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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

30 Day Challenge

Almost 4 months ago, I took a 30 day challenge I learned about on the radio. I came out of it with a whole new positive outlook on life. After 30 days, I didn't want to stop. It has helped reshape my thinking. I'm amazed how different my perspective is now, and it was just a simple thing that I did.

I would like to challenge you to do the same thing. So, are you ready? Are you wondering what could it possibly be? For 30 days, every night before you head to bed, take a few minutes and write down 3 things. What did God do for you today? It doesn't have to be complicated or take a long time. You just need to write down 3 good things that happened to you throughout the day. Every day God is pouring out his blessings on our lives. But sadly on most days we are just too blind or busy to see it.

"Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle. He brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all his creatures." James 1:17-18 (The Message)

Something that helped me to get into the habit of writing down the things each night was finding a friend to take the challenge with. Every night before bed we would email each other our 3 things that God did for us that day. This helped out a lot to have the accountability of knowing you had a friend waiting on you. Then after the 30 days were up, the habit was formed and I continued to write them down in my special notebook.

Some days it may seem a lot harder to find 3 good things, maybe even just 1 thing will be hard for you, but it's on those days when you need to do it the most. God is everywhere, and in everything that we do. When I'm feeling at a loss those times, I think it's a great time to take out the notebook and read through what God did for you on past days. For this reason, I would recommend purchasing a small notebook you can record your 3 things in. How encouraging do you think it would be to have a book of God's blessings that you can pick up whenever you need it, and it's personal to your own life?

Ever since I've started writing down my 3 things each day, my perspective has been so much brighter. It's not just every night that I spend the time recording my 3 things, it's all day long. I'll find that someone says something nice to me, or I get a good deal on something, or the kids are just getting along and I stop and take a moment to say thanks to God for it. I can see him now in so many small things that before I took advantage of, or it never even occurred to me that God was behind that good thing.

I would be lying if I said that now I am perfectly happy. I still have days that I struggle and I have to think extra hard to see the good. And on those days, my number 1 thing usually is, "Thank you, God, that tomorrow is a new day where I can start fresh." And the other two might be something simple like, "Thank you, God, for dinner. It was wonderful!" or "Thanks for Star Trek!" I haven't experienced too many days where I was at a loss. Usually it just takes me a little bit longer, and I have to be a little creative.

I have so many opportunities to see God's goodness now. It seems to outweigh all of the bad that I encounter. God is good, ALL THE TIME! He never will fail you. Even on the hardest day, you will be able to find something to praise God for. He is always working and you just have to be able to see him at work. I think this takes practice, but in time you'll see it right away.

I know it's not evening yet, and the day hasn't finished, but I figured in the spirit of the challenge, I would add my 3 things here today, this afternoon. I often find myself having to limit myself to just the top 3 things that God did, because there are a lot of times so many more than just 3.

Thank you, God ... for today...

1) Today is enrollment for the kids, and that means money. Lots of money! I decided to check and see if we could qualify for reduced textbooks and lunches. We do!! That saved me $60 on textbooks, Thanks God!! And Gabe is going to be able to eat hot lunch every day this year, only 40cents per day. That's a dream come true of his.

2) We all went shopping for school supplies. Zechariah obeyed so well! This year we were very thrifty and went for the off brands, and just plain colored notebooks. I only spent $40 on both of the kids school supplies. Compared to last year's $100, that was a huge blessing! You are so great, God!

3) Today was a difficult day with the all the emotions that come with school starting. I'm thankful that I was able to have my children at home these past 3 months. I'm so grateful that I get to be a stay at home mother, to enjoy every moment with my kids.


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