About 6 months ago, I read through One Thousand Gifts and was so encouraged by the amazing, little, mundane, and also extraordinary things that the author was grateful for. Through her journey of finding 1,000 things to be grateful for, she began to see the everyday, common things as extraordinary and special, each containing their own precious and unique qualities from the Lord. I began keeping a list of things I find myself grateful for- and while I am nowhere near 1,000- I am going to start listing things I am grateful for throughout my blog entries. I would love to have you join me in finding something to be grateful for each and every day. There are SO many things that happen right before our eyes, and I encourage you to start finding them, noticing them, and appreciating them.
Henry Ward Beecher once said, “The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but the thankful heart will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings.”
Here is my list so far:
1. Pillow talk conversations with best friends that offer belly-aching laughter, truth, and calm before bed.
2. Walking out of the gym sweating, feeling tired yet on top of the world.
3. The tranquility of a waterfall.
4. The sound Grayson (my nephew) makes as tries to pronounce letters and words.
5. Phone conversations with my mom that are raw, honest, life-giving, and full of truth.
6. The smell and feel that candles bring to a room.
7. The sound of people flipping through their bibles at church.
8. The face one of my students makes when I tell him how proud I am of him.
9. A hug from a student.
10. The quiet hum of students hard at work in a classroom.
11. The comfort from sharing an inside joke with a friend.
12. The way true surrender feels- when you finally let go once again and understand all you have to do is fall at the feet of Jesus.
13. Winter Retreat 2013
14. “Aren’t you forgetting something, Miss Williams?” A student asks as he reminds me of our end-of-the-day hug routine.
15. Crisp, cool air during an outside walk. Sun shining, winter air still hitting your cheeks.
16. I get to call myself a daughter of the Most High King, Lord of Lords, and Lover of my soul.
17. The healing power that comes from pure weeping.
18. Delicious taste of a new cookie recipe as it comes out of the oven.
19. Praying for someone and knowing the Lord gave you all the right words.
20. Getting a gift from a secret pal.
21. Homemade dinners with my parents.
22. Couch time with my mom where we can vent, talk, laugh, and enjoy each other’s company.
23. Accountability from friends- the trust that is built between each other and with God, they are challenging and raw.
24. Laughter between friends.
25. Complete comfort within silence with a friend.
26. The way the Holy Spirit reveals truth perfectly in his timing.
27. Having coffee at a coffee shop that has it’s own flare and environment. Sipping a latte over good conversation? Perfect.
28. My mom’s health. Her devotion to and love for her family.
29. The joy and raw truth that my senior girls share with me at youth group.
30. The anticipation of how a relationship with these girls will develop.
31. The beauty of changing seasons and the restoration that comes through them.
32. Delicious food- but that it tastes 100x better with great company.
33. Sleeping in on Saturdays and the rest that comes from not having to be anywhere.
34. The rest that comes from a worship-ful environment.
35. Healing conversations where the full truth is presented, misunderstandings are put to rest, and questions are answered.
36. Plane flights with friends.
37. Laughter that only you and another friend understands.
38. Second chances… and third ones too.
39. When the Lord answers questions you’ve been asking for a long time.
40. Hearing Grayson say “Auntie Ally”
41. Early mornings when it’s raining outside
42. Clarity from God in situations you’ve been unsure of
43. Starbucks on Sunday mornings
44. The anticipating mystery of the Holy Spirit working
45. The sound of ocean waves crashing on the shore.
46. Family dinners: conversation is sweet, honest, real
47. Waking up without an alarm
48. Hugging students who need a little extra attention
49. Ending the school day by telling my kids: I love you, I’m proud of you, you are awesome
50. The anxious heart of a woman when a relationship is brewing
51. The feeling of being flat on your face before the Lord for what he is doing in your life.
52. The morning buzz of Starbucks as people await their morning wake up call
53. Anticipation for church
54. Praying for people in a moment of response as a form of worship and surrender
55. Hearing “Miss Williams” from my students
56. Tears streaming down your face as you worship
57. Praying for someone over voicemail
58. Making homemade meals for people
59. Long walks with friends
60. Hikes that end with an amazing view
61. The power and awe that is felt from watching any and all sunsets.
62. Photographing people’s most precious moments
I will continue adding to this list- please join me in finding the random, yet beautiful things to be grateful for.
“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.” -Maya Angelou