9 Ways to Remember to Give Thanks

remember to give thanks

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. Col. 4:2

Life gets busy and before you know it, those thank you cards have been sitting on the shelf for 2 months. You bought them. You had great intentions. But they are still there and you occasionally feel a twinge of guilt when you pass by them.

For me, this little scenario was happening several times a year. And while I still enjoy writing out personal thank you cards whenever I can purposely do so, I’ve noticed that it is a beautiful thing to give thanks, no matter the format. I’ve also noticed that when I make room in the front seat for “giving thanks” and keep a watchful eye on opportunities to do so, then our family experiences more joy in our lives. I’m sure you’ve experienced this phenomena too. Maybe one of these points on “9 ways to remember to give thanks” will prompt a purposeful thank-you to someone who needs to hear it.

  1. Give thanks in person in the moment.

I know- it’s obvious. But sometimes it’s easier to prompt our children with “What do you say?” than it is to remember to say thanks ourselves.

  1. Send a text immediately.

Get creative and make a sign or write on a chalkboard. Then, take a photo and text it to Grandma or Aunt Susie or whomever lives at a distance and needs to know in the moment that you are ever so grateful. Then you can give the sign or a photo to her the next visit.

  1. Set up a phone reminder to send a thank you card.

Or add a sticky note to your work area.

  1. Pray and give thanks.

When a gift arrives in the mail, at dinner, our family will often give thanks for whatever arrived that day. We thank God for the person who sent the gift as well and sometimes we tell the person we prayed for them as a result of their gift.

  1. Keep thank you cards handy and write one out at the first opportunity.

When the thank you list is longer, then it takes me longer to tackle it. You too? One of the keys, for me, is to keep that list as small as possible.

  1. Send an email.

When I want to write something longer than a few sentences, I’ve found that emailing thanks is a great way to take care of the immediacy issue AND write more than a couple sentences. If you’re a fast typist, maybe this is a great option!

  1. Call your phone and leave yourself a voicemail.

If remembering to do something is critical, then voicemail is a great way to remind yourself of the importance of giving thanks.

  1. Send a social media message.

Many people love to see an Instagram or other social media photo of their gift or a tribute with a memo of thanks.

  1. Make a good old-fashioned phone call.

While social media is wonderful, making a phone call to say thanks is a beautiful thing.

Whether the gift, service or deed was small or large, remembering to give thanks produces a joyful heart. No matter the method or means, let’s encourage someone else today by remembering to give thanks for their examples and investments in our lives!

Who do you need to thank today?

Rachel at RachelWojo.com

PS: I’m thankful for my sister, Sharon. You wouldn’t believe how big her heart is!

10 Unusual Places to Spend Quiet Time with God

unusual quiet time

This week I was thinking about how creative a mom sometimes needs to be in order to spend time alone with God. Sometimes flexibility is the key and it’s not about the number of minutes, but the focus of your heart and mind. Maybe you’ve not thought of any of these places as being the ideal place for a few minutes with God. Honestly, ideal is not what we’re looking at in this instance. Today I’m presenting a few ideas that will jog our minds to think creatively when we consider where we are spending time with God.

1. The Restroom

I know. Did I really think this needed mentioned?  Well, yes. We all know that moms are prone to lock bathroom doors on occasion for more than just the essentials. Sometimes it’s the only place to eat a mini chocolate bar without sharing. Can I get an Amen? Sometimes it’s also the best place to review your prayer list.

2. The Minivan

Whether waiting in pickup lines at school or waiting for ball practice to end, a girl can get her Bible reading game on in the good ol’ family minivan.

3. The Garage

Yes, I’ve sat on the garage steps and read my devotional for the day so that I could avoid everything going on in the house, but no one knew I was there. It’s a great place for that!

4. The Laundry Room

Does anyone EVER go in the laundry room except for Mom? No. If you want to hide out for a few, just hide where the work is and it’s guaranteed that no one will find you. ;)

5. Under the Table

If kids can hold pretend forts under the dining room table, so can moms. I can honestly say I haven’t tried this one. But I can see the potential.

6. On the Trampoline

One night this week when the kids were all in bed,  I went out on the trampoline to pray and stargaze. It’s a beautiful place!

7. Top of the Outdoor Playset

Our playset has a fort on the top, just before you go down the slide. If you can catch a break when the kiddos are playing underneath, then a few minutes in the fort is a great place to have time alone with God.

8. Bedroom Closet

IF you’re lucky enough to have a closet with a little extra space AND you’re not claustrophobic, then a few minutes of prayer time and Bible reading in the closet can do wonders.

9. In the Nursery

One of my favorite places to pray over the years has been sitting in the rocker while rocking or nursing one of my sweet babies.

10. Anywhere…

Hopefully you chuckled as you read parts of this post, but the point is that no matter where we are physically located, we can calm our hearts and minds to focus on God’s Word and prayer for a  few moments. We don’t have to always be isolated and we don’t have to shut everyone else out. Some of the best discussions I’ve had with my kiddos is when they interrupted my quiet time with a small question of “Hey, Mom…what are you doing?” There’s nothing like answering that question with: “Hey. I’m studying this verse in the Bible…. do you know what it says? What does that mean?”

Blessings on your quiet time endeavors- no matter where you may choose to have them..

Rachel at RachelWojo.com

5 Ways to Move from Overwhelmed to Overjoyed

overwhelmed to overjoyed

Today’s woman wears many hats; we experience this on a daily basis. Whether chauffeuring children to their next activity, bandaging a skinned knee, or washing the last dinner spoon, the responsibilities of wife and mother reflect many shapes.

Maybe you work a job for income, either inside or outside the home. While the work brings additional fulfillment and privileges to your life, it also brings stress.

Perhaps you volunteer in the community, at your church, or for your child’s school. While this is a blessing, it also uses time.

As a woman who, like you, wears many hats, I don’t want to feel overwhelmed. Because when I feel overwhelmed, I act overwhelmed; and honestly, this is not a good thing. (I was hoping you might understand?)

On a daily basis, then, how can we really move from overwhelmed to overjoyed? What decisions can we make that will bring feelings of joy and not feelings of alarm?

Today I wanted to share with you a few ideas I’m using to best focus my emotions. Maybe one of these ideas will stick with you and bridge the gap between feeling bewildered and feeling blessed.

1. Think about the daily schedule in small chunks of time, rather than a whole day’s worth of events.

On particularly busy days in our home, I only look at the schedule for the entire day one time in the morning. For the remainder of the day, I focus on a couple hours, or even an hour, at a time.

2. Dwell on Scripture frequently throughout the day.

Keeping God’s Word on display is so important to me. It’s my reminder to remember the promises of God’s provisions and reflect on His grace, mercy, and love. Continually acknowledging that HE is my strength prevents those threatening feelings of being overwhelmed.

3. Acknowledge the blessings in the midst of burdens.

Everyone has their burdens; but the richer woman is the one who multiplies her thoughts on her blessings. Sometimes I personally feel overwhelmed by my daughter’s special needs. Perhaps someone who is scheduled to help care for her doesn’t show up and this causes a ripple effect on my availability to care for my other children. Or if I begin to think about all the things she is no longer able to do, then fear of the future begins to wreak havoc on my spirit. Instead, I focus on the things she can do and thank the Lord for those abilities.

4. Recognize and enjoy moments of joy and fun.

When a moment of joy arrives, whether it’s a text message from my husband, a card in the mail, or a kiss from my baby girl, recognizing its value can mold my outlook for the next hour.  Savoring the simple things in life certainly brings joy.

5. Pray for a change of spirit when the feelings of being overwhelmed begin to peak.

When my head starts to spin a little and things are moving faster than I can keep up with, then asking the Lord to give me direction makes all the difference.

What have you found to prevent those feelings of being overwhelmed? We’d love to hear from you today!

Rachel at RachelWojo.com

Setting Up a New Quiet Time Routine

schedule quiet time

With a new season approaching, the time to plan a different quiet time schedule can arrive as well. Whether changing jobs or experiencing a spouse changing jobs, deciding on a new school year plan, or just needing a change to prevent monotony, setting up a new quiet time routine can be challenging. Recently I was thinking through my personal quiet time routine and evaluating what is going to work well in the fall between Bible study time and prayer. Today I’m sharing a few of the questions I asked myself in that evaluation.

1. How much daily time do I want to spend in purposeful prayer?

Honestly, God and I have an ongoing conversation throughout the day. I’m sure some of what I say to him would make no sense to the average person if they overheard our conversation, because I have a tendency to jump around randomly from topic to topic. Sometimes that conversation is based on the experiences of the day and sometimes it’s just based on what is going on in my head. But besides this ongoing conversation, I believe having a purposeful plan with time carved out to pray is so very important in our personal relationship. So I need to decide on a time or times to be purposeful about praying to the Lord.

2. What method of tracking prayer requests or prayer journaling would be good to use in this season?

In other words, who am I praying for and how do I want to be purposeful in those prayers? Just as an example, I want to be sure to pray for my husband daily. I’ve found many ways to do this, but one of my favorites is simply to have a phone reminder that pops up at the same time every day with his name.

3. How much time do I feel the Lord leading me to spend reading the Bible?

Reading God’s Word is personal; it is his love letter to us. I love reading personal letters; don’t you? If my hubby gives me a note or card, I keep it visible where I can read it over again sometime throughout the day. I’ve found that choosing a Bible reading plan keeps me focused on a daily reading.

4. What method of Bible reading or study is right for this season?

Many times I’ve felt a topic coming up over and over again in my life through sermons, conversations, or articles. When a Bible study came available on that topic, then I knew God was asking me to do it. There have been seasons of life where I could not participate in a community Bible study due to timing, etc. but I found an online Bible study, an individual Bible study or a Bible reading plan that would be practical for that particular season in my life.

No matter the reason for the need to set up a new quiet time routine or schedule, my hope is that the questions I’ve used to evaluate the change will help you in your walk with the Lord. I’d really love to read about what has helped you with making a change in your daily quiet time!

What has helped you the most in making a change in your personal daily time with God?

Rachel at RachelWojo.com

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