This is by no means an original idea. In fact, I came across it at www.aholyexperience.com this year and think it's brilliant. (And I love reading Ann's blog-she has such a gift with words!)
Following her example, I kept a journal of ways God had blessed, shown up, showered grace and mercy, sent moments of joy, answered prayers, and just generally loved on me.
Well, if I hadn't slacked off a few times, I'd have a lot more items in my list, but as of now, at the close of 2010, I have 747. That's right, seven hundred and forty-seven. Here's just a sampling:
#19 Warm chocolate chip cookies
#35 Found money in an old bag
#54 The steady thrum of washer and dryer
#77 Making waffles with the kids in the kitchen while the sun comes up and we listen to worship songs.
# 93 Isabella trying to convince me her sleeve is a "blueberry holder."
# 105 Thirty years of salvation
#112 Money to pay bills
#126 Going to church together
#137 Chocolate mustaches
#149 Food all over the floor after dinner-it means we have more than enough
#155 The "unfathomable miracle it is that God allows [my] heart to keep on beating." ~CJ Mahaney
#182 Productive insomnia
#211 Your power, not mine
#222 The lullaby of birds in the trees
#267 Naked bottoms
#286 Bella's list of blessings: our family, apple juice, arms and ears! What a great list she's started.
#293 The indecisive pink, blue and purple of hydrangeas, heavy with color and perfume
#313 Ryan's happy little stompings around
#336 Three years of life with Isabella Volere Hasseld. Can I count her twice?
#363 Bella singing her version of "Standing in the Need of Prayer" as I'm starting to lose it. Message received: I promptly left the room to go "pray it off."
#387 Heavy bundle of sleeping son in my arms.
#398 An obedient, "Okay, Mom."
#416 Golden pie crusts
#421 Bella and Ryan walking hand in hand.
#439 Ryan's selfless generosity.
#448 Clouds You're returning in some day...
#489 Unpacking suitcases of clean clothes!
#506 Bell and Ryan dancing to...bagpipes!
#519 Hearing the sarcastic comments in my head first, and then choosing not to say them. Yay!
#521 Having a dawn. Isaiah 8:20 tells of people who stumble about and consult mediums "because they have no dawn." I have the Light of the world!
#559 Cool evenings for sleeping.
#593 Learning the difference between being head of the house versus being head of the home (Thanks, Mom!)
#597 My little ladybug and deviled egg enjoying their "first" Halloween.
#631 Waking up to an empty bed because Joshua's at Bible study-at 7:00 am!
#643 Morning devos across from Dad-also doing morning devos!
#660 Caramel vanilla marshmallows.
#669 A God who carries me instead of needing to be carried (see Isaiah 46).
#688 Hitting the snooze...
#701 Staying up way too late because I want to soak up every minute with my family.
#713 Getting to tell Bella the Christmas story for the first time...
#725 Pudgy arms pushing my laptop out of the way to make room for him. He knows my priorities!
I could go on and on: the couple who struggled for years with infertility who gave birth a month ago; the other five babies born this year that I prayed for; my friend's father, deep into alcohol and cultural tradition and "given up on" who came to know Christ; a just court decision after months of delays; traveling safety; mercy for the family who faced surgery, morning sickness and the stomach flu for all of them within three weeks of each other; each night Joshua came home safely from work, and every single day that we were given breath.
One thousand gifts is just the tip of the iceberg. Although I had originally done this list to draw my mind to God's presence in my life last year, I'm going to keep going. Who know how far I'll get?