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