Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Giving Thanks

This month, I've been doing things to help myself to be more mindful of things that I am thankful for. I think that I do this pretty consistently throughout the year, but being thankful can sometimes be hard to do in certain times, and it's always good have reminders!

1. I made a "Give Thanks" banner at the beginning of the month (actually I worked on making it on Halloween night while I watched the UT game and listened for trick-or-treaters at my door). I used a template for the letters that I found online and used a different template for the leaves that I used to write things that I am thankful for this month. This week, I added some pictures of my family to give some more "character" to the display, and for whom I am thankful 365 days a year!

2. Early in November, a friend posted a link to a blog that gives a list of verses to write each day during the month. I think the blogger does this for each month, but this was the first time I'd seen it and most of the verses had to do with giving thanks. Some were very familiar and obvious choices and others were verses that I hadn't spent time thinking about before, like Psalm 69:

"I will praise God’s name in song
    and glorify him with thanksgiving.
This will please the Lord more than an ox,
    more than a bull with its horns and hooves.
The poor will see and be glad—
    you who seek God, may your hearts live!
The Lord hears the needy
    and does not despise his captive people."

 I liked thinking about how God is more pleased with our songs of thanksgiving than any other sacrifices we could give (in those days, an ox or a bull with horns and hooves). And the comforting reminder that the Lord hears the needy and does not despise his captive people.

3. For my birthday, I was given a pretty journal and I decided to use it as a thankfulness journal. Starting in April (yes, my birthday is in February, but it takes me a while to use pretty things sometimes), I started writing down some things I am thankful for just before I turn out the light. Some nights I was so sleepy, I ended up just going over them in my head as I drifted off to sleep, but the journal is almost full now and I look forward to finding another one to continue this practice.

One of my favorite passages about thankfulness is 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18:
"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; 
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." 

May we all live a life of rejoicing, praying and giving thanks in all circumstances!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 13, 2015

UT Big Band Concert

Earlier this week, Mom and I drove over to Knoxville to attend the UT Big Band Fall Concert, featuring our favorite drummer! This was our first college concert to attend and it was a lot of fun! Daniel has been in smaller jazz combo groups each semester that he's been in college, but this was the first year he was selected to be the drummer for the Big Band.

What also made the concert special was getting to see some of Daniel's friends in the band. Trumpeter John Dooley (pictured above) and Daniel have been in school and band together since the fifth grade at Meigs Magnet Middle! The pianist in the UT Big Band is Daniel's good friend and suitemate, Aaron Mastin. It was good to see Daniel in his element and hear this great performance by the Big Band!