Three Steps Back

Ever notice that any time you work to make some kind of progress in your life, whether externally or internally, that there are always bumps in the road that may set you back? Ever feel like you’re starting all over again?

I’m not gonna lie: I had been a bit naive thinking how easy it would be to be positive and have gratitude about everything in life. Ha! When a character trait doesn’t “come naturally” to a person, developing said trait takes time and tremendous effort. Why would I kid myself into thinking this would be easy?

When I established this blog I made sure to commit to a regular schedule of posting to hold myself accountable; anything short of posting weekly and I knew that I would likely let my blog disappear into oblivion with other commitments I’ve made in the past (just like that blog I had over at Blogger). I am ashamed to admit that I’m a starter but not always a finisher. Each week I find myself remembering that I will need to update on Tuesday and ask myself, “What should I be thankful for? What can I write about that will both edify me and encourage others?”

For every step forward, do you feel like you take two, maybe three

steps backward? I do, and practicing gratitude is no exception.

I sit here laughing inside as I write this entry because in the recent 10 days or so, I’ve not practiced much gratitude. My attitude of the heart and the overflow have been quite opposite: I have been an expert at practicing to be a grumpy, complaining jerk. And I mean EXPERT.

The only reason that I feel compelled to even write this entry and be so transparent is: YOU. With every entry I have posted I continue to be amazed at how much you are blessed by my honesty about my struggles. So–I guess–I’m thankful for your thankfulness, and I appreciate the irony.

It’s at this point that it seems logical to go back to the basics, to the beginning. Isn’t that the very best place to start when we get stuck and feel lost?
*I’m thankful for Jesus, who died on the cross to pay the pentalty for my sins (This alone should be reason enough to give me joy in my heart, but I forget about this reason all the time).
*I’m thankful that I had time with my parents and brother for Chistmas in 2015.
*I’m thankful for a home to live in  with working heat and a brand new HVAC, even if that HVAC is several thousands of dollars.
*I’m thankful for the opportunity to be at home with my kiddos so that I can homeschool them…that’s what I’ve desired for so long.

I’m going to stop there for now. Can we maybe agree with one another that thankfulness does’t easily come to every one of us? Some of us have to work really hard at it. ::see me jumping up and down flailing my arms in the air:: So would you do me a favor? Share with me here a few reasons why you’re thankful so that we can be mututally encouraged. I would LOVE to hear from you since you’re part of the reason I keep writing. 😉



Much love to you,




  1. Gena · January 12, 2016

    I am grateful for the challenges I have faced in the last year, because they have drawn me closer to God. And through some of the challenges I even started having a regular aauiet time. Even in darkness God is at work and for that I am thankful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Barbara M · January 12, 2016

    I am thankful for friends who help me hold up my staff (just like Moses) so that God can continue His work in my life and the life of my family members to completion.

    I am thankful for my children who bring me so much more joy to overshadow all the times when they are less than angels.

    I am thankful that God isn’t finished with me yet and that He never throws His hands up in the air at my continued disobedience and disrespect. He is the lover of my soul and will never walk away from me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ashley B · January 13, 2016

      Yes! Yes! Yes! Thank you for your thankfulness!


  3. Larissa Arias · January 12, 2016

    I’m thankful that this day is ending. (Does that count? I’m legit relieved it’s over.)

    I’m thankful for the wise counsel of my Mom, who never fails me when I need her.

    I’m thankful for my Saviour, who loves every bit of this disaster I am. I’m thankful for His grace and forgiveness.

    I’m thankful for my calm, even tempered husband who perfectly balances out my un-calm, hot tempered self. I’m thankful that he loves me and our family even when I’m not being so loveable.

    I’m thankful for my children. I’m thankful for the opportunity they provide for growth and learning. I’m thankful that they love me so.

    I’m thankful for you Ashley! You are a faithful encouragement to me through the blog and our talks. Love you, friend!


    • Ashley B · January 13, 2016

      You speak my language. I am often glad when the day is over! Sometimes at devotion time with the boys in the evening, I actually say, “Thank You, Jesus, that this day is over.”

      I love you, friend. Thanks for your encouraging words and for sharing your heart with me!


  4. Brittany Saturnio · January 13, 2016

    I’ve been having a hard time being grateful lately although I know in my heart there is so much to be thankful for!

    I’m trying to remember more than once a day to be thankful for Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and the Gospel.
    I’m thankful for my awesome husband, who next to God, is my rock!
    I’m thankful for the many “pep-talkers” in my life who encourage me during this crazy and sometimes scary season I am in, and you are one of them!

    Thanks for writing and being transparent, I know it’s a blessing to more people than just me!


    • Ashley B · January 14, 2016

      I love being one of your pep-talkers! It means I get to hang out with you. 🙂

      I love you, friend!


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