In January I embarked on a mission:
To write down 1,000 gifts by Thanksgiving.
Inspired by Ann Voskamp’s lovely, heartbreaking, beautiful book, lined pages of notebooks and decorated pages printed off the internet and invisible pages in cyberspace began to fill as I began to count. In counting, I began to notice. And in noticing, I began to become profoundly grateful for all the things I used to experience without realizing their importance.
Life, it seems, is made up of one gift piled upon another.
Stores are already beginning to fill up with Christmas paraphernalia, and I’m sure somewhere someone’s already complaining in advance about the affront it is to hear some cashier say, “Merry Christmas.”
But this season, I’ve been struck by something. I don’t think anyone has throught through Thanksgiving quite enough.
Because I haven’t heard any “Happy Thanksgiving” backlash. And if anyone was really thinking, they’d know that’s a pretty serious statement. Thanksgiving, by its very nature, suggests that there is Someone responsible for the good things in our life, and that Someone deserves to be thanked. It calls for our acknowledgement–yearly!–of our dependence and gratitude to God for all His good gifts.
Does the world not complain because even the Jesus people don’t really realize what we’re saying when we say “Thank You?”
*Wind rustling through leaves, making us want to snuggle inside *buzz of ladies’ voices filling my house *son on his way home in a few days! *anticipating Christmas *buying turkey, potatoes, cranberries *room full of candles *reading a book that seems, first, to read me
*sunrise over the river *moss hanging from branches *knowing prayer works
*early Christmas gifts
* Packing shoeboxes to send for Christmas *surprise donor giving all we need for both boys’ outreach to Nicaragua–woot! *Zach’s plane landing in Florida *my handsome husband, without whom all eight of my personal child-style blessings would be impossible *Bo, Zach, Levi, Josiah, Victoria, Savannah, Micah and Nicholas, who teach me so much every day
*Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! *Eric and Chelsea Terwilliger, whom I admire highly and adore greatly *Pastor Russ and Debbie Austin, who caused a major paradigm shift in our lives and continue to be true gifts to us *Chelsea Garrett, who’s helping me keep up with it all! *Auntie Deb and Alex and Lauren, whom we love so much, and were sweet enough to drive all the way here to be with us for Thanksgiving *Gannon Holder, my oldest friend, who knows my story so well *My new friend, who needs to remain nameless for now, who is strong and courageous and challenges and encourages me to reach out and be more like Jesus *DisneyWorld and all the fun we’ve had there, from teaparties to fireworks, church services to buffets, birthdays to Christmas, and one very special pink balloon *my little house, snug within it as we are, which is so full of love *my climbing rose bush, which graced our table with beauty one more time today
#1,000–here it is! I see You as greatest Gift, the God Who calls Himself Word, Who creates wonders from nothing, Who blesses and corrects, Who raises up and overthrows nations and calms storms with His Words … teach me, Lord.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14