Monday, June 21, 2010

1,000 Gifts

She gave me the journal for my birthday. It was based on a number of books by Sarah Ban Breathnach, who, several years ago, began to encourage others to take joy in the Simple Abundance that surrounds each one of us. My friend and I had read and discussed her philosophy from time to time, so a journal in which I might record the blessings of each day made a perfect gift. The inscription, penned by my dear friend, read, "May your reflections on this year be beautiful memories full of grace and peace -- or if not, may they at least make you laugh!" So I tucked it away, eager to begin chronicling as soon as the new year began.

The new year came. It was 2009. A book full of blank pages awaited my pen. And our basement flooded. So by January 2nd, I had recorded my gratitude for "a hard-working, faithful husband, a sense of humor and the shop vac . . . ." We were up all night, frantically scooping gallons and gallons of water. Our limbs ached. Our vision was blurred. But we kept the water away from the business equipment. And we found the blessings.

I quickly learned that this pattern would be a rather prominent theme in 2009. My friend's inscription was proving to be true. It was not what I would call a year full of grace and peace, but we definitely found plenty to laugh (and cry) over.

Later that spring, I was introduced to Ann Voskamp's blog, Holy Experience. She, too, is a faithful chronicler of blessings, and has invited her readers to join the "Gratitude Community" in listing the gifts that God sends our way. I began to keep my list on Good Friday of 2009, wondering how long it would take to reach the 1,000 that Ann had challenged herself to reach. My spiral notebook sits on the kitchen counter, pen nearby, that I may easily add evidence of His work in my life.

Over the last year, I have experienced the extreme importance of giving thanks to God, no matter the circumstance. When I count it all joy, I see that His hand is so clearly and faithfully at work in my life. I am challenged to focus not on myself, but on the One who deserves my full attention and sincere adoration.

I've not always been a faithful chronicler, but He has always been a faithful giver. Last week, I reached 500 gifts. Drew was the first to notice. He has added to my list along the way (which in itself is a dear gift.) So today I'll share a handful of the gifts that the Lord has sent my way in the last few days. Maybe you, too, could set a notebook out on your counter. You never know what the Lord might have in store for you.


*Toys made of wood

*A chorus of children reciting scripture

*The house finch's scarlet hood


*Witty lyrics

*Using my Noni's china for Sunday brunch

*Fresh, sudsy Louise water

*Iced tea in a vintage Holly Hobbie gla

*A boy and his trophy

*Folding laundry while hearing His Word

*Fourteen years with him

very's sleepover with Noni

ids taking initiative

*A speckled egg

*Puffy, golden scones

*The waving window

*Stretching a dollar

*Kid crafts

*Robin in the birdbath

*Saturday night sponge rollers . . .

*. . . and Sunday morning curls

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17

holy experience
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1 comment:

  1. okay, so you made me feel a little old with the "vintage" Holly Hobby :)

    great list... Ann's community is a gift.



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