Homemade Thieves Deodorant

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For several years now, I have made my own deodorant.  For years before that, Adam would mention to me the dangers of antiperspirants and finally convinced me to use deodorant without them.  I hate sweating!  But it is a natural part of being human.  So it just isn’t natural to block up your pores with aluminum so that you won’t sweat.  The best option is to find something that at least keeps you smelling good while you are sweating. (smiles)  I have yet to find a “crunchy” brand that works for me.  My original batch included peppermint and melaleuca essential oils.  But the latest batch of homemade seems to work the best ever at keeping me smelling nice as well as cutting down on breast tenderness.  It might sound strange, but I have noticed a marked difference in this area when I’ve gone back to store-bought antiperspirant deodorants over the past several years.  Then when I go back to using my homemade, the tenderness almost completely disappears…do you think there is a connection between what we put on our arm pits and breast health?!

The secret ingredient to the latest batch:  Thieves essential oil.

I gave a bit of the latest batch to my mother-in-law who has bravely tried it and says it worked for her.  Making your own takes a small bit of time and an even smaller bit of money – compared to the expensive organic brands.  And the benefits of coconut oil and Thieves Essential Oil being rubbed over your lymph system daily are significant.  I now have a daughter that needs to use deodorant and cannot imagine putting aluminum into her body at such a young age – or ever. She thinks the homemade stuff is awesome, probably because she wants to do exactly what I do. Precious and a big responsibility!  And soon, she’ll be able to make it for us.  Yay! I encourage you to try it!  And be sure to let me know what you think.

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My original recipe was from Passionate Homemaking’s site.  Thankfully Lindsay has kept her site up, even though she no longer blogs, because I go to her site each time I need to make more.  I should write the recipe down or add to my cookbook. But here is my latest concoction:

1 cup coconut oil, room temperature or slightly warmed, if it is really hard (I get mine from Mountain Rose Herbs)

slightly under 1/2 cup baking soda

slightly over 1/2 cup arrowroot starch**

15 drops Thieves Essential Oil from Young Living (we ingest this oil, rub it on our feet, necks, wrists, diffuse it…definitely one of the most versatile oils we use! And the benefits are listed below.)

Mix all together well with a fork until a creamy consistency.  It honestly looks and smells like you could eat it!  I store in a plastic or glass container.  It is the perfect consistency in the winter and slightly runny in the summer, so it is good to make it in smaller batches for summer.  Just rub a small dollop under each arm and you are good to go.

**The total powder in the recipe should equal 1 cup.  I find that using more arrowroot starch than baking soda makes for a less harsh deodorant.

****AUGUST 21, 2014 UPDATE****

I made a new batch and decided to mix it up a bit this time.  After some more research, I decided to split the oil amount evenly between coconut oil and shea butter.  I also added some sea salt.  It is working GREAT!  Even in the middle of the hot season, one application each day has done it.

I plan to play around with bentonite clay next time…

 

In closing, I thought I would share the benefits of Thieves Essential Oil, mentioned above (taken from The Reference Guide for Essential Oils by Connie and Alan Higley, as I mentioned in my last post on essential oils, this has proven to be an invaluable book!):

“The highly antiviral and antiseptic properties of the single oils contained in this blend help protect the body from the onset of flu, candida, colds, etc.  It may also help with sinusitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, coughs, strep, sore throats, periodontal (gum) disease, teething, cold sores, canker sores, bruises, cuts, infections, slivers, and splinters (pulls to surface).  It is considered antiplague, as it was used by thieves in England to protect them from the plague when stealing from the sick and dying.”

I also find the following information (from the same book) fascinating and remember it each time I add Thieves to our diffuser.  This is what I call “gettin’ it done” and without harmful chemicals!

“Studies conducted by Weber State University (Ogden, UT) in 1997 showed the antibacterial effectiveness of this blend (Thieves) against airborne microorganisms.  One study showed a 90% reduction in the number of Gram-positive micrococcus luteus organisms after diffusing Thieves for 12 minutes.  After diffusing Thieves for a total of 20 minutes, there was a 99.3% reduction.  Another study with the Gram-negative Pseudomonas aeruginosa showed a kill rate of 99.6% after just 12 minutes of diffusion.”

Final Call For Norwex Raffle {and some photos}

When we started the Norwex raffle back in July, we had no idea that our girls would be home five weeks (!) by the time we drew the winner on October 31.  We prayed for earlier, but honestly planned on the end of December or January/February to get them home.  Wow!  The Lord has been kind beyond our wildest hopes.  He answered prayer after prayer and opened the doors wide.  We truly give Him all the glory and praise!

We originally had it all covered, but the fees kept changing and new ones were added.  The Lord was kind to provide most of the $37,000 it took to adopt the girls. It just blows my mind how He provided – and without us having to ask for money or apply for grants or loans.  But we did come up a bit short in the end and do have a credit card balance currently due to airline tickets that were purchased a few months earlier than expected.

We so appreciate everyone who has purchased the 75 raffle tickets so far for the Norwex basket shown below. I wanted to post one last call for ticket purchases.  They are $10 each towards the drawing that will happen on the 31st.  My email is ryoung1514@gmail.com to contact me in regards to tickets.  Our new sweet daughters will get to draw the winner! (And I just had to sneak in a couple photos of their sweet faces here as well…)

Precious 3-year-old Little Peanut

Our 5-year-old Joy Bubble

Our beautiful and sweet 5-year-old Joy Bubble

Well…I can’t resist sharing a few more.  Indian Summer made for some good photo ops this week.

The Norwex Raffle Basket (contents listed below)

Basket Contents:

Dishwashing Liquid 6.99
Bathroom Scrub Mitt 23.99
Descaler 29.99
Beige Tea Towel Set 24.99
Micro Cleaning Pads 5.99
Mesh Dish Cloth 6.99
Kitchen Cloth Set 23.99
Cleaning Paste 28.99
Spirisponge 9.99
Veggie & Fruit Scrub Cloth 13.99
Rubber Brush 13.99
Superior Mop Starter Collection 112.99
Household Package 46.99
Yellow Enviro Cloth 15.99
Enviro Travel Pack 20.99
Sanira Toilet Brush System 52.99
Oven & Grill Cleaner 29.99
Mattress Cleaner 29.99
Fresh Wash 24.99
Odor Eliminator 12.99
Ultra Power Plus Laundry Deter. 20.99
Baby Body Pack 14.99
Vibrant Body Pack 19.99
2 – Silver Care Toothbrushes 42.00
Body Glove 12.99
Mighty Mesh Pot Scrubber 8.99
Naturally Timeless Day Cream 59.99
TOTAL 717.74

And the winner is…

Liz! Congratulations!
Our internet is out for some reason tonight so I am posting this from Adam’s iPhone (not ideal). :-)  But I wanted to say thank you to each of you who participated and spread Katie’s story. I really wish  everyone who left a comment could read this book (and have the book). So if you live close you can borrow mine or the Book Nook can order it for $17 and we love supporting his local business.
But I did finish the whole book…in 4 days. Definitely a record for me. Though I cannot endorse her theology 100% it is definitely one the most challenging books I have read lately in regards to the power of the Spirit, the Word, prayer and just plain love! So challenging!
And I loved Megan’s comment about her husband’s mission trip to Uganda…we are praying it is the same for our trip to the DR Congo. Once you meet…you love and are forever touched and changed. Adam and I have talked a lot about missions in this past year (which, for me has been a huge stretch and total work of grace). We are not sure what the Lord is doing but we know He is growing us and stretching us and showing us His love more and more so that we can show that love of Christ to others. Katie’s story is encouraging and Spirit empowering…

“Kisses From Katie” {book giveaway!}

I have mentioned Katie Davis and her blog (kissesfromkatie.blogspot.com) here on my blog before, and she is pretty well known by now I’m sure…an amazing 22-year-old woman from Nashville, TN who lives in Uganda as an adoptive mother of 14 girls.  Her story is amazing, and just came out in a book – Kisses From Katie.

Some sweet friends of ours went to Nashville this past weekend to hear her speak (she is in the states for a couple of weeks). They surprised me by bringing me a copy of her new book yesterday!  In just 12 hours I am on chapter 6.  It is one of those books I can’t put down!  I have read most of the book to the kids (which is how I am so far along…ha!)  It is an incredible book, so far!  A must read for all Christians (especially adoptive parents, anyone with teens, anyone thinking of missions, or anyone who has ever struggled to love others properly…ok pretty much anyone and everyone!)

When they gave me the book yesterday, our daughter took it and started to look through it (she loves books!).  When she got to the pictures, she was like a kid in a candy shop.  “Mom! Look at this girl, she looks like Botianna.” (a friend who braids her hair).  “Mom!  This girl has hair like me”. ” Awww!  She is so cute!”  “Awww!  Look she looks like me!”  She was going on and on.  This is the girl that loves all things African and black.  I told her that she would love Africa (meaning she would love the babies and kids there).  And she said, “Well, mom, then why am I not there?”  Silence.  And then she said it again.  Ha! Um…well…because we’re here.  Through a few tears in my eyes, I had to pray silently that this kind of childlike love and faith would never leave her or be choked out by the cares of this fleeting and fading world.  And that I would have childlike willingness to not cling to anything and just be about loving the people God has placed in my life.

The things that have stood out to me so far in the book are her Word-filled writing and her love for others.  Two of my favorite excerpts so far from the book are:

“It is pouring. It is freezing. The power has been off for days and the water lines are down.  Yet I stand in the middle of twenty-five children praising and thanking the Lord…twenty-five boys ages six to ten.  I have never seen anyone so alive with love for their Maker.  Some stand with their hands in the air.  Others, like me, overwhelmed with awe, have fallen to their knees on the cold cement floor.  The beautiful sound of twenty-six voices lifted in prayer drowns out the beating of the rain on the tin roof.  God is so in this moment; I feel so full of His love that my heart threatens to burst.  This is not something I can explain.  This is not something words can capture.  This feeling is bigger.  The splendor of God in this room takes my breath away.  We all pray out loud and our voices mix into one, all different words, but the same message; Thank you. Thank you.  At first glance, it would be easy to feel sorry for these little boys.  Their clothes are tattered; they sleep on old, dirty mattresses; they walk to school barefoot in the rain.  They have no electricity, no running water, and it is raining so hard that the whole compound has become a muddy swamp.  But I should not pity these children.  In fact, I should envy them.  At six years old, these children know what it is to be filled with the Holy Spirit.  These children know the greatness, the wonder of our God.  I’ve had people ask me why I think Africa is so impoverished, but these children are not poor.  I, as a person who grew up wealthy, am.  I put value in things.  These children, having no things, put value in God.  I put my trust in relationships; these children, having already seen relationships fail, put their trust in the Lord.  This nation is blessed beyond any place, any people I have ever encountered.  God has not forgotten them.  In fact, I believe He has loved them just a little bit extra…My deepest prayer is that I could know the Lord as well as the first grader next to me…” (pages 25-27)

“Adoption is the reason I can come before God’s throne and beg Him for mercy, because He predestined me to be adopted as His child through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will – to the praise of His glorious grace…My family, adopting these children, it is not optional.  It is not my good deed for the day; it is not what I am doing to ‘help out these poor kids.’  I adopt because God commands me to care for the orphans and the widows in their distress.  I adopt because Jesus says that to whom much has been given, much will be demanded (see Luke 12:48) and because whoever finds his life will lose it but whoever loses his life for His sake will find it (see Matthew 10:39).” (page 73)

I decided this book is definitely on my ‘give away for Christmas gifts’ list.  But today I also wanted to do a giveaway of this book.  Post a comment below to be entered into the drawing.  If you would like to be entered more than once,  share this link on Facebook or Twitter (or both) and then post another comment on here stating that you have done so and you will be entered again (or three times).  I will have the kids draw a name on Monday evening.  I hope you are blessed and encouraged as you read the story of one woman who the Lord is using greatly and humbly through just loving others where they are.  May we all be such!

Thankfulness Journal…repost

This is a repost from last December.  I found myself struggling for joy this morning and realized that I was not fighting hard for it and was not commanding my soul to be thankful. I went back and read this reminder and was encouraged…may you too be blessed today in the fight.

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I have started the practice of keeping a list of the good gifts from the Lord each day.  Right now it is on my computer, but I hope to transition to an actual journal soon so that I can keep it with me throughout the day.  As I have done this, it has been a tremendous help in giving my mind some tracks on which to run.  It has brought to my attention how much I live by my feelings, rather than truth. I have had to scratch and claw at times to find something to be thankful for (after the 4th time of disciplining my children for the same thing…after I’ve committed the same sin of impatience toward my kids for the fourth time that hour.  I am sure you understand!)  So when my sin is all I can see – I am forced to either quit and curl up in the fetal position or else repent and focus on the cross of Christ where ALL of the wrath for my sin was born – where the power of my sin was broken!  Praise God!!!

In an attempt to keep Christmas simpler this year, I decided that this would make a good gift for a family member.  So I purchased a really nice journal and wrote the following to put inside:

“This journal is given to you for the collection of your daily thanksgiving to your Heavenly Father in the coming year and beyond.

Remember:

  • We are Christ’s.  A thankful heart is central to being a Christian!  We have been bought with His blood.  He is worthy of all our thanks!

“I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.” Psalm 7:17

  • We can only be thankful because of Christ!  It is through Him that we offer our thanks to God.  It is only through Him that we have every blessing lavishly given to us.  Every blessing includes marriage (good or bad one), singleness, sickness, health, poverty, riches, children, barrenness, youth, age, well-behaved children, disobedient children, sunshine, rain, plenty of food, starvation…

“…be filled (or be being filled) with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…”  Ephesians 5:18b-21

“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  1 Corinthians 15:57

  • We are the instrument God uses to spread His fragrance and knowledge across the globe. A thankful spirit is a sweet-smelling aroma of and to God!

“But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.”  2 Corinthians 2:14

  • Thanksgiving is a sacrifice.  SACRIFICE!  That means “the surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim.”  We must give up the grumbling, complaining and discontent fault-finding.  And we CAN!  We have been given the victory in Christ!

“The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me;
to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!” Psalm 50:23

  • Lack of thanksgiving is a mark of those who are lost – those not found to be covered by the blood and righteousness of Christ – those whose hearts have been hardened by their arrogance and foolishness.

“For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”  Romans 2:21

  • Thanksgiving to the Lord is a gift you pass on to the next generation, whether it be children, grandchildren or just the body of Christ.  Money and things come and go – but the example of a heart of thankfulness in any circumstance is a true treasure and gift.

“But we are your people, the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise.”  Psalm 79:13

  • God has given us everything – even the very breath we breathe!  Everything from His hand is a good gift, and we say ‘thank you.’

…set their hopes…on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 1 Timothy 6:17b

“…who (those who have departed from the faith) forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.”  1 Timothy 4:3-5

  • We are to pray and be thankful for everyone – Christians and non.  We know there is no perfection found in anyone – Jesus Christ was the only perfect one to walk this earth.  However, the image of God IS found in everyone.  So our thankfulness is not rooted in the kindness, goodness or perfection of others.  It is rather rooted in Jesus Christ.   He has given worth and value to His creation – because of Him.  He is doing a beautiful work in those who are repenting and believing  – all because of Him.  It is all about Him! So all our thanks goes to Him!!

“We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”  1 Thessalonians 1:1-3

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people…”  1 Timothy 2:1

  • We are commanded to give thanks!  Plain and simple…

“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”  Colossians 2:6-7

“Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.”  Ephesians 5:4

“…do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”  Philippians 4:6

  • We are commanded to give thanks in ALL things – for all circumstances, for all people, for everything!

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

  • We will be worshiping God for all eternity – bowing before Him in thankfulness and worship of His greatness.  Start now.  Start with this journal.  Keep it handy throughout your days this year and jot down each thanks (even those that take some thought and prayer to dig up).  Let’s let our lives be transformed as we behold the beauty of God in the face of Jesus Christ – one gift at a time.

“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”  Revelation 7:9-12

Africa T-Shirt Adoption Fundraiser

We recently purchased t-shirts from some friends who are also in the process of adopting from the DR Congo.  They designed these shirts (amazing!) and are selling them as a way to to raise funds for their adoptions.  Not everyone is called to adopt, but we are all called to care for the fatherless in some way (or multiple ways).  Would you consider purchasing one, or more of these t-shirts to support bringing home a girl and boy who would otherwise have had no hope of ever hearing of Jesus or having a loving, caring family?  The link to their Etsy store is here.  Their blog link is here.  Thank you!!

Our ‘Top 3′ Children’s Toys

We have always attempted to keep it simple in the toy arena.  We like the toys we buy for the kids to have some sort of developmental or imaginative value.  I mean, our daughter can spend an hour in the bathtub making up an elaborate story with just a couple of bubbles.  So I’m pretty sure kids need much less than we think they do!  But we have found Fat Brain Toy Company’s age-appropriate ideas to be helpful as Christmas and birthdays roll around.  But as I was thinking about it the other day, three things came to mind as THE best things we have ever purchased for the kids (besides food and clothes…and bikes).  I thought I would share.

#1 – Plasma Car

 

We bought this a couple of years ago from Fat Brain Toys.  We have all wood floors in our home (upstairs and down). If this car only had an odometer… Our kids have gotten hours and hours of play time out of this thing (as well as a few adult friends…180 pound weight limit)!  And it has been one more opportunity to teach ‘preferring one another’ (3 kids…1 car).  Ha! I cannot recommend this toy more.

#2 – Legos

LEGOS!  These things have provided hours and hours and hours of play time (even though the recommended age is 5 and above).  Our youngest son started playing with them when he was only 2…making cars, of course.  My theory is that if our oldest son had been exposed to them at that age, writing would have been considerably easier for him.  Our youngest can write much better at 4 than the other two ever could.  And as I write this, the kids are making up fantastic stories with their Legos that mixes Pilgrim’s Progress, Sugar Creek Gang, Gone With the Wind, Narnia, Star Wars and random other things they’ve heard.  HILARIOUS!  For imaginative play…you cannot find a better toy.  We recently purchased them a 1400ish-piece Community Set and a Community Workers set to add to their little collection.  Audio books and Legos are a great combination for two of our kids’ quiet times in the afternoons.

#3 – Trampoline

We live in an urban area with a small back yard.  When the kids were babies, it was no problem.  But as they have gotten older, the yard feels like it has shrunk.  We debated between a play set or a trampoline for over a year.  The one blessing we have with where we live is that our home backs up to a nice park with a walking trail and a playground. So we opted for the trampoline (also after asking other families with boys!)  We have had it for several weeks now and the kids have spent hours on it.  They pretend wild and crazy things, yell, wrestle, pull each other, do flips (shh!!), pile on top of each other, fight, cry…burn all kids of energy. :-) It has proven to be a helpful transition between school subjects too. It is even built into our new school schedule three times a morning for 15-minute increments. “Kids jump on trampoline. Ruth brew another cup of coffee.” Ha!

Baby Boy Diaper Cake

I am hosting a baby shower tomorrow for a sweet friend who is having a boy.  I have wanted to try a diaper cake for a while now, and finally decided to go for it.  It was so incredibly easy!  I followed these instructions (sort of), using 50-some size 1 diapers.  I added various things on the outside that I found at Target and Meijer.  I thought I would share the photos of how it turned out.

Simple Gift Ideas

Below are several ideas for simpler gifts I have found or made for this Christmas:

  • The first simple gift idea came to be when I asked my brother and his wife what toys they were getting rid of this year.  We had been wanting to get our daughter a doll house for a while now, but the nice ones are so expensive – and we hate buying more plastic toys that will break before next Christmas is here.  So I prayed about it!  And low and behold, they were getting rid of a big doll house complete with furniture.  I am still excited about this one!  Mostly excited that God answers prayers – and actually cares about the super small details of life. :-)  I just had to share this one…maybe someone you know is getting rid of something that would be a treasure to your child! ASK!
  • A couple months ago I decided to try my hand at making my own vanilla.  I had heard that homemade vanilla could be replenished and used for years and years.  I also had heard that the flavor was unbeatable and the price much cheaper than the good non-imitation vanillas out there.  So I bought bourbon and vanilla beans (recipe here).  It was super simple and tastes great!  So for Christmas, I decided this would make tasty and simple gifts.  I don’t know about you, but I love homemade gifts – especially ones that I can keep replenished with little effort!

Bourbon Vanilla

  • For the gift vanilla I purchased Vodka (it seemed less strong to me than the bourbon) from Meijer (recipe here) and vanilla beans and glass jars from Mountain Rose Herbs and mixed away.  The vodka is clear, but as the beans have soaked the color has turned darker.  Whereas bourbon is dark to begin with and gets even darker as it sits.  I think the final product turned out really well.

Vodka Vanilla


  • I have a friend who has started a little sewing business out of her home.  I recently went to a home party where her products were featured. She does such a great job!  I bought these three crayon holders for the kids’ stockings for Christmas.  They will be a great gift combined with a little notebook or coloring book.  She makes kids aprons, journal covers, crayons holders, and a lot more.  Her blog is crbuttons.blogspot.com.

  • My kids love straws!  I have been wanting to get them glass straws for a while.  My thinking is that glass has to be better than all the plastic they eat every time they drink a smoothie.  Their straws look seriously mutilated after every smoothie!  I found this company – Strawsome.com – and ordered them each a straw for their stocking.   Their straws are guaranteed for life against breaking. I love supporting in-home businesses too!

  • For my autumn decorating, I made up three glass hurricanes.  I was inspired by my friend Amber posting this to her Facebook page and thought I would try my hand at it.  These would make beautiful and inexpensive gifts.  I currently have them filled with Christmas decorations sitting on top of my kitchen cupboards.  Each season they can be transformed.

  • The last idea, which I did not do for a Christmas gift – though I could have – is to knit…a scarf, socks, a hat, etc…  When it gets cold outside, I get the urge to do something with my hands while curled up under a sleeping bag (our house is big, old and cold!).  So I made a trip to one of our local knit shops and had them help me get it started.  I learned to knit and crochet when I was young but can never remember how to get started.  Below is a photo of the scarf I made (in one week, I should add!) for my daughter to match her purple winter coat.  You would be amazed how many little moments you have in a week’s time to pick up something mindless like knitting and actually accomplish something with those moments!

I would love to hear ideas that you have!!

A Thankfulness Journal

I have started the practice of keeping a list of the good gifts from the Lord each day.  Right now it is on my computer, but I hope to transition to an actual journal soon so that I can keep it with me throughout the day.  As I have done this, it has been a tremendous help in giving my mind some tracks on which to run.  It has brought to my attention how much I live by my feelings, rather than truth. I have had to scratch and claw at times to find something to be thankful for (after the 4th time of disciplining my children for the same thing…after I’ve committed the same sin of impatience toward my kids for the fourth time that hour.  I am sure you understand!)  So when my sin is all I can see – I am forced to either quit and curl up in the fetal position or else repent and focus on the cross of Christ where ALL of the wrath for my sin was born – where the power of my sin was broken!  Praise God!!!

In an attempt to keep Christmas simpler this year, I decided that this would make a good gift for a family member.  So I purchased a really nice journal and wrote the following to put inside:

“This journal is given to you for the collection of your daily thanksgiving to your Heavenly Father in the coming year and beyond.

Remember:

  • We are Christ’s.  A thankful heart is central to being a Christian!  We have been bought with His blood.  He is worthy of all our thanks!

“I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.” Psalm 7:17

  • We can only be thankful because of Christ!  It is through Him that we offer our thanks to God.  It is only through Him that we have every blessing lavishly given to us.  Every blessing includes marriage (good or bad one), singleness, sickness, health, poverty, riches, children, barrenness, youth, age, well-behaved children, disobedient children, sunshine, rain, plenty of food, starvation…

“…be filled (or be being filled) with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…”  Ephesians 5:18b-21

“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  1 Corinthians 15:57

  • We are the instrument God uses to spread His fragrance and knowledge across the globe. A thankful spirit is a sweet-smelling aroma of and to God!

“But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.”  2 Corinthians 2:14

  • Thanksgiving is a sacrifice.  SACRIFICE!  That means “the surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim.”  We must give up the grumbling, complaining and discontent fault-finding.  And we CAN!  We have been given the victory in Christ!

“The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me;
to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!” Psalm 50:23

  • Lack of thanksgiving is a mark of those who are lost – those not found to be covered by the blood and righteousness of Christ – those whose hearts have been hardened by their arrogance and foolishness.

“For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”  Romans 2:21

  • Thanksgiving to the Lord is a gift you pass on to the next generation, whether it be children, grandchildren or just the body of Christ.  Money and things come and go – but the example of a heart of thankfulness in any circumstance is a true treasure and gift.

“But we are your people, the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise.”  Psalm 79:13

  • God has given us everything – even the very breath we breathe!  Everything from His hand is a good gift, and we say ‘thank you.’

…set their hopes…on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 1 Timothy 6:17b

“…who (those who have departed from the faith) forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.”  1 Timothy 4:3-5

  • We are to pray and be thankful for everyone – Christians and non.  We know there is no perfection found in anyone – Jesus Christ was the only perfect one to walk this earth.  However, the image of God IS found in everyone.  So our thankfulness is not rooted in the kindness, goodness or perfection of others.  It is rather rooted in Jesus Christ.   He has given worth and value to His creation – because of Him.  He is doing a beautiful work in those who are repenting and believing  – all because of Him.  It is all about Him! So all our thanks goes to Him!!

“We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”  1 Thessalonians 1:1-3

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people…”  1 Timothy 2:1

  • We are commanded to give thanks!  Plain and simple…

“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”  Colossians 2:6-7

“Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.”  Ephesians 5:4

“…do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”  Philippians 4:6

  • We are commanded to give thanks in ALL things – for all circumstances, for all people, for everything!

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

  • We will be worshiping God for all eternity – bowing before Him in thankfulness and worship of His greatness.  Start now.  Start with this journal.  Keep it handy throughout your days this year and jot down each thanks (even those that take some thought and prayer to dig up).  Let’s let our lives be transformed as we behold the beauty of God in the face of Jesus Christ – one gift at a time.

“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”  Revelation 7:9-12