Monday, October 5, 2009

One Thousand Gifts

holy experience

This world is the easiest place to loose sight of what's important. It's the easiest place to get wrapped up in what I don't have. It's the easiest place to find something to complain about...
But as someone who knows that the Most High God is enthralled with me (Psalm 45:11), I am on a nice long journey of choosing to find joy instead of wallowing about the shallow, short-lived pleasures that I sometimes think I missing out on.

So I've been working on a list. It's taking some time to make my list complete. But hopefully by the end of the year I will have my list of 1000 gifts. Not the kind of gifts that you get under a tree but the kind of gifts that we all get everyday. Gifts like, My three-year-old wrapping her arms around me and declaring, "I love you Mommy." Or, My one year old coming out of the pool that she fell into miraculously breathing, and being perfectly fine. The gifts can be big or small. They are more or less things that I am grateful for. Things that the Lord throws into each one of my days as a blessing. They are often gifts that I miss out on if I'm not intentional about looking for them.

Being intentional about the things that I'm grateful is really changing my life. So much so that I've even brought my kids in on it. There are several times a day when one or the other can be caught whining about the one thing that the other person has that they wish they had. I feel like I am constantly reminding them of how blessed they are and how many toys they do have. Reminding them to choose to be grateful for all the things they do have rather than to complain about the one thing that they can't play with at that moment. So now, each time that this happens I have the kids tell me three things that they are grateful for. And once they do, their demeanor almost magically changes and they some how forget about the one thing that they weren't able to play with. In fact often times they love telling me things that they are grateful for their list of blessings just keeps falling out of their mouth. It is so cool to hear!
Just today, we were in the car and a dispute over a plastic bag that originally had Hal's snack in it, broke out in the back seat. Immediately I had Siah give Hal the bag back and he started whining. I stopped him in his "whining" tracks and encouraged him to tell me three things that he was grateful for. At first he had a hard time thinking of something. So I helped him with a few ideas. In less than a minute the boy came up with his own list and then said to me, "Wow mom, I really do have a lot of blessings huh?" It was awesome!

So anyway,

Today's top ten things that I'm grateful for.
1. I was wide awake at 6am this morning which gave me time to drink a cup of my favorite tea and spend time in The Word before my kids woke up at 7.
2. When Joey came into the kitchen this morning before he left for work, I was making oatmeal and cutting up some fruit for the kids for breakfast and he wrapped his arms around me and said, "Thank you for taking such good care of our kids."
3. I had enough money in our bank account to buy groceries for the week.
4. Joey put a full tank of gas in my car yesterday so that I wouldn't have to worry about going to the gas station this week.
5. I have three healthy treasures that were excited to see me when I opened their door this morning.
6. I had a good nights sleep last night.
7. Little Reesie likes to stick her tongue out when she walks and I think it is as cute as pie!
8. Siah mastered another memory verse this morning. And He has so much joy on his face each morning when we review and He tells me all the ones he knows.
9. Dinner's in the crockpot so I am spending the afternoon with my treasures instead of being in the kitchen.
10. At lunch today with my treasures we sat around our kitchen table, ate turkey, cheese and strawberries and talked about the two most important things in life... "Loving the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and mind, and loving our neighbor as ourself." (Mathew 22)

Gratitude is changing my life. Maybe it can change yours too.