Counting gifts ... graces ... mercies ... wow.
Who knew how it could change a person's focus? Set the heart to right again? Soothe a hurting soul?
Well ... I guess Ann Voskamp knew. And so, she dares us to discover it too.
THREE gifts a day. Every day. One year. And you will have yourself 1,000.
(Seriously ... she even gives you a list - a kind of Blessing scavenger hunt, if you will - to go by. SO easy!)
(no ... really ... do it. i dare ya)
1.8.13 - Dusky Light, Surprising Reflection, Lovely Shadow
#22 Hubby, bracing himself for the cold to come, zips up a jacket and heads out at dusk to put some meat on the grill for his people. LOVE that man!
#23 Jocelyn, clearly hungry, crawls to her high chair and waits (helping herself to a few cheerios that the broom missed). So, when I put her in the chair and step away to get her some food, I am surprised that she fusses unhappily. Until I put some goodies on her tray, making her smile. A few minutes later, in the bathroom, I look up to discover WHY she was upset. Seems she left a cheerio on my shoulder ... guess she was saving it for later!
#24 Watching two girls as they run for the bus, early morning shadows stretching out before them - one with bouncing curls, one with long flowing locks, holding hands. LOVE!
1.9.13 - A Gift Held, Passed By, Sat With
#25 A warm, comforting heating pad held on sore muscles (a back gone out) ... comfort.
#26 Passing by 3 clean bedrooms - THREE!!!!! - on the way down the hall. A representation of the family working together to make things pretty!
#27 Sat in early morning silence and soft light with my coffee and my Bible. Coffee ... yum. And my Bible - SO thankful for His Word. It truly is life to me!
1.10.13 - A Gift Sour, Sweet, Just Right
#28 The sour taste at the end of a cherry lime-aid. Not my favorite taste, but it does mean I've been to Sonic. And on a family date night, no less, YES!
#29 Sneaking into my personal stash of tootsie roll pops when no one is home but me. Grape. SWEET!!!
#30 My man, who massages my aching back in just the right spot at the end of a weary day. Oh. He melts me.
1.11.13 - Three Yellow Gifts of Fresh Mercy
#31 A BEAUTIFUL friend (in her yellow chair) that we still have with us. Two years ago this day we almost lost her, but God let her stay ... she is TRULY a gift to all!!!
#32 The yellow sun that FINALLY graced us with it's presence on this dreary day. He does shine through!
#33 Golden rings exchanged by a sweet couple in a charmingly beautiful ceremony. Blessed to be there. Love ... such a gift!
1.12.13 - Something Above, Below, Beside
#34 The roof above our heads ... in a house we can FINALLY call our own.
#35 The non-icy ground beneath my feet ... even if I STILL can't run on it, it's nice to know it's still there!!
#36 Friends that stand beside me (even when it means bringing up the "tender" subjects that must be faced) and talking me through.
1.13.13 - 3 Things About Yourself You're Grateful For (HELLO!!! HARD!!!)
#37 Loyalty - a true friend and an honest wife.
#38 Caring - if YOUR heart is breaking, so is mine.
#39 SAVED - Only by the Grace of God!!!
1.14.13 - 3 Startling Graces of God
#40 He saw fit to give me children - THESE children! May parenting always startle me - so I am forced to keep my focus on HIM!!!
#41 He gave me this man - OH, this man! My love for him still takes my breath away at times. So thankful for his faithfulness, even though he now clearly understands how truly messed up I really am!
#42 His Son - sent to die for me. OH, the Grace. I do not deserve it. Love so fierce, it cannot be fathomed.
1.15.13 - A Gift Worn, Given Away, Shared
#43 A ring on my 2nd right toe. Once worn by my sweet Paula, it now reminds me every day to be more like her. The word "FAITH" etched across it's worn surface, a definition of who she was. Even to the end. Oh, how I look forward to Heaven where I will see her again.
#44 The gift of prayers offered up - given, if you will - by my precious 5 year old prayer warrior. Such a sweet soul she is for Him. Lord, make me worthy to mother these gifts.
#45 Shared stories and laughter across the miles in a phone conversation with an aunt I miss dearly. THIS gift needs to happen more often.
So, tell me, what are YOUR gifts?!?!