Developing the discipline of thanksgiving

Last year about this time, my church challenged us to find things that we are thankful for 21 days in the #21daysofthanks challenge as a way of encouraging us to develop the discipline of giving thanks. I was going through a tough time at my workplace at the time. During those 21 days, I learned that even though we are going through a tough time, there is always something to be thankful for.

Though I am unable to participate in this year’s #21daysofthanks challenge, I am grateful every day for so many things from the gift of life to the small things like not having to wait at the traffic lights. This time is a reminder to me always to have a thankful heart, to count my blessings every day, and not to take anything for granted.

In this post, I would like to share my 21 days of thanks, to encourage anyone and myself that you always have something to be grateful for.

Day One

I am thankful for these amazing people, a mixture of personalities united by Christ.

My cell group at church is made up of different nationalities and different characters. We get to share a meal together every Sunday or even have overnight trips outside the city. The fact is I am thankful to have a group of people I can share my thoughts with about Christianity, life in Korea and so much more.

Day Two

Today I am thankful to God for Dad, giving him another year to see and experience more of His blessings. Happy Birthday, Dad.

To be my age and have both your parents alive is a blessing. Even though we are living worlds apart I am grateful for their lives and the technology that keeps us connected.

Day Three

Sights of Namsan Tower from Noksapyeong. I discover new things and incredible views now and then in this beautiful city. Getting to like it more and more.

I was a little scared to move from Daejeon (slow city) into Seoul. Mostly because all my friends are in Daejeon and hardly knew anyone in Seoul. But moving to a new town and being the only foreigner in my neighborhood propelled me to visit and discover new places in Seoul. Be grateful for every experience!

Day Four

Grateful for delicious spicy food and the hands that make it.

It has taken me almost three years to get used to spicy Korean food not to mention seafood. So I am grateful every time I have delicious food without “a running noise” or drinking a lot of water to handle the hotness.

Day Five

I appreciate this girl today, for the many things she has done for so many of us in Korea. I am grateful for that all night event…

I met Ileana three years ago,  she was the only person who understood or had previous experience with Korean culture in our Master’s cohort. She would go out of her way to make all of us comfortable. From translations to buying for us things online. She literary tried to solve everyone’s problem. Not to mention, she stayed up with me all night trying to make my final Master’s presentation pretty. I am forever grateful for her big heart and selfless service.

Day Six

The beauty of fall! So much beauty around us but we hardly notice due to the pressures of life. Thankful for new seasons for it’s a symbol of something new in my life.

Coming from a country with only two seasons: dry and wet season, experiencing the change in seasons in Korea is awesome. Fall and spring are my favorite seasons though I try and find gratitude in winter too.

Day Seven

Today I am thankful that I got to spend the day with these awesome people, I got to meet a friend in Korea I had last seen in high school, we got to experience little bit of the demonstrations (looked more like hanging out) which is nothing compared to our demonstrations in Uganda filled with tear gas.

I attended high school with Rowena and later she joined the company I used to work for before I came to Korea to pursue my masters. We linked up in Korea during one of her business trips. It’s always a pleasure meeting people from home; it helps with homesickness even if it’s for a little while.

Day Eight

It has really been a long day, spent so many hours seated in one place in the name of fixing my hair. I am grateful for after effects though. Hands up to the magic hands.

I spent close to eight hours trying to braid faux locks. I had wanted to have them done during my short visit to Ghana but choose to do braids because I wasn’t sure of how they would come out. I am grateful that I managed to do them in Seoul and I had the means to have them done.

Day Nine

In all things give thanks to God for he is good and his love endures forever. I am thankful for this gift called life. Freely it has been given to me and no matter what it throws at me I am gonna LIVE and not just sail through…

You have to be determined to live life and not just survive. Enjoy every moment of it, both the UGLY and the good.

Day Ten

I am grateful that I finally started my online Korean class today after two months of waiting. I love the flexibility it gives me. My teacher and classmates seem awesome.

Learning Korean has been a challenge for me, nevertheless I am still thankful for the different platforms like KDA to learn the language.

Day Eleven

Me and my lunch buddy, grateful for her because lunchtime doesn’t feel like work anymore. Because of her, I get to taste the different foods that Korea has to offer, not forgetting the Korean I get to practice with her…

She was the little light I needed in a dark place. Koreans like to eat together, and that was the norm at my company. Except, that this time you are not enjoying the meal with colleagues but between boss and subordinates. She made sure, we sat near each other and chit-chatted not to be left out. She also introduced me to so many Korean foods I didn’t Know.

Day Twelve

The street food experience at Yeouido. Blessed to catch up with my longtime University friend.

I had David try out Mandu and fish cake during his short visit to Korea. Like I said its always good to catch up with back home.

Day Thirteen

Today I am thankful for this girl; she taught me that it is okay to be vulnerable. She will listen to me without judging me. Thanks for always listening to me my dear “Mango”

For some reason, I have never been that close to any of my sisters. When I met Margie, I had issues with opening up. I would rather die with my problems than tell anyone. However, meeting her slowly changed that. I found someone I could offload my worries and problems. Through this relationship, I gradually learned to trust people and share my fears.

Day Fourteen

Fall in its full bloom before the winter sets in…

I had an almost free trip outside the city to experience the last bit of fall beauty.

Day Fifteen

Thankful for this weekend getaway from the city

A weekend away from the hustles and noise of the city to connect with nature and meet new friends is what I needed to rejuvenation.

Day Sixteen

I am grateful for Grace, that amazing grace; it’s more than a second chance; it’s a love that keeps giving regardless of our past.

It’s by grace that I am who I am today; it’s by grace that I am where I am today. I can never underestimate the power of this Grace.

Day Seventeen

A friend surprised me with these two outfits. Apparently, she thought they would look good on me.

Thankful for God supplies our needs according to his riches in glory. The clothes fit perfectly like a glove. (Lol)

Day Eighteen

I must admit the Lord has surely been good to me in ways I cannot comprehend. I hope I can learn to busk more in his love, worry less, and smile more often knowing that he writes a better story for me than I would write for myself.

Day Nineteen

Throwing back to this beautiful sunset at Chobe Safari Lodge. I miss Uganda’s perfect weather especially as the winter sets in but I choose to remain thankful in this weather, grateful that I have ideal heating, thankful that I don’t have to worry much about what I wear as long as I warm.

On one of those cold days I stumbled on this excellent sunset picture, even though I missed Ugandan weather, I decided to focus on the things that made winter bearable like the heating.

Day Twenty

This was my mood today (Boomerang of me jumping), I have a spring in my steps. God has been good to me in many ways I can’t imagine.

I remember this day like it was yesterday, I had received an email that confirmed my new job (now current). I was too excited. Very grateful to God for answering my prayer.

Day Twenty One:

I am grateful for family (both born into and chosen), grateful for the incredible friends, people that I have come in contact with and have influenced my life in one way or another, thankful for experiences I have encountered thus far (both nasty and good) for they have made me who I am today. Grateful for those people that have prayed for me and believed in me when I was in doubt and above all thankful for God’s loving-kindness. As this challenge ends, I hope always to have a grateful heart.

As you can see, there are so many things to be thankful for every day. Let giving thanks become part of us.

“Be thankful for everything that happens in your life; it’s all an experience.” ― Roy T. Bennett