Tuesday, March 22, 2011


I am nearly halfway into "one thousand gifts" now.
Already I feel so alive and awake and changed.
I smile all giddy inside to think of the changes the rest of the words will bring.

And from Ann I see myself though situations differ.
We all face humanity's rush for more time and more understanding and just for plain more.
We all feel a lack of something, but what?
She presented Eucharisteo and I accepted, and for days breathed the word in hushed tones and aloud to reinforce the word, the meaning into my life.

But yesterday, a new layer was added, a practice, an action to apply much like one does when in Photoshop. To a picture, an action layered gives new color, new vibrancy, new life to the photograph, imbuing it with a brand-new personality.

The action was nothing more and nothing less than a chronicling of gifts from God.

And so we had a Family Home Evening lesson all about counting our blessings and used President Uchtdorf's First Presidency message from this month's Ensign.  And I gave sons and husband each a box to open, with a brand new notebook journal with fresh clean pages.  We helped our little ones draw and write two things for which they were grateful.  And though my Little Bear's entry consisted of fat and skinny sausages, the lesson stayed I think, imprinted on hearts.  This morning Little Bear, during the breakfast prayer, thanked Heavenly Father that we can count our blessings and draw in our thankful books.

And this morning I began by lamplight in the still of the peaceful sunrise...recording in my book with my pen dedicated to this fill in gifts and more and more until it was time to get ready for the day.  But my hands carried the notebook wherever I went and my mind did not leave the gifts alone.  Fresh ones have been scratched on the page....more and more and more.

I have #71 completed now with #72 written, waiting to be filled.

I write as they happen, and here are just a few:

#12. Kissing scrunched up noses.
#15. Glowing lamplight on two-year-old toes.
#16. Long black lashes lacing beautiful blue eyes.
#18. Butterflies inside me reminding me of coming camera.
#19. Whoosh of heater happily turning on again.
#20. Swirl of golden ash hair all tousled from sleep.
#21. New black jet stream pen to be used only for this counting of holiness.
#38. Glass tinkle in dishwasher--music like chimes.
#40. Folder Games strewn out on rug.
#57. One more gift. There is always one more.

Ann says that "Naming is Edenic." And this thought strikes me because it is.  We are naming gifts like Adam named the animals and Father named His creations.  To name something shows us the God-given value of person, place or thing.  When we name, we are partners in creation.
And so I will continue to live this way.
Because I was promised in my patriarchal blessing that 
I would depart from this life "after living a full life."

Now this book and this answer to a blessing, and now I have learned (and am still learning) that living a full life is living a thankful life and noticing God in the present. In the details. 
In every moment of every day.
Because He is here.  He is I AM, waiting to be found.
And when we count the gifts He gives us as the moments pass, we will find that to magnify means to multiply, just as happened with the loaves and fishes...the Savior gave thanks, and the miracle happened.
The cleansed leper gave thanks and he was made whole (and the Hebrew word for whole is sozo...which means to be saved.)
Thanksgiving saves us and makes us whole and happy.
There is always enough when we give thanks for what we have.

So, will you take the dare?
Will you "dare to live fully right where you are"?

Will you begin your One Thousand Gift List today?

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