Monday, November 7, 2011

Gifts given

Yes, I know....

Yet again I want to apologize for being away from my blog for so long.  I have seen and heard and read time and again that it is bad for your blog when you aren't regular with your posting.

I agree.


I haven't been here.

I have wanted to write.  I have a desire to write.  I get thoughts and ideas come into my head.  They sound wonderful at the moment, but when it comes down to taking the time out to actually write?  It doesn't happen.

Life has been good.  It's been full.  Living in a bigger house, getting our other one ready to sell and listed, keeping up with the kids in school, trying to stay connected to Dave and them, well it hasn't left much time for other things.  By the time the kids are in bed for the night, Dave and I get ready for bed and collapse to read or talk or both for a little bit on our bed, and our lights are generally out pretty early.

That's big for me.  I used to be the one who would stay up until at least midnight.  That was when I was doing all my writing.  I needed that time alone.

But now, well yes, I do need time alone.  But I am spending a lot of it with God.  And when I'm not alone, I am spending it with my family.  I can't concentrate enough to write with them around.

As much as it bothers me not to be on here more, I feel like God is telling me its ok.  There was a time when I needed to write to process through things.  Now I am more healed than I've ever been, I am spending a majority of my time with my family and not getting too overwhelmed by them or by life in general. This is where I need to be right now.  I am learning to be ok with that.

I have some things stirring around in this head of mine.  Maybe they will eventually make it out onto the blog.  God is still at work in me, refining as always.  It good, hard at times, but good.

The main reason I am on here today though is to share my thanks.

I am learning the joy of gratitude.

I have been reading Ann Voskamp's book "One Thousand Gifts."  Her encouragement to start counting the little things, from the sun streaming through the window, splashing on the carpet, to a quiet day at the church, to tickle fights with the kids, to quiet reading in bed with Dave has started a good work in me...

Honestly, it is transforming me.

Her book is amazing, but beyond that the TRUTH that I am hearing from God and what it is doing to me is nearly beyond description.  For now, just take a moment and look at the book.  Go to THIS SITE and take a look at the first chapter for free.  I did, and then just had to buy the book.  I am slowly working my way through it, but after reading the second chapter, I knew God was calling me to start my own list of gifts - working my way to one thousand and beyond.

Here is my contribution to the naming of gifts today.  Note, I am not starting at #1 because well, I am currently over 200 and that would make this into a loooooonngggg post!  :-)

I will spare you all of that....

But I will start where I was at on Saturday and give you my named gifts from then to now.  These weren't all the gifts, but many of them passed before I could record them.  I have to get more practiced at this!

#261.  The chance to sleep in a bit.
#262.  Making soft boiled eggs upon request from my son
#263.  Peter playing on the computer
#264.  He can play kids game on there BY HIMSELF now!
#265.  Sun in Marina's hair
#266.  Kids singing along to music
#267.  Conviction from God to sponsor a Compassion child
#268.  Pastor Casey (our new pastor of Children and Youth ministries) coming today.
#269.  Sun up before the kids has to go out to for the bus (because of daylight savings ending)
#270.  Apple butter on toast (need I say more?)
#271.  Marina learning and singing worship songs in church
#272.  Hearing her singing those same songs at home later.
#273.  Teaching Peter how to play checkers
#274.  Quiet, peaceful, God-filled day at church while I work

God is so good.  Take the time to notice the gifts He gives you.  Just your very next breath is a gift.  Name it.  Name every gift.  It brings a joy and a reminder of the deep grace we are given.

Check out Ann's most recent post as she prepares to go with her husband on a trip to Ecuador with Compassion International.

1 comment:

Clay Feet said...

Heather, you are a major praise subject yourself. Watching you come out of darkness into light and moving into thriving instead of surviving is nothing short of miraculous. And while we certainly miss connecting like old times, I am reminded of the spirit in John the Baptist who Jesus said was greatest in the kingdom. He said, "He must increase but I must decrease."
I feel the same way though it is painful at times. Seeing you grow into joyful integration with God and your family means being too busy to connect as fully with those whom you relied on heavily during times of intense need. And while we feel less important now that is good news because the ones who are supposed to be important are getting the attentions they deserve. Hallelujah and praise for God's wonderful work in you.