I’m not a great journaler. I love journals – as in the actual books. I have dozens of them – and many are partially filled. Because, being a consistent journaler is not on my list of strengths. But every once in a while, I take some time to journal my story thus far. To journal my kids’ accomplishments. To write down the things the Lord has been showing me. I even started a version of a “1,000 Gifts” journal. I’m at 657 things after several months. This one – the 1,000 things I’m thankful for – has been a really valuable and eye-opening journal to keep. The thing I’m finding with my ‘1,000 things journal’ is that it forces me to remember. To remember the beauty in life. And, it reminds me to be thankful. Thankful for all that I have – not just the epic-stand-out moments. 

In this holiday season where we emphasis thankfulness, I am pondering my family’s journey over the past 20 years. One thing I am learning is that being thankful in a hard season takes intentionality, but if we will find things to be thankful for, we begin to see life become beautiful again. The Lord loves turning ashes into beauty. So I remember and I journal His faithfulness in my life which always brings me back to a place of thankfulness

I let go of an unhealthy relationship and engagement… and the Lord was faithful.

I met my husband and we set out on next-to-no money and a pregnancy within months of marriage… and the Lord was faithful.

We needed to upgrade our 2-door car to something bigger for our growing family… and the Lord was faithful.

We found ourselves with 3 littles and wanting to buy our first home… and the Lord was faithful.

We could sense the seasons changing and looked for the next opportunity… and the Lord was faithful.

We wanted to buy a house to settle into our new pastorate in a small farm town… and the Lord was faithful.

We, once again felt the seasons shifting and looked for the next opportunity… and the Lord was faithful.

We found out we were expecting our fourth child (surprise!) –  8 1/2 years after our ‘last’… and the Lord was faithful.

We were needing a new home for our growing family and a place to truly settle… and the Lord was faithful.

We couldn’t sell or financially support a house we were no longer living in… and the Lord was faithful.

We dreamed of a vacation to Disneyland… and the Lord was faithful.

We were expecting our fifth child and heard the words, “your baby has no heartbeat”… and the Lord was faithful.

We needed a season of rest and recovery… and the Lord was faithful.

Our kids were struggling as they started a new season in public school after many years of homeschooling… and the Lord was faithful.

I wrote a book and had no idea how to get it published… and the Lord was faithful.

…and so, so many more times that I have seen His faithfulness.

“Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.” ~Deuteronomy 4:9 (NIV)

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Dani Stroda

I love the adventure of life - aspiring to live every day lost in the whimsy and wonder of the journey. I’m outrageously in love with my amazing husband who makes me laugh every day. I’m mamma to 4 gorgeous and witty daughters who delight me everyday. I’m overwhelmed by the love of our Creator and passionate about helping others find freedom and wholeness - body, soul and spirit. I am author of the book, Journey Through the Door, which released in November 2015. A good conversation, with a friend, over coffee is a favorite pastime of mine and you can join me over at http://www.whimsyinmycup.com/ to join in the conversation! Also find me at “Whimsy In My Cup” on Facebook.

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