Thursday, January 5, 2023

Thankful Thursday, 1.5.23.


Happy Thursday, friends! Rebecca Jo and I are back with another weekly installment of one of my favorite posts. I'd love for you to join us today! I love this post, because I've noticed how many benefits there are to being thankful for everything. If you know this, skip ahead some, but my blog name came from one of my favorite passages in Scripture, Colossians 2:6-7.

When we spend our lives living for Jesus, He causes us to be built up in Him, strengthened in our faith, rooted in His love, and overflowing with thankfulness. When we're overflowing with thankfulness, our perspective is right, and our focus isn't on the things going on around us in the world (all the evil, all the bad), but it's on Him. It doesn't mean we're burying our heads in the sand, it just means that we're choosing to be thankful and joyful, no matter the circumstance. 

I'm studying the book of Judges right now and that's a theme I keep seeing—how in that evil time, the Lord provided judges for the people, and they shone like bright lights in the vast darkness. That is how we can be in the world today, those of us who have placed our faith in Jesus! I choose to be thankful for everything. I choose joy, no matter what. I choose to live my life for Jesus, praying and hoping that He will use me as an instrument for Him, whether with someone face to face, or on this blog. And that is my prayer for this blog—that you will know through the word of God that I share here, that you are loved by the Almighty God, and that He uses these measly words of mine to point you to Jesus. And on that note, I am thankful that He works through other believers, through His word, through you, and through me!

Just this week, a blog friend here reached out to me by email, asking me to pray for her. It was an honor to be able to do that, and I in turn, asked her to pray for me. I'll share why in a minute, but I want to make sure you know that you can always reach out to me if you want me to pray for you or a situation in your life. You can email me at, or you can follow me here on Instagram and message me over that app. I would love to be able to pray for you, because I consider you my friends. I know you would do the same of me, if I asked, which leads me to sharing a little life update. 

If you're new here, I'll start by telling you that I have been a stay at home wife and mom for over 26 years. I worked full time some, then I worked part time when the boys were little and I could take them with me to a mom's day out program at my church. I worked at their elementary school for four years when Jonah and Noah started Kindergarten back in 2008, and was the lunchroom monitor for all of the students. That just means that while they ate lunch, I was in charge of them. I loved that job! It was wonderful being there with all of our sons for one year, until Graham went to middle school, then there were three when Drew left a year after Graham, then it was just Jonah and Noah. When they finished third grade, we made the decision to become a homeschooling family, and I will never regret that. I did just that for ten years, until 2021, when Jonah and Noah graduated from high school. I'd been contemplating a job for years, waiting for the day when I would have my time back. (They were self sufficient in school, I just didn't like to be gone for too long if they had questions about anything.)

I took one year to be at home after they graduated so that our oldest son's dog wouldn't have to live in the kennel for hours each day, and I don't regret that either. I finally got a part time job in July of 2022 and started at the end of that month. I love my job and I am still so grateful to have it and I love getting to go into work each day. It's on our town square and basically, I feel like I'm living in Stars Hollow. IYKYK.

I work for an attorney on our town square, AND I get to work with my best friend. Basically, it's a perfect job, which is why this next part is going to sound strange. As much as I love my job, as much as I love the benefit of seeing Missy more, I feel like my life is missing a big piece of something. A few weeks ago, a couple of friends and I went to a concert together, and my friend Kim and I were early to the restaurant, so we were talking about her job with our town's municipal school district. She suggested that I should consider applying for a substitute job with them. Because I take a while to process things, I started thinking about that over the last week and a half. I started praying about it, and I talked to my husband about it, and with his encouragement and support, I applied to our municipal school district. I went online to do this, listed my qualifications, and checked off all the boxes with positions I thought I'd be interested in, and I submitted it Thursday night, December 30th. By Monday afternoon (Jan. 2nd), the principal of one of the elementary schools had sent me an email asking me to come in this afternoon for an interview. 

I'll know more after today, but I'm not sure what the position is for that I'll be interviewing for, because I checked off so many things that were of interest. I'll keep you posted here, but I'm excited and I'm thankful for new opportunities. It definitely sounds like the Lord is making a way for me to get a different job, and though I work part time now and love that, I'm open to working more. Missy suggested that the job with her could have been the Lord easing me back into working, and that maybe now I'm ready for more than just a few hours each week. I have no idea how it will all turn out, but I said all that to ask you to pray for me, if you're a Christian. I know the Lord will lead me in the right decision, I just don't want to make a decision about something so big, then later regret the choice I made. 

There are so many things that appeal to me with this kind of job. though, and I think these things are what my life seems like it's missing now. I love that a job with our town's school district would be fulfilling. I loved working at the elementary school all those years ago, and for many years after we started homeschooling, I missed the kids. And I love kids! I love the elementary school age, from the tiny littles to the older big 5th graders. Those were some of my favorite ages when my boys were that young. I love that when I worked at the school for the years that my boys were there, I was making a difference in their little lives. Without coming out and saying the name of Jesus, my life reflected His love for them, and for me. Also, if I had a dollar for every time one of those former students asked me, "Are you Mrs. Goodwin?", I would be a thousand-air. 🤣 I genuinely loved them and they genuinely loved me. 

So, I am trying not to get my hopes up, but they're already pretty high up there. I know that even if this isn't the one for me that I'm interviewing for today, that the right one will come when it's what the Lord has in store for me. I'd love your prayers for wisdom and insight to make a choice that I don't regret. I am so thankful for you, and for the gift of praying friends. I have several of you praying right now! Jennifer, my bestie Andrea, Missy, my dad, my mom-in-love, and a few more that I'm forgetting. I could never thank them enough for those prayers, and I hope they know that I am reciprocating that for them in their lives. 

Lastly, here are a few more things I'm thankful for this week. First up is the beautiful plant my sweet husband brought home for me when he went to Costco earlier in the week. I love it so much and I hope I don't kill it with my black thumb. 😜

I am thankful for a great meeting with my friend Amy yesterday, about the study we're starting in two weeks, and that Bible study is resuming soon! I've missed it so much, and those sweet ladies that I've come to know and love. 

I am thankful for all these things listed below. I'm so glad I get to see my sister Debi this weekend! I haven't seen her since October, so it'll be great to hug her and catch up. 

It's your turn! Tell me something you're thankful for about this week. I can't wait to read your answers! You are all such an encouragement to me and I am grateful for you. Thanks for reading my blog, friends. I'll see you back here tomorrow. Love to all! 

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  1. Awww, I wonder if Missy is right and that was your first step into the world of work again. I will be praying for you that today's opportunity is the right fit for you. Even though my job is hard, the young kids fill my cup with compliments and funny stories. I know that my words have so much power and I hope that I have a positive impact on one kid a each day, at least.
    I love your new plant!
    I am thankful for so many things - I had a really great break with my college kids. I am seeing so many positive changes in them. They appreciate Tom and I and our home more. They are kind and compassionate. This was one of the best breaks I can remember as far as us all getting along and teen snarkiness pretty much being gone. You know what I mean, I'm sure.
    Thinking of you today!

  2. I am so excited for you Jennifer! Can't wait to read what you decide to do and what role you will have in the school system- such wonderful news :) This week, I am grateful for the access to healthy food, the ability to work at home so I can take care of the family too and for healing XO

  3. Thank you, Amy! I appreciate that so much. Isn't that plant gorgeous? It's super easy to care for, according to the tag. You just water it when the top inch of soil is dry, so I'm putting ice cubes in it to water it, like I did with the Christmas poinsettia I still have going on my dining room table.

    I love that about your guys! I will say that even though I loved those younger years with them, I ADORE their life stages now. I'm like you and have noticed that all of the snark is gone and that they're just kind human beings. I am sure yours are the exact same!

  4. Thank you, Holly! I'll update tomorrow, most likely. And those are great things to be thankful for! I hope all of you are well at your house...and that your week has been good. It's almost Friday! I have always loved a Friday.

  5. Jennifer, I stopped and prayed for you as I was reading this. I'm praying that the Lord would make his plan very clear, without confusion. I know these types of decisions always feel like a pulling in one direction and a letting go in another. Those are the hardest ones to make!

    In reading your post and how much you love people and being with the kids, it made me so thankful that God makes us all so unique and then places us right where we need to be. You are an inspiration, with your love of people and your enthusiasm for being involved with people. That doesn't come natural for me, so I enjoy watching it from afar :)

  6. This sounds like an awesome opportunity, and it does seem like the current job is God's way of easing you into a different path/phase for your life. I loved Amy's comments about her boys and how they've changed. I feel that also about my college kids on this break. I just enjoy being with them so much now, and the teen tension has lifted. Praying for your interview to go exactly how God has planned!

  7. glad to know you're a fellow Gilmore girls watcher! Great post. The plant you got is hardy so it will likely make it! It's Mother in law's tongue I think

  8. Loved this post - so much good stuff! I am amazed what a blessing the friendships made through blogging can become! Definitely something I am thankful for....and so glad to have found your blog. Thank you for your testimony here every week (especially on these gratitude posts!) So interesting to here how you decided to apply for a new job....and that you were not sure what position you were interviewing for. Hats off to you for trying new things - and following that nudge. Will certainly be praying that God gives direction and that you will be in just the place He wants to use you. Thanks again for your friendship and sweet encouragement!!

  9. Thank you, Cathy! I appreciate them so very much.

  10. Thank you so much, Debbie! I truly appreciate the prayers and could feel them during the interview as the Lord recalled a couple of scenarios that I was able to answer their questions with. You're so right about these types of decisions...

    I never would have guessed you aren't a people person! You come across as if you are. I am, but I am also an introvert, which is an odd combination. I get my battery recharged by being alone at night on the weekends!

  11. Thank you so much, Tanya! I could feel the prayers as I interviewed today. I'm very grateful for all of you! I loved Amy's comment as well and could totally relate to not only loving my sons, but liking them, and enjoying seeing them thrive. Nothing does a mom's heart so good as seeing that firsthand!

  12. Thank you, Jennifer! I wholeheartedly agree about being grateful for this community and the gift of praying friends, both in real life and here in blog land. Thank you for your sweet encouragement! You know I feel same about finding you and you being one of prayer partners.

    It's interesting that you said what you did about new things- that's one thing I resolved to do this year: saying yes to new things and things that take me out of my comfort zone. It felt so good being back in a school today, even if only for a few minutes and after dismissal. I missed that environment!

  13. Lee Anna- YES! It's my favorite show.

    That's so good to know about the plant, thank you so much! That is such an interesting name!

  14. I will certainly be praying for you. Working with kids is so rewarding. I miss my students so much. Not that we didn’t have some tough days sometimes, but that’s just part of it. It sounds like you have some great experience, so I know they would be blessed to have you. Keep us posted!


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