Time again to be thankful…


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I’m making some adjustments, making space, and in doing so remembering this list I started a long time ago that kind of petered out. Not that I’m not thankful, but my listing of said things was set aside. Inspired by a book by Anne Voskamp called “One Thousand Gifts” in which she encourages the paying attention to and listing of things that are often passing, elusive, overlooked and momentary, but reasons too to give thanks to God for his goodness and provision. For me not always so easy to do. Which is why the idea of spiritual “practice”… because it takes time to become natural and woven into one’s life fabric. Practice…

So, back then I began to list things, I blogged them here at Buddy Breathing, and you may recall seeing some of them before. It was a lovely practice that led to to thoughts, to heart attitudes, and to poetry. It was good. And then I stopped right HERE. I don’t know why, I just did. Busy, distracted, priorities shifted… I don’t know. But today I remembered.

Today I continue…

477. in the midst of anger there is often healing and growth

478. that it is OK to be wrong and make mistakes and be honest about it

479. that revealing how I feel isn’t as scarey as I thought it might be

480. twilight on the lake, lights going on across the expanse

481. dog on log leaning into my body and watching the water

482. the strength to log out, shut it down, take back some space

483. knowing it’s not fair to ask any one person to meet all your needs

484. knowing it’s perfectly healthy to have needs and hunger for them to be met

485. crispy minis in sweet chili

486. all the laundry done, folded, ready for when it is needed

487. family dinner, later but together

488. remembering this list

489. mental clarity and allowing time for thinking

490. friends, how they know and love you anyway

491. future plans, future poems

492. asking for wisdom

493. that the tree didn’t fall on the house or on a car

494. good and honest jobs for the guys

495. a great soccer game for her

496. healthy bodies, well minds

497. rain

498. bed

499. good books to read in bed

500. revisiting things if required

501. potential

502. forgiveness

503. rest

504. restart buttons

505. ends of days, new mercies every morning

506. the lavish world around us and entirely mysterious nature of life

507. taking note of things

508. yes…remembering this list…

 

 

 

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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)

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… 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 thousand gifts… day 5


68. sounds of new construction hammering the distance

69. Emmy dog curled up by warm rocks in watery sunlight

70. blueberry pancakes griddle brown

71. fixers… vets and docs and dentists and car mechanics

72. tired beauty of tattered curtains in empty farmhouse window

73. Eames designed lime green chair

74. God provided window of opportunity

75. amped up guitar practice next room over

76. reading on the back porch

77. leftovers

78. working out the details, making it work

79. email

80. the millisecond it took for the cyclist going the wrong way on the sidewalk to safely pass my car

Corn Griddle Cakes

Corn Griddle Cakes (Photo credit: ulterior epicure)

Naming one thousand gifts*… day 4


50. vine lines roll over vineyards, sweet tendrils reaching

51. sun pulling steam from wet tarmac

52. moving through the landscape… by foot, by bike, by car

53. knowing God hears me

54. red hawk passing overhead

55. the smell of clean laundry

56. family

57. new words

58 last words and prayer wish of a friend, that we would all… “Be there”

59. time together, time alone

60. Emmy dog greetings

61. second, third, fourth… chances

62. writing poems

63. reading poems written by others

64. connecting with friends and friends in waiting because of the internet

65. soft rain deep soaking mountains heavy in trees

66. two guitars waiting against the music room wall

67. silence

* The concept of naming one thousand gifts is not mine, it is one that I learned in the pages of Ann Voskamp’s book “One Thousand Gifts”. The website of the same name can be found here. When I spoke of her book here on my blog post “Soon and very soon we are going to see”, I implored you to run out and buy a copy of Ann’s book. If you haven’t done that yet… PLEASE DO! I have since bought a couple more copies, given them away, continued to read and re-read my copy, and realized a deep call on my heart to begin to write down and name and own a thankfulness around the things that God fills my eyes and heart with each moment of every day.

So I continue to look and see that God is good in the hundreds of millions of intricate details of my life. I caught a glimpse of my face today in the rearview mirror of my car, after seeing items 50, 51 and 54 and I was smiling… that Mona Lisaesque smile that says so much… hmmm… perhaps the fullness was showing…

On the path, looking,

Lesley-Anne

Naming one thousand gifts… day 3


32. blue and red spinnakers on distant sail racers

33. light and shadow playing in the trees

34. Japanese paper thin petals of Oriental Poppy

35. hearing yes to your question

36. discussing new ways to be healthy

37. having your Dad say he’s proud… of you

38. forgiveness

39. being OK with being who you are

40. friends who text me at 6 am… because they are up praying

41. giant peaches and retro beach towns

42. ducks that eat from my fingers

43. sunshine over soccer pitch

44. caramel eyes and velvet ears of Emmy dog

45. fresh strawberries over greens

46. eating together at the big table

47. the sound of the dishwasher running

48. coffee date with my husband

49. a lifetime of books, how the old ones smell