My friend, Ann, is the inspiration for starting my own gift list. Going through the refining flames of adversity makes me acutely aware of my need to be more intentional and vocal in my thanks. I have a small blue journal, tied on the edges with satin ribbon, filled with handmade paper. It is now the home of my One Thousand Gifts list. I could not explain the reasons for keeping a gift list better than Ann has done so I refer you to her writings.
Christians are to be a thankful people. I will never forget the question posed by a friend of ours years ago. "Thanksgiving," he asked, "is it an annual holiday or an eternal lifestyle for you?" As the annual holiday approaches, I begin this list, desiring that my life be more and more characterized by deep gratitude and thanksgiving for the gifts God lavishes on me daily. I desire to live an eternal lifestyle of thankfulness.
And I realize that listing a thousand gifts barely scratches the surface. I receive thousands of gifts everyday - every breath I take is a gift. This list seems so inadequate. But it is a start and it opens my eyes. It says in the sidebar, "What you see is what you get." I choose to see blessings. Oh Lord, open my eyes.
Josh Bales sings:
Now I will celebrate
For all the thousand ways
That you have shown me grace
And made my heart in grace to stay
And made my heart in grace to stay...
Thou has given me so much... Give me one thing more, a grateful heart.--George Herbert
1. Jesus, the most precious gift of all and faith to believe, a gift from start to finish given by God.
2. The Bible, God's holy word, and for God's constantly drawing me to his word to feast on its riches - for instruction, guidance, courage, wisdom, solace, hope.
3. Coty - steadfast, tender, patient head and lover - body, mind, and soul - with unconditional grace of unlovely me.
4. Erin - and now Luke, Jonathan, Thomas, Andrew, Matthew, Joel - gifts of God that together with God and Coty have made me who I am now - a wife and mother whose heart is so full with the privilege of being blessed with this husband and these children that I haven't words adequate to describe the joy.
5. A cool morning, a cup of coffee, and a porch swing.
6. The flyover of a V of honking geese; the lowing of a cow in the pasture beyond the woods.
7. Birdsong - sparrow, hawk call, flock of grackles, cardinal, titmouse, blue-jay
8. A recent quiet afternoon, sitting in the treehouse reading and resting with the sun shining on a mix of green and golden leaves and a soft breeze making dappled shade quiver, the lower stream softly gurgling.
9. Praying senior saints pouring out their humble hearts to God.
10. The Father's ordering of my day, bringing both hardship and solace for His good purposes.