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Monday, March 25, 2013

One Thousand Gifts

             Recently, some friends and I started a book club. Me and a few other ladies from church picked a book and decided to meet on Thursday evenings to discuss what we have read during the week. This is our way to ensure that we are surrounding ourselves with other Godly women and nurturing healthy relationships throughout the week - not just on Sundays. The only issue is that we all have children who are all usually in tow. Thankfully, one saint of a friend has graciously allowed us to use her house as a corral for the ten (yes, I said ten) kiddos that accompany us four adults (she also has little ones so her house is already baby proofed - double blessing!).
            I can just imagine what this would look like to an outsider who had no idea what was going on. Ten children ranging in age from (roughly) eight all the way down to one year running around in basically a free-for-all while their mothers attempt "grown up" conversation through the chaos. Only in a room full of mothers and children would one see a woman speaking casually about a recently read book while reaching out to catch a falling child with one arm and swatting a toddlers hand away from an electrical outlet with the other. (By the way, this saint of a friend has all her outlets responsibly covered - I was just trying to paint a picture here.) 
           Well, the book we chose to begin our book club journey with is called 1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp and, so far, it is amazing! I highly recommend reading if you ever get the chance. I don't want to spoil it for anyone so I'll just say it is a book about tremendous loss, great blessing and learning to praise God through all circumstances. There is also a list involved, which is how I got the idea for this blog post. We all decided we would join Miss Voskamp and make our own "gift" lists. I have been promising myself (and this may have been the Holy Spirit's leading here, as well) that once I reached 100, I would post them here. Well, today was the day! This morning I reached 100 and have even a few more now. They are not in any particular order so please do not look for rhyme or reason in them. I simply wrote down what the Holy Spirit gave me to write. Here goes:

1) Sunshine out my window
2)Daylight out my window (if it's cloudy)
3)Quiet moments of nap time
4)Freshly made Irish Potatos
5) Comfy sweat shirts that are also cute
6)Strength in Christ
7)Putting one foot in front of the other
8)Whisper of the Holy Spirit
9)Birds chirping
10)Weight of heavy blankets covering me
11) Awesome thrift store finds
12)Tiney hineys
13)Ephie and Ely hugs
14)"Your silly!" , "No, your silly!" (game I play with Ephie)
15)Children screeching with glee chasing each other
16)Open lipped, slobbery kisses from little ones
17)Sunshine on first day of spring
18)Old, worn, highlighted, written-all-over bible
19)Excitment of new friendships
20)Other moms who understand
21)Long lost cousins coming to Easter egg hunts
22)Trials that draw me closer to God
23)Husband who loves to tickle
24)Husband who loves to cook
25)Husband who loves my body (just the way it is)
26)Black and white photos
27)Sepia photos
28)Bumble bee on a flower in March
29)Playgrounds right up the street
30)Big boys on big boy swings
31)Super thick hair
32)Favorite shows that leave you in suspense
33)Wild tickle giggles
34)Little hands reaching up to me
35)Ephie and Ely realizing the moon . . . first time
36)C-section scar
37)Humble-spirited, child innocence
38)Very first parking space
39)Children repeating everything you say
40)Picking up husbands socks
41)Intimacy the way God intended it
42)Tiny details in dreams
43)Making husband's lunch for work
44)Struggles to lean on God through
45)Early morning quietness
46)First pot of morning coffee
47)Flavored creamers
48)Little love notes left around
49)Children's art work on the fridge
50)Ephie imitating Elmo dancing
51)Cheering others up
52)Fluffy white clouds on bright blue sky
53)Not one but TWO Saturdays off in a row
54)Ephie's goofy smile
55)Ely's fills-up-his-whole-face smile
56)Husband's mischevious smile
57)Focal point B&W pictures
58)A book that calls you to action
59)Friends further along in their walk with Christ
60)"I ya you" (I love you)
61)Pale skin freshly tanned (obviously this is a gift "to be")
62)Arguments resolved
63)Fingernails painted clear
65)Children finishing dinner (all of it!)
66)Healthy, active children
67)Freedom from addiction
68)Freshly fallen snow . . . . yet unmarred by bootprints or tire tracks
69)Spring cleaning
70)Glass of red wine after long day
71)Sunglasses doubling as headband
73)First day of manicure
74)Self-done manicure (its pretty and free!)
75)Long stretches after long sitting
76)Road trips
77)Seashore in summer (also one "to be")
78)Children saying grace
79)Huge weeping willows
80)Tire swings
81)Vegetable gardens
82)Back yard away from home . . . Penn Warner
83)Children watching rains drops
84)Mom coming to church
85)Bright white moon against sky almost black
86)Hitting all green a hurry
87)Hot sauce on everything
88)This one is personal so I will keep it between the Lord and I
89)This one is also just between me and Him
90)Morning baby babble
91)Children's sleep breathing
92)Flag blowing in the wind
93)Spotless blue skies
94)Pure doggie glee hanging out car windows
95)Long shadows in the afternoon
96)"Big boys" in footie pj's. . . .reminder they are still my little guys
97)Mom in church
98)Crickets chirping on summer nights
99)Children watching snowflakes
100)Pillowtop cloud softness
101)Pancakes in the morning
102)Dried roses lasting forever
103)Big fluffy snowflakes
104) Walls separating warmth from cold
105)Refrigerator/freezer full
106)Bellies filled
107)Breath filling up lungs

         How amazing that we lift up empty hands to our God and He fills them! I hope and pray these gifts will be as much of a blessing to you as they have been to me. I know there are more than a hundred here and I will be on the hunt for many more.

         I would love to hear from some of you about gifts the Lord has given you, as well. Perhaps these gifts could spark an idea for your own list! I would love to hear about it and I'm sure the Lord would love for you to tell about it.

"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house."
                                                                                                       Mathew 5:14-15



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