17 Gifts

Ann Voskamp at A Holy Experience is one of my favorite authors. She ministers to me with her unique way of communicating beauty in the daily. After several months of reading her blog, it is clear that she has learned of the incredible blessings that comes through practicing gratitude. Not only has she written a book on thankfulness, but she keeps a Gift List, a simple running log of things for which she’s grateful…

“Too often I miss Him, oblivious, blind. I don’t see all the good things that He is giving me, gracing me with, brushing my life with. True, He is everywhere, always. But maybe, before The Gift List, I thought of Him as further off, not so close. When I started to see all the things that I love bestowed upon me, I started to see Him as near, present, everywhere, showering me with good things. Seeing the things I love all around me gives me eyes to see that I am loved, that He loves me.” Ann Voskamp

For the past several months, I’ve followed the Gift List where she lists her blessings… and I’ve been changed. I’ve begun mentally listing mine and praising my Father for them. And in so doing, I can almost feel his arms around me. I agree with Ann. The more I thank my Father for His good gifts, the more I see His love in the common things of everyday. Every day is indeed a gift from His hand!

I’ve decided to start a Gift List of my own. I can think of no better way to begin a new week than thankful so my goal is to add to it on Sundays until I get to (at least) 100. It is my prayer that my Gift List will draw me closer to the One who gives.

Today, November 14th, I am grateful for

1. A little note slipped to Daniel by our eleven year old daughter during today’s sermon asking a very thought-provoking question about something our pastor said. So thankful for my husband who leads our family spiritually. Thankful for spiritual questions from the children and the opportunity and privilege to answer them.

2. The sweet voice of my Sarah singing “Mighty To Save” in church today. I quit singing myself so I could hear her better.

3. A birthday for my youngest this week. I prayed for this child years before she was born. I am still amazed at God’s goodness in blessing us with a fifth daughter. She brings us so much joy!

4. Christina, who worked so hard on Esther’s cake.

5. A twirly dress. Yes, a three year old in a twirly dress is just cute.

6. My mother who bought the twirly dress. I think of her every time my little one spins.

7. My teen daughters who skipped to the van after church with locked arms singing “The Star Spangled Banner” in harmony. Their choir will be singing this at a basketball game this week and they were unashamed to practice in the parking lot. I’m thankful that they giggle with one another. So thankful.

8. “The First Noel“, played for over an hour this afternoon as a duet by two of my pianists.

9. Three ballerinas who shopped with me for glitter for their angel faces for The Promise. How I love them! I pray they never outgrow the joy of being girly and glittery.

10. My block where I can run while viewing the beauty of the mountains. It is worshipful indeed.

11. A no-cook Sunday. Our church served lunch to small group leaders and it was wonderful! We enjoyed leftover pizza for dinner. A day off kitchen duty certainly is restful!

12. My husband who washed the dishes after dinner. There weren’t many, but a no-dishes Sunday makes a no-cook Sunday all the better.

13. A late night talk with my oldest. It drew us closer and I am so grateful she will communicate “teen-agery” issues with me!

14. A compliment that my child is a good helper in the nursery.

15. A letter from a little girl in Ghana who received a shoe box (Operation Christmas Child) from Bethany last year. What an unexpected gift! We now have a young child in Africa to add to our prayer list.

16. Family movie night. I like all eight of us being in the same room.

17. (The best of all!) My son who just brought me a letter where he professed that for the first time ever, he not only has hope in God but faith in God. Today he knows he is a believer. Our pastor answered some deep and intellectual questions that my son has had and struggled with for years. Nathan knows he is saved!

Seventeen is an odd number to end a list, but I can think of nothing better than the contents of Nathan’s letter! So this week, I’ll end with 17 gifts!

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2 Responses to “17 Gifts”

  1. Boo Jobe Says:

    A blessing!! I am thankful for you!!

  2. Nancy Says:

    Ann’s blog is a blessing to me too and I love your list. I just posted on my blog about a family movie night at my house and how much it meant to me too. Family is such a blessing. Thanks for adding me as a friend on Facebook.

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