Giving Thanks in February

Winter Trees, Winter Sky, at the Park

Winter Trees, Winter Sky, at the Park

I am taking up the challenge of counting 1,000 gifts ala Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts. Here is my listing for February 2014:

1. THREE GIFTS RED: Hot tea in a red thermos cup; a stock of red tins of peppermint Altoids; red eyes crying for the suffering
2. THREE GIFTS ON PAPER: The Word of God; maps, maps, maps!; words to spur growth, written in books on my bedside table
3. THREE GIFTS FOUND IN WRITING: The Dead Sea Scrolls; the promises of God; a offer to pray from a friend via a text message
4. THREE GIFTS FOUND WHEN BENT DOWN: A sprouting acorn; a wiggly earthworm; green mint sprigs pushing out of the soil anew
5. A GIFT STITCHED, HAMMERED, WOVEN: Three quilt tops pieced; a lovely verse hung on the wall as a reminder; the way a Bible study takes shape as the Spirit brings to memory Scriptures and weaves them together into a cohesive lesson
6. THREE GIFTS FOUND OUTSIDE: The sunshine on the front porch; an orchard prepped for planting across the street from our home; my hens out scratching in our orchard
7. A GIFT AT 11:30, 2:30, 6:30: Reading library books to my daughter;
8. A GIFT BROKEN, FIXED, THRIFTED: A spirit of fear broken; a new set of batteries for a talking book for my daughter to enjoy; a luminous milkglass mixing bowl
9. THREE SURPRISE GIFTS, UNEXPECTED GRACE: A jar of honey from a friend’s first extraction, golden; a chalkboard book for number-writing practice for my girl; a necklace made by a gentle-spirited woman
10. THREE TIMES I HEARD LAUGHTER TODAY: My child’s delight when extracting a long-lost toy car from under the refrigerator; when suddenly seeing my husband’s truck pulling in at lunch time, a rare surprise; when Selah and I were doing spontaneous jumping jacks after sitting for reading time
11. THREE GIFTS IN WORKING: Clean-up progress becoming visible on our forest land; forced time outdoors becoming a pleasant change from being inside; work bringing order to chaos
12. THREE HARD EUCHARISTEOS: (i.e., giving thanks while suffering) Having my grown son and his challenges nearby after so many years of disconnect; that steroid shot that will bring relief from itchy rash of poison oak; the opportunity to home-educate our daughter though progress isn’t earth-shakingly awesome
13. THREE GIFTS BEHIND A DOOR: The food in our refrigerator; the pork in our freezer; the washer and dryer in our garage
14. THREE WAYS I FEEL THE LOVE OF GOD: My supportive and encouraging friend, Kate; the faithfulness of my husband these eighteen years; seeing the beauty of His creation for me to enjoy
15. A GIFT IN LOSING, FINDING, MAKING SOMETHING: The time we had with Grandpa Bruce and for God’s longsuffering patience for Bruce to come around to faith; finding an opportunity to teach God’s Word to women in jail; making plans to get a bridge over our creek
16. THREE GIFTS IN SHADOWS: Psalm 17:8–being in the shadown of His wings; Isaiah 25:4–God is my shade when things get heated; Colossians 2:17–Christ is the fulfillment of the what was but a shadow in the Old Testament propheses
17. THREE GIFTS FOUND GIVING/SERVING: In serving as a homemaker, I do not have to get out into the rat race; in giving kisses, I get kissed back–so sweet!; in serving in jail ministry, I get filled
18. THREE GIFTS ON PAPER: The warmth of an evening fire, kindled with crumpled papers; the inspiration of a magazine article’s creative photos; my daughter’s first drawing of a duck, as she sees it in the number FIVE
19. THREE GIFTS THAT WERE PLAN B: Our daughter’s adoption through relinquishment when Chinese adoption plans halted; the homeless shelter available for a wayward son who can no longer stay with us; moving to Tehama County instead of Trinity County and thereby finding these friends here
20. A GIFT AT BREAKFAST, LUNCH, DINNER: Fresh eggs with dark orange yolks; a friend from almost twenty years ago, joining me for brunch at my house; tacos–our favorite
21. THREE GIFTS WHITE: a mortar and pestle for fresh-grinding of cumin seed; a crockpot for making dinner prep less rushed; copier paper in the printer
22. THREE GIFTS THAT CHANGED TODAY: Fair weather in the winter; enough propane to heat the cabin overnight for our spontaneous sleep-over in the woods; friends who offered to teach us a new skill
23. A GIFT OF TIN, GLASS, WOOD: The cans of food in the kitchen cabinets; glass jars of pickled beets; a wooden fruit bowl
24. THREE GIFTS BEFORE 11 a.m.: Full laundry baskets being carried to the washer mean we have lots of clothing; hearing my six-year-old beginning to read from a book about the farmer’s hat; left-over homemade waffles, hot out of the toaster, with real maple syrup
25. A GIFT WORN OUT, NEW, MADE-DO: a pair of jeans in need of patching; my new brown coat, so soft and snugly; a satisfying lunch made with no kitchen facilities–foccacia bread heated in foil over a hot fire and topped with deli turkey
26. THREE GIFTS SEEN AS REFLECTIONS: God, you were with me all through my years, waiting for me to just turn toward You; those clouds in the creek and those tree tops in the creek; my rash, healed
27. THREE UGLY-BEAUTIFUL GIFTS: death, when there is hope of entering the promises; weeping, when it brings healing; disorder in my office, when I realize all the resources represented
28. THREE GIFTS FROM THE PAST THAT HELP ME TRUST THE FUTURE: My husband’s moist eyes when he held my hand over the table and thanked me for being his wife; the fact that we are almost all beekeepers now after our bee club year; the heart locket and peace bracelet left as lost and found in my desk drawer as I finished my first (and only) year of teaching in public school
29. A GIFT DULL, SHIMMERING, CLEANED: tarnished silver earrings; glowing amber bracelet; the new fish tank finally keeping clear water

For these 29 x 3 gifts, gracious Lord, I give thanks to You, the Giver of every good gift!

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One thought on “Giving Thanks in February

  1. I didn’t know you had a blog! I got 1000 Gifts a few months ago but haven’t started it yet. You’re an encouragement to do so. I love the gifts you chose, so very you!

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