Nov 9, 2015

our grateful hearts / week one recap

One of Greg and my goals for November is to daily journal 3-4 "gifts" or blessings we are thankful to God for.  By the end of the month, we should have between 90-100 gifts that are journaled. This is a shortened version of the 1000 gifts challenge (inspired by Ann Voscamp's book, One Thousand Gifts) I posted about back in 2014 where I daily journaled 3 gifts and after one year, had one thousand gifts that I could look back on and praise God for being so incredibly good to me. We are surrounded with so many evidences of God's unfailing love for us, so we wanted to challenge ourselves to focus on small and big things we are thankful for, so that it will change the way we see God's goodness and sovereignty as well as how we love others around us. In the past, looking at the gifts God daily gave me has helped change my attitude and mood from worried and anxious to joyful and peacefully trusting in Him.

“A life contemplating the blessings of Christ 
becomes a life acting the love of Christ.” 
Ann Voscamp, One Thousand Gifts

Here are some of the gifts we journaled from the first week of November:

1. Wayside Chapel, our home church in San Antonio. We are so thankful for the fellowship opportunities through life groups and Bible studies as well as a myriad of ministry opportunities. We are excited to get more involved and plugged into this awesome Biblically-solid church that practices what it preaches. 

2. Daylight savings (heelllooo extra hour of sleep/reading/relaxing!)

3. Our Honeymoon to Maui. We rested and relaxed under the palm trees, swam & snorkeled in the ocean, adventured through the Road to Hana, and just loved experiencing it all together. 

4. The wedding gifts we received at our three showers as well as at the wedding. We are set with all the home stuff we need, plus we were blessed with money gifts from our wedding guests that just blew us away. We feel so incredibly loved and supported by our friend and family.

5. Home-cooked meals and quality time around the table. During the busyness of wedding planning the past few months, we both dropped the ball on cooking home-cooked meals (me in Portland, he in Texas), so it has been so awesome to be able to cook together in our apartment and relax after Greg comes home from work. We are challenging ourselves to learn two new recipes this month.

6. Cool Texas sweater weather. Contrary to what many believe, Texas does get nice and chilly.

7. Gospel-centered, truth-filled books. We are reading You & Me Forever (my Francis and Lisa Chan) and 7 Women (by Eric Metaxes), Greg just finished Forgotten God (by Francis Chan) and is studying the Bible alongside The Parables of Jesus (by James Montgomery Boice).

8. Coffee with a friend. It was so great to catch up and encourage one another.

9. Saying goodbye to long-distance dating and all the difficulties about it, especially being apart during hard conversations or when one of us is having a rough day. It has been so great to hold each other's hands while we have hard conversations and to assure each other of our love while we are side by side rather than screen to screen on FaceTime. 

11. Quiet evenings on our couch where we are reading, studying the Bible, journaling, sipping on tea, and sneaking kisses every once in a while. 

16. Saturday Farmer's Market at Pearl. We loved our gluten-free savory crepes as well as checking out all of the vendors. Then we walked off some calories on the River Walk.

17. An awesome weekend retreat with women from Wayside Chapel. I got to spend time with a few friends, plus I met a lot of women and learned abut ministry opportunities and great life groups that are going on. It'll be nice to recognize a few more faces on Sundays! 

18. Our wedding! We loved our wedding day! It was so wonderful to celebrate with dear friends and family as we promised our love to one another for the rest of our lives. We were blown away by the generosity of our loved ones. 


I love that there are so many link-ups related to having thankful hearts. I am linking up with Ember Grey with Grateful Heart as well as Brushing Our Way Through Life , While I'm Waiting & Queen In Between ,  Knit By God's Hands , and Bella Brita today!

Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey




28 comments:

  1. there are SO many grateful things in this post! So excited that you both are now living together and isn't it great that you can now start your own traditions together. Like your quiet bible times and home cooking - all such wonderful things to keep going together!!!!

    Your blog is adorable!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! yes, it's really great & really fun starting our own traditions and learning what works for us. Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  2. This is such a beautiful challenge for you and your husband to do together. My husband and I didn't live together until a month before our wedding. Before then, we were two hours apart. Living together is absolutely amazing. It's possibly my favorite part of being married!

    For the month of November, I'm co-hosting a blog link-up called Thankful Thursday. The host usually just does it the last Thursday of each month, but we wanted to do something special for Thanksgiving. I would love for you to join us! You don't need to write a post just for the link-up. This one is perfectly suitable!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Brita! I love living with my husband and sharing all the fun (and the hard) moments together, side by side. It's a huge blessing that I never want to take for granted. Thanks for telling me about the link-up! I link-ed up as soon as I saw that! :)

      Delete
  3. Hey, thanks for visiting my blog from the Grateful Heart Link up. MAUI, YES please. Been there a few times, lush goodness. And YAY to your wedding, congrats.
    I love the idea of 1000 gifts, I have not read Ann's book yet (have just not gotten to it yet) but that is a wonderful idea!
    Have a blessed week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much! The book was a life-changer for me! It helped me dwell on gratefulness rather than anxiety and worry. I love that my new hubby and I get to be intentional about being grateful this month and its an awesome way to connect as we wind down each month, recounting the gifts of the day.

      Delete
  4. Thanks for linking up at Thankful Thursday! I love how you said that being grateful changes your attitude from anxious to joyful. It's so important to have an attitude of gratitude in all things and once you get past all the surface things you are grateful for, you really start seeing the blessings in your life. Just like the things you shared in your post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Lindsey! I totally agree. It is sometimes so easy to get bogged down with the "surface things", but when we refocus to what we are grateful for, it's like a breath of fresh air! Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  5. Ahhh - look at how beautiful of a bride you are :)
    Francis Chan - always good reading!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww, thank you, Rebecca! I will be posting more wedding photos once my photographer is done editing. Can hardly wait!

      And yes, Francis Chan is a great author, speaker, and just an overall awesome person!

      Delete
  6. I love that idea of journaling things you're thankful for!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much! :) It's been a blessing this month to sit together at the end of the day and share what we were both thankful for.

      Delete
  7. Love this! I really think I need to read 1000 Gifts and challenge myself in 2016 to do this all year long and not just in November. Thanks for sharing! We would love to have you link up each Thursday in November for our Attitude of Gratitude linkup.

    Shelly
    http://queeninbetween.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Shelly! Yes, it really changed 2014 for me when I read the book and started my own journal. And it is such a cool thing to look back at the journal and read through hundreds of gifts that God has faithfully blessed us with. I would look at it during rough seasons and it was a great reminder of His love for me.

      Excited to link up on Thursdays!

      Delete
  8. Julian & I are also reading You & Me Forever! I love that you are journaling together and reflecting on thankfulness; Julian and I have been married almost 4 yrs now and we're just getting the hang of communication and quiet time together. You are inspiring and so beautiful :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Amanda! I am so thankful for you! I didn't know you were reading You & Me Forever! It's an awesome book, right?? We are loving it and being challenged to live on mission with our marriage from early on. It's brought up really great conversations.

      Delete
  9. Oh my goodness! You have a lot to be thankful for! Congrats on your wedding! And praise God for no more long-distance dating. I've been there and it's not fun! I'm so happy for you to finally be together and married! Thanks so much for linking up with the Thankful Thursday Party on www.charlenemaugeri.com! We would love to have you back this week (tomorrow)!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Charlene! Yes, I think I'll hop on over to Thankful Thursday again tomorrow :)
      And yesss! Praise God for no more long-distance! It was rough, so we appreciate and treasure the fact that we are together :)

      Delete
  10. such a great list of things to be thankful for!
    <3 <3
    so glad y'all are no longer long distance

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Amy! Me too! It was really tough for us, because our love languages are each shown best when we are together, side by side, versus being on FaceTime or texting. We made it work and now it is SO good to kiss that goodbye!

      Delete
  11. I wanted to pick your mind for just a moment about your church. My husband and I will be visiting SA (his hometown) during Christmas and every year I am wanting to go to a Christmas Eve service but we’re always traveling. He grew up Lutheran, but that’s not quite the type of service I personally feel fulfilled by. We currently attend a non-denominational church here in CA and I wanted your recommendations for us out-of-towners looking for a good Christmas Eve service. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kelly! I am not sure how much help I can be since I am new to San Antonio, but I will tell you about a few churches I know of! Oak Hills (where author Max Lucado pastors) likely will have a Christmas Eve service, but I do not see it on their website yet (http://oakhillschurch.com). I haven't been there but he is a solid teacher and author, so I am sure it is a great church! I go to Wayside Chapel (http://waysidechapel.org). It's an awesome non-denom church. There isn't any info on their website about a Christmas Eve service but I can let you know once I hear of it. It's a great church with both traditional and more contemporary services so theres a wide variety of people there!

      Delete
  12. What a beautiful list (and, welcome to Texas!). Thank you for linking up with Attitude of Gratitude! We hope you'll link up with us again tomorrow!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm so happy you linked up this week, Elle! Your post made me smile :) So many things to be grateful for!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Emily! Yes, so many things we are grateful for!

      Delete
  14. My goodness I love your photos! And I absolutely love this post and this idea. I'm a firm believer we somewhat take things for granted, so a list of things you're grateful for is definitely up my alley! I love your energy, and I love that I found you through the link up. I'm definitely a new subscriber! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Andrea! I look forward to checking out your blog!

      Delete

I love to hear your thoughts!

Elle Alice