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Counting to 1000 gifts

Well, I'm taking the dare. I'm jumping in late, but I want to start counting 1000 gifts in 2012. I have printed off the June guide sheet. Here goes:
June 1: 3 gifts orange. Wow, orange is not a color I pay a lot of attention to. Interesting…
  • Cupcakes with orange buttercream frosting at Ava's end of the year show
  • Orange flowers in bouquets at the grocery store
  • Dried apricots packed in the snack bag for our trip to Ohio
June 2: 3 gifts funny. Just having Patrick back in my daily life is a gift funny. He is bursting with one-liners and I find his perspective very entertaining. I am so grateful for this season that we have together before he gets married. I am even glad that I get to help him finish his last college class.
  • Riding to Ohio, (in my car!) with dad and Karyn, to pick up Patrick
  • Playing 3 to 13 with my family and laughing together
  • Realizing we don't even own My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding after planning to watch it all week long
June 3: 3 gifts from today's conversations. One of my favorite things about living at home again is the wonderful conversations that I regularly have with my parents and my sister. They are such great roommates! And, I am so thankful that we get to live life together during this season.
  • Being able to share ideas with my family, over coffee, in the backyard, full of sunshine
  • Talking about all of the area's in our lives where God has to intervene or we will be lost
  • Encouraging others where they feel hopeless and being encouraged where I feel hopeless
June 4: 3 gifts found in Christ. He is so full of precious gifts for us. I am seeing them more and more as I practice gratitude. It really does work!
  • He delights in me just as I am
  • I am known and enjoyed and allowed to know and enjoy Him in return
  • Life that is full and enough
June 5: A gift of peace, of hope, of love. As I train my eyes to see all of the gifts that God offers me, I am becoming convinced of just how full He wants my life to be. And, it is often in my difficult feelings and situations where the gifts of peace, hope and love are the most meaningful. When I open up my hand to really receive everything that God gives to me is when He fills me with Himself and I truly know peace, hope and love.
  • Peace that passes understanding when I am afraid that I'm not doing the "right thing" with my clients and the reassuring knowledge that He equips me for every good work. The comfort in remembering that His strength is perfected in my weakness and His blood covers all of my failures.
  • Hope that I really can be full of joy even if my prayers go unanswered and my circumstances never change
  • Love that makes me feel chosen, accepted and important
June 6: 3 gifts "ugly-beautiful". I love how Ann refers to certain gifts as "ugly-beautiful". I think of these gifts as the situations that you pray to avoid and feel sad and angry about when they happen to you. They look and feel "ugly", but receiving them allows us to experience the "beautiful" that only God can create in such circumstances.
  • Debts that I cannot repay. They help me remember that I am dependent on God's provision for me.
  • Unanswered prayers. They squeeze my heart in a way that only Christ can comfort. Receiving that comfort helps me connect more with Him.
  • Feelings of disappointment that entice me to surrender all hope. They remind me that the choice is always mine: hope or disappointment. My painful experiences try to convince me that certain things are not safe to hope for and I should give up on them. God says that those whose hope is in the LORD will never be put to shame and my hope is safe in Him.
June 7: 3 gifts in what you are reading. I don't think that I read very much compared to my mom and sister. But, I enjoy reading and it is valuable.
  • Learning how to rejoice in all things and receive all as grace with Ann Voskamp in One Thousand Gifts
  • Discovering what it means to be God's love slave with James Garrett in The Doulos Principle
  • Being reminded of what is mine and what is not mine in Boundaries with Dr.'s Cloud and Townsend
June 8: 3 gifts empty. I confess that I'm not sure I understand what this means. Is this something that seems empty, but is a gift? Or, is it something that seems like a gift, but is actually empty? I will try both…
  • Our new neighbor brought over pastries and donuts this morning. They were a very tasty gift, but empty of much nutritional value. This is probably one of my favorite gifts empty!
  • An empty schedule this morning allowed me to go running and an empty schedule in the late afternoon allowed me to watch Project Runway with my mom
  • I had empty feelings early this morning and I cried out to the LORD. He heard my cry and He comforted me. I think maybe this was a special gift empty.
I confess that I wrote most of these tonight, at the end of the week. I am planning to be more intentional this coming week. I want to know what gifts I am looking for each day so that I can be actively searching for them. I'm enjoying the process already. I guess it can only get better.
Coming up…gifts that make you smile, gifts unexpected and unwanted, gifts painted and gifts in the WORD.


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