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65 Specific Ways to Spot God’s Gifts this Fall + Moleskine Giveaway

God’s gifts surround us at every turn, but gratitude begins when we take notice.

 

September is an in-between kind of month. You know, the month that loosens its grip on summer with one arm and stretches to meet fall with the other.

Depending on where you live, it’s a toss-up deciding whether to stow away summer shorts or pull down the oversized, fluffy sweaters from the attic. This decision, however, requires no tossing on my part. {Oversized for the win!} Crisp breezes, bonfires, and sweater necks that crest my chin can’t come soon enough for me.

 

But in my rush to get to October, it’s easy to use September as a mere stepping stone.

 

I’m still learning how life is to be savored like a steamy cup of hot tea, and not guzzled down like a thirty-ounce Big Gulp from 7-11. Slowing down long enough to notice people, beauty, and the gifts God places in my life.

 

Gratitude begins when we take notice.

 

Those six words have greeted me most mornings over the past several weeks. With them in mind, I began taking the initiative to observe God’s gifts in the here-and-now rather than wait for a specific prayer time to consider my blessings.

Most nights before bedtime, I jot down one gift from God I noticed that day. This simple but intentional act heightens my awareness of God’s gifts and increases my gratefulness in unexpected ways:

  • “Thank You, God” is whispered (and sometimes shouted) throughout the day.
  • My appreciation for God’s love and care through creativity continues to increase. God could’ve chosen to give us a bland existence. Instead, He filled it with vivid colors, scents that breed nostalgia, and sounds that are sweet to our ears.
  • I feel more content. Kind of a throwback to Cindy Morgan’s song in the early ’90s, “How Could I Ask for More?”

 

Intentionality dares complacency to get in the way of giving God glory.

 

With this same intentionality, I’ve been working for several weeks on the NEW Fall 2019 gift for subscribers, Spot God’s Gifts Every Day, based on James 1:17:

 

“Every good and perfect gift is from above.” [emphasis mine]

 

 

Spot God’s Gifts Every Day includes three individual weekday calendars with a daily gift to spot during this beautiful season, September-November. They’re pretty, easy to print (8-1/2″ x 11″), and perfect for the fridge or bedside table. Or tape it to the interior cabinet door that holds one of morning’s most precious gifts, the coffee mugs (which didn’t make the cut but is appreciated nonetheless.)

One of my favorites in this gift — FIREFLIES: God’s living glints of light buzz only a little longer during these final nights of summer.

I hope you enjoy this latest gift from The Tiny House on the Hill. Even more, I pray God will use it stir gratitude to the point of praise throughout our days.

 

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”  G.K. Chesterton

 

{To assist in jotting down your own gift spotting, I’m giving away a set of two mini-pocket Moleskine journals. Simply leave a comment sharing one gift from God you’ve spotted today!}

When you subscribe to become a part of this *tiny* community, you’re simply saying, I believe God is putting the gospel on display through this ministry and I want to be a part of what He is doing here.

Members of The Tiny House on the Hill community receive 2-3 blog posts in their inbox each month, and a monthly letter that can include:

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What’s not to love? *smile*

It’s easy! Type your email address in the sidebar to claim your Spot God’s Gifts Every Day calendars, as well as access to other freebie resources as my way of saying thank you.

So, what’s one gift you’ve already spotted today?

 

 

How Choosing Godly Wisdom Creates Gratitude

Earthly wisdom is doing what comes naturally. Godly wisdom is doing what the Holy Spirit compels us to do. -Charles Stanley

I, like you, have tasted both the natural and the Spirit-led. After having tasted the latter, we can’t help but refuse to settle for anything less.

But sometimes it’s not easy telling them apart at first. This is what happened when, over the summer, I began nurturing grandiose ideas for my blog. Nothing was inherently wrong with them, but as I worked through the ideas, I felt unsettled, never at peace. Nevertheless, I pushed on for weeks, believing it was simply part of the hard work required in making things happen.

A particular writing friend of mine loved me enough to call me to task on my ambitions. Were these my ideas or God’s? As I prayed about it, God revealed in a number of creative ways that the ideas I’d been working so hard on were not part of His plan for our blog right now. When He confirmed this in my spirit, peace settled over my soul like soft snow rests on gnarly branches.

No matter how hard we work if we’re not in step with the Spirit, all is in vain.

I’m grateful that the One who indwells us is not an “It” but a “Him”. The Holy Spirit is personal and active in our lives. When in step with Him, life takes on an abundant edge that it misses otherwise.

How are you grateful for the Spirit’s work in your life today? Please share in the comment section!

 

If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Galatians 5:25
{I decided not to share the specifics of my former grandiose ideas because the Lord is calling others to do exactly those things—PTL—but not me, at least for now, and for this I am thankful.}

Gratitude – Pass it On!

Do you have an attitude of gratitude? Whatever you do, don’t keep it to yourself!

Below are a handful of questions to prompt an attitude of gratitude within us all. I’ve started the ball rolling by sharing my own answers. If you’d like to copy the questions and post them on your blog site, that would be great!

 

With an attitude of gratefulness…

 

  • What is outside my window I haven’t noticed before? {Stars. Knowing that God chose to name each star [Psalm 147:4] makes me grateful that He is not an obtuse Father, but one who desires to know me—to know us— intimately.}
  • In this moment, I am grateful for: {Shelter in the rain, a toasty blanket, and my cup of Cafe Vienna topped off with a few marshmallows. Okay, more than a few.}
  • One person I thanked God for this week: {My husband. I am grateful how the Lord is growing each of us towards Him, naturally pulling us together as a couple.}
  • One way God is allowing me to use the gift(s) He is giving me for His glory: {Blogging! I‘ll explain more in the next post. :)}
  • One scripture verse I’m especially grateful for in this very moment and why: {Colossians 3:23-24. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men…It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Why: This truth sets our entire lives free, not only in our work/service life and blesses the entire family and those around us.}
  • One trial I’m currently walking through: {Upcoming surgery in November.}
  • How I’ve seen and sensed God’s love and presence during this trial: {God has worked out details in ways only He could. His presence has been evident through the love, care, and prayers from Brian, family/church family, and friends. So incredibly grateful!}

While reading Heather’s blog, Something Sew Beautiful, (a new fave!) one of her recent posts prompted the above idea. Thanks for the inspiration my California friend!

Sweet readers, I hope you’ll take a few moments tonight to pour a warm cup of coffee and slink down into a comfy chair. Allow the Holy Spirit time to lead your heart and mind as you consider each question. I also hope you’ll consider posting the questions on your blog to encourage others.

Let’s pass on the attitude of gratitude! 

 

A Gratitude Photo Scavenger Hunt the Whole Family Can Enjoy!

We’re often encouraged to jot down in a journal the little things in life that we’re grateful for…and for good reason. Shifting our days into a lower gear allows us to notice the seemingly trivial details of life, giving us an opportunity to notice their value, and being grateful for them.

Taking photos is an excellent way to slow down and to focus on the details.

Recently I came across a Gratitude Photo Scavenger Hunt by Sarah Dawn Designs. (The only links I could find to her Web site were broken but I want to give her full credit for coming up with this creative and timely idea!)

Below is the “Something I’m Grateful For…” scavenger hunt list. Some photo ops include: Take a pic of something you’re grateful for in nature, in the city, in the workplace, etc. My favorite lands on November 30th: Take a photo of how you intend to spread the spirit of thankfulness.

This exercise in gratitude is not only fun and beneficial for us adults, but also for our children and grandchildren!

{double click to enlarge, save image to print}
Having trouble saving/printing this image? Go to this Pinterest site {Sarah Dawn Designs, 2011} to download.
If you’re a novice photographer, such as myself, you too will love Mary Denman’s site. She gives practical advice on taking the best pictures possible (even with our phones!)
So, which of these 30 ideas are you most looking forward to photographing in November? 

 

Focusing on the Holiday Grounded in Gratitude

My favorite Hallmark Christmas Movie

by Cathy Baker

I’m perfectly content siding with the those who are not prepared for Hallmark Christmas movies beginning in October or brushing up against fake-o tree limbs in the aisles of favorite stores while fumbling for the candy corn. No, not yet!

I mean, what happened to the celebration of Thanksgiving? 

Could it be that merchandisers don’t begin displaying turkey platters two months in advance because of money, or lack thereof? Let’s face it, tons of turkeys will give their gobble-laden necks to fill our feastly tables, but other than food, what else do people purchase for this particular holiday? Exactly.

Growing up, I was blessed to experience Thanksgivings reminiscent of Rockwell renderings. As an only child, I relished the warmth of a big family as grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins surrounded the holiday table. The sound of familiar laughter, the telling of fondly remembered stories, and the faces of my family surface every Thanksgiving. We could’ve made our own Hallmark movie. 

This year, with our family going in all different directions, I’ll be serving food on Thanksgiving to our community through a ministry Summit Upstate sponsors, Feast for All. If you’re available and would like to serve in some capacity, please email me (click the “e” button on the sidebar.)

So, while I plan to enjoy Hallmark Christmas movies come December, this month I will intentionally focus on the holiday grounded in gratitude. 

How about you? 

Giving thanks always for all things to God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…Ephesians 5:20
Tiny House on the Hill

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