You're probably wondering about the daughter Isabella loves to clean-she comes by it honestly. I am a shameless clean freak. One morning I was working away in the kitchen while she had the mop I'd left out overnight to dry. And I look over to check on her and my then-7-month-old son, and say the five words I never thought I'd say as a parent, "Isabella, don't mop your brother!" He didn't mind, and she just wanted to make sure he was sparkly. So welcome to my world!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

One Thousand Gifts

This is by no means an original idea. In fact, I came across it at 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?

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