536. My newfound love for string cheese.

537. Wind in the trees before a rain storm.

538. Petsmart’s Basic Plan for Ginger. Serious savings!

539. Egg whites.

540. Applesauce.

541. The lady in Jewel who called me “skinny.” I love you, lady!

542. Apple cider vinegar.

543. Greek yogurt.

544. Paul Blart: Mall Cop. Seriously have not laughed so hard in a while. That movie is STINKIN FUNNY!!!

545. The fact that I bought Paul Blart: Mall Cop at Walmart for $5.

546. Rotisserie chicken.

547. Pineapple slices.

548. Aldi is part of Trader Joe’s. Small fun fact that I’m thankful to know.

549. Our sermon series, Redeeming Dysfunctional Lives.

550. The fact that I’ll be home in 5 days.

551. “Sorrow burns up a great amount of shallowness.” -Oswald quote. And that it does.

552. Made my first DIY t-shirt-turned-tank top last night. Turned out pretty good! But then I ruined two t-shirts. Irredeemable for tank tops even.

553. Quiet times.

554. A quiet office this week. I will get SO much done! Holla!

555. New speakers in my office. Makes a world of difference!

556. The fact that I’m eligible for a $70 upgrade to an iphone.

557. The difference feeding your mind with the Word makes, as opposed to feeding it with the world.

558. Book lists.

559. Good food lists. Both make me want to read a lot and eat well.

560. Long, flowy maxi dresses. For those days I don’t wanna shave. ha.

561. Kale.

562. Walnuts.

563. Blueberries and raspberries.

564. Whole grain (7-grain) bread.

565. Coffeemate creamer – hazelnut especially.

566. Baby shrimps.

567. Salmon and Tilapia fillets. Season ’em up and YUM!

568. Lemon, vanilla, and rosemary scent for the home.

569. Sanford American Naturals pencils. The only pencils that write perfectly for me!

570. Vera Bradley. How can you not love all the beautiful COLOR!

571. My color inspiration board on Pinterest. Just looking at it makes me smile and calm down. Truly lifts the spirit!

572. Thermacare heat wraps. Saved my life many-a-time.

573. Arugula, spinach, wasabi greens available at Jewel.

574. “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10. Praise the Lord. My strength isn’t found anywhere in myself or circumstances, but in Him.

575. Sitting on my balcony, surrounded by awesome-smelling herbs and beautiful flowers.

576. Mid 70’s temperatures.

577. Almond milk.

578. Artichoke-garlic salsa. CAN WE SAY YUM.

579. Friends to care for Ginger and my herb garden and my houseplants and my mail and my newspaper while I’m out of town.

580. Edy’s ice cream. Lo-fat and it actually tastes good.

581. Added to that, Skinny Cow. Same deal. Yum and not fattening.

582. Learning to really trust. Being forced to trust, basically. Some things in my life I REALLY do not get. No, I mean. . .I REALLY, REALLY do NOT get the reason. But there’s no other choice than to just trust, and not lean on my own understanding.

583. All hues/shades of blue. Turquoise, navy, royal, sky, light, dark, denim, teal, baby, powder, periwinkle, Egyptian.

584. Serving. Taking meals to people. Giving rides. Lending items. Playing piano. Listening.

585. Key lime bars.

586. Strawberry cream cheese cobbler – Pinterest recipe.

587. Finding an awesome pinner.

588. Smooth lake for waterskiing.

589. Ski Nautique. Only hope the uncle has it in the water this year. Home, I’m coming.

590. Long bike rides through the Forest Preserve.

591. Long runs through the same Preserve.

592. Loud neighbors. (Hey, in everything give thanks, right?)

593. Knowing that God doesn’t waste time or days. When we feel maybe set aside, or we wonder, “What I am I doing here?” He is working. He uses things and people. He who began a good work in you WILL BE FAITHFUL to complete it. Nothing is wasted. Keep trusting and remember it is a * mosaic * He is making :-). This is just a piece.

594. Multi-color highlighters WITH attached sticky note. Brilliant in more than one sense!

595. Lanterns, Music, History. < New pinboard ideas.

596. Chicago’s architecture. Gorgeous.

597. Dijon mustard for dressing on salad. Who knew? Instead of honey mustard dressing- this adds a kick AND doesn’t have high fructose corn syrup, as so many dressings do!

598. B vitamins. Wow, the difference when you’re taking them!

599. Ginger scarfing down chicken, or as she knows it, “chicky!!!!!” It’s her FAVE.

560. Turkey Enchilada casserole. Mmmmmmmmmmmm.


Random photo


I love this photo I took behind the Rolling Meadows Wal-Mart. Don’t know why I love it; just something about it.

10,000 Reasons


^ Watch this.


So I thought my list of 1,000 was big. Here is a man singing of 10,000 reasons to BLESS THE LORD, O my soul! How thankful, thankful, thankful God’s people should be! In every thing give thanks! That is not just a cool saying. . .it is God’s enduring truth.

Some days I am so utterly the opposite of thankful, I don’t even like myself! But I know that on those days, the solution is simple: Go to God. That’s it, basically. Open His Word, read, and begin to literally praise Him for everything. I’ve realized that the “quick fix” solutions I used to run to (get a mani/pedi, watch a movie, go shopping), while not bad in and of themselves of course, are so temporal and give such brief satisfaction compared to the everlasting TRUTH that can sooth, heal, fix, and turn me. Then, “heart work” is done; I grow, I change and the Lord gets glory. Does that happen in a massage chair at the nail salon or at the movie theater? Probably not. Not gonna lie, those mani/pedis sure are relaxing, but when my heart needs work, a movie won’t change it. God’s Word and His Spirit WILL!

Thank You, LORD!!!!!

501. Horrible run-on sentences that I get to edit. Chop chop!

502. Knock-Knock office stuff. Hilar!

503. Tazo Thrive Green Tea.

504. The fact that I fit into a size 10 now. Been a while!

505. Harvesting herbs from my little garden and using them in recipes. I feel so natural and gardeny!

506. Looking at good photography.

507. Being inspired to go take pictures.

508. The Glo Run downtown Chicago. Supa fun.

509. New pink ipod shuffle.

510. Attack kissys from Ginger at 6:30 am.

511. The fact that there are 12 days til I go home.

512. Paisley.

513. Swirly patterns.

514. $4 floppy green straw hat for the beach – brand new!

515. Smell of eucalyptus.

516. Moment-by-moment trust in the Lord. (Still learning to do this; I find it easy to trust in the “big” moments, when you’re sitting in church or sitting on the couch with your Bible open. But the little moments, like driving in the car or being alone at my desk at work – trusting Him then is hard. I forget to. But I’m learning to.)

517. The Schaumburg Restaurant on Springinsguth/Schaumburg Rd. A DINER! EUREKA, I have found one! Been looking for a local diner in this area – one with that “hometown” feel – for all the years I’ve lived here. Finally found one. Yay.

518. “Distance makes the heart grow stronger. Run.” Love it!

519. Sending and planning surprises. :-)

520. The fact that each grain of sand has a special design. I never knew this until I saw a photo of sand grains blown up 250x’s the normal size. I was amazed! Each one is a different color, shape, some had designs, etc. How creative is our God! To the naked eye, they just look the same – small itsy bitsy grains. But not so!

521. Detail and order.

522. Discovering a new pinner I LOVE.

523. Ultra fine point Sharpies of various colors.

524. The north side of Chicago – Old Town, Gold Coast, Lincoln Park – love all those neighborhoods.

525. Old school pencil sharpeners – the kind you crank. Yep.

526. Eagerness. Oh to keep this trait and stay away from cynicism or loss of hope.

527. My latest yard sale find: A beautiful handmade needlepoint Asian scene – custom framed – $10! My neighbor went out of business with her art and sadly closed shop a few months ago. She was selling everything in her yard sale.

528. Serving, bringing meals, giving rides, making relationships. Stuff church life is made of.

529. An air-conditioned gym to run in on these holy hotness days.

530. The “star friends” option on Facebook. Facebook made a change that’s actually good! This oughtta go down in history!

531. Caleb, a man who “wholly followed the Lord God.” Joshua 14:14 – I want to do the same.

532. Jesus Calling for June 15th- I’m still thinking about it: “When you approach me in stillness and trust, you are strengthened. You need a buffer zone of silence around you in order to focus on things that are unseen. Since I am invisible, you must not let your senses dominate your thinking. The curse of this age is overstimulation of the senses, which blocks out awareness of the unseen world. The tangible world still reflects My Glory, to those who have eyes that see and ears that hear. Spending time alone with me is the best way to develop seeing eyes and hearing ears. The goal is to be aware of unseen things even as you live out your life in the visible world.”

533. My thoughts to that Jesus Calling- How funny. I was just thinking how confused I can become when I think on, watch, listen to movies/TV/the world. It’s easy to think, “That’s the way it’s supposed to be!” while watching a movie or some show. Even for a person who’s been a Christian for so long, the world’s philosophy can so easily sneak into your mind. Sadly some people’s way of handling situations and thinking about things is based on what happened in such-and-such movie. The truth and the true way it’s supposed to be is how God’s Word describes it. :-) We serve a new Master, wear a new name, have a new goal, walk a new road now.

534. The simplicity of devotion to Christ. 2 Corinthians 11:3

535. Butterfly clips strong enough to hold all of my hair these days.


451. Seamless jobs.

452. Dogs’ heads sticking out car windows.

453. Rose bushes on vines that spread up brick walls.

454. 60-something-year-olds wearing Aeropostale. Because it makes me laugh. . .

455. Other perspectives.

456. Finished deadlines.

457. Working under pressure.

458. Antique dial telephones.

459. Verizon customer service.

460. The kind Daily Herald man.

461. Psalm 84.

462. Wordfued and my ability to kick my opponents’ butts. :-)

463. Herb gardens.

464. My dogsitters.

465. North Shore dog park.

466. Baby chihuahuas.

467. The 4th grader I tutor being accepted into the gifted program at school; a goal we were working so hard for!

468. Pottery, jewelry-making, paint, all things crafty. None of which I do, but all of which I appreciate.

469. Today’s Jesus Calling: “The world is too much with you, My child. Your mind leaps from problem to problem to problem, tangling your thoughts in anxious knots. When you think like that, you leave Me out of your worldview and your mind becomes darkened. Though I yearn to help, I will not violate your freedom. I stand silently in the background of your mind, waiting for you to remember that I am with you. When you turn from your problems to My Presence, your load is immediately lighter. Circumstances may not have changed, but we carry your burdens together. Your compulsion to ‘fix’ everything gives way to deep, satisfying connection with Me. Together we can handle whatever this day brings.”

470. Being plentifully hydrated.

471. Easy 5’s on the treadmill. SO much easier than on pavement.

472. Green superfood.

473. Menards’ lawn and garden sale.

474. All things virtuous woman-ish.

475. Food lists. For some reason, looking at lists of healthy food inspires me. I really should put them all over my kitchen!

476. Dr. Oz’s “weightorgade”: 4 bags Green tea, 3 slices of orange, a dab of Agave in a mason jar. Add a sprig of mint if desired. Put in the fridge, drink the next day. Refreshment and calorie burn!

477. Bridesmaid dress: $6. Dry cleaning: $7. Added pins/altering: $15. Total: $28. Score!


479. My new grilled cheese sandwich: Turkey, Swiss, Avocado, and Tomato on Ezekiel bread. MMM-MMM!

480. The green dot blinking on my phone. Means I have an email or text. I love emails and texts.

481. Letters in the mail of former students going on missions trips. Really, I got teary-eyed at one of them recently. Often this time of year and at Christmas, it’s easy to get a bit overwhelmed by all the letters asking for donations or money for stuff. But when students are going on mission trips, I’m SO thankful God has gotten a hold of their hearts and they’ve either grasped or are GOING to grasp a bigger vision than just their own worlds. It is a huge blessing to give to them.

482. Francis Chan. Seriously, I love the guy!

483. Julie Roys. Big fan.

484. Fit n Active shakes available at Aldi. Good stuff? For cheap? What?

485. Almonds and walnuts.

486. How much of my thankful list is FOOD? Hmmm…!

487. The Story of Ian and Larissa. (Google it. Really, you should.)

488. Heartguard Plus being genius enough to come up with a dog heartworm medicine that dogs actually like as much as they like treats. Even Yorkies with their sensitive little tummies like Heartguard. Props, HG!

489. Impatients and begonias.

490. Memorial Day Neighborhood Picnics with churches.

491. The fact that our new ESL class is going so well! PTL!

492. Spotify.

493. A beautiful wall hanging sent to me by my dear best friend. It fits perfectly on the space above my bed; which previously had been bare ever since I moved in. It says, “Be still and know that I am God.”

494. Teal. Seriously, I love teal.

495. “Everybody Dance Now” being on my running playlist.

496. Small fuzzy dandelion seeds blowing in yesterday’s strong winds. Maybe made a few allergy sufferers collapse into sneezing fits, but it made for some gorgeous pictures!

497. Smiles from strangers.

498. My DD stainless steel mug. My coffee from this morning is STILL hot.

499. Turning OFF the TV and reading.

500. Garage sales and arts festivals, both of which I’m hitting up this weekend with a fun friend!

401. Doing ministry.

402. All the messy lessons you learn working with people.

403. Patiently waiting, all the longings and all the sighs. I’ve decided to be thankful for that. Out of sheer willpower choice making. And the Holy Spirit giving me the ability to count this as a “praise” has everything to do with it too.

404. Lake Geneva, WI.

405. Ideas with hope.

406. Meeting new friends.

407. People who laugh at your bright ideas. Because without them, how would you toughen up?

408. Being bigger framed. Because if I had been skinny my whole life, I probably wouldn’t have realized how much I love running. I’d be skinny without a need to run. And I’d be missing out.

409. Babies.

410. “We may easily be too big for God to use, but never too small.” DL Moody. Keep me humble, Lord. And yes, I do know that that might be a “dangerous” prayer. But I’d rather be humble than proud, no matter the cost. I’d rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.

411. Small bright yellow post-its. SMALL ones.

412. Developing strength. So often it comes through adversity. Be it adverse circumstances, opinions, people, situations, even your own adverse thoughts. I can’t believe I’m just learning NOW to be thankful for this. And all this time… I’ve been bucking against it, completely forgetting the sovereignty of God in allowing the adverse. Thank You, Lord. I need strength.

413. The click of the camera.

414. Red nails.

415. Women singing praise to the Lord in unison.

416. Surprise gifts.

417. Thinking on truth. If only I did this always.

418. That the Lord has kept me. I am thankful for the perseverance of the saints. I have recently been coming across heart breaking testimonies of people who have not tasted and seen the Lord, but instead have tasted and seen fundamentalism, or hypocrisy, or unanswered questions, or a lack of Biblical relevance; consequently they have left the faith. How desperately we need to be holding up the LORD Himself, not a church, character qualities, to-do lists, perfection, a program, a movement, or a human being. How much people need to hear CHRIST.

419. Time Changer.

420. Asian trees and flowers.

421. Lanterns.

422. The Apologetics Study Bible.

423. Chalk art.

424. Willow Tree designs.

425. “Undone” by Sara Groves.

426. Tazo Thrive Green Tea.

427. Whole Foods Market. I’m sure that is already on my list somewhere, but hey. It deserves two mentions. It is that good.

428. Wendella Boat Tours sent me a free book with all their information in it. Because my dad loved the architecture of Chicago and wished to have it written down. The lady who wrote the book, busy as she may be with training for tours, running a company, and being her awesome self, called me back and left a message with instructions on how to get a free book. Props to Wendella. Take their tour if you’re in Chicago. Worth every penny!

429. Giving.

430. The simple life.

431. Chicken parm with garlic and basil mushroom low sodium tomato sauce. I know, it’s pretty standard. But I cannot get enough of it!

432. Loving the process. Just as much or even more than the product.

433. Organic herbs on sale.

434. My long black and white striped skirt with brown belt.

435. Yo-Yo Ma playing Bach’s Cello Suites.

436. The cello itself.

437. Green paint. Pretty much any and all shades of green paint.

438. Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.

439. A Long Obedience in the Same Direction by Eugene Peterson.

440. Raw work.

441. Polish, as long as it doesn’t take away meaning.

442. Carl Heilman II photography.

443. The musical episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Even though it got so much criticism, it was a brilliant idea and I appreciate brilliant ideas. They pulled it off well.

444. Spiral staircases. Okay, have I already said that one too? I’m not even to 500 yet, and I’m already repeating myself. Goodness. How thankful AM I?

445. The Pita Pit.

446. A Severe Mercy.

447. Wind against tall green grass.

448. Word Origins and Their Romantic Stories. Quite fascinating. And I am a geek.

449. Hammocks.

450. Rustic wooden swings.

351. I’m thankful for the gift of a long, hard run. Something I’ve been doing a LOT of lately.

352. 3 miles at 6 mph. whew!

353. 4 miles at 6 mph. WHEW.

354. 5 miles at 6 mph. Ok, Ow…

355. 6 miles at 6 mph. Ok- I haven’t done this yet!:)

356. Training your thoughts to not feel pain or tiredness.

357. Developing strength mentally, which in turn develops strength emotionally and physically too.

358. Long runs of 8 miles on a Saturday morning and fun music to go with it.

359. Encouragers at the gym.

360. Potato, Tomato, and Carrot soup I threw together last minute last night, but ended up being one of the best things I’ve tasted in a long time! (That NEVER happens to me. I ALWAYS follow recipes.) Makes me feel slightly like a domestic goddess.

361. The blog A Wise Woman Builds her Home.

362. Anything that helps me realize that this life isn’t about me. Blog posts, comments from people, others’ Facebook statuses, sermons at church, messages in chapel. I honestly can be so wrapped up in myself that I’m all I think about. Sad, but true. And there are so many other things much more important to do and think about than worry about myself all the time.

363. Ginger’s latest practice of curling up next to my neck each morning and licking my face a few times, then falling back asleep in a little ball.

364. Adorable animal memes. I love them. :-)

365. When muddled reasons and decisions come clear. Even if it is after months and months and months . . . and months.

366. People who share the same passions as I have. It is just so fun talking to these people! There’s understanding.

367. Warm brownies baking and rain on Sunday nights.

368. Budgeting. Actually doing that.

369. The simple, easy things I’ve learned on Pinterest to make life much happier. (Yes, I’ve actually done some of them!)

370. “Bruises” by Train.

371. An old friend coming to visit on May 1st.

372. Playing piano at church. Maybe a small thing, but it’s been so good to play again.

373. ESL conference at Moody a couple weekends ago. Yay for ideas.

374. My church and the openness, consideration, and heart to outsiders it has.

375. Small, sparkly earrings.

376. Green and navy blue together.

377. Purple and pink together.

378. Orange, yellow, and cream together.

379. Brown and black together.

380. Playing guitar for a Mother-Daughter conference in May in Lake Geneva.

381. A good conversation. I’m so thankful for it now because they’re few and far between these days!

382. Praying with others.

383. Submission to the Lord. In surrender, I understand.

384. “Eyes on the Prize” by Sara Groves.

385. “32 Flavors” by Alana Davis.

386. “The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment” by Jeremiah Burroughs.

387. Conviction that brings me to tears. I know He is working.

388. Agreement. In all forms. Between people, in my outfit, with a speaker, subject-verb, pronoun-antecedent. . .

389. Computer geeks with the ability to speak “normal human” and explain the jargon to me.

390. The possession of all my 5 senses.

391. Windows. (Not the computer windows. Real, actual windows that let light into a building.)

392. Vaulted ceilings.

393. Arched doorways.

394. Hardwood floors.

395. Historic districts.

396. Four poster & canopy beds.

397. Exposed brick.

398. Living spaces with character.

399. Gardens.

400. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness!