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Each year I choose a word that will be kind of like my theme or focus for the year. For 2017 I choose the word, ABUNDANCE.

I wanted to be able to clearly see and recognize Heavenly Father’s abundance in all things…something beyond being simply grateful but really having my eyes opened.

Lemme just tell ya…this was INCREDIBLE!!! I gave myself daily “homework” to do so I could always keep my attention on my goal. I’d write 25 things I’m grateful for every day…which believe it or not was somewhat difficult in the beginning.

I’d be able to write down 10-15 easy but then day after day it got harder because I didn’t want to just write the same things over and over again – even if I was grateful for the same things I wanted to be as specific as possible so it made me think hard to reflect on the day and what specifically I saw as a great blessing and His abundance.

A couple weeks into the new year I had this experience during a really rainy season. I needed to take my daughter to an appointment that was about 30 minutes away from my house. So that morning,  I piled all my four kids in the car – which was a challenge just to get them out the door at all…and if you’ve ever worked with children in any capacity you’ll understand what it’s like to get kids anywhere – herding cats is the phrase I like best. Needless to say the day started with me already feeling slightly frazzled.

The office is right off of the freeway but to get to that freeway I had to take the back roads. These back roads are winding and takes a good twenty minutes to even get to the onramp. As we were driving in the downpour through these country back roads, my two youngest kids start whining loudly that they have to go to the bathroom NOW! I looked around and thought, “You’ve got to be kidding me! We JUST left the house less than twenty minutes ago!” I consoled them the best I could by telling them we’re now over half way there! Be there soon! (all while trying to hide the annoyance in my tone).

road-closedJust one more turn and we’d be almost to the freeway. When I turned the corner I saw a big white sign in the middle of the road saying: ROAD CLOSED.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! (Insert kids crying/whining/moaning…even louder than before)  I paused for a second looking at the sign…My mind was firing all kinds of rapid thoughts at me: do I dare going for it? How deep can it really be? My kids sound like they’re dying back there! Now what am I going to do?

Visions of going for it and getting stuck in the muddy water – while clearly ignoring a warning sign then having to call for help and then WAITING for the help and the whole bathroom issue, flashed before my eyes. Not today…I turned around to head back into town to take the much longer route to get to our destination.

On the way back through the road goes right next to our house so we stopped to let the littles use the bathroom. Then again we headed down the road to get to the other freeway and on to the office only this time I’ve added on irritation from the inconvenience of having to take this much longer path after wasting time trying to take the original path.

We arrive safely. The kids all head in and go straight to the designated children’s area filled with books, toys, video games, etc. and I sit in the waiting room. As I’m sitting there trying to calm down and take deep breaths I feel this prompting to pick up my abundance journal from my bag and start writing. Umm…not really in the mood, I tried telling myself. I’m still feeling that way that you get when you’re running WAY late and reeling from all the annoyances that occurred within the last hour. Not that I’m not grateful for life and all…but I’m not sure I’m done wallowing in my head yet!

Again…that tug…more irritated…finally, I pulled out my journal and sat there pen in hand and forced myself to write. But first…ya have to think about what you’re writing about, right? so I mentally started replaying the morning and this amazing thing happened. I started writing this:

1.)I’m grateful for my Father in Heaven and this mortal journey that He provided for me.                                                        2.)I’m grateful for my family…that is here with me, safe, healthy, and happy.                                3.) I’m grateful that we’re able to make it to this appointment and that they didn’t turn us away for being almost an hour late (which was kind of a miracle by itself!)                                                          4.) I’m grateful that I live in a country with PAVED ROADS – that even in this rainy season I’m not wading through mud.                                                                                                       5.)I’m grateful that there are TWO highways that would take me to this destination.              6.) I’m grateful we homeschool so on days like this we can go with the flow and adjust as needed.                                                                                                                                                     7.) I’m grateful that even in this heavy rain we have been warm and dry this whole time – because of the reliable car we have equipped with heating and now sitting here in this cozy chair, in this warm office.

See the shift that started taking place?

Abundance is ALWAYS there and we can see it IF we start looking for it. Within minutes I went from feeling overwhelmed, frazzled, and irritated to abundant, grateful, and joyful.

And THIS was just the tip of the iceberg…this was only the beginning of the year! I’ve since filled two large journals full of the abundance that our Heavenly Father blesses us with DAILY. It’s incredible, my friends. I’ll share more about some of those miracles another day.

It’s November, the month where we tend to turn our hearts to thanksgiving and thinking about abundance -take the ABUNDANCE CHALLENGE!!!

Write 25 things you are grateful for everyday from now until Thanksgiving – be VERY specific when you write. It will open your eyes to see the overflowing abundance in your life!

Then SHARE!!! I’d love to hear about your journey!!!

Amazing things will happen! 😘

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