• Beth Hildebrand

Over 200 Things To Thank God For


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After enjoying the warm, spring-like holidays here in North Carolina, where flowers were in bloom, it’s the first week of January and here I am thinking for I don’t know how many times, “I need to record my joys.”  I’ve been thinking that since ummm… June last year!  That’s just 6 months so since it’s the beginning of 2016, now will be a good time to do this.  I admit, I was more diligent with recording four years ago when I started this list.  I took a Joy Dare.  This year, I need to do better.

I don’t need to get caught up in the hustle and worries to the point where I forget to still thank God.  There’s so many things going on in this world (and my world) that steals the joy right out of me.  This year I’m going to keep counting joys.  Keep being aware.  Keep looking and finding them on days when they’re easy to find and days that are difficult to.

I challenge you to do this same this year.  Grab a notebook, buy a journal book, make and “JOY” list in your phone Reminders, start a blog.  It can be your prayer to the giving God.  Gratitude. Gratefulness. Thankfulness.

If you’ve read this far, don’t feel like you have to read anymore – I have 204  joys from the past six months  to type down.  I’ve been keeping a list on my phone, but just not putting them in my blog .  This is to hold myself accountable but if you read them, maybe it will bring some things to your mind that you want to thank God for.

Here it goes.

#2559  Husband getting 3 weeks vacation at work allowing us to go on our 2015 Summer Adventure – Drive Across America

#2560 Friends and family who kept our dog while we were on vacation

#2561 Got all we needed (and a little more) in the van for our trip

#2662  excitement for our trip


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#2563  Beauty of NC mountains


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#2564  Stopping in Franklin, TN to spend the night with friends


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#2565  Fro Yo at Sweet CeCe’s on a summer night in TN with friends

#2566  Hearing hot air balloon stories around a pit fire on a cooler summer evening with friends

#2567  Stopping at Welcome signs and taking selfies


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#2568  Activity books


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#2569  Hearing country music songs from the 90s

#2570  Awning to stand under during a storm


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#2571  Sun coming out a little at the Gateway Arch

#2572  Watching movie about the story of the Gateway Arch

#2573  Guys getting a view from the top

#2574  the architecture of the Gateway Arch and the artist and builders


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#2575  Oasis of a Target shopping center and Chick-fil-a in the middle of nowhere Missouri

#2576  No flooding on the side road Siri took us on


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#2577  A Chinese restaurant in Mitchell, SD


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#2578  Laughs in the Chinese restaurant


#2579  Lots and lots of corn


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#2580  Art – with the medium of…corn

#2581  Sun comes out as we get to the Badlands

#2582  The Badlands – it’s hard to find words to describe its amazing-ness

#2583  The art of God’s hand


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#2584  Son’s adventure running throughout the hill formations

#2585  The vastness of the badlands

#2586  Warming up chili mac for first night dinner at the campground

#2587  The most beautiful sunset I think I’ve ever seen


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#2588  Being welcomed in Luck, Wyoming

#2589  Quarters to do laundry at the hotel

#2590  The older couple making omelets for us at their covered wagon who told us stories about the very small town


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#2591  Majesty of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado

#2592  Bonine!  It worked and I didn’t get car sick on those curvy roads!

#2593  Snow in June in the Rocky Mountains


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#2594  Awe in the Rocky Mountains



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#2595  Wearing flip flops in the snow


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#2596  A rainbow coming out of the river


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#2597  Seeing many stars over the mountains

#2598  Sleeping bags, sweatshirts, sweat pants and winter hats to sleep in in a tent

#2599  Bath houses at campgrounds

#2600  Campfire overlooking the lake

#2601  Horseback riding in the Rocky Mountains


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#2602  Seeing a rainbow over a waterfall

#2603  Seeing a wild moose and mule deer everywhere


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#2604  Small town feeling

#2605  Peppermint ice cream on a warm day after a hike

#2606  Conversations with other travelers and locals during our trip

#2607  Cloudless day to explore in the Rocky Mountains

#2608  Sunflowers on the side of the highway in CO

#2609  Sabbath Day in Grand Junction – in our hotel

#2610  Riding miles and miles in a car with a camera in my lap

#2611  Celebrating my husband’s Father’s Day hiking in the Arches


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#2612  Experiencing the beauty of Bryce Canyon


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#2613  Ability to hike to the top of that hoodoo

#2614  Cool air in the bottom of the hoodoo on a hot, summer day

#2615  Eating under an awning in the desert at Subway in the middle of no where

#2616  Riding miles and miles with nothing but prairies and mountains

#2617  Majesty and holiness of Zion National park


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#2618  Learning history of the canyon


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#2619  Sleeping with the cover off the tent and seeing the moon and stars above

#2620  Internet access in National Parks

#2621  Writing in the tent

#2622  Deciding to hike through the Virgin River


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#2623  Waterfalls in Zion

#2624  Shade at a camp ground

#2625  The cleanest and nicest bath house at Zion

#2626  Finding another couple at Bryce and Zion from Durham, NC

#2627  Beauty of the Horseshoe Bend


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#2628  Shouting praise to God in this vastness

#2629  Feeling small in His majesty

#2630  The Grand Canyon


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#2631  Mule deer didn’t get into our campground and tent

#2632  Making rice bowl for dinner in the grand canyone campground

#2633  Seeing the little chapel in AZ we saw 17 years ago

#2634  All the prayers written on the wooden walls of the chapel


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#2635  Being with husband’s family who live in AZ

#2636  Laughing and having fun with family in AZ

#2637  Worshiping at their church

#2638  In-n-Out burgers the guys had been craving for months

#2639  Safety from a dust storm

#2640  Shopping with daughter and aunt at Charming Charlies

#2641  Guys loving jeeping in the desert

#2642  Laughing hard at the movie theater of the spilled popcorn

#2643  Pools in AZ

#2644  A safe, 14 hour drive through AZ, New Mexico and Texas


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#2645  Seeing miles and miles of windmills

#2646  Keeping a list of funny times on our trip

#2647  The hottest Mexican food husband has ever eaten anywhere (in New Mexico)

#2648  Listening to country music in Texas

#2649  Not looking at a calendar

#2650  Not having a to-do list

#2651  Our server at the restaurant in Fort Worth TX

#2652  Color-by-letter book


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#2653  Sharpened colored pencils

#2654  Being at Duck Commander!

#2655  Being with my aunt, uncle and cousin for a coupl

#2656  Safe trip home

#2657  Kids saying they wanted to keep on going on our vacation

#2658  Able to send son to soccer camp

#2659  Son volunteering to room with a new student even though he was originally planning to stay with his best friend

#2660  Spontaneous lunch with IV leaders

#2661  Autumn weekly walks with CT

#2662  Being asked to be a mentor

#2663  A day with an hour conversation with K and L to fill me up.  To make me run harder for Jesus.

#2664  18 years wed to my husband

#2665  Date nights again! And it feels so weird with the kids growing up.

#2666  Roses blooming again

#2667  Breakfast for dinner with friends

#2668  The fortune cookie note beside the bed I saw while making the bed that my husband left me

#2669  Gift in summer – unexpected cool August days

#2670  Gift in summer – butterflies on the butterfly bush

#2671  Family dinner’s on the porch

#2672  A whole bouquet of flowers from my mom’s garden

#2673  Eucharisteo – the unknown of my dad’s health

#2674  Explaining Eucharisteo with online study group

#2675  10am gift – talking with M about IF:Pray

#2676  Gift curved – windy roads to the lake for the weekend

#2677  “Alexa” in the kitchen playing music

#2678  Gift green – “the outrageously faithful” quote on my board

#2679  Gift green – “let’s create a xommunity where we will only speak words that makes souls stronger” (Ann Voskamp on my board

#2680  Gift green – “The joy of the Lord is my strength” mirror with green letters

#2681  Waking up early to write

#2682  Unexpected morning walk with neighbor

#2683  OUR DAUGHTER ASKING JESUS INTO HER HEART

#2684  Daughter baptized in the lake


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#2685  Hard having to ask God to reveal my sin

#2686  Smith Mountain Lake with family

#2687  Our dog on his first boat ride

#2688  The lettuce I’m shredding

#2689  invited to lunch with Jenni Catron author and speaker who visited and spoke at SMC


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#2690  Weekend with my parents

#2691  High school friend who is checking on me

#2692  Bonfire with friends

#2693  So many IF contacts

#2694  The special card, and surprise GIFTS for my trip to IF:Local Leader Gathering from the women who’s the one who made it happen.  Gift, after gift, after gift.  She is a gift to me.

#2695  Meeting new friends at the airport who I’m rooming with at IF:Local Leader Gathering


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#2696  Excitement of being at IF:Gathering with other women to are passionate to serve God

#2697  Most amazing worship and prayer experience


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#2698  Meeting Esther Havens (whose words in 2014 changed my life)


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#2699 Shaking hands with Ann Voskamp again


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#2700  Getting hug with Amy Brown – Communication Director with IF (who asked me to write for them at last  year’s IF:Gathering


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#2701  Instantly bonding with women at this conference

#2702  The teachings


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#2703  Praying in room with 500 women to our faithful God

#2704  Holy tears


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#2705  Seeing War Room with IF friends

#2706  Long talks at the pool

#2707  Talking with Spiritual director about my IF experience and my calling

#2708  Daughter skipping school for a mom/daughter day

#2709  Reading the book my friend gave me, For the Love by Jen Hatmaker, and laughing so hard

#2710  excitement to read my favorite author’s new book


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#2710  Celebrating son’s 16th birthday

#2711  the dinner where men in son’s life who’ve impacted him and are role models in his life

#2712  seeing son’s (and his dad’s and friends) thrill of shooting targets


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#2713  Laughing hard with family at monkeys who entertain


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#2714  Shopping with friends at Salvage sisters

#2715  Signs of Christmas around the corner

#2716  My dad well enough to come to our house for my birthday with mom

#2717  the walk with a beautiful sun rise


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#2718  Seeing bluebirds, chickadees and titmouse birds checking out our bird house

#2719  Amazing scent of potpourri

#2720  Spontaneous trip to the beach for seafood and son’s soccer game

#2721  Planting new flowers for the winter

#2722  my birthday gift blooming in December


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#2723  My mom’s gardening expertise

#2724  Weekly talks and prayers with J

#2725  IF:Alamance location decided

#2726  Meeting Elon girl students and having much in common with them – especially FCA and IF

#2727  Friends taking me out to lunch for my birthday

#2728  A surprise package in the mail from IF and Thomas Nelson

#2729  Even the leaves have fallen off three, I now see bright red berries

#2730  Morning walks in Bridgewater

#2731  Women in the online bible study who teach me

#2732  Text from T when I needed it

#2733  Poinsettia farm with family


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#2734  Christmas tree farm with my parents


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#2735  Daughter making fudge with Gran

#2736  Daughter and Gran laughing hard

#2737  annual dinner with college friends


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#2738  Standing under Chrismon tree


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#2739  daughter playing flute in marching band in Christmas parades (in very warm weather)

#2740  son playing basketball at the Y!


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#2741  Seeing Christmas lights at Casville

#2742  Bumping into friends at Casville


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#2743  Dad got off 2 weeks of chemo for Christmas

#2744  Spending Christmas with our families

#2745  A new computer

#2746  Holy, quiet times by the tree, listening to piano Christmas music

#2747  Christmas music on Klove

#2748  Giving kids gifts, including foster children we helped

#2749  Doodling while listening to sermons

#2750  Going to see Star Wars with my dad, and family


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#2750  watching all the kids bounce


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#2751  Listening to husband’s family heritage stories

#2752  Daughter’s excitement about her fish tank gift

#2753  Son’s appreciation for his gifts

#2754  the WARM December weather (even though very wet) with some flowers starting to bloom


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#2755  A prayer warrior angel God gave me when I felt attacked

#2756  The word the Holy Spirit gave women to minister to me

#2757  God’s presence on my walk as the sun rose and almost blinded me.  Holy ground.  It looked like heaven.

#2758  M called to say how my writing brings her  joy

#2759  Good opportunity to point out perspective to hopefully make someone aware the day after the holy sunrise.

#2760  needed talks with friends on the phone

#2761  Watching videos of our children when they were so little

#2762  Spontaneous Sunday lunch with friends

#2763  This many joys to count and thank God for!

#joy

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