Thanks…giving…


368. his left and my right and fingers intertwined press flesh to flesh

369. sitting by my reading mother, reading

370. anticipation of Thai food and conversation with family

371. daughters pretty toenails in a new fall colour

372. daughter picking some cords on her electric guitar

373. being asked, saying yes

374. wine tour, corn maze, cidery, and the mercury holding at 18 degrees C

375. his dress shirts fresh from the wash, hung to air dry

376. enthusiasm of dogs

377. views to mountains, vineyards, orchards

378. long light pouring into the garden

379. eyes to see a photograph worth taking

380. stillness, time to listen

381. ambrosia apple with cheddar cheese

382. small talk

383. hydrangeas fading from chartreuse to sepia

384. the question of do you want to play some pool… delivered with a shy smile

385. a holiday weekend to remind us what matters… and to be thankful for what matters

The First Thanksgiving, painting by Jean Louis...

The First Thanksgiving, painting by Jean Louis Gerome Ferris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s beautiful out here…


324. kisses on the eyelids, so tender

325. the little bird that finds me in a parking lot, drinks water from the lid of my water bottle when I bend down to answer his question

unless

unless (Photo credit: Dean Terry)

326. dog napping at my feet

327. the first writing morning in a long number of days

328. returning to gratitude

329. summer birthdays

330. wine and sweetheart cherries in the candle lit garden

331. friends around the table

332. teenagers sleeping in late

333. teenagers who are gainfully employed

334. husband rising for work

335. healthy bodies

336. the possible

337. “Unless” by Carol Shields

338. remembering Port Townsend tribe

339. opportunities presenting when eyes and hands are open

340. friends who are patient and kind

341. morning sounds

342. finding poems where you least expect

343. considering laundry

344. God who never grows tired, never gives up, waits while I do both

345. wrinkles that prove living

346. a face held by hands, top of head kissed and life words spoken

347. directors of my spirit, soul friends

348. anticipating solitude

349. family holiday plans

350. blueberry waffle plans for tomorrows breakfast

351. photography and captured moments

352. children who pull away, grow strong, test wings

353. young adult son full license success

354. reminders of those with less that teach me more

355. reminders that intentions are not enough

356. reminders to act, phone, speak, write, touch, walk, move…

357. harvest… always

Different kinds of cherries

Different kinds of cherries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On your mark, get set…


Bridge Olympic Rings

Bridge Olympic Rings (Photo credit: Mabacam)

I was up and out early this morning, and on my drive I turned the radio to CBC. Headlines included the Premiers discussions around the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline, and the countdown to the Opening Ceremonies of the 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London, England. In just 5 hours much of the world will be watching in awe as London unveils what has been held secret for so long.

And, although I’m not an athlete, I couldn’t help but feel the excitement as I listened to some interviews of Londoners who have had this event in their sights for seven years. There’s something about planning, about setting your mind and heart towards the future that catches us all up, grabs our hearts. And issues of commercialism and athlete drugging aside, there’s also something pretty spectacular about the young people that dedicate their lives to being the best they can be. The training, the perseverance, the undivided eyes set on the goal… GOLD. So, we watch, we admire, we are inspired by these ones who embody something most of us can only dream of.

And in the echo of their accomplishment we hear an invitation… to be the best of who we are with the gifts we have been given.

Gifts for today,

311. how a pedestrian walk-way can be a wildlife corridor for a neighbourhood white tailed deer

312. the words and infectious attitude of Canadian Olympian Clara Hughes on CBC Radio One

Clara Hughes

Clara Hughes (Photo credit: John Biehler)

313. heart-felt greetings and farewells at airports

314. another sunny summer day, projected high of 29 C

315. Tim Hortons drive through server calling me ‘sweetie’… twice

316. Tim Hortons coffee ~ double, double

317. a peaceful porch invitation to pause and consider the naming of gifts once again

318. lime green pool float glowing in sunlight

319. bumble bees blessing Spirea blossoms

320. a bowl full of beach combed seashells

321. plans for blueberry pancakes with the kids

322. anticipating pageantry and excitement of Olympic Opening Ceremonies in just 5 hours

323. that feeling of being in a sweet sweet place, like The Flying Scotsman, Erik Liddell, winner of the men’s 400 metres at the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris, who said this “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.”

Olympic Torch for the 2008 Summer Olympics pas...

Olympic Torch for the 2008 Summer Olympics passes through Stratford in London. Stratford will be a major location for the 2012 Summer Olympics. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I forgot…


Poetry

Poetry (Photo credit: Kimli)

Such a simple excuse reason, and it happened so easily, so quickly, so sneakily, that it almost went undetected. Until I realized upon a slightly closer examination of my inner/outer attitude and my focus that I had completely LOST IT! I mean I stopped keeping track, I stopped counting and naming and writing down the things that I am thankful for. And guess what happened then, I FORGOT TO BE THANKFUL.

My life is often plagued with forgetfulness. What appears as a life changing idea one week becomes a vague recollection the next. I’m full of good intentions, full of them. And I am such a good starter and such a bad finisher. How about you?

So, after taking a week out for Centrum Port Townsend Writers Conference, and having limited my writing to poetry and to editing poetry and to learning about writing better poetry, my “one thousand gifts” list became a must-do -later-but-can’t-do-right-now kind of thing until I got home. Home again, I post once full of the fullness of my experience and gratitude for all of it and then… yesterday… I realized I’d stopped altogether. One week after being back home with my beloved ones and not one addition to the list of gifts. NOT ONE!

I’m telling you this because I want to be entirely up front with who I am and what I am capable of. And not capable of.

Anyway, I’m going to start again. Or should I say, re-start.

295. a memory that works often but not always

296. a new idea that is still a good idea

297. family around the dinner table

298. friends who drop off cookies to my kids when I am away

299. friends who drop of banana bread to my kids when I am away

300. a husband that supports my creative growth as a writer

301. brown dog swimming in the pool

302. decorating plans with my best girl

303. friends on the porch, wine in the glass

304. watching my girl treat my boy to a clean truck

305. pentunia party of colour

306. huddled under the porch in pouring rain

307. a novel based on facts I know nothing about until now

308. worship hands up voice open heart wide

309. reading a magazine in the shade

310. the grace to re-start

Dragging my feet, lifting up my eyes, sometimes in a fog,

Lesley-Anne

Port Townsend's downtown waterfront in the fog

Port Townsend’s downtown waterfront in the fog (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Graces, gifts and gratitude


Barrack Building 225, Fort Worden State Park, Port Townsend, Washington

For those who have just joined me in this experience of seeing gifts in every moment, along the way, as we wait, as we struggle suddenly overcome with blind eyes, I thought it might be helpful to share what began with a single step. It was a book. Ann Voskamp’s book, “One Thousand Gifts” that I picked up one day at Chapters, and then a confirmed thought process, a prompting, a nudging of the spirit, and then the journey beginning and spreading out before me this eucharisteo, this thankfulness for what is set before me when I have eyes to see.

So please consider how the naming of life’s gifts might be something worthy of time and space in each of our lives, and might carry within it the potential to change us from beggars into those overwhelmed by a feast of grace. Here is the blog post where it all began for me… my naming one thousand gifts. That was my start, and although I can’t always document each gift as it happens, I’ve chosen to name many of the gifts here on this blog as a reminder… mostly to me. I hope you join me… and if you do, please let me know… share your list. You are most welcome to do that.

And, if you have the opportunity to pick up and read Ann’s extraordinary book, please do it!

Journeying,

Lesley-Anne

So my list continues:

263. a long journey with a new friend

264. finding your tribe

265. expressing what is risky and beautiful

266. healing through creative expression of a thought, or two, or three

267. fog over sea, first light

268. the long call of a fog horn for safe passage

269. being on the water

270. historic buildings and used book stores

271. a phonecall home, the sound of voices you love

272. scars

273. a bench of your own in a quiet place

274. patriotism

275. listening and learning

276. new ideas

277. new people

278. the sense of place unique to every place

279 – 294. gifts captured in photographs

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Naming one thousands gifts that God gives… day 16


226. talking about details of family history and finding reasons why

227. sketch plan for the garden

228. finding a retro button collection that my son might like

229. the woman of his dreams on his childhood pinboard

230. night sky, full moon shining me awake

231. promises of fruit in the flowers on the vine

232. digging in black earth, tucking in new ideas

233. Dad pat on my shoulder

234. Zephaniah 3 verse 17

235. no shame, no entitlement, “all is grace” (Ann Voskamp)

236. contrast of greens, hydrangea leaf over wild violets

237. robin evensong

… so many gifts… so many opportunities to give thanks…

Night Sky Over Joshua Trees

Night Sky Over Joshua Trees (Photo credit: nate2b)

Naming… day 11


corn on the cob

corn on the cob (Photo credit: mjtmail (tiggy))

180. another colourful sunset after another rainy day

181. 3 supportive children at the grocery store

182. watching LOST again with my girl

183. kids and kids friends in our home

184. poetry and writing contest to sharpen skills

185. husband who listens to rants and raves

186. husband with grand perspective

187. first corn on the cob of the summer… so sweet

188. Emmy injury nothing to worry about said the vet

189. work for our kids

190. friends who are authors, authors who are friends

191. a world of places to explore

192. sleeping in, going to bed early

193. striving to make healthy food choices

194. a menu and assigned chefs for the next few days

195. fridge full of ingredients

still counting,

Lesley-Anne

 

Naming one thousands gifts… days 9 and 10


Albert Namatjira refuelling for a trip to Alic...

Albert Namatjira refuelling for a trip to Alice Springs. Ampol branding is visible on the car itself as well as the bowser. Dodge B Series pickup truck, made 1948-53. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

138. driving, eyes never tired of new things, fresh tasting the feast

139. Fishtrap Creek and other word combinations

140. ethnic diversity

141. navigation systems

142. crab traps stacked on back a pickup truck

143. ocean inlets

144. wild blackberry bloom in ditch

145. 4 exciting games, no injuries, best scores ever

146. border crossings

147. patriotism, large flags

148. all five of us in the car

149. narrow roads

150. indian paintbrush, daisies, side of interstate 5

151. good radio

152. low cloud

153. husband driving, keeping us safe, getting us there and back

154. weathered barns, clusters of buildings, outbuildings

155. sons that said yes to the journey

156. a daughter who still wants my opinion on clothes

156. American Hershey chocolate tongue melt

And the following guest gifts offered up by my observant husband who wanted to know what I was so busy writing down in my notebook as we drove through the landscape on our way…

157. architecture

158. storage sheds in yard

159. car washes

160. hot days and cold pools

161. railway dome cars

162. flat water for skiing

and back to my personal notes…

163. song lyrics

164. traffic circles organizing flow

165. ‘adopted’ highways kept clean

166. lush grass

167. strawberry fields being harvested by workers

168. ripe raspberries on the bush

More from my observant husband who appears to like this looking…

169. trim cedar hedges

170. white fences and wildflowers

and me…

171. roads without curbs

172. level railway crossings

173. old highways

174. country churches

175. picnics

176. tandem tanker truck carrying milk

177. barns full of Holsteins

178. vernacular language

179. high mountain road, rainbows, double rainbows, sunset like the sky on fire, carrying it all in our minds

Footnote to self:  And in all of these, am I truly grateful, truly receiving all as gift from an abundant, lavishly loving God? Or, am I merely taking notice and making lists? Even then, is the enjoying each for what it is and being on the lookout for more, expectant of beauty and joy and grace, proof enough of a thankful heart? And why must I complicate things with thoughts such as these?

Can any hide himself in secret places, that I shall not see him?” saith the Lord. “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” saith the Lord.” Jeremiah 23:24 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)

Journeying…

Lesley-Anne

Naming one thousand gifts… day 8


111. sitting in oak tree shade

112. finishing laundry, breathing clean

113. road signs

English: UK traffic sign: Give Way (TSRGDNO 602)

English: UK traffic sign: Give Way (TSRGDNO 602) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

114. his last exam in grade 11

115. soccer tournament

116. waking to a new word on my lips, a new way of ‘eucharisteo’ in my heart

117. being told my name was on their heart

118. dog sleeping, me writing

119. how orange and yellow and turquoise sing a song

120. how I blog and it’s good and I don’t know who will read and I blog anyway

121. preparing a place

122. a mention of a name that might someday be a friend

123. how slowing down is the beginning of seeing

124. little children splashing happy in pool next door

125. searching for a birds nest

126. that he was able to remove the thorn from her foot with soft words, deft hands

127. a misunderstanding smothered by grace

128. anticipation of homecomings

129. brother’s voice on the phone

130. scented candles

131. summer sound of boats playing on the lake

132. a good day and sales up at the market

133. email connecting my friend over ocean and continent

134. compassion

135. this disciplined writing beauty down, thanksgiving words

136. road signs

137. his eyes to see green hills not brown, because of all the rain