Tag Archives: grateful

How to be Thankful Throughout the Year

How to Be Thankful Throughout the Year

by Stephanie Nickel


One of my Facebook friends took a challenge in 2013 to list 1,200 reasons to be thankful. When my mother-in-law gave me a journal for Christmas, it didn’t take long to decide what I would use it for.

I got a jump start and listed the first 100 reasons in December.

If you need a little direction, below are some ideas to get you started:


The first month of the year is typically a month of new beginnings. What “new beginnings” are you thankful for? (i.e.: the events surrounding your new birth in Christ; the start of your family; new jobs; new homes; etc.)


The month the world is focused on love is a great time to think of the people you love. Don’t just list their names. Also list specifics about what you love and appreciate about them. (You may even want to take the time to touch base with them and let them know they’re on your mind and in your prayers.)


No matter how you feel about winter, you may be getting tired of the cold, grey days. Recording why you’re thankful for winter can help turn your thinking around.  (i.e.: clothes, a warm home, places to go even though you have to brave the elements, your favourite hot drink, etc.)


Springtime, a time when new life bursts forth in the Northern Hemisphere, is a wonderful time to look to creation and thank the Lord for things you may not usually notice. (I never watched the progress of budding trees before my hubby pointed them out to me.)


The nicer weather is upon us. Like a warm hug, it reminds us of those things that bring us a sense of peace and security. What a great springboard for gratitude!


School is winding down for the summer. Parents and teachers are encouraging children to end strong. Let’s think about “the golden years” and ending our lives strong. What are you thankful for now that you’re “older”? If you’re not considered a senior yet, think of those who are. What reasons to be thankful come to mind?


Sunshine. Blue skies. Warm weather. What reasons do you have to be thankful this summer – and from summers gone by?


August means holiday time for many. Even if you are not able to get away, think about how you can step back from the busyness of the day-to-day and think of the many things there are to be thankful for.


Back to school . . . Think back over your years in school. What are you thankful for? Plus, we never stop learning (or we shouldn’t, at least). What new discoveries “blow your mind”?


Autumn is my favourite season. I love the colours, the nip in the air, the smell of fallen leaves. It takes me back to my childhood. Childhood memories—though some may be difficult—still bring many reasons to be thankful.


I read a very good argument about why we shouldn’t say, “It was a God thing.” Since He is sovereign, everything that comes into our lives was ordained by Him for His purposes. Though it can be extremely difficult to be thankful for challenging situations, it is a wonderful discipline to look for those reasons to praise and thank Him through it all. Trust Him and thank Him for working in even the darkest seasons of life.


As the year winds down, why not record 50 things that stand out about 2014 and 50 things you are looking forward to in 2015?


Find out countless reasons to be thankful. #UTCOP (click to tweet)

Here is a free PDF 0f Countless Reasons to be Thankful if you wish to print out Stephanie’s ideas of how to be thankful.

Steph Beth Nickel

Headshot 1 Stephanie 2013

Steph Beth is a wife of over 30 years and the mother of three grown children. Steph’s eclectic interests include writing, editing, fitness, and childbirth (she is also a labour doula).
Steph’s was honoured to co-author former Paralympian Deb Willows’ memoir. Living Beyond My Circumstances is scheduled for release at the end of November 2013.
Steph edits for Christian Editing Services under the leadership of Karen Burkett. She is a long-time member of The Word Guild and a recent member of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship.

Steph blogs at Steph’s Electic Interests. Her new author website, Steph Beth Nickel , is a work-in-progress.


Looking Back

by Jan Cox

Remembering Arizona

Sometimes life just gets busy, doesn’t it? We “say” our prayers – then off we go to our pursuits. When do we stop and look at our lives and see where God has been working?

Today I want to suggest that we all take 10-20 minutes this week to stop and reflect, remember and rejoice over what we have seen God do in our lives.

All through the Bible God tells us to remember. For example in the Old Testament in Deuteronomy it states:

“Be careful not to forget the covenant of the LORD your God that he made with you” (Deuteronomy 4:3 NIV)


“Remember every road that God led you on for those forty years in the wilderness, pushing you to your limits, testing you so that he would know what you were made of, whether you would keep his commandments or not” (Deuteronomy 8:2 The Message).

And Peter also reminds the new Christians to never forget what God has done.

“So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things” (2 Peter 1:12-15)

So today I want to remind all of you to take time this week to remember all God has done in your lives. You can think of the following when you start remembering:

People – who has influenced you the most in your spiritual journey?

Moments – what are pivotal times when God has made Himself known?

Lessons – what are important spiritual lessons you have learned in your life?

Disappointments – Yes you need to look at those and see how God has used these in your life

During this time of remembrance – thank God for all He has done and is doing in your lives.


Father we thank You for being here with us. We remember the past and those times when we learned and grew in knowledge of You. Thank You for showing me how You are in my life. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

A special thanks to Amazing Collection Bible Study the book of 2 Peter for opening my eyes to remembering.

My Gratitude List for this week: aiming for 2000 this year. Linking to A Holy Experience.

  • Ginger tea (Yogi) with real ginger
  • Sunlight streaming through to make a pattern on the wall
  • The cooing of the doves
  • A comment from someone about how God speaks to them through the posts on Under the Cover of Prayer
  • My youngest daughter preparing for the birth of her first baby
  • Big group of friends with a fun conversation at the pool
  • Starting to “see” in my watercolour
  • Email from my granddaughter (8 years old)
  • Good sermon on “character”
  • Hubby cough is getting better
  • A restoring nap
  • My sister’s birthday
  • Delicious looking cupcakes – wish I could have one
  • Communication via emails
  • No sore toes when tap dancing
  • Write! Canada – I signed up
  • Idea of negotiating for the best deal in FPU
  • A good flight back to Canada from Phoenix
  • A good shuttle driver who drove on icy and snowy roads
  • A great night’s sleep (11 and ½ hours)
  • Awaiting the birth of a new grandchild

Jan Cox

Jan, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. She has published two devotionals and a number of articles for magazines and a Bible study. She is owner of Under the Cover of Prayer and moderates the site. She also writes at A Better Way. Jan is working on a couple children’s books in which she is also the watercolour illustrator.


Simply Saturday – Grateful

Once again I am tagging on to The Gypsy Mama. Today her word is grateful. Five minutes – here I go.

This week has been filled with blessings. My daughter and her two children were here (4 and 2). I ran a vacation Bible School called the VIBE (Ventures in Biblical Education). We had two fantastic leaders from our Presbytery and 16 registered children.

What fun! What excitement! What sweet children!

My body is in recovery mode today. I am a Grandma; running up and down stairs; doing jumping jacks and sitting on the floor – those were some of my activities.

It may take me a couple of days to recover but what a wonderful week.

The next week will be filled with planning for my mission trip to Poland with International Messengers. For two weeks we will be over in Poland to visit and teach English. Once again I am looking after the children ages 4-12.

Grace and Gene Fox are in Romania at the moment, before they meet us in Poland. What a wonderful team to work with. She writes in her blog about her reflections on her trip to Romania.

I am grateful that God gave me the gifts and passion to do this. I am grateful He gives me the strength and health to physically be able to work with children.

Counting my blessings and being grateful each day as God leads and guides me. I would appreciate any prayers for this trip.


Your turn. Write a comment or post on being grateful. You can link to Gypsy Mama – here.



You may also enjoy Are We Grateful?