It's All Grace

I've almost finished the book whose premise started my list of 1000. There is so much to say, so many quotes I'd like to share. And honestly, you should just read the whole book. If I was 16 still, I would've stayed up late and finished it in a day. But I'm not, and I'm learning to savor the moment, the words, and it's taken a week. A week in which words wrap around me, cut through me, draw me nearer to the Giver. I'll post some of my favorite quotes soon. If you want to know more about One Thousand Gifts, watch this.

Becoming smaller, going lower, becoming the gift, and naming His graces (it's all grace)...

289. Warm hugs from J as he wakes
290. Extra hugs and kisses before leaving for work
291. Joy in giving
292. Receiving One Thousand Gifts from my dear mother-in-law
293. Conviction - a painful gift
294. Turning pages on the bus, letting tears fall as words smooth out the soul and pierce deeply
295. Letting go of the striving, the expectations - Freedom!
296. Warm, soft bagels
297. An old bridge over a frozen river
298. My loving husband filling my car with gas and warming it up for me
299. Glimpsing the sunset on a cold, cloudy day
300. Getting lost in my work
301. Clothes to fold - oh, so many!
302. Phone date with my sister
303. Washing hands with cinnamon soap
304. Chasing & tickling & laughing
305. Being all here
306. Words & food & help & cuddled-up-under-blankets time with my sister
307. Butter melting on steaming muffins
308. My son's sweet way of talking
309. How he tilts his head when he asks a question
310. A message from someone I greatly admire
311. J's messymoring hair
312. Pools of water on ice
313. "Sing it again, mommy"
314. Date night
315. Light streaming through tropical trees at the zoo
316. Watching J play with his papa
317. J holding his baby cousin's hand, touching her cheek


Keeping On...

Praising Him amidst the cold, the sickness, the celebrations, and the monotony... Keep giving thanks, dear ones! He deserves all glory, honor, and praise!

264. Longer days and more sunlight
265. Watching J lay his head on my husband's lap and stare up at him... enjoying their many similarities
266. Good hospitality, food, and company for my b-day dinner at Porter Creek Grill
267. Free ice cream :)
268. J successfully switching to a big boy bed... the joy and ache of watching him gain independence
269. Singing J to sleep as I rub his back
270. Watching J's delight and exploration at the MN Children's Museum (and the gift of our membership!)
271. Emails from my sister
272. Victory and hope in the Gospel (Col. 1:5)
273. Time to rejuvenate and share stories at EaganMoms
274. Rejoicing with friends as they rejoice
275. Time with the sweet ladies in my family
276. Laughing til I cried - twice in one weekend!
277. Dear friends who trek to the country for a visit when it's freezing and snowy
278. Dance parties with my boys - the unrestrained, hilarious movements of a toddler!
279. Forgiveness when I'm cranky and ungrateful
280. The gift of words that heal, convict, transform, encourage...
281. Birthday dinner with the in-laws... making my baby niece laugh, and watching J clap and dance along with the birthday songs
282. An unexpected day off to watch J when the hubs was sick... a blessing in disguse
283. Homemade bread that turned out beautifully!
284. Anticipation and hope for things to come
285. The selfless love that only God can provide (Col. 1:8)
286. The amazing, life-giving gift of God's Word
287. Hearing J fill in words as I memorize Colossians (have you ever heard a 2-yo say "Christ Jesus"? - precious!)
288. Becoming more comfortable with the new class I'm facilitating at work


I celebrate 24

24 years. The numbers don't seem to matter as much as I get older (maybe because they fly by so much faster)... and yet as I count these 1000 gifts, I'm learning that the numbers are important. The moments mean more when we recognize them, speak them, write them, tell the story. If we don't stop to celebrate the moments, the days, the years, they pass along unappreciated. Lord, I celebrate 24. Thank You for life, breath, grace, family, friends, growth, peace, change, wisdom, words, and most of all for the gift of You. More than anything else, I celebrate You.

236. Patience to care for J in the middle of the night.
237. Holding my tongue and speaking life.
238. The faithful and loving brothers and sisters in my life and around the world.
239. Inspiration from my friends' faith.
240. A sparkly snowglobe downtown walk to work.
241. Safe travels in the snow.
242. Hopes and dreams.
243. Sweet words from J.
244. Texts from my husband.
245. A sister to memorize Colossians with!
246. Having fun playing Kinect with the hubs.
247. God's strength in my weakness.
248. Eagan Hills youth group
249. Meeting new friends and hitting it off right away.
250. Homemade calzones (thanks, M!)
251. A seat on the bus.
252. Rest.
253. Chai tea lattes on frigid mornings.
254. A generous, thoughtful birthday gift from my hubby.
255. That God holds my tears in a bottle - He cares when I ache.
256. Sweet texts and phone calls to help me work through disappointment.
257. That I never grieve without hope.
258. Shopping with the ladies - good deals and great fellowship!
259. My sweet husband snowblowing after a long day of work.
260. A long birthday weekend.
261. My baby sleeping in a big boy bed!
262. Fun at the MN Children's Museum with my boys.
263. Faith, hope, and love (Col. 1:5)


Grace is enough

It's Wednesday and I feel I've failed because I didn't write on Monday. And yet I know you don't mind. Grace is what I need to preach to myself. When my brain's all askew and I don't know what to praise Him for because all energy is focused on this one thing. Grace. He knows my jumbled thoughts and He loves me for them, just like I love J when his words tumble out all out of order and beautiful. Grace. When the dishes aren't done and my list isn't started and the remnants of last week's laundry are on the floor. Grace. When my words come out harsh and ugly when I mean to speak life and comfort. Grace.

235. Grace.

There's so much more to thank Him for this week, but for now, Grace is enough.


January, Goals, and Gifts

January is always kind of a "hump" month for me... in which winter begins to lose its sparkly charm, I catch a cold, I turn another year older, I make goals that may or may not be kept.

What goals, you ask? Good question. Some of the ones I'm thinking about for 2011 (aside from moving from fear to faith, and finishing my 1000 gift list) are:
- Starting a workable plan for Bible verse memory
- Starting up again with daily prayer and Bible reading
- Being more intentional about hospitality and getting together with friends and family
- Supporting the hubs in our weekly family devotions
- Drinking at least three glasses of water a day (in addition to the liquids I would normally drink)
- Cutting out pop. I don't really enjoy it much anymore... all that sugar hurts my teeth! Oh, and sugar is bad. :)
- Being a more flexible, joyful, soft-spoken mama and wife

I know... they're not all very specific or measurable or whatever... but it's a start at least!

Praising my Savior for grace and breath and...
209. 6:30 AM playtime with J
210. Being able to breathe through my nose again!
211. Early bedtimes
212. A short, productive work week
213. An unplanned lunch with my mom
214. Listening to piano music while I work
215. Inner peace in the midst of chaos
216. Love that casts out fear of the unknown
217. A "warm" sunny day - 33 degrees!
218. Laughing with my co-workers
219. God's blessings on Rivendell Sanctuary
220. Getting good deals at Costco :)
221. Singing "Deep and Wide" with my boys
222. Reciting "Pajama Time" from memory and having J fill in the words
223. The ability to love sacrificially... because of the great Love I've been given
224. Staying in my pajamas for hours
225. Safe driving on slippery roads
226. Celebrating the New Year with wonderful friends
227. Yummy homemade waffles on New Years Day
228. My hubs getting an extra day off with us
229. Daily, hourly moments where God calms my fears
230. A warm, sunny walk in the skyways of Mpls
231. A successful implementation at work - seeing the fruit of our labor!
232. Hearing J say "adios" ~ more like "adidos" :)
233. Patience and peace to cope with J's outbursts and disobedience (oh, the 2's are in full force!)
234. My sweet, patient husband