The Internet, blogs, and Facebook have been marked by individuals logging their daily thanks throughout the month of November. For many, it may just be the trendy thing to do, and for others, I believe, it is heartfelt and genuine. Taking time to give thanks is of utmost importance and shouldn't be relegated to one holiday or even one month of the year. In fact, I'm convicted that it must be a lifestyle. A daily, even minute by minute, call to be fully present and not miss the gifts God has given. Great or small, these gifts are given by The Giver of Life, and it should be my desire to live a life of Thanksgiving - or Thanks-living!
Ann Voskamp's book, One Thousand Gifts, seems to have taken the Christian, literary, blogging, homeschooling, etc. community by storm. While a little behind the hype, knowing the premise of the book, I specifically saved it for this particular time of year in hopes that it would usher in thoughts of Thanksgiving. She more than adequately chronicles how out of brokeness and tragedy one can learn to live a life of eucharisteo. She shares the amazing work God did in her, and I absolutely resonate with the need to intentionally live a gratitude filled life. So following suit of Ann and the many she has since inspired, I will begin my own quest to listing 1000 gifts. I'm praising God in advance for the shift in my attitude, perspective, and understanding that I know will take place as I consciously keep myself from taking His many blessings for granted!
At church, we've been in a series entitled "Rebellious Joy." Yesterday, Mike Breaux, even quoting Mrs. Voskamp, closed it out with a call for us to live a life of gratitude. Increased gratitude leads to increased joy - yes, Lord!
While I'll be adding to my list each day, I'll blog my week's list on Mondays. Today, I've got my first 30 or the equivalent to the many gratitude challenges currently taking place. In the future, I'll be linking up with others doing the same at Multitudes on Mondays hosted by Ann Voskamp on her blog A Holy Experience. Not only is Thanks-living important as an individual, it is vital to be in community with those who share the desire to not take anything for granted. May gratitude to God be contagious!
- A God, who is ever-present, ever-near
- Grace I will never earn or deserve
- Salvation freely given
- The hope of heaven - oh how real it has become the past couple years!
- A committed, faithful husband
- Caleb, my compassionate son
- Jeremiah, my brave son
- Rachel, my precious daughter
- Adoption - both vertical & horizontal, the gift of belonging
- Ethiopia - where half my heart may forever live
- Ezekeal - a man who entrusted me with his most precious gifts, both I will forever love & treasure!
- Dad - a gentle giant, always going above & beyond in caring for those he loves
- Mom - a constant support, she instilled a strong work ethic in her children
- Brother - our special bond, silly words shared, and seeing Him boldly sharing Christ
- Sister - no longer a little pest, all grown-up & a true friend, prayers shared & said
- PaPa Spaulding - his example, dedication to the Word, and love for all (Miss him so much!)
- MaMa Spaulding - generous and encouraging, proving to be stronger than we knew
- Extended family gathered together - most recently sharing a Thanksgiving feast
- The Wells family - they raised & shaped the man I love and accepted me into their family
- Jane - a friend for all seasons, sharing belly laughs & ugly cries, mourning & joy
- The gals of Grayson - our college years were full of adventures
- Friends gained through the adoption journey - some I've never met, but they are so dear to me!
- Southland Adoption Support Group - what a blessing to walk alongside each of these beautiful families, to draw from their experience, and be genuinely understood and loved!
- Southland Christian Church - incredible worship, the Word of God, refreshing, renewal, just what I needed!
- Dear friends who have become family throughout years of ministry
- Having all my needs met and more wants than I deserve
- Access to clean water
- Food in plenty
- Shelter - warm & secure
- Freedoms afforded to me - a result of others great sacrifice