Monday, August 05, 2013

Counting Gifts Week 1

It's been one week of counting graces.  I didn't quite get three a day, but each day did at least have one.  As I said to Dad in an email earlier this week, I've discovered two challenges.  One, I'm not very good at recognizing the gifts of God in the little day to day things around me yet.  Granted, we've just started on this journey of 1,000 gifts; clearly, I have a long way to go, and isn't the point of it to get better at it as we go? 

The second challenge is that I'm not good at remembering to even keep my eyes open to look for graces to begin with.  I've gotten so used to just plodding through the day, getting from one task to the next, struggling just to find the energy to keep going, that I often forget to engage in the world around me and notice the good things with which God has gifted me.  Can I blame sleep deprivation for a bit of that?  Nathan's had some up and down nights lately.  It is a continuing struggle not to get angry at God about it - childish and silly of me probably, but when it's 4am, and you just want the baby to go back to sleep without needing me to stand there till morning, and my brain stops thinking rationally and my soul just cries out to God, "How long?  Will you forget me forever?"

I digress.

So, obviously, I need to practice this practice of being thankful for big and small gifts, of praising God throughout the day, and maybe even in those dark hours of the night.  And really, calling it a "practice" is so right - something we need to do over and over to work at getting better at it.  It's my goal to get better at it enough that I will start to see the gifts around me as they happen and be thankful to God for His grace in the moment, instead of needing to look back at the end of the day to count His blessings.  Which is not a bad way to do it and is kind of how things are at this point, and certainly, I probably won't end up writing them down until I finally get a chance to sit down and have some peace.  But I want to be better at being thankful here and now, when life gets messy and loud, and to learn things like being thankful for two, healthy rambunctious boys instead of being aggravated at the noise and interruptions.

Here's a sampling of some of the gifts I found this week.

- Nathan sleeping till 4:40am
- a hawk soaring in the sky
- enjoying a walk together as a family
- a foot rub
- rain on the roof
- a morning dove calling outside my window
- Reuben's spontaneous laugh
- brushing Kaylee's hair
- catching up with a friend

How about you?  If you've decided to join us in the counting of 1,000 gifts, let us know how your week went by commenting below.

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