I sat down at the computer this morning with my coffee and logged into my Reader to catch up with all of you. The first blog I read was that of my friend Stacey at 29 Lincoln Avenue. She talked about gifts, and graces, and counting. And starting over.
I began counting 1000 gifts with Ann Voskamp in February of last year. I thought I was doing pretty well, coming here nearly every week to share with you the things in my life that I am thankful for. But when I looked back at what I had accomplished last year, my list of graces, although beautiful and not to be forgotten, is just not enough. On average, I gave thanks for only 1 gift each day last year. I have so far to go. I want to dig deeper. To be more intentional in cultivating gratitude in my life.
Ann has asked us to take the Joy Dare. To begin to count again and dare to record 1000 gifts in 2012. I am not one to leave something unfinished. But I do believe that this challenge will be good for my heart. It helps me to cultivate gratitude in my life when I consistently offer up thanks and praise for the big and the small or seemingly insignificant, throughout my day. And really, it is about recording just 3 things each day. Surely, I can find three things each day to be thankful for. It takes recording. Writing them down. It takes time. It takes practice. It takes being intentional.
“How my eyes see, perspective, is my key to enter into His gates. I can only do so with thanksgiving. If my inner eye has God seeping up through all things, then can’t I give thanks for anything? And if I can give thanks for the good things, the hard things, the absolute everything, I can enter the gates to glory. Living in His presence is fullness of joy- and seeing shows the way in.”
― Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are
I will be using the One Thousand Gifts App on my lovely little iPhone to help me to record my gifts. And Ann has a wonderful resource to help in finding those gifts each day in January. You can download it here.
So today, 9 days into 2012, I begin again. On my way to counting 1000 gifts in 2012!
I am taking the Joy Dare. Dare to come along with me?
1. My space heater that is keeping my feet warm.
2. Freshly washed towels.
3. Children who were ready early for school today.
4. Coffee in the morning (afternoon, evening…all day really!)
5. The sun shining brightly
6. The birds chirping outside my kitchen window, as if saying, “good morning”.
7. The NLT One Year Chronological Bible, which is helping me stay consistent.
8. My “Jesus, 90 Days with the One and Only” study and friends who encourage me through it.
9. Hot running water.
10. The smell of vanilla in burning candles.
11. Wedding planning with my daughter.
12. Dinner and movie dates with beautiful girlfriends.
13. Hugs and kisses.
14. Friends who constantly encourage me.
15. Katie’s last chemo treatment yesterday! No more cancer!
16. Making playdough towers with preschoolers.
17. Little ones who eagerly listen to Bible stories.
18. The honor of teaching little ones the importance of loving Jesus
19. Family members who assisted financially during a rough week.
20. For coupons, BOGO’s and freebies!
21. Simple menu planning.
22. The grace and strength to look inward as I pursue health and wholeness.
23. A beautiful blog friend who is walking that journey with me.
24. For my Kindle Fire! It will help me to read more this year.
25. My husbands 10-12 month job, after over two years of unemployment.
26. For God’s constant reminders that He is with me.
27. For restful sleep.
Linking up with Ann Voskamp at A Holy Experience, accepting the Joy Dare to count 1000 gifts in 2012. Just 3 gifts a day. Record them any way you choose. I hope you will join me!