Monday, May 28, 2018

NO Condemnation // Bible Study Blog Party

Hey there! Welcome, everyone to the Bible Study Blog Party!

LET'S GET THIS STUDY PARTY STARTED!!

From today, May 28th, to June 9th we're going to be reading and blogging about Romans 8! Anyone can participate, and if you would like to find out exactly how this all works and want to join in, look back at my original post about this.


Romans 8 is such an awesome chapter. As I was reading through it again last night, I started getting so excited -- I was so glad I chose this chapter for the Bible study! One thing is that a lot of it seems to be telling of the benefits of being in Christ. It's a great reminder of who we are and what we have in Him! Take the very first verse for instance:

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit."

You may have read this verse before and have been like, "Okay, yeah. That's cool. No condemnation, nice." But seriously, think about that. That's GREAT news! We don't have to be or feel condemned if we have Christ living in us!

But then, why do we as Christians still feel condemned sometimes?

.

I think so many times we equate our worth with what we do or have done in this life. And when we haven't done enough or have messed up, we personally start beating ourselves up about it. We unknowingly crack the door open for the enemy to slip a little condemnation through into us. It's not God who's condemning us when we're doing these wrong things, it's the devil. It says right there in that verse that there's "NO condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus."

Of course, God will convict us when we're doing wrong, but condemnation and conviction are two different things. Condemnation causes our focus to be on ourselves, on our failures, and on how bad we are. Conviction causes us to focus on doing better, on improving ourselves, and on going up higher in what we think and do.

We need to get our focus off of ourselves, our performance, and our works. Who we are and how much God loves us isn't affected by what we've done. Like it says in 2 Timothy 1:9, "[God] has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began..."

You are saved and called by God's grace! And because of that, those who are "in Christ Jesus", who have accepted them as their Lord and Savior, don't need to be condemned about anything! We need to and will be convicted by the Holy Spirit at times, but we need to take the focus off of ourselves and accept that conviction without mixing in the enemy's condemnation with it. We're free from ALL condemnation in Jesus! What WONDERFUL news!!!

I love Victor® traps because they help keep my home happy, healthy, and pest free! #mousetraps #ilovevictortraps

So, those were just a few things God has showed me from Romans 8:1. I've personally felt quite a lot of condemnation from the enemy in my life before, so this verse has really spoken to me a lot. Knowing that God loves me for just me, not for my accomplishments or what I've done is such an amazingly freeing feeling! And then, when I realize God's love for me and what He's done, trusting and focusing fully on Him, it causes me, in turn, to be convicted by the Spirit to do the right things and do good works for Him as well!

What about you? What did you get out of this verse? What has God taught you through this verse? Share in the comments below!
~~~~~

The party is just beginning, and I'm excited for what's to come! If you're participating, be sure to put the link to any posts you may do in the comments of the Bible Study Blog Party introduction post.

Hope all of you are having a fabulous start to your week! God bless! :)
~Faith

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Bible Study Blog Party Introduction

I've had this idea for a little while now, but I thought that it was about time that I should just go ahead and strike out on it. So, here it is...

A Bible Study Blog Party!


"Now what in the world would a Bible Study Blog Party be?" you may ask.

Well, it would basically be a sort of combination of a Bible study and blog party -- hence the name. It's like a blog party in that there's a theme, and then those who want to participate write posts on their blog(s) centering around that theme. Well, with this, those who want to participate would all read through the same chapter/passage (say John 1 for example) and then post on their blogs and/or comment on other participating blogs sharing their thoughts and what they learned in John 1, kind of like in a Bible study. You can do various types of posts for this as well, even sharing a song or story, as long as it's centered around the highlighted chapter or verse for that Bible Study Blog Party.

I thought this might be a good and fun way to study the Word of God together, and to see a same passage of scripture from different angles and perspectives.

I said at the beginning that I've had this idea for a while now. But I've honestly been sort of hesitant about doing it for some reason or another. Well, so, this past weekend my family and I were at a Christian conference, and the speakers' messages connected really well with each other and they taught from a lot of the sames scriptures without even really planning to do so. While saying something about this, the host of the conference said that maybe they ought to have a conference where all the speakers just preach on one verse or passage, and and teach it from different angles. When he said that, immediately the idea I had had for the Bible study blog party came to my mind. "Hey," I thought. "that's basically just what I was trying to do with the blog bible study thing!" So, turning this idea over in my mind again with fresh motivation, I decided to just go ahead and do this -- so here we are! :)

I'll be hosting this first Bible Study Blog Party from May 28th-June 9th! The chapter we will be reading and studying is Romans 8! I believe God is going to teach us all some great things through this chapter, guys! I'm so excited!! :D

How to participate in the Bible Study Blog Party:
  1. Before reading or writing or anything, ask God to help you to understand what you read and to teach you through His Word and in other participants posts you read as well.
  2. Read the assigned chapter(s)/verse(s).
  3. While reading, remember to not just read the chapter/passage looking for things you can blog about. Look for what you yourself can learn from this, whether you end up writing a blog post about it or not. And don't try and rush through reading it. Take your time, listen to the Holy Spirit, and dig in. If one particular verse just sticks out at you, stick with it! Take your time -- we need to not just read to read, we should be reading to learn from God! (That's something I really didn't want to do with this... I didn't want us all to just rush through reading the chapter and write up something just because we have to for the Bible study. I definitely want to encourage everyone, including myself, to take time to read in order to learn more from and about our Heavenly Father!)
  4. On your blog or through comments on other participants blogs, share your thoughts on the chapter/passage, what stuck out to you, favorite verses, etc., and like I said before, you could share a song or story or something like that centered around the highlighted passage as well. It's a wonderful thing to encourage and share what God's teaching us with each other! 
  5. Make sure to link the post(s) you do on your blog for the Bible Study Blog Party down below in the comments on this post so others participating can read what you wrote and also so I can easily be able to find them all to list in my closing post at the end of the study party. (Hehe, 'study party'... you never thought you'd see those two words together, did you? xD)
  6. And of course... Have fun! :D
So, does all of that make sense? If not, let me know and I'll try to clarify as best as I can. Any suggestions on what chapter/book/verse might be good to read, study, and discuss together in future "study parties"?

I'm SO excited, you guys!! Please spread the word around the blogosphere about this and let others know if they'd also like to participate! But whether a bunch of you all join in on this or just a couple, I believe we're still going to have a great time in God's Word either way!

Here's also a couple of buttons you can use to spread the word around about the party! :D


Hope everyone is having a wonderful week! Write to you later!
~Faith

Thursday, May 3, 2018

6 Distractions Bloggers Can Probably Relate To

Ah, blogging. What a fun life we bloggers lead. I mean, it's so easy to come up with and write posts and put them up regularly and all that, you know? Such a breeze. AM I RIGHT OR WHAT??

Okay... so no, not really (as I'm sure you could tell by the plethora of blogging I've gotten done this year... heh :P) It seems hard to not get distracted whilst trying to craft the perfect blog post and trying to keep up with your blog. So here's a list of six things I've found to be pretty big distractions for the average teen/early 20s blogger person.



1. Pinterest
Pinterest is amazing, don't get me wrong. And it's a wonderful tool, especially for bloggers. But -- as we all know -- there is SO MUCH to find on this site that it can be a two-edged sword at times. You might just be getting on to find one nice sunset picture to go along with some blog post you're writing, and then suddenly find yourself looking at a pin of how to do your hair up to make it look like a bow.
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^ Basically what browsing through Pinterest is like.
2. Social Media
Other social media platforms can be just as distracting as Pinterest, maybe even more at times. Or maybe not. Or maybe so. Who knows. All I know is that it's quite a big distraction.
Image result for i love lucy gif

3. Food
Sometimes food can be a motivator, but then other times it seems like it's just an excuse to take a break and slack off. When you're mind goes blank with what to write, you might say to yourself, "Well... maybe I can get those creative juices flowing by just taking a little break... in the kitchen..."
Image result for shirley temple gif
This might just be one of the cutest gifs I've ever seen... =D

4. Other People

People are wonderful, they're absolutely wonderful! But when you're trying to focus on writing or doing something with you're blog, and someone interrupts you to ask you about something... or they need to get on the computer you're on...
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5. GIFs
So maybe not every blogger gets distracted with trying to find the perfect gifs for their posts... but...... I probably know of at least one who does..... heh.
Image result for shirley temple gif

6. Real Life
Of course, we bloggers always have high hopes of posting regularly, maybe on a certain day each week or something like that. But then it suddenly hits us that we actually have real lives in the real world and things don't always go as smoothly in real life as we plan them to. And we can't usually be working on or writing something for our blog at a certain time each day right when we want to and have this meticulously perfect plan of how we keep up our blog (unless blogging is your actual job and it's the main thing you do in life).
Image result for dick van dyke show gif sad

~~~~~~~~~~
So, our real lives often get in the way of our blogging lives. But you know what... that's actually not really a bad thing. I think a lot of times we put social media/blogging/computer things higher on our priority list than just living life and spending valuable time we won't get back with family and friends in the real world without really meaning to. (I've caught myself doing this too many times unfortunately...)

We've been given this amazing life, the chance to make a real difference in this world. I keep needing to remind myself not to waste it all on earthly things that won't last. It's of course not bad to spend time on social media and the like occasionally, but I realize that I need to watch myself that I don't let it dominate my life and I start becoming obsessed with it.

In fact, I've discovered one easy way to tell if you're addicted or obsessed with something: If you're constantly or regularly thinking about that thing. 

I found this out one night a while back. My younger brother had gotten the game Minecraft. Well, so I decided one day that I would try it out and play a little bit. Needless to say, I got a little too into it. But for a little while I didn't even really realize how engrossed I had become in the game. One night, however, I finally came to reason. As I was lying in bed getting ready to go to sleep, I suddenly caught myself thinking hard about how I should construct some part of the house I was building in the game and anticipating waking up the next day to work on it. A jerking thought came to me: MineCraft is one of the only and biggest things that has been on my mind these past few days...

And so that's when I realized -- I had become addicted with this game. Once I realized that, I tried hard to stay away from it for a while and focus more on truly important things. It wasn't easy of course, but I asked God to help me with this obsession, and He did. And now, I actually hardly ever play MineCraft at all.

So basically what I'm trying to say in all this is that we all really need to take a good look at our lives and where our priorities lie. I'm definitely not trying to say that Minecraft or any other games, or even blogging for that matter are bad, but the problem begins when we start obsessing over them, or any other temporary natural thing. If we find that our priorities aren't where they should be, then we need to step back, and fix and reassess them. That's much easier said than done of course, but we CAN do it -- not alone, but with our Heavenly Father working in us and helping us along the way. Nothing is impossible with God! And if we just pray and ask Him to help us with keeping our priorities straight and put Him FIRST in everything, He WILL help us!

So guys, let's do our best to put God first in everything we do and make Him our very top priority -- even above blogging -- praying and asking Him for His help in doing so.

"Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak." ~Mark 14:38

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Well, that's all for today! I hope this could be of some encouragement to all you fellow bloggers out there. :)

Have a fabulous rest of the week, everyone! Happy blogging!
~Faith


P.S. Are there any other distractions that you as a blogger face that I missed? How do you keep from getting distracted whilst blogging? Any tips for us fellow bloggers who get distracted easily?

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Writerly Things


Hello again, my friends! A Happy belated Easter you! Jesus is ALIVE!! That's so awesome, isn't it?! :D

Easter...He is risen!

So, in other news... where have I been? Well, life's been a little crazy recently, trying to figure out life, college, work, etc. etc... And of course, with all this, I haven't had a lot of time to blog. But then it seemed like whenever I'd have time to work on it and I'd start writing on some post, I'd get some sort of writer's block one way or another.

But recently, I got an idea of something to share with you guys. Another thing I've been busy with lately is writing on different stories and projects. I've started to realize that I actually haven't shared so much of my stories and writing life here as of yet... so, I suppose I'd better change that now, shouldn't I?

writing.

I've always liked stories. And writing. Growing up, I always wanted to write stories. Children's stories especially. It was always my dream. I was planning to grow up and becoming an author, and that's what I always told people if they ever asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up -- "Write children's books," I'd answer decidedly.

"What do you want to do when you grow up?"
"Write children's books."
"Oh! What kind of books?"
"Uh, well, Children's books."
"...Oh."
(Something close to this conversation actually happened one time... :P)

When I was younger I would take several pieces of paper, fold them over, and then staple them together to make it look like a book. I thought it was brilliant. And then the stories... OH HO HO, THE STORIES.

Image result for shirley temple gif

I'd write stories in those "books." All kinds of stories. Funny stories mainly. I liked making people laugh. (I still do :D) Whatever my mind could come up with. Not usually fairy tale type stories though... more realistic ones... well, sort of. Maybe not really. But stories about real people in the real world... that kind of realistic I guess. Most of the time anyway. Well, sometimes about animals, too (like that one story I wrote about a horse who talked and liked poking things with a stick and ended up poking the police and getting sent to jail... ahem... yeah, nevermind... :P) I adored coming up with stories and different scenarios and characters and everything. And then I'd always excitedly try to get my brothers or parents to read the wonderful stories I wrote. It was one of my favorite pastimes as a child. I'd also like to frolic about in our yard, coming up with pretend "tv shows" and "movies" in my head and acting them out to myself.

Ahh... those good ol' days. I always did like coming up with a good story. I still do.

SO...

I thought it was about time I shared more about this part of my life here (especially since that was one of the main things I had planned on posting about here when I first started this blog...).

I have so many stories rolling around in my head right now, but for the ones I'm actually working on currently, well... here we go!
  • I've been working on a story for some time now about "The Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe." It's supposed to be based off of that nursery rhyme of course; but it's a full account of what all really happened -- who this "old lady" was, why she has so many children, why she lives in a "shoe", etc. etc. It's set in the early 1900s and is supposed to be a funny kind of story of course. This is probably going to end up being a children's chapter book/juvenile fiction type of story, and it's one I've actually been pretty passionate about, interestingly enough. I think I just especially love all the characters in it and have been discovering recently just how much of myself I'm actually putting into a lot of them. It's interesting...
Young Marianne writing in her journal

Here's more of an actual synopsis/summary of what I have right now for it:

Opal Dullen lives a simple life, trying not to get in anyone else's way or let anyone else get in her's, especially the pleasantly irritating Richard Cobbler. But when she receives an unexpected letter that her brother-in-law has died and left his ten children in her care, her entire world is turned upside down and inside out. Not knowing what else to do, she reluctantly accepts Mr. Cobbler's offer of his vacant inn as a place for the children to stay -- an inn made to look like a shoe of all things!

Regrets and past hurts try reclaiming their place in Opal's mind anew when the children come to live with her in their new home, but she soon begins to discover and learn about the beauty of second chances... and perhaps even rekindle a relationship that was thought to be lost forever.

I'm considering whether or not to change it to seven children instead of ten...?? I'm not sure about that yet. I'll try to keep you guys informed on this story as much as may be. ;) I think telling you guys about it here will also help keep me more accountable to this story, so that would definitely be a good thing.
  • I'm also currently working on two different short stories, both historical fiction, for two different short story contests going on this month... but we'll see if that actually happens (most likely not, I'd guess, as it's getting pretty close to the deadline and I have tons of other things I should be doing besides...). Whether I actually submit them in the contests or not, I'm still planning to finish them of course, and might even possibly end up posting them on here when I get them finished.
•❁• Instagram: hai__hailey
And I have so many other starts to stories written down different places, and ones that have only been written up in my head up until now, but those are the ones that are mainly going on right now. I'll have to share more stories and ideas in another post. SO MANY STORIES, SO LITTLE TIME. 

So yeah, hope you enjoyed this different kind of post and hearing about a couple of writing projects I've been working on lately. Do you have any 'works in progress' going on right now? I'd love to hear about them! :D

I hope all of you are having an awesome week! Write to you later! God bless! :)
~Faith

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

A TODAY Mentality

Happy 2018, everyone! It's hard to believe that a whole month of this year has already flown past us! How could this have happened??? But let's not be discouraged! We still have 11 months left of this thing. We're far from over with 2018. We're still just getting started!


Maybe you didn't get much done in January. To be honest, I myself didn't get a whole lot done of what I wanted to do. I didn't start out this year with that big bang I was hoping for. For one thing, I was planning to post a lot more and do more with this blog at the beginning of the year. Did that happen? Well as you can see... no, it didn't. This is actually the first thing I've posted this year, so...

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It's easy to get discouraged when you don't start out the New Year the way you hoped. When time seems to just keep flying by, not stopping long enough for you to catch up, it's easy to just give up on the things you had first planned and set out to do. But let me encourage you guys (and I'm talking to myself here as well) that it's a new day every day -- it's never too late to get started on goals or projects you may have for this year. You still have time!

BUT REMEMBER, don't take that as an excuse -- an excuse to not get things done. And maybe it's not like this with everyone, but I know that with myself, I've done this way too many times. "Faith, what are you talking about?" Okay sorry, let me back up. When you're at this age, teenage/early twenties, you have many people tell you things like, "You're so young, you have plenty of time to do that!" "Don't worry about that, you have plenty of time to get that done!"

Now, I'm definitely not saying that that's wrong to say to someone. That can be a very encouraging thing to say. I know it's been encouraging to me when I've been feeling like I've wasted a lot of time already, and it helps remind me that my life is far from over yet and that I still have plenty of time ahead of me to get the things done that I want and need to do. But... I think sometimes we take this "plenty of time" thing the wrong way. I think we do this without even realizing it. When we get it into our minds that we have "plenty of time", for some of us (not all of us, but probably quite a few) it gives us an excuse to not do anything right now. Because we tell ourselves, "Well, I have plenty of time to get that done, so I'll just put that off for now... I'll do that later... I have plenty of time..."

Still Life Photography – 30 Brilliant Shots

And, YES, we have a lot of time. We have our whole lives ahead of us. And NO, we shouldn't just rush into things because we need to hurry up and get 'er done! We need to seek God's will and not bolt into something just because everyone else is doing it or others are telling you that you need to do a certain thing.

BUT we also need to not always be putting things off for tomorrow, for next week, for next month. We don't have an unlimited amount of time here on this earth. We're all going to move on from this life eventually. Even if we live to be 120, we still need to use our time wisely here and not just sit around, waiting for that sudden burst of motivation to rise up in our veins every now and then to get us going out and doing something. We can't always do everything right away, and sometimes we have to be patient and not rush into everything right now; sometimes we need to wait until tomorrow to do the thing. But there's always SOMETHING that can be done today. Maybe you can't do the whole job today, but you can do a step. That's how we ultimately get things done, right? One step at a time.


Choosing to create this moment anew rather than weigh it down by things that are…

God has a plan for your life. A GOOD one. He has things for you to do. But it's up to you if you want to follow that plan, and do the things He has for you to do. He usually doesn't give you His whole plan and a bunch of things you need to do all at once. He guides us in steps. One step at a time. We can walk in His plan for us if we'll only listen and take the steps He tells us to take. What step is God guiding you to take TODAY? What He's telling you to do might make no sense to your head right now... But if you're faithful to do that one thing, He'll give you another thing -- another step -- to do, and little by little, it will suddenly all start to make sense. God would never lead us down a path that doesn't go anywhere, or down one that leads to destruction or confusion. He only has GOOD planned for us. So let's not be afraid to follow Him, to do what He's instructing us to do, and to take the steps He's wanting us to take with Him.

So, let me ask you... What's you're goal? What's that thing that's been pressing on your heart that you know God's been leading you to start? Maybe it's just a small personal thing that you've been desiring to accomplish, like eating healthier. What can you do TODAY towards reaching that goal?

I challenge you, as well as myself, to have a today mentality. What can be done today? A lot of times I find myself always thinking to tomorrow, to the next thing that needs to be done, and not the thing that needs to be done right now, that needs to be done TODAY. But, don't misunderstand me, I'm not saying that you should never make a plan for things ahead. Plans are very important! Getting a plan together is one step in getting things done. But if we're only focused on our plans for the future and never on the here and now, we'll miss out on a lot and never actually get much of anything really done.

Psalm 118:24 says,
"This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." 

This is the day. Today. Right now. We're not talking about tomorrow... THIS day -- TODAY -- is the day the LORD has made! So come on, guys, let's go out and do something with this day the LORD has given us!

This is the day the LORD has made!! (Ps. 118:24) <3

~Faith

What are the goals you want to accomplish this year? Share them down in the comments if you'd like! :)

Friday, December 15, 2017

Just for a laugh... Christmas Edition!

Well, my friends, here we are, just like we always dreamed... IT'S LESS THAN TWO WEEKS TILL CHRISTMAS!!!

Celebration GIF

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How did this happen??? It seems much too early for Christmas to be upon us once again! Well, no matter... Let's go ahead and get to celebrating this most wonderful time of the year with some laughter, shall we? :D
~~~~~


Oh dear! Thanks so much for taking care of it for us while we were gone...

I find this far too funny
Hmm... good advice, Doc. Thanks.


Those Finlanders, let me tell ya...


REALLY? WHO KNEW! Well... I guess Mary did.

True!!

A most essential item for a ninja to have on hand, especially during the winter months.

Now that December is here it's time to start any Christmas shopping that's left. Don't let your kid be like this angry little girl, shop at Humor Us and smiles will be guaranteed!

"Oh, honey, I'm sorry... I know it's not that frozen now, being out under the tree all night and all, but we can always put it back in the freezer for a while..."

Christmas humor A massive dump of funny pictures PMSLweb http://www.mainecoonguide.com/where-to-find-maine-coon-kittens-for-sale/

Who needs to shake packages to find out what's in them when you can lie on them instead?

You have GOT to take a break from Pinterest. | Do you know THAT person? Or, better yet, maybe YOU'RE that person. For the Pinterest obsessed in your life—this funny card from Shoebox is a must-share this holiday season.

BUT BUT... I HAVE TO TRY ONE OF EVERYTHING, RIGHT???

Well, it makes perfect sense…
"Mary had a little Lamb Who washed us white as snow!"


And, to wrap up, here's a fun Christmas video by Studio C for you all about how the Wise Men supposedly did their Christmas Shopping! ;) Enjoy!


I hope you all are having a wonderful, joyful Christmas Season so far, and have a fantastic rest of your day!
~Faith

**Pictures/videos not my own; all images/videos are from Pinterest, YouTube, and Google**

Friday, December 1, 2017

Thankful Thursdays // Weeks 4-6


Well, hello there again! How was everyone's Thanksgiving?


So... I'm kinda late, aren't I?
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Well, this Thankful Thursdays series didn't go quite as I had planned. I missed a couple weeks in there, and here I am now, posting this on a Friday instead of Thursday. Well... we'll try to make the best of it anyhow.
It's technically supposed to be the last installment (for now) of this series, so let's go out with a great thankful bang, shall we?? (A 'thankful bang'?...Where did that come from?? :P)

So here we are at the end of November already!!! WHAT ON EARTH HAS HAPPENED TO THIS MONTH?!?!
I actually wrote something up for Thanksgiving Day last week that I was going to post, but for some reason I didn't get around to it and actually wasn't quite sure about it and thought maybe it actually wasn't that great of a post, and so I wondered if I should post it at all, but... well here I am, going to share it with you all today. So, this is technically a Thanksgiving post, but here it is anyway. Enjoy. :)

~~~~~
IT'S THANKSGIVING DAY!!!
How did this happen?!? It honestly seems, to me anyway, too early for Thanksgiving and Christmas to be rolling around again... the year has gone by so quickly! But here it is, nonetheless. And even though it seems to be coming upon us with great rapidity, I'm still REALLY EXCITED!

It seems like though, especially in more recent years, that Thanksgiving has kind of been brushed aside. Well, no, not totally -- most every American still celebrates this holiday -- but it seems like this particular holiday has become less important... at least, not as important as Christmas. This time of year, even before Thanksgiving happens, it's all about Christmas. Thanksgiving seems to just be this extra holiday in between here that is a good day, yes, but not as good as Christmas... I mean, yeah, it's important... but, Christmas is a much more exciting holiday, ya know... so let's just go ahead and decorate for and celebrate Christmas because Christmas is the actual important holiday here of course!

OKAY, OKAY, I am sounding a bit harsh aren't I? I am DEFINITELY NOT saying that Christmas isn't an important holiday. It is! Christmas is wonderful! I enjoy Christmas time SO MUCH!! :D

BUT...

We should remember that Thanksgiving is an important holiday as well! We shouldn't just brush it aside!

And PLEASE PLEASE don't misunderstand me... if you put up Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving, that's absolutely fine! (But, in my opinion, if you're going to do that, you should have some Thanksgiving/Fall decorations up along with them as well... you can decorate for both holidays at once! Just my opinion though, of course. ;) )

But anyway, to get to my real point... I think the reason Thanksgiving isn't as popular with the masses is because, you don't GET anything on Thanksgiving.
Well, I mean, yes, you get a meal, maybe a day off, you get to watch and/or play football, and stuff like that... But, you don't get anything SPECIAL. (At least what the world would consider special) You know -- special things like presents, candy, little gift baskets, chocolate Easter eggs... You usually never get something like that on Thanksgiving. All you get on Thanksgiving is food... and football... and family... I mean... boring, right??
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But you know what, that's just it. Thanksgiving isn't supposed to be about getting things. It's about giving. Giving thanks. Thanks-giving. It's a day that's supposed to remind us to not only be looking out for our own interests, but also that of others. It's about being grateful, no matter the situation. We all have something we can be thankful for. Even in the most terrible situation, there's always something to be grateful for -- if only you're willing to look for it.

So this Thanksgiving season, try to find the best in everything and be grateful -- Even if you miss some of the big game on TV, or you accidentally overcook your turkey -- you could be thankful that you even HAVE a TV to watch football on, or have a turkey to eat.

Whenever you're in a complaining mood, I've found that it's quite helpful let your mind wander back to the pilgrims when they first came to America and what they had to endure. They had almost nothing except each other. They actually had to work hard for food, shelter, and protection. Today, we don't have to work too awfully hard for those types of things -- at least, not as hard as they had to. If you really think about it... we have literally nothing to complain about. We're SO BLESSED, guys!

So don't forget to take time to thank God for all the blessings you have in your life this Thanksgiving -- and the rest of the year as well! :)

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And speaking of being thankful... here we are again, my friends. This is what I found to be thankful for these past three weeks (since I missed several weeks before). What about you? :)

Week 4
Friday:
- Our family van
- That our whole family was able to attend a conference this weekend

Saturday:
- Being able to fellowship with other Christians at the conference we attended
- Having a house to come back to

Sunday:

- All the veterans in our country who have risked their lives to keep us safe
- My amazing church family
- That we have a lot of trees around our house that have lost a lot of leaves so that we can make huge leaf piles :D

Monday:

- God's given me the ability to write and come up with good stories
- My mom's encouragement
- My dad's humorous, lighthearted personality

Tuesday:

- Chocolate (I mean, who wouldn't be grateful for chocolate?? ;) )
- My several journal/notebook type books that I have and like to write/draw in

Wednesday:

- That I've been able to have been homeschooled my whole life
- That God's given me such great Christian friends
- That I have great adult friends as well as ones my own age

Thursday:

- My new baby cousin :)

Week 5
Friday:
- Having straight, strong teeth
- Laughter and joy in my life

Saturday:
- Vaseline
- Hot Tea
- Good Books
Il blocco del lettore

Sunday:

- That God gives me sweet sleep
- Having heating in our house

Monday:

- Being able to have fun playing board games with my family
- My wonderful parents who have set such a great spiritual example for my siblings and I
- That my parents have had a strong relationship with eachother and each of us
- That I've never had to go through my parents separating/divorcing

Tuesday:

- Getting to spend a fun day over at my grandparents' house cooking and watching Christmas Hallmark movies with my grandma :)

Wednesday:

- A great house to live in
- That tomorrow is Thanksgiving and we'll get to see and spend time with our extended family

Thursday: (I had quite a few things to be thankful for today... it was Thanksgiving after all! ;) )

- That it's Thanksgiving!
- That we live in a time where vehicles exist and are also heated
- That our extended family gets along well with eachother
- That we had a safe drive down to our uncle and aunt's house today
- That we were blessed with an abundance of food today
- That we got to play football with our cousins
- Hot chocolate and s'mores
Cooler weather means perfect temps for camping - campfires, hot chocolate, s'mores!  One of the things I love about Fall.


Week 6
Friday:
- My bike
- Our TV
- That we have access to on-demand movies and shows

Saturday:
- Having a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, combs and essential things like that available

Sunday:
- That I have nice clothes to wear

Monday:

- Having heat in our house (Did I say that before? Having heat in your house is definitely something to be very grateful for this time of year!)
- A warm bedroom and bed to sleep in
- Having a bedroom all to myself

Tuesday:

- Having good eyesight, hearing, and that all my physical senses work properly

Wednesday:

- That I was born and am living in this specific point in history where life is much easier to survive and live in than in previous times in history

Thursday:

- That God's been so merciful and gracious towards me this year
- That I've had SO MANY wonderful things to be thankful for this Fall!
Take a long walk in the crisp #autumn air this afternoon! #fall

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Well, there you have it, folks! I hope you enjoyed this series as much as I did. I'm sorry that I didn't end up posting every week as I originally had planned, but I think it turned out alright in the end... Thank you all so much for joining me in being thankful this Fall! :) BUT REMEMBER -- don't stop being thankful just because we're past the Thanksgiving and Fall season now. Remember to thank God every day for all the wonderful things He's given you! He's SO GOOD to us!!!

Have a wonderful rest of your week, everyone! :)
~Faith