Gifts of Grace

In early March,  I began reading One Thousand Gifts and it is taking me on a journey to change - becoming more aware and awake to "intentionally embrace a lifestyle of radical gratitude; and slow down and catch God in the moment."   

Come with me on this journey, slow down and, one gift at a time, transform your life... Our gifts may be different or they may be the same. This is my Gift List and this is my journey.  I hesitate begin this journey.  I do not want to trivialize what He has given me.
He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me;
         And to him who orders his way aright
         I shall show the salvation of God."Psalms 50:23

holy experiencela·gniappe  (lnyp, ln-yp)  n. Chiefly Southern Louisiana & Mississippi
An extra or unexpected gift or benefit.

Grace is a free gift. It cannot be earned by any effort on our part
          an unmerited or undeserved  gift, favor, etc., granted by God

gift - something acquired without compensation

  1. Clean fresh water flowing into a cast-iron sink He provided for $25.
  2. Preparing hot meals on the "new" clean stove He provided.
  3. Glistening white pure snow - days at home for rest and time with family.
  4. Braiding hair of a wee young one - He knows the number of hairs on my head - yes He cares for me!
  5. Income from kids I watch allows me to be home with my kids
  6. Snow mixed with sugar, milk and vanilla.  Smooth texture melts in my mouth - free dessert!
  7. Broom and vacuum - modern conveniences to help me clean the floors.
  8. The chores needing done - I have a home to live in, warm and protection
  9. Dirty dishes in the sink, house is alive with people and children.  
  10. Tub of crayons - hours of drawing creative thoughts, chubby hands grip worn colored waxy sticks.  Choosing carefully, fingers hover, fingers digging, searching not for the "cool" name, but a facet of a myriad of colors.

  11. Lady, our German Shepard, eagerly seeks my attention.  She chooses me.  Her amber eyes seek approval and loyalty prompts her warning that someone is at the door.  God choose me and my eyes seek His approval.  
  12. Worn toothbrushes need replacing.  We have all our teeth, healthy environment and insurance are a luxury. 
  13. Dirty dishes remind me of the wealth of food we have that gives us nourishment and strength.
  14. Coats in the front entry - escaping from their pegs, lie helpless on the floor. Warmth in abundance, discarded carelessly, knowing they will still be there, untouched when needed.
  15. Digital camera - captures moments and memories instantly.
  16. The whine of the heater tells me we have warm from the frigid temperature, when so many do not.
  17. School books piled high - education taken for granted, and not seen as a privilege.  So easy for many of us to have
  18. Talked with friend who lost her child to senseless murder.  My children, with clamoring and laughing voices and footsteps - they fill our home.  Full of life, love, plans for the future... A gift of life.
  19. Youngest - reading, talking, running, heart beating, laughter, always a curious active mind, full of adventure. 
  20. Lenten Roses bloom - giving promise to the beauty of spring.

  21. Honey - Took a chance on a lonely wary girl and asked her for forever. 
  22. Having Only home during her teen years.
  23. In-laws - still married, role models, loving grandparents
  24. Laundry piles needing to be put away.  We have an abundance of clothes.
  25. Coupons
  26. Sewing ability
  27. Honey - fixes things worn out, repairs the broken, sees the possibilities
  28. Scrapbooks filled with pictures and memories
  29. Sleeping in until the sunlight peeks through the window
  30. Fingerprint smudges on the door, low on the glass, young life

  31. Sleepy "Night Mom" stumbles from Youngest' lips.
  32. Honey's rumbling snores punctuate the night
  33. Vacuum extracts "dirt" from carpet - signs of life and activity in our home.
  34. Jonathan Reece - missionary from Puerto Rico, at home group, speaks of God's protection and guidance
  35. Sweet baby's hands slumbering on my lap.  Safe and content.  
  36. Youngest - beating heart healed. 
  37. Tiny hands turning book pages, making up a story fo the pictures.
  38. Words flow from once silent lips - the gift of speech
  39.  Words instantly received - texting
  40. Smell of maple bacon

  41. A day with no melt-downs from Youngest
  42. Blue Bell Chocolate ice cream with fresh pecans
  43. Child safety locks on cabinets
  44. GNO - Girls Night Out
  45. Cat sitting in a sunny window
  46. Books filled with words
  47. Ice cubes from the fridge
  48. ADHD medication
  49. Stinky smelly boys
  50. Baseball bag in the back of the truck

  51. Fresh homemade salsa
  52. Laughter in the truck - all family present
  53. Date night with Honey
  54. Duane - "college son" a blessing and encouragement
  55. Movie night with family
  56. Listening and seeing kids laughing, goofing off and having fun with each other
  57. Color and highlighting Only's hair- much laughter and memories made.
  58. Sewing on Quilt - figuring out how to FMQ (Free Motion Quilting) 
  59. Carpet cleaners 
  60. Comfy couches on stormy nights.
  61. Dryer on a cold rainy day. 
  62. Sleeping in past 7 a.m. 
  63. Honey replaced our leaky kitchen faucet. 
  64. Teens doing their own laundry. 
  65. Dinner with a friend.  
  66. Hair dryers. 
  67. Worship leaders 
  68. Printed words because I can't remember it all 
  69. The beauty in the harmony of voices  in worship
  70. More than one pair of shoes

  71. Boudrequx's Butt Paste for yucky diaper rashes.
  72. School House Rock
  73. Nap times for little ones
  74. Flowers bloom - promise of spring 
  75. Teacher's answer books
  76. Sleeping all night
  77. Microwave ovens
  78. college scholarships
  79. Sturdy board books for little ones
  80. Public libraries
  81. Homemade chocolate cake with homemade whipped filling
  82. laughter at the dinner table
  83. Dandelions - sign of Spring and fun for little ones
  84. Dimpled grins
  85. Mops to clean up vomit
  86. Lily of Valley flowers, sweet scent, their white bells stand in silent beauty
  87. School House Rock Play gets our feel tapping
  88. Laughter around the dinner table
  89. Fresh muffins from the oven
  90. Hug from teenager, Oldest rarely given

  91. Release from Cancer, bittersweet goodbyes
  92. Cool spring rain
  93. "Mommy can you rock with me? I don't feel good." The 12-yr old body turns and searches, scrunching his growing frame on my lap, looking for that once comfy spot.
  94. Frying bacon
  95. Friends surround grieving families
  96. Boy Scout Troop Leaders
  97. Gathering of friends - laughter, good food, love abounds
  98. Nerf gun wars between teens and young scholars.  Jury is out on who really won.
  99. Three years of learning, growing, acceptance, trials, revelations, and triumphs come to a close.  "W" is moving to GA
  100. Princess Izzy "reading" Brown Bear before naptime.

  101. Glorious sunrise, it's glimmering fingers reach out, touching dark and dreary corners, illuminating, warming, welcoming after a week of flooding storms. 
  102. Ice cream for breakfast for sore throats
  103. Frogs singing their night performance with the Master Conductor
  104. Evening with in-laws always nice.  I love their steadfast love and commitment
  105. Blue birds twittering from branches low, feeding young with worms from freshly broken soil.
  106. Oldest and Honey working, laughing, talking
  107. Ladybugs puttering amongst the lilies
  108. Protection from stormy weather (tornadoes)
  109. Safety for Oldest and Only during clean-jp work in Joplin after the tornado
  110. Oldest graduating from high school

  111. Naps on an exhausting day
  112. Good friends who give up their morning to help prepare 26 large pizzas for Oldest's graduation reception
  113. Moms picking up their kids at the end of the work day
  114. Laughter with dear friends over grilled burgers and chicken, renewing and relaxing
  115. Chainsaws to fill broken limbs from the storm
  116. SIL once again has feeling in her legs and waist after 3 weeks and has returned to work! 
  117. Youngest slurping Crispix at breakfast as he reads a Hardy Boys book
  118. Picking blueberries with Only and Youngest
  119. Protection when a reckless car veered across two lanes of Interstate, cutting in front of the two cars in front of me.  Thank you God, because it could have been really bad.  
  120. Honey's 21 yrs at the same job

  121. Honey cleaning and organizing the garage.
  122. Protection for Raine's husband when faced with demonic druggie at work
  123. Friend has Stage 0 breast cancer - thankfully they caught it early
  124. Oldest's enrolled in college classes
  125. Oldest's college paid for via Pell Grants and scholarships (we even get $$ back to use for books!!!)
  126. Men who step in to be daddies for those who have lost theirs
  127. Quiet Sunday afternoons 
  128. Morning kisses from the kids
  129. Movie night and pizza with family
  130. Homemade sandwich bread

  131. Oldest, working until 1:30 a.m., still got up for church the next morning.
  132. Children, getting up on their own, honoring commitments made
  133. Sirens sound- dedicated emergency workers give to save and protect
  134. Mentors in marriage, showing through example.
  135. Devotion of Lady, who should be fearsome, yet gentle and forgiving to the youngest, watchful, loyal
  136. Watching fireworks with family
  137. Sunday naps with Honey,
  138. 4th of July spent with new friends from other countries
  139. Freedom
  140. Seeing happiness and joy through other eyes, a joyful Japanese student

  141. Conversations with dear Cousin Raine
  142. Only, growing in confidence, learning independence and responsibilities
  143. Mission trip to Belize for Oldest, paid in full, by hard work for others
  144. Oldest, continuing to work, to help pay for Only's trip to Belize, secretly putting money on her acct.
  145. Having food on the table, the whole family around - laughter and love
  146. Jello for sore throats
  147. Tissues with Lotion - Oh so soft!
  148. Sewing machines to make sewing faster and easier
  149. Protection for Oldest when a shooting and triple murder happened just 3 blocks where he was working.  The killer was not caught until a week later in MI
  150. Weeks groceries only $42 cash!!!  Gotta love Aldi's

  151. Two sets of contacts free to tie me over until my eye check up, this is after I had gone past my change date on my last pair. 
  152. Belize trips are both completely paid for!
  153. Re-reading stories of funny things our kids said or did when they were little tykes
  154. Oldest and Only arrive safely in Belize with their Mission Team.
  155. Youngest arrives safely home from Boy Scout camp
  156. Relaxing massage
  157. Oldest and Only arrive safely home after a week in Belize
  158. Fire fighters and police working in the 110º+ heat
  159. Sweet juicy watermelon - a 35 pound gift from Crabtree Farms!  Oh so yummy and delicious!
  160. Choices in education
  161. Protection for Raine's husband during a heart attack - often called the Widow Maker. Stint placed in artery.
  162. Temps so high (115º) that we hit a record for the country... no grass to mow because it's all dead! 
  163. Messages from Only while on Belize Mission Trip
  164. Wonderful refreshing rain during drought and high temps (117º)
  165. Parents who don't spoil or give in to their kids to the point the children that they are more than difficult to be around. 
  166. Youngest's movies he creates, frame by frame, action in motion, brain whirling, creating.
  167. Quiet evening with Honey
  168. Plump juicy watermelon
  169. Making mud puddles with youngest in the rain, mud squishing between toes.
  170. Children who listen to God, go, see through His eyes the needs and love A babe, so new of God, from His hands and heart

  171. Seeing and hearing the words: Momma, Mommy, Mom
  172. Doctors who follow the calling to help, solve, and save
  173. To be a mom to three wonderful gifts God has given us. 
  174. Safely back from Belize, Oldest and Only, hearts open to experiences You've given them.
  175. Oh, Sweet rain to a dry parched ground - quenching a thirst
  176. Hugs from my big kids.  I so missed them when they were gone to Belize
  177. Sweet shy smiles and kisses from Miss I
  178. Mike and Amy (dear friends) are pregnant and due in March!!!  
  179. Oldest has a JOB!!!  Thank you God!!! 
  180. Baking 800 cookies with the help of great ladies

  181. Date night with Honey
  182. Friday - a break from the craziness of the week
  183. Full nights sleep
  184. Kids cleaning up the kitchen without being asked
  185. Baby Zoe arrived safe and healthy 9 lb 12 oz!!! 
  186. Wonderful cool morning, quiet with only the birds singing
  187. Honey brings, yet another racing tire home - I love his boyish side!
  188. Only started working job at Pizza Warehouse.  She is the only Christian there and this can be trying.
  189. Zoe's Blissful Confection quilt is finished and given to her.
  190. Freedom
  191. Vet bill paid for by a stranger. Lady has all her shots! 
  192. Only helping with little ones when I'm in a pinch.  She does so without being asked and with a smile.  She is a blessing to me. 
  193. Love of friends.
  194. God sent a drug rep to the dr. office I was at for a checkup.  The dr. had just stated that they had not had a drug rep stop by in a while, especially with migraine medication.  Thank you God for seeing my need ahead of time! 
  195. Cooler night temps - leaving the windows open
  196. Pesky smelling possum is gone from the trash can!
  197. Gas prices dropped to $3.16 (9/25/11)
  198. Clean house
  199. New purse for $3.00
  200. Youth leaders in church
  201. No bills in the mail
  202. New toaster oven, given to us, just when our regular toaster broke!  We love it! 
  203. Sewing pretty little girl dresses for others brings sweet memories
  204. Tumor removed from Lady
  205. Youngest Home camping with Miss I's family.  Great fun was had by all.
  206. Miss Jan came to church, in spite of her extreme pain from a fall and cancer, still smiling and glad to be at church.
  207. Honey, FIL, Oldest and family friend safely back from the NASCAR race in Talladega, AL
  208. Only started working job at Pizza Warehouse.  She is the only Christian there and this can be trying.
  209. Zoe's Blissful Confection quilt is finished and given to her.
  210. Freedom