powerful than anything else
  506. clothes
  507. warm shoes
  508. cute socks
  509. blankets
  510. fuzzy blankets
  511. windows
  512. screens
  513. sleeping bags
  514. sleeping on the floor
  515. not having bad snakes around
  516. birds
  517. bluejays
  518. the color blue
  519. purple
  520. yellow
  521. brown
  522. orange
  523. green
  524. red
  525. silver
  526. plots
  527. plot holes that get fixed
  528. creating characters
  529. learning from books
  530. teaching from books
  531. books that aren’t preachy
  532. books where you get lots of reviews
  533. texting
  534. people to text
  535. people who you don’t have to text
  536. iMessage
  537. HIS
  538. all the team
  539. Elaine
  540. Jon
  541. Stephanie
  542. Scott
  543. Tim
  544. Logan
  545. Tracy
  546. that I’m part of the team
  547. Lisa
  548. Jeremiah
  549. Meagan
  550. Kenzie
  551. Titus
  552. Emma
  553. Lucas
  554. Clara
  555. New authors
  556. how much I like connecting with authors
  557. Miss Alana
  558. Lost Girl of Astor Street
  559. Miss Stephanie
  560. Go Teen Writers
  561. All I’ve learned from that site
  562. how much the Facebook group helped me
  563. that joy is a choice
  564. postcards
  565. going to Mexico
  566. that no one was hurt
  567. good memories
  568. getting to swim
  569. the ocean
  570. watching the sunset
  571. watching the sunrise
  572. challenges
  573. Thrive
  574. my middle name
  575. why I was named what I was
  576. my blogging mug
  577. my keyboard
  578. my desk set up
  579. my chair
  580. hardwood floors
  581. tents
  582. tipis
  583. the Ark Encounter
  584. visiting there
  585. behind the Scenes
  586. Miss Jackie
  587. Dorcas
  588. Abigail
  589. Josh
  590. marriage
  591. engagements
  592. when people are really happy
  593. my rock from Petite-Cap
  594. getting to go to Canada as a child
  595. going to Prince Edward Island
  596. Traveling to Europe
  597. Seeing all the old buildings
  598. so much good family time
  599. Paris
  600. that we all stayed safe there
  601. that I went up the Elfie Tower
  602. blue skies
  603. cloudy days
  604. days where it looks like the world has a gray lid on
  605. going to Arizona with Helena a long time ago
  606. the ability to stop and focus on my blessings
  607. being able to be a part of people’s lives
  608. washers
  609. dryers
  610. dishwashers
  611. stoves
  612. fridges
  613. freezers
  614. knives
  615. skillets
  616. coffee makers
  617. teapots
  618. tea holders
  619. chewing on things
  620.  teeth
  621. toes
  622. fingers
  623. arms
  624. hands
  625. legs
  626. being able to walk
  627. being able to hear
  628. being able to see
  629. being able to taste
  630. being able to smell
  631. being able to touch
  632. being able to move
  633. being able to think
  634. being able to reason
  635. knowing right and wrong
  636. the Bible
  637. being salt and light
  638. learning not to waste time
  639. all the hard lessons I’ve gone through that I won’t have to go through again
  640. God’s love
  641. God’s forgiveness
  642. God’s grace
  643. God’s hope
  644. God’s plans for my life
  645. my relationship with God
  646. walking daily with Him
  647. getting to spend time with Him
  648. knowing that He has me on earth for a purpose
  649. finding fulfillment in what He has me doing
  650. Him giving me second chances over and over again
  651. Him showing me how to love
  652. Him helping me move toward where I should be
  653. Him giving me love to share with others
  654. Him giving my life purpose and meaning
  655. all the verses in the Bible about fear not
  656. verses about being His hands and feet
  657. the privilege of getting to do work for Him
  658. remembering to love even when I don’t feel like it
  659. that I don’t have to go through life on my own
  660. that I can stand strong in His grace
  661. that He loved me so much He sent His Son to die for me
  662. that the Holy Spirit lives in me
  663. that I can read books and learn more about Him
  664. that there is power in His Name
  665. that there is power in Jesus’ blood
  666. that through Him I am more than a conqueror
  667. that all things are possible through Him
  668. that He has me where I am right now
  669. that He gives me peace even when I don’t know what will happen next
  670. that I can rest in Him and how His way is better than mine
  671. that He helps me not get what I think I want when I really don’t want it
  672. that He has shown Himself faithful and trustworthy
  673. that His promises always come to pass
  674. that He shows His great love to the whole earth
  675. His compassion
  676. His creativity
  677. that He named the stars
  678. that He is an author
  679. that He created me to be an author
  680. all the authors that write God-honoring books
  681. how my brain works
  682. that people are patient when I’m in writing mode
  683. that I can get into writing mode
  684. that I can edit
  685. that I enjoy what I do
  686. when good lines come to me
  687. words and how they work
  688. that there is power in words
  689.  that I can use my words for life
  690. that I can bless others
  691. that I was taught to be careful what I say
  692. that I’ve lived for a quarter of a century
  693. that God has a plan for the rest of my life and I’m working toward that
  694. elephants
  695. lions
  696. monkeys
  697. ferrets
  698. platypus
  699. fish
  700. whales
  701. apes
  702. hospitals
  703. doctors
  704. nurses
  705. healthy people helping those who need it
  706. medicine
  707. PEMF mats
  708. PEMF Supply
  709. Dad and how smart he is
  710. how he loves us
  711. how he takes time to talk with us
  712. his grace
  713. his easygoing manner
  714. getting his health in shape
  715. working at being who he’s supposed to be
  716. Tuesday evenings
  717. connecting with him
  718. how generous he is
  719. how he provides for us
  720. how he loves to serve others
  721. the good example he is
  722. Helena’s house
  723. how pretty it is
  724. that she has a roommate
  725. that she has done so much for the kingdom of God
  726. London
  727. how cute London is
  728. that she didn’t mess up stuff when she was here
  729. Helena’s good taste
  730. Helena’s hospitality
  731. her meals she makes us
  732. when she helps with retreats
  733. how much she does for HIS
  734. getting to sit and talk with her
  735. all the times we’ve gone places together
  736. her work at church
  737. how she can talk with a bunch of people and relate
  738. all the girls who consider her one of their best friends
  739. that she’s my sister
  740. that she shares her friends with me
  741. that she wants what’s best for others even if it’s not easy
  742. her self-control
  743. Sarah living close by
  744. Getting to hang out with Sarah
  745. that she’s such a good mother
  746. when I get to just sit and connect with her
  747. watching her be all happy
  748. her creativity
  749. her art
  750. her joy
  751. her making the world a more homey place
  752. her way of telling stories
  753. that she’s such a dream come true
  754. Bekah
  755. Emma
  756. Esther
  757. Glenda
  758. people who I can connect with via email
  759. mornings
  760. learning how to step out of my comfort zone
  761. the blessings that come from being outside of your comfort zone
  762. getting enough sleep
  763. learning to deal with not enough sleep
  764. snail mail
  765. gluten-free food
  766. corn
  767. apples
  768. applesauce
  769. apple crisp
  770. apple pie
  771. autumn foods
  772. when couples are totally in love
  773. Grammarly
  774. Flower girls
  775. sparkles
  776. sparkly socks
  777. texting books
  778. Mr. Bollback
  779. Mrs. Bollback
  780. Mr. FitStephen
  781. Mrs. Fitstephen
  782. Miss Nellie
  783. Kiley
  784. Whitney
  785. Ataley
  786. Hannah
  787. Leah
  788. Michela
  789. Chloe
  790. Elarie
  791. Avery
  792. Hailey
  793. Kilmoney
  794. The Hopely Cows
  795. going to Colorado last year
  796. RVs
  797. when life-long dreams come true
  798. getting to have dreams
  799. when I have really fun night time dreams
  800. when I can go back to the dream after waking up
  801. when I get to sleep a good solid night
  802. lights over the sink
  803. getting to blog so much
  804. sometimes being funny on Twitter
  805. learning how to be more of who I want to be
  806. everyone I grew up with who impacted my life in a positive way
  807. all those who forgive stuff I did that I shouldn’t have done
  808. coffee creamer
  809. beta readers
  810. meeting beta readers in real life
  811. learning from what they say about my books
  812. learning to be open-minded about my writing
  813. Sammi
  814. MacKenzie
  815. Daniel
  816. Kyle
  817. Levi
  818. Shawn
  819. Cassie
  820. Kata
  821. Megan
  822. Matt
  823. Erica
  824. Moses
  825. all the games we get to play together
  826. the teasing we do
  827. him taking me out to eat
  828. making good memories
  829. all the help he is
  830. his cheerful attitude
  831. Francis
  832. Isaac
  833. Darrick
  834. Eldron
  835. Having enough clean water to drink
  836. people who love others with God’s love and really show it
  837. Logan and how much fun we have playing games, too
  838. all the nights we’ve stayed up playing games
  839. last Christmas where we stayed up playing games all night then did the dishes at five in the morning
  840. that Helena should be home for Christmas this year
  841. that each year is a new year
  842. that we can have new beginnings
  843. Johanna and her dedication
  844. how she listen’s to God
  845. all she does to help others
  846. showing her love to others
  847. her good example
  848. how she is changing the world
  849. Mom and her graciousness toward others
  850. her hard work
  851. her love for others
  852. her grace
  853. her forgiveness
  854. how she keeps stuff going smoothly
  855. her organization with the retreat
  856. knowing that she prays for me
  857. how the MWR can change so many people through her work
  858. missionaries all over the world
  859. everyone who willingly and happily gives up for God’s Kingdom
  860. being friends with world-changers
  861. drums
  862. guitars
  863. violins
  864. cellos
  865. pianos
  866. musicians
  867. music that makes my heart happy
  868. music that inspires
  869. things that inspire in general
  870. Love Does
  871. Love Lives Here
  872. A King for Brass Cobweb
  873. Bob Goff
  874. Marie Goff
  875. Control Girl
  876. Storyworld First
  877. Catherine Farnes
  878. Over the Divide
  879. SnowBlind
  880. Over the Edge
  881. Rivers of Judah
  882. Snow
  883. Out of Hiding
  884. Way of Escape
  885. books that are like old friends
  886. John Maxwell
  887. How to Win Friends and Influence People
  888. Rachel Coker
  889. The Extroverted Writer
  890. All the books on writing that have really helped me
  891. all the blog articles on writing that have been just what I needed
  892. all the people who have taken time to help my writing become more of what it should be
  893. all those people who ask about my writing and encourage me
  894. Historical fiction
  895. books that don’t have lame romances
  896. book reviews
  897. Loglines in the Wild
  898. Every Body Matters
  899. Learning to take care of my health well
  900. The Seven Laws of Love
  901. Love Dangerously
  902. The Hiding Place
  903. Corrie ten Boom
  904. all of her books that I’ve been able to read
  905. how much I’ve learned from her
  906. the way she was able to influence so many people
  907. that she gave God not only the good parts of her life, but also the bad
  908. that she was willing to be really honest and help others
  909. her dedication to forgiveness through God’s power
  910. that we can still learn from her after she’s in Heaven
  911. that hopefully my books will outlast me and they will continue to inspire, too
  912. that I can leave a legacy
  913. Fintheg teh Core of Your Story
  914. Learning how to write cover letters
  915.  Learning how to query
  916. that I can take deep breaths when I feel totally overwhelmed
  917. that God is outside of time and therefore I don’t have to freak out
  918. that freaking out doesn’t help anything anyway
  919. new perspectives on life
  920. seeing the world from someone else’s point of view
  921. getting to learn about other cultures through books
  922. having gotten to meet Michael Card
  923. Michael Card’s music
  924. his books
  925. his sense of humor
  926. his life
  927. smiling
  928. truly being thankful for small things
  929. knowing that I have so much to rejoice about
  930. changing my attitude when I get down on life
  931. having my birthday in September
  932. going barefoot
  933. memes that make me laugh
  934. being able to get on the floor and scrub it
  935. how rewarding it is to look at a clean room
  936. hot water to wash dishes in
  937. bathroom cupboards to organize
  938. my old chair that I really like
  939. Psalm 139
  940. Psalm 119
  941. Psalm 91
  942. Psalm 23
  943. Jim Elliot
  944. the name Elliot
  945. the name Lyrica
  946. names that have special meaning
  947. rest
  948. Sundays
  949. setting aside time for special things
  950. Angela and Abner
  951. Daniel and Charity
  952. Dorcas and Daniel
  953. playing special parts in people’s special days
  954. when I’m friends with someone and they really like the uniqueness of me
  955. Holidays
  956. traveling by plane
  957. that we can fly places and get there quickly
  958. that we can communicate with people even when they live far away
  959. that God is at work around where I live
  960. Justin
  961. Laken
  962. Luke
  963. Grady
  964. Amy
  965. Greta
  966. Amy
  967. Melissa
  968. Shanna
  969. Briana
  970. Miss Joy
  971. good examples
  972. adoption
  973. people who have second chances and totally change their lives
  974. people who get over addictions
  975. that it’s possible to get over addictions
  976. that God doesn’t strike us all dead even when we deserve it
  977. that I can learn to be more like God (with grace and patience, etc…)
  978. Making lists
  979. checking things off lists
  980. pencil sharpeners
  981. that we can keep track of time
  982. jolly ranchers
  983. sending books to people
  984. surprising people with gifts
  985. remembering birthdays on time
  986. getting caught up with stuff
  987. special birthday dinners
  988. snowflakes
  989. raindrops
  990. swinging in the rain
  991. Eric
  992. when the sun bursts through on a cloudy day
  993. the bright moon at night
  994. roofs that don’t leak
  995. houses that are sturdy
  996. having enough heat
  997. learning to reach out even when it’s hard
  998. old journals
  999. Learning from past generations
  1000. Being blessed with getting to live life in 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thankfulness and Books Mix Admirably​

Happy Tuesday, folks! Today I’m having fun linking up with the Broke and Bookish for their Top Ten Tuesday series. This morning I had fun thinking of ten of the books that I’m really thankful for.

  1. Control Girl by Shannon Popkin I read this book at a time when I really needed it and I’m still thankful and benefiting from the lessons I learned from it. (Nonfiction)
  2. Way of Escape by Catherine Farnes Years ago when I spent nearly a decade being sick I found this book late one night and instantly felt like I’d made a deep friend. 
  3. Life Creative by Wendy Speake and Kelli Stuart This book is beautiful on so many levels. I loaned it out, but I can’t hardly wait to read it again. (Nonfiction)
  4. The Bridge by Jeri Massi Three-year-old me learned how powerful words were while listening spellbound to my sister reading this book.
  5. Screens and Teens by Kathy Koch Balance is so important, and this book has reminded me of that over and over again. (Nonfiction)
  6. Of Stillness and Storms by Michèle Phoenix This book. It showed exactly what I’ve wanted to say so many times. (Although there are somethings I don’t agree with.)
  7. The Insatiable Quest for Beauty by Tiffany Dawn I’ve seen so many girls struggle with this issue and Miss Tiffany talks about it in an honest, delightful, and raw way. (Nonfiction)
  8. Treasures of the Snow by Patricia St. John The first “big” book I ever read – my life was changed from that moment and I’ll forever be thankful to Miss Patricia.
  9. Go Teen Writers by Stephanie Morrill and Jill Williamson I have this book both as paperback and kindle – it’s a must for all young writers. (Nonfiction)
  10. Tiger Shark Strikes Again by Anthony G. Bollback Another one of those books that captivated me as a child. When I later became friends with the author, I was thrilled.

What are some books you’re thankful for?

Today I am Thankful

Today I am thankful.

Today I am thankful to serve a God who not only knows the beginning and end, but He also loves me and wants what is best for my life.

Today I am thankful that this month I began querying for an agent for When Life Hands You Lymes, which means that after years of preparation, I’m finally ready to send the book out into the literary world.

Today I’m thankful for the life I’ve been utterly blessed with. The ups, downs, excitement, normalcy (if there is such a thing), and opportunities.

Today I am thankful for all I’ve learned about writing during the past year, and how much I’ve been able to improve. Because, as my beta readers will attest to, I was really needing to improve.

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Today I am thankful for the people in my life who influence me for the better, and encourage me to follow God no matter what.

Today I’m thankful that when I’m writing I’m kept company by my cute little writing buddy bunnies, Scribbles and Whimsy. I’m also thankful that I’ve learned to remove all cords from within their reach.

Today I’m thankful for God being creative, and creating me to be creative as well. It makes me ever so happy to think that He calls each of the stars by name.

Today I am thankful for siblings who make me laugh, deep conversations at church, unity with God’s family, new ideas with writing, agents who I’ve heard back from, Noveltea, curiosity, grace, second-chances, and a list longer than I have time to write out this morning.

I’m also extremely thankful for y’all, and the fact that you’re joining me on this adventure called Life. I hope you have a fantastically wonderfully blessed day.

Happy Thanksgiving, Y’all!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope you have a fantastic day that is filled with lots of thankfulness.

I love being thankful, so two days ago I started a list of some of the things I’m thankful for. I didn’t finish the list the other morning, so I wrote down a few more things just now. This is obviously not a conclusive list, but it does remind me of how much I have to be filled with gratitude for.

I am thankful for…

  1. Life
  2. Freedom
  3. Abilities
  4. Being able to read
  5. Books
  6. Writing
  7. Words in general
  8. The meaning words have
  9. Awe behind the fact that words make sense
  10. Handwritten letters
  11. Journals
  12. Blogging
  13. Being able to move over to WordPress
  14. What I’ve been learning from moving to WordPress
  15. All the people who have helped me with my move to WordPress
  16. Those who have followed my WordPress blog
  17. All the friendships I’ve made through blogging during the last 4 and a half years
  18. Where I get to blog from – aka my desk and writing area
  19. The knowledge of how I’m supposed to sit when I’m writing for health
  20. My wrist brace
  21. That my wrist is getting better
  22. Chiropractors
  23. That my thyroid is doing better
  24. How much my health has improved this year
  25. Being able to run the half marathon
  26. The half marathon being for such a good cause
  27. The ways my health improved when I was working on training for the half marathon
  28. The dream of running a full marathon some time in the future
  29. My family who supports me with my training
  30. Being able to eat healthy food
  31. Yummy foods that are healthy
  32. Apples and almond butter
  33. Spaghetti squash Spaghetti
  34. Dill pickles
  35. A best friend who makes delicious dill pickles
  36. Visiting friends
  37. Having friends come and visit here
  38. Being able to stay in the kitchen and work when there’s lots of cooking
  39. Aprons
  40. Music to listen to while working
  41. Earbuds
  42. Early morning kitchen duty
  43. Coffee with special creamer
  44. Juice with ice
  45. Chewing on ice while writing
  46. Cosy blankets
  47. Camping out
  48. Campfires
  49. Candles
  50. Starting fires with flint and steel.
  51. The coldness of winter
  52. The coziness of warm sleeping bags in winter
  53. Dogs
  54. Cats
  55. Hearing coyotes howling
  56. Living out in the country
  57. Living on a gravel road
  58. Hopping from hay bale to hay bale
  59. Frost covered roofs
  60. The beauty of this time of year
  61. Thanksgiving!
  62. Family time
  63. Late nights staying up playing games with Dad and Logan
  64. Game nights with the family
  65. White hot chocolate
  66. White Chocolate box
  67. Sharing
  68. White chocolate covered pecans
  69. White chocolate covered coffee beans
  70. Stuffed animals
  71. Sequoia
  72. My blanket
  73. Making records
  74. Breaking records and making new recorded
  75. My dry erase board
  76. All the colorful dry erase markers
  77. My cute, big eyed stuffed animals that keep me company when I write
  78. My sheep skin
  79. My shelf of special things
  80. Memories
  81. The ability to remember things from when I was a itty bitty child
  82. That Sarah put the half marathon metal over my head
  83. My “ink well” from Bruce and Bonnie
  84. The way the sun lights up the trees when I blog in the mornings
  85. Not being able to see other houses
  86. Cutting grass
  87. Walking through snow
  88. Being able to smell
  89. The scents of baking
  90. Knowing how to bake
  91. The ability to bake well
  92. Getting to bake as part of my job
  93. Clean towels
  94. Clean dishes
  95. Hot water to wash dishes in
  96. More than one oven to work with
  97. Getting to cook
  98. Liking to cook so extremely much
  99. Cooking by taste
  100. When people like the food I make
  101. Serving people through my cooking skills
  102. Having everything all in order
  103. Salt
  104. Peper
  105. Sugar
  106. Flour
  107. Breadsticks
  108. When yeast rises
  109. Garlic
  110. Garlic presses
  111. Minced garlic
  112. Onions
  113. That I can eat onions
  114. Canned foods
  115. Freezers
  116. Cookies
  117. Scones
  118. White chocolate covered pretzels
  119. Bananas
  120. That fruit tastes like flowers look
  121. The beauty all around me
  122. That I can see flowers
  123. That I can touch flowers
  124. That I can take moments to just enjoy the world around me
  125. The gift of sight
  126. The gift of touch
  127. The gift of taste
  128. The gift of friendship
  129. Helena
  130. Helena’s projects
  131. The good example Helena is
  132. How friendly and helpful Helena is
  133. How blessed I am to have her in my life.
  134. All the good books Helena has read and grown from
  135. Helena’s influence to those around her
  136. Helena’s car
  137. How many times she’s taken me places
  138. Helena’s dreams that also affect me
  139. Helena’s thankfulness for what I do for her
  140. Helena’s cleaning abilities
  141. My curtains
  142. My rabbit
  143. My rat
  144. My dog
  145. That I had a cat that I liked a lot
  146. All the years I got to spend time with the goats
  147. That I don’t have goats to spend time with any more
  148. That I don’t milk the goats any more
  149. Calendars
  150. Keeping track of stuff
  151. Goodreads
  152. My friends on Goodreads
  153. That I’ve been reviewing books each time I read one
  154. That I’ve read 90 books this year
  155. That I’ve felt well enough not to read more
  156. Receiving snail mail
  157. Good shoes
  158. Flats with sparkly socks
  159. Moses
  160. Playing Uno with Moses
  161. When Moses makes me breakfast
  162. When Moses and I play our games together
  163. When Moses and I work together
  164. Moses’s good attitude
  165. Moses’s friendship
  166. Moses’s insight
  167. Moses’s sense of humor
  168. Moses’s high energy
  169. Moses’s preaching
  170. Moses’s love for books
  171. Watching Andy Griffith with Moses
  172. Moses’s abilities to do so much work
  173. Moses’s problem solving skills
  174. Moses’s ability to express himself well
  175. Moses’s patience with so many sisters
  176. Rocks
  177. The rocks other people have given me from all over
  178. My “Remember rock”
  179. The story behind the “Remember rock”
  180. The Dream Giver 
  181. Daddy
  182. For how Daddy inspires our dreams
  183. For how daddy believes in us
  184. Daddy’s good attitude
  185. Daddy’s generosity
  186. Daddy’s card playing abilities
  187. Daddy’s work ethic
  188. Daddy’s love for reading
  189. Daddy’s enthusiasm
  190. Daddy’s helpfulness
  191. Daddy’s cooking
  192. Daddy’s joy in blessing others
  193. Daddy’s quirkiness
  194. Daddy’s office and the music he plays
  195. Daddy’s graciousness in wearing headphones when I have music on
  196. Daddy letting us have animals
  197. Daddy’s easy-going attitude
  198. Different textures
  199. Swinging
  200. Feeling the wind rush when I swing
  201. Warm socks
  202. New sparkly socks
  203. Hosanna
  204. Hosanna getting sparkly socks
  205. How much fun Hosanna and I have together
  206. Hosanna’s goofiness
  207. Hosanna’s help during retreats
  208. Hosanna living closer
  209. Hosanna’s chatting
  210. Hosanna being weird with me
  211. Hosanna’s dreams
  212. Hosanna’s personality
  213. Hosanna’s craziness
  214. Hosanna’s willingness to let me drag her out of her comfort zone
  215. Hosanna’s willingness to try new things
  216. Hosanna’s friendship
  217. Hosanna’s like of all my stories
  218. Hosanna reading all my first drafts
  219. Hosanna urging me on with writing
  220. Hosanna getting unhappy when the wrong thing happens in my books
  221. Hosanna’s #bringherback book campaign
  222. Hosanna supporting my blogging
  223. Hosanna sharing my stuff on Google Plus
  224. Google Plus
  225. Blogger and all the good years I had on there
  226. Facebook
  227. Twitter
  228. Pinterest
  229. My social media work
  230. Being able to make a difference from my office
  231. Connecting with people all over the world
  232. Drinking coffee as I work
  233. My coffee maker
  234. My coffee set up
  235. The “suitcases” I have to keep papers in
  236. All the letters people have sent me that I have
  237. All the copies of letters I’ve sent that I have
  238. Old journals
  239. Colorful pens
  240. Making art
  241. My art table
  242. All the art supplies I have
  243. Sparkly things
  244. Glitter
  245. The wall of pictures
  246. The memories each picture holds
  247. All the special trips I’ve been able to go on
  248. Visiting Europe
  249. Traveling through countries via a road trip
  250. The dream of taking a road trip through all the states
  251. How so many of my dreams have come true
  252. Getting to visit over half of the states
  253. Staying in a tipi
  254. Climbing trees as a child
  255. That my nieces and nephews now climb trees
  256. Heidi
  257. That Heidi and I can have fun hanging out together
  258. Camping out with Heidi
  259. Heidi’s enthusiasm for life
  260. Heidi’s happiness when telling stories
  261. Heidi’s knowledge of health-related stuff
  262. Heidi’s cute and healthy snacks
  263. Neighbors
  264. Growing up with a neighbor who was like another brother
  265. Reconnecting with old friends
  266. Making new friends
  267. Rice socks
  268. The warmth of holding a rice sock when it’s cold outside
  269. Cold fingers that aren’t too cold
  270. Wonder
  271. Love Does 
  272. Every Body Matters 
  273. Life Creative 
  274. A Life God Rewards 
  275. 20 Things We’d Tell our Twentysomething Selves 
  276. Amazing authors
  277. Books that inspire
  278. Books that have helped me grow
  279. Connecting with authors in real life
  280. Begin able to help the authors by writing book reviews
  281. Getting free books in exchange for book reviews
  282. My beautiful bookshelf of book review books
  283. Having to write book reviews when we were growing up
  284. Being taught to love reading
  285. The lessons that were instilled in us from an early age
  286. Having to get up early
  287. Cute boxes
  288. Childhood fun
  289. Growing up with out a lot of technology
  290. Playing outside all the time
  291. Playing “going out West” as a kid
  292. All our covered wagons
  293. Our shanty
  294. Reading Laura Ingalls as a kid
  295. Betsie’s many hours spent reading
  296. Betsie
  297. All the time Betsie told me stories
  298. Being inspired to write cause of Betsie
  299. Betsie being so much fun
  300. Betsie surprising us
  301. Betsie loving us
  302. Betsie being such a good cook
  303. Betsie’s creativity
  304. Betsie having her own family now
  305. Betsie introducing me to the joys of being an aunt
  306. Betsie letting me stay and help her when I was a kid
  307. Betsie inspiring her own kids to read now
  308. Betsie having lots of books around for her kids
  309. Betsie’s joy of animals
  310. Betsie’s good examples
  311. Betsie’s visits
  312. Betsei’s dreams come true
  313. The Bible
  314. Bible verses I have around my room
  315. Getting to read the Bible any time I want
  316. Freedom to go to church
  317. Our church family
  318. The joys of being a part of the Body of Christ
  319. Getting to help out with Sunday School
  320. All the beautiful children in my class
  321. Learning to love
  322. Giving them hugs
  323. Knowing I can make a difference in their lives
  324. Knowing I can pray for them
  325. Learning how to have patience
  326. Learning how to be fair
  327. Taking part in the games with them
  328. Showing them that loving God isn’t stifling
  329. All the youth in our church
  330. That the youth really seem to want to serve God
  331. The difference that the youth have been making around them
  332. Boldness to stand up for Christ
  333. Johanna
  334. Johanna’s dedication to being a light
  335. Johanna’s patience
  336. Johanna’s ability to make things fun
  337. Johanna’s sense of humor
  338. Johanna being willing to put her foot down
  339. The grace Johanna has
  340. Johanna’s desire to help others grow
  341. Johanna’s ability to be practical
  342. Johanna’s wisdom
  343. Johanna’s creativity
  344. Johanna’s leadership abilities
  345. Johanna’s outgoing personality
  346. Johanna’s jokes
  347. Fellowship
  348. Laughter
  349. Jokes
  350. Games
  351. Paige
  352. That I can call Paige Paragraph
  353. Sophie
  354. Natalie
  355. Misha
  356. Nate
  357. Cooking classes
  358. People who want to learn and grow
  359. Inside jokes
  360. Caving
  361. Getting to go caving three years in a row
  362. The joy of maybe getting to go caving in the future
  363. That I still have my adopted parents to go caving with
  364. That my adopted papa is doing well health wise
  365. That I could stay with my adopted parents when he had his heart attack
  366. That God provided all the things to work out right so I could stay with them longer than planned
  367. All the editing I got done during that time
  368. The people who helped me with WLHYL
  369. WLHYL
  370. Being on the 18th draft of WLHYL
  371. All the changes that have happened to the book
  372. How much better WLHYL is now
  373. Adding Emily
  374. Taking out the second book
  375. Getting to work on WLHYL in Mexico
  376. Memories of eating treats in Mexico and drinking coffee while editing
  377. People who encourage me with my writing
  378. A computer to work on
  379. All my beta readers
  380. Misi
  381. Hannah
  382. Hannah
  383. Olivia
  384. Kate
  385. Aaron
  386. Kayla
  387. Jason
  388. Kaitlyn
  389. Dad
  390. Ashley
  391. Bethany
  392. Keturah
  393. Mary
  394. Jade
  395. Emma
  396. Grace
  397. Hosanna
  398. Mary
  399. Lydia
  400. Amanda
  401. Those who read the feedback more than once
  402. Those who I became friends with in addition to beta reading
  403. Kate’s help with WordPress
  404. Kate’s fun and encouraging email exchanges
  405. Kate’s joy of life
  406. Kate’s enthusiasm for helping others with writing
  407. Kate’s inspiration for my website
  408. Kaitlyn’s amazing friendship
  409. How Kailtyn and I have connected
  410. All the fun Kailtyn and I Have had together
  411. Kaitlyn’s sense of humor
  412. All the times Kailtyn has made me laugh
  413. How incredibly encouraging Kaitlyn is
  414. Kaitlyn’s outlook on life
  415. Kaitlyn’s ability to cheer me up
  416. Kaitlyn’s positivity and thankfulness
  417. Kassidy
  418. That I have hardwood flooring in my office instead of carpet
  419. Vlogging
  420. Tripods
  421. Learning to talk in front of a camera
  422. I don’t feel weird hearing myself on camera
  423. Rejoicing
  424. Christmas music
  425. Music in general
  426. That I can have a musician for a character
  427. All I learned about music this year
  428. Podcasts
  429. Studying books
  430. Asking musician’s questions
  431. Aubrey
  432. Aubrey’s talent
  433. Aubrey’s accountability with me and goals
  434. Aubrey being a friend for such a long time
  435. Aubrey’s passion
  436. Aubrey’s and my creative conversations
  437. Melody
  438. How beautiful her name is
  439. That she’s so helpful
  440. Her knowledge in the kitchen
  441. Her willingness to try new things
  442. The fun times we’ve had together
  443. Her ability to make things funny
  444. Sunshine
  445. Watching how it lights up the world
  446. The seasons
  447. How trees morph throughout the year
  448. Living in a state with all four seasons
  449. SNOW
  450. Dancing in the rain
  451. Watching the sunset
  452. Watching the sunrise
  453. Listening to the creek giggle
  454. Creek walking
  455. Funny dreams
  456. Flying
  457. Being in airports
  458. Liking to travel so much
  459. Papers and notes
  460. Making new friends out of strangers while traveling
  461. Having a kindle so I don’t have to lug tons of books everywhere
  462. Where we’ve stayed in Mexico
  463. The hammocks
  464. Running on the sand
  465. The rhythm of the waves
  466. Warm water swimming
  467. Colored pencils
  468. People who are good artists
  469. The ability to make pictures with words
  470. Watching a book form
  471. The love I have for writing
  472. Making a difference through the words I write
  473. Being happy with being a writer
  474. Finding contentment
  475. Increasing my vocabulary
  476. The journey I’ve gone through as an author
  477. All the years I had on Blogger
  478. Finally having the nerve, time, and money to move to WordPress
  479. How much fun I’ve had with having a blog
  480. Friends who read my blog
  481. Annie
  482. Abbie
  483. Zion
  484. Zeke
  485. Zebb
  486. All the amazing times I’ve had with them
  487. The dream come true that they are
  488. Taco Tuesday memories
  489. How yummy cilantro is
  490. People who appreciate yummy food
  491. Thankful people
  492. Kids who have dreams
  493. People who work hard at their dreams
  494. God planting dreams in our hearts
  495. When those dreams come true
  496. Celebrating dreams
  497. Celebrating small things
  498. Celebrating my birthday twice a day
  499. How much fun it is to be quirky
  500. People who delight in quirkiness
  501. People who are excited to be excited
  502. Mariah
  503. Her servant’s heart
  504. Her ability to make people feel welcomed
  505. Her hard work
  506. The good job she does on school
  507. How she likes to have deep talks
  508. How our personalities let us learn a lot from each other
  509. How good she is with kids
  510. Stickers
  511. Smiley faces
  512. Balloons
  513. Blue jays
  514. The pets I’ve had through the years
  515. Snails
  516. Turtles
  517. birds
  518. Rabbits
  519. How accommodating my parents are
  520. The name I have for a new rabbit
  521. That my name works forward and backward
  522. My middle name
  523. The story behind my name
  524. All I’ve learned through my non-writing job
  525. Sarah’s friendship
  526. Her poems
  527. Her love for her family
  528. Her happiness
  529. How excited she gets
  530. Her artistic abilities
  531. Her amazing gifts
  532. The camping trip she gave me for my birthday
  533. How good of a mom she is
  534. How she enjoys to share with others
  535. How welcome I feel at her house
  536. Her hospitality
  537. Being able to share deep things with her
  538. Random, good talks
  539. Her encouragement
  540. How we connect
  541. The friendship we’ve cultivated so well
  542. All the memories we have together
  543. That she lives so close
  544. When we work on surprises together
  545. Coffee mugs
  546. Sweatshirts
  547. Warmth
  548. Driving with windows down
  549. Heated seats
  550. Sleeping well
  551. Small books
  552. Silver dollars
  553. Old CDs
  554. Memories music can inspire
  555. Memories smells can inspire
  556. Memories tastes can inspire
  557. Electricity
  558. Stationary
  559. David
  560. David’s helpful attitude
  561. How much David knows
  562. David’s talent with organizing
  563. David’s kindness
  564. David’s happiness with playing games
  565. David’s love for people
  566. David’s researching
  567. David’s humor
  568. David’s leadership
  569. David’s craziness
  570. David’s growth
  571. His willingness to drop everything
  572. His teaching skills
  573. Susan H.
  574. Su
  575. Deb
  576. Justice
  577. Carol
  578. Joie
  579. Macy
  580. JC
  581. Shayla
  582. Grady
  583. David
  584. Hannah
  585. Abbey
  586. Olivia
  587. Becky
  588. Dave
  589. Miss Laurie
  590. N
  591. Jamie (aka Jackson)
  592. Josh
  593. Susie
  594. Eddie
  595. Dakota
  596. Tyler
  597. Ian
  598. Ayla
  599. Steven
  600. Andrea
  601. Pastor
  602. Zane
  603. Zack
  604. Alexa
  605. Zach L.
  606. Isaiah
  607. Isaac
  608. Inika
  609. Ilija
  610. Jessie
  611. Susie L.
  612. Olivia L.
  613. Matt
  614. Lori
  615. Zane
  616. Denise
  617. Chet
  618. Becca
  619. Nick
  620. Angie
  621. Abby E.
  622. Her ability to know what I need and do it
  623. Her helpfulness
  624. Her kindess
  625. Her being a “safe” human
  626. Kayla and my friendship
  627. Stephanie
  628. All she’s done for young writers
  629. GTW
  630. How much GTWs has helped me
  631. All I’ve learned through GTWs
  632. The friendships I’ve made through GTWs
  633. Bekah O.
  634. How she really encouraged me a while ago when I needed it a lot
  635. The friendship we’ve developed since then
  636. All the email we’ve done
  637. What I’ve learned from her
  638. That writers can connect
  639. Grandma
  640. That we can email back and forth
  641. All the fun we’ve had playing games together
  642. Her outlook on life.
  643. How she supports me with my writing
  644. That she reads my books
  645. Grandpa
  646. All the memories of him making us breakfast
  647. That he loves us
  648. That he is happy to talk to us for long times
  649. His gift of stories
  650. How he takes time for everyone
  651. Eleonore
  652. Her love for all of us
  653. Her hospitality
  654. How she loves to serve
  655. The stories she tells
  656. The food she makes us
  657. All the treats she gives us
  658. All the author’s who’s books I’ve been able to review this year
  659. That our world has a system for reviewing books
  660. That I can do 5 star and 10 star ratings
  661. That I don’t have to follow all of the systems
  662. That we have freedom of speech
  663. Love
  664. Joy
  665. Peace
  666. Patience
  667. Kindness
  668. Goodness
  669. Faithfulness
  670. Self-Control
  671. That I like to make things into challenges
  672. Challenges that help us progress in life
  673. God’s patience
  674. God’s Love
  675. God’s Goodness
  676. God’s faithfulness
  677. God’s peace
  678. God’s grace
  679. God’s Word in our lives
  680. Our ability to pray
  681. A God who loves us personally
  682. God’s creation
  683. God being creative
  684. God naming each of the stars
  685. God creating me to be creative, too
  686. God’s love in my heart to others
  687. Logan
  688. The good talks we have
  689. When we connect
  690. Praying for each other
  691. Knowing that he cares
  692. His helpfulness towards others
  693. How he drops stuff when someone needs him to
  694. His great out going personality
  695. His huge sense of humor
  696. All his puns
  697. Playing cards with him
  698.   His green thumb
  699. His photography
  700. His enthusiasm for life
  701. Makayla
  702. Lissi
  703. Chloe
  704. People who are good examples
  705. Marissa
  706. Daniel and Christy
  707. Miss Jackie
  708. Rebecca
  709. Bruce and Bonnie
  710. Dorcas
  711. Angela
  712. Clara
  713. Kenzie
  714. Titus
  715. Emma
  716. Lucas
  717. Classics
  718. Books that bring God glory
  719. Tim
  720. Meagan
  721. Cool painted walls
  722. Globes
  723. Handmade stuff
  724. Gluten free treats
  725. Paleo
  726. How much better I feel when I pay attention to what I put in my body
  727. The gift of having health
  728. Energy to work
  729. Energy to live life
  730. Reading at night
  731. Getting to bed on time
  732. Setting goals
  733. Keeping goals
  734. Tracking goals
  735. Sharing my happiness of goals with others
  736. Helping people see how much goals can change their lives
  737. Knowing that goals have made a difference in my life
  738. Living in a country where I”m free to set goals and work on them
  739. Having a job where I can work on goals and be able to get stuff done at my own pace
  740. Joy to the World
  741. Hark the Herald Angels Sing
  742. People who sing well
  743. Music that makes me want to move mountains
  744. Audio Adrenaline
  745. (Kings and Queens)
  746. BarlowGirl’s Home for Christmas 
  747. Big Tent Revival
  748. John Waller
  749. Jimmy Needham
  750. Jason Gray
  751. Matt Maher
  752. Matthew West
  753. Michael Card
  754. All the times I listened to his music growing up
  755. Getting to meet him
  756. Getting to talk to him for a while
  757. Telling him how I used to listen to his music while writing
  758. Reading his book
  759. Watching him play his music
  760. Him encouraging me
  761. John Maxwell
  762. All John Maxwell has done to further God’s Kingdom
  763. His desire to please God
  764. How he turns away from his own stuff to do God’s stuff
  765. How much he’s helped our family grow
  766. How he has traveled all over the world sharing about leadership
  767. How many people then want to hear about the reason behind who John is
  768. God’s Word and all we can learn from it
  769. Memorizing God’s Word
  770. Growing each day
  771. Forgiveness
  772. The ability to repent and move forward again
  773. People who also display forgiveness
  774. Michael W. Smith
  775. Newsboys
  776. Mandisa
  777. The Piano Guys
  778. Sara Groves
  779. Third Day
  780. TobyMac
  781. Soundtracks
  782. Gaither Vocal Band
  783. Gaither Homecomings
  784. Chris Rice
  785. Celtic Woman
  786. Patch the Pirate
  787. Jonathan Park
  788. Narina Soundtrack
  789. Starkindler CD
  790. The imagination I have
  791. How music takes me soaring
  792. Buddy Davis music
  793. That Buddy and Kay Davis are my adopted parents
  794. All the love and blessings I get from having two families
  795. Getting to go on grand adventures with my adopted parents
  796. How kind and generous they are to me
  797. That they support me so much with my writing
  798. How they’re willing to go out of their way to help me
  799. That they love me
  800. All the goofy conversations we have
  801. Getting to make memories with them
  802. Dreams come true
  803. Listening to the music soon after he writes it
  804. Getting to hear all the songs early on
  805. Talking to my adopted papa about creativity and being a writer
  806. All the books we’ve gotten to co-author together
  807. Creative sessions
  808. Celebrating milestones
  809. Singing
  810. Listening to him play his instruments
  811. all the behind the scenes stuff I’ve gotten to see
  812. Watching them make DVDs
  813. Getting to be a small part of the process
  814. Creation Museum
  815. All the time I’ve gotten to spend there
  816. All the friends I have who work there
  817. Having FB to connect with those friends even though I don’t get to see them very often
  818. The truth that they share
  819. People who find out about God through the Museum
  820. How so many people have their faith strengthen
  821. That people finally know the reason for the hope they have within them
  822. Helping people learn how to defend their faith
  823. The Ark Encounter
  824. How many people have heard about God through that
  825. The blessings you’ve poured out on AiG
  826. The blessings AiG has given back to you
  827. Everyone who really wants to follow and obey God
  828. All those who have read my books
  829. The people who have contacted me to let me know they’ve enjoyed my book
  830. Elizabeth
  831. My audio book
  832. The dreams I still have
  833. The joy I get when I serve God
  834. Christmas lights
  835. Christmas
  836. Celebrating Jesus’ birth
  837. The excitement of so many people celebrating the same thing
  838. Christmas cookies
  839. The scents of Christmas
  840. Christmas decor
  841. People who do a good job decorating
  842. Flowers
  843. Thanksgiving
  844. How a whole day is set aside to be thankful
  845. The yummy food we get to eat
  846. The spirit of thankfulness
  847. Watching children celebrate holidays
  848. Resurrection Sunday
  849. The meaning behind the day
  850. New Years Day
  851. New Years Eve
  852. Celebrating the dawning of a new year
  853. Traditions
  854. Being able to kinda start over
  855. Making new goals
  856. Celebrating the finishing up of old goals
  857. Rushing to get everything done
  858. Praying in the new year
  859. Gathering together with people we love
  860. Gordon
  861. Susanna
  862. Samuel
  863. Isaiah
  864. Faith
  865. Mercy
  866. Roy
  867. The baby
  868. That Jesus came down to earth for us
  869. That Jesus was willing to die for our sins
  870. Jesus healing people
  871. All the accounts in the Bible of Jesus on earth
  872. Jesus being able to relate to us
  873. Jesus understanding what we go through
  874. Jesus being willing to become human for us
  875. Being able to be in Heaven with Him
  876. Knowing that we are loved
  877. That we belong in His family
  878. 5Ks
  879. Family walks
  880. Family bike rides
  881. Keeping track of stuff
  882. When friends encourage each other
  883. Cooking in the kitchen with my sisters
  884. Having brothers who cook
  885. Fun memories of Daddy cooking
  886. A mom who had patience teaching us to cook
  887. Mom
  888. Mom’s love
  889. Mom’s support
  890. Mom listening to me
  891. Good talks with Mom
  892. Mom taking time to help us out
  893. Mom’s wisdom
  894. Mom knowing what we need to help us
  895. Mom being so knowledgeable with health
  896. How my office is a perfect haven
  897. That my rat has lived so long
  898. That I have parents who allow me to have little critters
  899. Day dreams that have come true about writing
  900. School books
  901. Being homeschooled
  902. Having friends who were homeschooled
  903. Learning about writing as part of my schooling
  904. Mrs. Vick
  905. Mrs. Moon
  906. BJU Homesat
  907. Fun teachers
  908. Libraries
  909. Being able to borrow lots of books from libraries
  910. Growing up in a home where people listened to each other
  911. Family meals
  912. All the great birthday traditions we have
  913. Family meetings where we all get a say
  914. Living in a big family
  915. Cool quotes
  916. Jokes that make me laugh
  917. Puns
  918. A family who uses a lot of puns
  919. Sitting out on the porch at night time
  920. Watching fire flies
  921. Listening to whip-poor-wills
  922. Borrowing clothes from siblings
  923. Clouds that make pictures
  924. Silly pictures
  925. All the pictures I have that I can look back on for good memories
  926. Enjoy making scrapbooks
  927. My smash book
  928. People who collect memories and then share them with others
  929. Memories from Paris
  930. Eating French Fries in France
  931. Eating fish and chips in England
  932. Eating Swiss cheese in Switzerland
  933. Learning and growing with my grammar
  934. People who have helped me improve with my writing this year
  935. Adding Emily into WLHYL
  936. Katie becoming nice in WLHYL
  937. How much fun Darrick is to write about
  938. How the characters in my book have really come together
  939. When people talk about characters as if they’re real
  940. Songs that remind me of my characters
  941. When my family listens to me talking about WLHYL
  942. The beautiful shade of red that I have in my room
  943. Over the Divide 
  944. Rivers of Judah 
  945. Snow 
  946. Out of Hiding 
  947. Way of Escape 
  948. The Slide 
  949. SnowBlind 
  950. Cathrine Farnes
  951. Tawny Scrawny Lion 
  952. Little Golden Books
  953. Baby Brown Bear’s Big Bellyache 
  954. Go, Dog, Go 
  955. Timmy Tiger’s Terrible Toothache 
  956. The Biggest Bear 
  957. The Christian Mother Goose’s Big Book 
  958. Getting to give Clara the books I read and loved as a kid
  959. Whenever parents inspire their kids to read at an early age
  960. The Bridge 
  961. Two Collars 
  962. The Crown and Jewel 
  963. Llamas on the Loose 
  964. Jerri Massi
  965. Salt
  966. My wooden dolls
  967. Lightening
  968. Chestnut
  969. Elisabeth and Susanna riding horses with me
  970. The amazing imagination my nieces and nephews have
  971. Listening to their excited voices as they tell stories
  972. Abbie calling to read us a book
  973. Eyes lighting up when excited
  974. Expressive faces
  975. Cheerful noises
  976. Babies learning to walk
  977. Clara winking
  978. The joy of discovering new things
  979. Making each day an adventure
  980. Hope when things are tough
  981. Friends from different walks of life
  982. Knowing people from all over the world
  983. Having an expanded world view
  984. All times I’ve slept in cool places like the barn
  985. When I used to help the goats during kidding season
  986. The wonderful childhood I had
  987. Being around people who really love me and want to help me
  988. Being able to really help and love others
  989. Personality tests
  990. The 5 Love Languages
  991. My small spoons from all over the world
  992. My old, old books from Europe
  993. Old book stores
  994. Pine trees
  995. Blue birds
  996. Listening to birds singing
  997. The night sounds
  998. Protection
  999. Cornhusk dolls
  1000. Growing up close to my cousins