One important thing to share with my new readers is that I count these gifts, like counting the ways He loves me.
I had recently spent three weeks of the summer away from my children (the longest yet) while they were living it up with the grandparents. There may or may not have been excessive ice cream and chocolate involved. I'll never know. But when K caught a glimpse of my gratitude journal among my book stack, she asked, "Have you gotten to 5,000 yet?" At first I had no clue what she was talking about. Five thousand times I've agonized over this transition? Five thousand times I've wished God would just go ahead and hurry up already? Five thousand words I've shouted at Daddy because I'm tense and he's the closest thing I have to a scapegoat? Five thousand reasons I hate packing? "Five thousand what, honey?" I finally ask.
"Five thousand gifts, Mama."
Oh, that. "Let's see - nope, not quite. But almost."
Leave it to my tween to bring me down to earth. Back to sanity.
Because gratitude is the door to joy and joy is the antidote to all this insanity surrounding me.
So, without further ado - a few gifts from my list. But, please - don't just read mine - add your own too in the comments below. Let's encourage one another's hearts as we point with hands full of gifts to the Giver who is so generous.
- generous love offering from T&C, neighbors who love with words and deeds
- a delicious burger at a new restaurant, and fun birthday celebration with family
- giving baby B her bottle, and sweet wrinkle-nose faces
- news from afar, and the amazing way You sustain my heart afloat with hope
- deep riches, promises, love found in Isaiah 43 - every delicious morsel of Your word
- PL's sermon about bitterness, and his challenge to forgive rather than sit in a "hot-tub full of pus" [no lie - that was his analogy!]
- getting to meet interesting people with astonishing testimonies at a church picnic
- laughing with J about the "dirty rotten bird" who had the audacity to sing outside his window and wake him up
- "A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven." -John 3:27
- long talks with old friends
Lord, thank You for all of this and so much more. Thank You for Your generosity, and for giving me everything I have, tangible and not. You love me far more than I deserve and if I could give it all back to honor You, I would. For now I have this - Thank You. Let it be enough.
“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” ― Epicurus