1000 Gifts

Inspired by Ann Voskamp's book, One Thousand Gifts, I'm noting the many ways God has gifted my life.  I'm not consistent or methodical in this effort to be grateful.  But God is most certainly consistent and thorough in blessing me, if only I stop and take notice.
  1. Freezing at the bus stop with the kiddos as they eagerly embark on a day of learning, anointed with their chilled kisses and love.  
  2. Enjoying my favorite dessert for lunch — savoring every warm bite of steamed cranberry pudding with butter sauce and every memory of the years when my mom made it on Christmas Eve — so good that I'll eat Brussels sprouts for dinner to compensate for the caloric splurge.  
  3. Staining a new closet door for my little boy who too soon will become a not-so-little man, giggling over these moments of youth: his loose snaggle-tooth and his collection of Lego men that surprise me in the strangest of places.
  4. Soft piano grace notes.
  5. A Holy Experience, waiting with peace and hope every time I plug in, plugging me into God.
  6. Beautiful blue leather Bible from church.
  7. Bible tabs!!! 
  8. A flexible work schedule that allows for extended, enriching quiet time.
  9. Little H, crying then later laughing about a head scrape spurting blood.
  10. Not too much blood.
  11. Simple, successful co-parenting moments — teaming with Mister to staunch blood spill and calm our frightened, hurting boy.
  12. That little nicks are the biggest of our worries today.
  13. Every blessed cartwheel Miss S turns.  
  14. Her strength, inside and out, emotional and physical and spiritual.  May it serve her well.  May I whether this test gracefully in our stand-off moments.
  15. Watching Miss S pour herself into math homework, ages 9 and 19 all at once. 
  16. Having the presence of mind and the presence of the Spirit save me from getting sucked into my daughter's tantrum.
  17. Having a daughter who can voice her anger, frustration and sorrow, rather than bottle them up inside.
  18. Having a son who feels free to cry and be sad.  May God protect his sensitive soul.
  19. A safe walk on slippery ice this morning.
  20. Mister's grins.
  21. Mister's love of 80's music.  Long live YouTube videos!
  22. Cheery fabric.  Projects waiting patiently.
  23. A slow week.
  24. Summer baseball... Just thinking about it takes the edge of January ice. 
  25. A new bed and comforter.
  26. Nap in said bed.
  27. Piano lessons with dear Mrs. Z.  She makes me laugh.
  28. Funny tweets, short & sweet — or cynical ;')
  29. Safe travels.
  30. An upcoming girls' weekend.
  31. Appetizers anytime.
  32. A laundry load a day keeps stressed-out mommy away.
  33. Greek yogurt.
  34. Getting through Judges, then finding a piece on the Internet that connects it to today's world, just when I thought it couldn't be done.
  35. The perfect pen.
  36. Eight bibles under one roof.  
  37. My boy who is content to play outside on his own in the snow for.ever.
  38. Answered prayers.  Camp buddies.
  39. Encouraging feedback.
  40. Reliable public transportation and a husband who loves to read on the bus.
  41. Good books.
  42. Family read aloud time.
  43. Maker's Mark Manhattans.
  44. Date night.  Can't wait!
  45. Vacuum cleaners.  Seriously.  What did people do without them?
  46. I haven't double-booked anything or forgotten an appointment for over two months.  Knock on wood!
  47. Unexpected thank you notes, email or snail mail.
  48. Truffles in the freezer, and I'm not feeling tempted!
  49. Facebook and those treasured glimpses into friends' everyday lives. 
  50. Snow pants for those -8° dog walks.  Hello FEBRUARY!
  51. H saying: "Mom, you look good in those!" referring to aforementioned snowpants.  Hot Mama!! 
  52. Terrible puns.  I crack myself up!
  53. The way God works: one post about submission to another about fear for a breakthrough internet-inspired devotion.
  54. Dog bellies.
  55. Quick writes.
  56. Train whistles when you don't have to travel anywhere.
  57. My local YMCA = working out in a friendly, positive environment. 
  58. Poinsettias hanging on, Christmas spirit hanging on.
  59. Red wool scarf from Denmark, wrapped in a mother's love.
  60. New knitting project on the needles, this one's for me. 
  61. The inspiration to journal through 1 Kings (a book that, frankly, didn't inspire me all that much).
  62. Fleece. 
  63. Our furry dog, warm and licky and loving, reminding me that a little affection goes a long, long way. 
  64. Crayon shavings turned to stained glass crosses, catching my eye all the more against the snowscape. 
  65. Public radio. 
  66. Garrison Keillor's voice, like family lore that vibrates in your bones and tells you who you are, where you come from, and why you matter. 
  67. The life and wisdom of Chinua Achebe.  The chance to listen to him through his book, Hopes and Impediments, even though he's gone from this world. 
  68. Our darling daughter is in the double digits.  A decade of motherhood, and I haven't messed the kiddos up too badly... 
  69. Hot, running water.   
  70. Finding one of the kiddo's Easter eggs and snitching some candy.  Shhhh... don't tell.
  71. A new follower.  Yay!!  Welcome, Amy@ConsiderMeInspired!

  72. farm fresh eggs — NOVEMBER's harvest
  73. fresh baked pumpkin muffins 
  74. the Word, nibbled with intention, savored slow and soulful
  75. soft T-shirt 
  76. comfy shoes
  77. broken-in jeans
  78. brand new socks, cozy and fuzzy and plush
  79. nuts with all their protein, Omega 3 goodness
  80. The Nester, who continually inspires in an inviting, no-stress way
  81. novels
  82. a gathering of friends to share our faith
  83. giving my kids the gift of laughter (by making a fool of myself singing along to the radio)
  84. a good night's sleep, waking up refreshed
  85. little Blondie, quite the business writer, all official with words like "enclosed" and her middle initial
  86. my wedding ring, as beautiful and timeless as our marriage
  87. simple silver earrings, lost and found
  88. earbuds for when I need an instant vacation to a more serene place
  89. the right and the privilege to vote
  90. anyone and everyone who does the difficult, thankless job of an elected official
  91. our justice system: fair, methodical, and accessible
  92. auburn oak leaves holding on
  93. glimpses of good neighbors
  94. our ruby red cardinal friends
  95. cranberry pistachio energy bites — chewy and filling and sweet
  96. kale chips, or "crisps" as the kiddos call them — who knew we'd like their salty goodness?
  97. the forgotten rich smoothness of a shared chocolate milk
    photo credit: thisweekfordinner.com
  98. apples from mom's tree, small and tart and crisp
  99. our church pumpkin patch — a vibrant community of orange and joy, all for a good cause
  100. a bumper crop of oak leaves, raked and piled and ready for fun
  101. the Holy Spirit, pointing out the words my heart needs to hear
  102. Genesis creation stories: God created and created and created even more goodness.  His beneficence adds layers and layers of goodness to our lives.
  103. Humankind: made in God's image, made to be kind and loving to God and to others, made in all shapes and kinds and forms to reflect the vast complexity of a God who surpasses our understanding.
  104. My relatives who served our country: Dad and Dennis in the navy, Bill and Bill in the Army, Annette in the WAC
  105. Grandma Gertrude's cooking and baking, even the stuffed cabbage
  106. Grandpa Harry teaching me to shoot pool in his basement
  107. Marilyn, an angel in my midst, always delivering God's message of love, faith and hope — and the necessity of struggle
  108. A great book recommendation: Carry On, Warrior
  109. Sublime soups and salads with the church ladies, with enough for leftovers!
  110. Title One teachers at the Light Bulb Lab: organized, patient, masterful educators
  111. behind the automatic car doors that don't work, won't open, and then won't close completely — remembering the blessing of having reliable transportation, affordable fuel, and the freedom to travel where we want
  112. kids clean bedrooms beyond open doors, a task completed without any nagging.

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