Gratitude In the Middle


Hello friends! Welcome to Gratitude in the Middle! I can just hear you now saying “Mary what on earth is Gratitude in the Middle?”

Have no fear I’m going to explain it right here (sorry I was reverting to my inner poet.)

Gratitude in the middle is what this years Thankful Thursday is going to look like. I know it took me til March to get this out there but sometimes other things need to happen first and that is exactly what needed to happen for me. I needed to work through some stuff (more on that next week when I talk what RESTORE looks like for the first three months of this year.

Gratitude in the Middle

This year’s weekly thankfulness post is going to look a little different than other years. Usually I spent Thursday’s post listing out what I am thankful for…and this is a great practice for a number of reasons and we will get into that in future blog posts, but specifically on Thursdays we are going to chat about what Gratitude in the Middle of various seasons of life looks like…Say for instance grief, change, or illness. Don’t worry there will be lots of positive scenarios too.

I want to have this discussion because Gratitude when directed and focused on the right person (PSSST the short answer is God) has the capability to really affect our perspective on life in General and it affects how we view future circumstances as well.

Gratitude in the Middle is….

…….On Thursdays which in in the Middle of the week (kind of).

So instead of a lengthy list in the middle of the week let’s meet to discuss how we can best be grateful in whatever season we are currently in. Now sometimes seasons don’t change week by week (I mean this winter has been going on for at least a decade now right ??? Just kidding!).

So I will be pulling from past seasons in life to share what worked and what didn’t in those seasons pertaining to gratitude.

We will also discuss what keeps us from being grateful….we will call them gratitude gators.

And I might even have some fun stuff along the way. I have some really neat ideas in the future about like printable resources or graphics.

I hope you Join me on this journey as we explore GRATITUDE IN THE MIDDLE!

You can check out my previous posts (2021 Joy Dare) and (Thankful Thursday) here.

And you can check out one of my favorite book on the subject of Gratitude One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp (Not an affiliate link)

So how about you, what season are you in right now? Are you finding it hard to have gratitude? We have all struggled with this…it comes and it goes.



Thankfulness Challenge 4/14/2016

ThankfulnessChallengeWelcome to The Thankfulness Challenge!   A few years ago I participated in a weekly blog meet-up  called Thankful Thursday centered around thankfulness.  The host  later opted to no longer host it, and I  wrote for a short time about Thankfulness and what i am thankful for, but then I too let it fall by the wayside.  However this past year as I prayed through what was important to my blogs re-boot..THANKFULNESS became a HUGE  priority.

Thankfulness is easy when it’s the good stuff…Sunny days, rainbows, new pets, birthdays and  school concerts (just to name a few)  and somedays it is all we have…or at least that’s how we feel!  But the Bible tells us to be THANKFUL IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES (i Thessalonians  5:18)  In all honesty THAT IS SUPER HARD.

I once read a book that referred to what the author called “PollyAnna syndrome”, which is finding the good in all things.  The Christian author used it in a negative light however, Pollyanna Had the right idea.  It’s actually a Biblical principle.  So that is what this post is all about.   Or t least I’m going to try. Each week we will share our 5 things we are most thankful  for!.  Some might be simple things  but I want to encourage you to go deeper…look for the good in hard things too.  It will change how you view your world.

So let’s begin….

  1. I am thankful for sunshine…..and warmth.  Yep I know I started off with simple….but wait I will go deeper 🙂   As a person who lives in upstate NY, most of our months are cloudy,  and we spend half of the year FREEZING!   I also  have a touch of seasonal effect disorder so it compounds the problem of dreary- constantly. We are heading into a week long stretch of SUN and mostly sun.  It always makes me feel like I am being rejuvenated!!
  2. I am thankful for Dentists who know how to fix broken teeth…Yep you read that right.   A few weeks ago there was some playing around…FUN -GIGGLES- PLAYING…then BAM in one split second two teeth broken….I felt Horrible.   On Monday this week His teeth were fixed.   The look normal.  There was a day in time where they would have been pulled and forever be missing his two front teeth.  (BONUS: I am also thankful we live in 2016)
  3. I am thankful for NEW adventures.  Growing deeper in God’s word is taking me on some new adventures.  some of them are very hard.   I know though , that at the end of them as long as I have a willing and teachable spirit we will grow into what God has intended all along.
  4. I am thankful for the ability to write.  At college I learned my sophomore year that if I spent 30 minutes writing…not my thoughts, but creatively That I could then focus on my homework.  it began a practice of journaling that has since been my way to clear my head.  At that time it was a pen and a pencil….and looseleaf paper today it takes all shapes and forms.  I am by nature a pen and paper girl and I use LOADS of color, but it also looks a lot like my blog too…and the Pages  and Chapters s apps on my laptop and iPad….it also looks like ART!  growing my my drawing and painting right in my journal.
  5. Homeschooling- Im not gonna lie. It has been HARD . But I have grown and So has our son with Autism.   and it’s rewarding to watch and grow and thrive.  Especially after so many people said.  I couldn’t or that I shouldn’t.    And to hear my two older children say….”wow he’s in those books, we never made it that far. Those were for the kids who were ahead!”

And so there you have it….What are you thankful for? I’d love to hear!I

I Am Thankful For………

Thankfulness Challenge

Here we are again….another Thursday, and another Thankfulness Challenge. This week is a little different though. As I have been writing ALL. WEEK. LONG. It has been quite fun, very peaceful and hard all wrapped into one! I have always written, ever since I was a teenager, but never this intensely! I have more journals than anything else and you can confirm that with my hubby. Its actually a point of frustration…..because I often don’t finish them. Truth be told, it frustrates me too but I have been working on filling up journals that I have started at various points, but a fresh new notebook just makes my heart skip a beat….maybe what I really need is notebooks anonymous….

Well I do have a lot to be thankful for as usual so let’s get started, shall we.

1. I know this is going to sound super cheesy BUUT, I DON’T CARE! I am so grateful for the man God gave me as a husband. He truly studies and knows just what my heart needs. He knew I needed this week and then he MADE me keep it. I tried to get out of it several times, but, yeah, he wasn’t going to let that happen and I am stronger for it.

2.I am most definitely grateful for a Christian place to park our camper and the godly teaching that I get with it twice a day. It’s safe, and affordable and within a few hours of home, and about an hour or so from other family. There is so much to do here and yet it is so quiet and peaceful….alhough it can be VERY wet at times!! (It’s pretty much rained for the last 3 days)

3.A warm breeze that reminds me it is still summer….people it was 48 degrees here this morning It was COLD. I joked with my husband that if it wasnt still August I would have turned the heat on!

4.That tomorrow I will see my four little munchkins and my hubby. I have missed them so much…..

5.That I get to come back on MONDAY with my whole family and that we will have two weeks of rest and relaxation before school starts….I’m anticipating an amazing 2 weeks!

How about you? What are you thankful for?

Thankful Thursday- The Servant -Hearted

What does it mean to be servant-hearted?   It means that in everything you do, you want to serve others.  And in our current culture of gimme gimme gimme, these are rare souls who sacrifice their time, energy and sometimes health to impact the lives of others!  Christ lived that way….he came to serve not be served!  He fed, he washed feet, he healed he taught, He died!   The ultimate sacrifice!   There are few people in this world who serve just to help.  People serve for accolades…to hear people say “wow look what you did”.  Or just because “no one else will do it” but in the mean time grumble and complain that they have to do it!

I am so thankful for One of the biggest testimonies to living a servant hearted life like Christ.  This is my husband!

His ministry to families in our church. Our own family benefits greatly from  blessing of his self sacrificing love. Not only does  he care for us but countless others.  EVEN PERFECT STRANGERS! He volunteers to help many in very tangible ways though sometimes he is turned down.  The coolest thing though is he loves to do it.  Not obligated or grudgingly!  He does it because showing God’s love to others is so important.  He could stand in the pulpit and preach on showing love but if he doesn’t act on it, it’s empty and worthless.   

I love seeing him cut wood for people, crawl under their houses to fix a leak, cut down trees, build ramps, cut down pews that are too long for a new church, get a needed appliance, help people move, volunteer our vehicles and the list goes on and on. And on occasion when he has worked all day for church, he has stayed up all night to help get the house on track when I have had the flu or when I tore the ligaments in my foot.  Changing a young lady’s car oil and not picking on her since it had been a REALLY long time since it had been done.  Pretty much helping with any physical labor job that is /was needed!  And so on! The most incredible thing though is watching our kids catch that same self sacrificing love!.  

Now these aren’t normal “pastor” type jobs, but what opportunities he has had to be Christ to other people.   That’s what this Walk is all about, putting our words into action.  For the last 13 years I have watched him dedicate himself to people.  I have learned so much from him…..and you know what he caught this from his parents, and his parents caught it from theirs!.  It’s not  about money, it’s not  about what we are “entitled” to.  It’s not about our time.   It’s not about our stuff!  It all belongs to God.  That is a major lesson I have learned from my hubby, a lesson so grateful for!  A lesson I intend to live out to the best of my ability as long as I live on this earth!

Thank you love for not just paying lip service!  Thank you for not bragging or showing off the things you do for so many people and thank you for not getting angry with me or anyone else for that matter when we can’t see the whole picture!


Thankful Tursday-2 weeks Worth

Thankful Thursday 1-9-2014

Today I am thankful for a great dentist!!!!!

I’m not joking either!

Ever since I can remember I have had some pretty insane dental experiences.

My last dentist said, ” oh your teeth look great, I barely have to touch the”

Nearly three years later, (yeah I know) I sat in the dentist chair two hours on two different days and my teeth are CLEAN!

And thankfully I don’t have a ton of dental worked needed to show for it.
The last dentist had a long list of “things that NEEDED to be done” which included 2 bridges.

So I asked my new dentist if that she be added to the list of things to be done and he responded with these three questions.

1. Do you have enough teeth to adequately chew your food?
My answer yes, I am only missing 1.
2.does missing that tooth make you feel self conscious?
My answer no, it’s way in the back
3. Do you have an exorbitant amount of money that you don’t know what to do with?
My answer (with a chuckle). No.

Then you don’t need any bridges!
I have seen this new dentist now a few times and he definitely manages my pain better….and does a far more thorough job than any other dentist I know!

I am so thankful to live in a state that is fully funded to help families with kids who have autism. New York is so often picked on for so many things and in reality there are so few states as New York. Without New York our son would not have the opportunities he does. It truly is such a great blessing!