One Thousand Gifts

Some time ago I purchased Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts. After reading it a second time, I began to count often daily, more often at the end of a week.

Then I joined Ann’s link-up at A Holy Experience and joined with community as we counted and shared our gifts.

Crisis hit our family in early 2011 and travel ensued to help family and sometimes on short notice. My counting was done silently with each safe trip and more. Recently, I returned to find that most of the women and men I’d met while counting gifts were either no longer there and life had changed for others and for me.

So, today I begin the counting here. On this page. Because who really needs to know other than God. A private place. My journal of thanksgiving.

Giving thanks to Him weekly or daily, or when the Spirit nudges to go and write that gratitude down. Whether anyone reads them isn’t important. It is that He knows how grateful I am for all the gifts He shares.

* * *

September 15, 2014

940. Kory’s safe return home and then deployment to Ft. Lee, VA.

941. Linda’s easy transition to her new home nearer family.

942. Our beautiful time together this summer just puttering and being at home.

943. The joy of knowing so many good friends who love Jesus.

944. Beautiful remembrances of lives moved to with God.

945. Mary Ellen’s 90th birthday and celebration.

946. Her acceptance of her new home.

947. Clarke’s successful quintuple bypass surgery.

948. Clarke and Helen’s move to a better place for them.

949. Their happiness together.

950. Our 33rd anniversary, years of many ups and downs, but with God by our side they have still been wonderful.

August 21, 2014

Heavenly Father, I am ashamed. This beautiful habit of practicing gratitude has gone unpracticed far too long. How will I ever catch up?

I can begin by saying I am grateful for all things, good and bad, coming my way since May 24th. You know, Father, what is best and I am grateful for that watchfulness and care you provide. I commit to making a better effort at weekly gratitude. And I begin here to attempt to thank you specifically for some things:

919. Mary Ellen’s move to a place closer to us and to Kirby and Judy.

920. The goodness of the place where she is living now and the graciousness of its staff.

921. For Kirby’s watchfulness over her.

922. Complete resolution of Bob’s clot.

923. Kory’s completion of his basic guard training at Ft. Leonard Wood, MO.

924. His safe arrival at Ft. Lee, VA, for a more intensive 10 weeks.

925. Linda’s move to be closer to Steve and Amy.

926. Mikey’s safe and busy summer working with Bud.

927. My ability to stand up to Craig at a time when he had pushed every button possible to send me back in time to abuse which I never thought I’d experience again.

928. Bob’s feelings for me when he came home that day.

929. Nikki and Parker’s safe journey to the fires and back.

930. Another fall or two without injury for both Bob and me.

931. Beautiful summer weather.

932. Clarity in where my book should head in its near completion.

933. A wonderful conference by Willamette Writers.

934. Fun experiences at 89.9 with open houses, concerts, dedications and celebrations of the new space.

935. End of year concerts with Bob’s groups.

936. First performance of the Moreland Horn Quartet Plus One.

937. Bob’s joy at learning to play Jim’s French horn.

938. So far a good recovery for Clarke (heart surgery) and Helen (blood clot).

939. A great phone visit with Madelyn Sprague.

May 24, 2014

Once again it seems I have faltered in focusing on gratitude.

907. God’s loving forgiveness when I forget my “gratitude journal.

908. Bob’s continued healing from his back surgery and clot.

909. Our youth pastor’s ability to bring a vibrant, loving message on Sunday mornings.

910. And his ability to minister to our youth in creative and active ways.

911. For our friend, Ethel, who never ceases to check up on us.

912. For our ability to continue living independently.

913. For honest attorneys who are there to help when you need them.

914. For a fall without injury.

915. Colors of springtime.

916. The bluejays who inhabit our area this time of year.

917. A “surprise” visit from our daughter-in-law and two great-grands on Thursday.

918. A husband who loves me.

May 8, 2014

I was surprised when I came here to add to my gratitude list. Surprised because it has been almost a month since I added anything. It isn’t that I haven’t been grateful, just overwhelmed in a variety of ways. Here goes:

892. Thankful for my brother-in-law, Leo, who came into my life when I married his wife’s brother in 1983. And thankful that God was waiting to welcome Leo home on April 14, 2014, after 90 years and 10 months here on this earth.

893. Thankful for the example my sister-in-law, Mary Ellen, has set before us during these last few weeks
of stoicism and faith. She always has, but she too is slipping away from us.

894. For Leo and Mary Ellen’s next door neighbor, Bob, who has diligently watched over them for many years. An angel for sure.

895. The doctors and nurses who cared for Leo.

896. The nephew and his wife who are taking care of all the details of life for Mary Ellen right now, including
moving her to a safer place to live.

897. For my husband who, as the youngest of six, is watching his siblings grow frail.

898. For good reports on lab work for my husband related to a blood clot.

899. Continuing good reports for our son related to his cancer surgery.

900. Excellent followup with the spine surgeon related to Bob’s back surgery.

901. The beauty of the love between our grandson and his fiance as they grow as parents.

902. For our newest great-grandchild, Parker, who fills our hearts to overflowing.

903. For Tyler and Nikki’s new home.

904. The beauty of spring and new life.

905. An interim pastor for our church.

906. The gift of God’s Son.

April 12, 2014

882. Thanksgiving for continuing and watchful care of Bob’s blood clot.

883. Joy watching our newest great-grandchild blossom.

884. Good news from the surgeon that all is looking well for Bob’s recovery.

885. Pounds lost for me as I struggle with diet and exercise.

886. Progress made on my book.

887. Bob’s return to his musical groups and practices.

888. Beauty of spring all around us — buds, blooms, sunny days.

889. The gift of God’s Son.

890. Freedom to worship.

891. The pastors who have filled our pulpit on Sundays.

March 27, 2014

Much has happened since I last added to my gratitude list and so I begin:

867. Successful doctors’ appointments for both of us, finally realizing treatments for what ails us.

868. Following on with successful back surgery for Bob.

869. Skilled hands of surgeon and those who assisted him.

870. Compassionate nursing care.

871. Serendipitous meeting of our chaplain friend, Stasia, as we walked to the short stay unit of the hospital and the incredible prayer she lifted for Bob as the volunteer patiently waited with us.

872. End of pain for Bob.

873. Good days at home healing, enjoying each other reading to the other.

874. Short outings on sunny days.

875. Expert physician and staff in the ER on Sunday the 23rd who treated Bob for a blood clot in his arm.

876. Ability to get an appointment with our primary care physician to follow-up on blood tests early this week.

877. Patience as we wait for the medication levels to reach optimal results.

878. Bob’s ability to begin enjoying life again.

879. Our older great-granddaughter’s first soccer practice ever.

880. Friends who spontaneously came by with marionberry pie and a much-needed visit last evening.

881. For a God who is watchful constantly, even when our minds wander away from Him.

March 10, 2014

856. For getting us through last week.

857. For providing a surgery date for Bob.

858. For the joy of the children’s bell choir and LOGOS choir at church yesterday.

859. Josh’s message in worship on Sunday.

860. Micheal O’Brien’s presence with us for communion.

861. The sounds of songbirds outside the window.

862. The first signs of spring — crocus, hyacinth, daffodils.

863. Watching Parker grow.

864. The Lenten Season.

865. The gift of your Son, Jesus Christ.

866. The gift of your love.

February 28, 2014

849. A glorious celebration for our departing pastor.

850. Memories of good times.

851. Drawing nearer to resolution of health issues for both my husband and me.

852. Beautiful days here and there during winter.

853. Good results on medical tests.

854. Opening my eyes to where my priorities lie.

855. Good friends supporting me.

February 22, 2014

841. Answers to my husband’s severe back pain since Christmas Day.

842. Prayers answers with respect to our daughter-in-law’s brother’s healing progress and return home.

843. Good results from procedures I had done a week ago.

844. Lovely lunch-time birthday celebration with Craig and Gigi.

845. Ability to see that until Bob’s surgery I need to take it slow and easy on some things while
supporting him.

846. Knowing what I need to do to take care of my health.

847. Thanksgiving for the life and gift of Nicole Thorpe.

848. Thanksgiving for the time we’ve had with Mary McKnight.

February 15, 2014

828. For God’s forgiveness when I fall short of commitments, like counting His wondrous gifts to me

829. Improving weather conditions

830. Answers to prayers regarding medical issues we’re both dealing with

831. Amazing growth of our newest great-grandchild, Parker

832. Those who have offered help and assistance during these long days of waiting to heal

833. The location of our home near shopping and doctors

834. Calls, cards and emails from friends

835. Successful publishing and launch of a four-part anthology in which I was blessed to have two short pieces selected for inclusion

836. Wonderful writing women who have supported and encouraged me

837. Friends nearby and far away who have done the same

838. Amy’s brother’s minor improvements in his health

839. Good test results

840. Eye opening nudges about certain issues we’re facing

January 31, 2014

January has been a trying month for my husband me–him suffering debilitating pain in his back and a failed cortisone injection calls for more appointments and a chronic issue that hasn’t bothered me in years has raised its ugly head. Since Christmas day, neither of us has felt at our best. Even so, there are gifts to be thankful for, and we give God the praise for them.

821. A visit with our grandson, his fiance and their new baby girl, Parker, such a gift from God

822. An amazing experience for our 15-year old grandson on his trip to NYC

823. Finding a way to connect with another grandson (19) who has ADHD and Aspberger’s–
texting seems to fit the bill and we’ve connected twice in two weeks!

824. The joy of seeing two of my stories published and on Amazon Kindle

825. Answers from a specialist for me and scheduled procedures/tests

826. Concerned family and friends expressing their willingness to help, if needed

827. A marvelous worship service last Sunday, January 26th

January 23, 2014

811. Arrival of sweet Parker Rae Aird, 6 lbs. 1 oz, early on the morning of January 13, 2014

812. Love shining through the little Aird family as they rejoice in Parker’s birth

813. Our first visit with the newborn great-grandchild

814. Good doctors, healthy mamas and babies

815. Proud daddies

816. New answers for illnesses

817. Patience while waiting for answers to some of our health questions

818. Prayers of friends and family

819. Safe travels for our 15-year old grandson in New York

820. Protection for our 19-year old grandson

January 13, 2014

803. A busy week kept me muddled caring for Bob and myself, but thankful
today we are both improving

804. For healing of my respiratory virus

805. A doctor who, though having been on vacation, held Saturday office hours to catch
up with patients who had been waiting for his return

806. Answers from that same doctor as to what Bob’s pain might be caused by
and a treatment plan

807. Concerned friends checking on us

808. A beautiful note from our LOGOS kids and the coordinators

809. Being overlooked during storm damage — thank you, Lord, so much!

810. Gentleness with one another during these pains and illnesses since Christmas

December 31, 2013:

798. ER physicians and nurses available to treat my husband

799. Medications that have dulled his pain to almost bearable

800. Friends who care enough to ask if they can help

801. A patient soul in my husband as we wait until January 6th to see our doctor

802. God’s gift of caregiving that allows me to be my husband’s helpmate right now

December 24, 2013:

797. The gift of family at Christmas and throughout the year

798. The festive celebration with family last night

799. A diagnosis for a friend

800. God’s watchfulness over friends waiting at Mayo Clinic for a diagnosis

801. Our Pastor Mary who continually teaches me more than I can imagine possible

802. Our choir director and organist who support our choir so well

803. Conversation with sister-in-law today

804. My husband’s loving and patient heart

December 13, 2013:

790. Gratitude for specialists at Mayo Clinic being available to our friends on
on emergency basis and for their safe travel from Portland to Rochester

791. Continued healing for our friend, Alice, and for her 50th birthday celebration
with Eric and Evan in Hawaii

792. A renewing of my mind set during what can be a difficult time for many

793. Lovely music of the season

794. Promises found in Isaiah

795. Beauty of having a spouse who shares my faith

796. Peace about my writing year in 2014

Picking up from my last Monday morning post on December 2, 2013:

December 9, 2013:

788. For life itself.

789. My brother’s successful surgery and continuing recovery.

789. The warmth of home in the midst of cold, cold weather.

790. Beauty of the winter world.

791. Anticipation filling the days of Advent.

792. Countdown through this month for our next great-grandchild.

793. Nikki’s love for Tyler, and his for her.

794. Willie’s successful recovery.

795. Visits via phone with long distance friends.

796. Visits via phone with friends made via the Internet.

797. Support and encouragement received from fellow writers.

798. A joyous celebration in our children’s Christmas pageant.

One thought on “One Thousand Gifts

  1. Pingback: Grateful? Oh, yes! | Five Minute Friday | Sowing Seeds of Grace

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