Monday, February 21, 2011

More gifts. . .!

Can it be that I'm "getting it?" If only I had carried a pen and a tablet with me everywhere this week, I would have been able to list countless blessings and thank-you's!!!! I got the book a few days ago, and have NOT been able to put it down. I am racing through it, to the point I have the page ready to turn, long before I'm even there. And I don't want to. But I have to. I can't explain it. I've decided I will read and read and read to the end and then begin again. I just have to know the end. I can't stop along the way, or take a breath, go back for do-overs. I've never done this with a book. In fact, for years I thought I could never read again. I had lost that ability to concentrate. I had been reduced to flip calendars. . . . at the most, maybe a page in a daily devotional. But the challenge to live in the moment, to experience God's graces, to thank Him for all things. . .
I don't even SEE all things. . .Maybe when it all sinks in and I can wrap my heart and life around it and I begin to see - REALLY SEE -- I'll find a way to explain it all to you. In the meantime, I will count, I will make my list, and I will continue to encourage you, too, to rean Ann VosKamp's, One Thousand Gifts!

14. Warm sun rays warming the soil.

15. Seeds that give me hope and faith in beans, green onions, carrots, radishes.

16. White, snowy flower blossoms floating through the air as the gentle breezes loosen them from the branches of the cherry laurel trees.

17. The cry of peacocks in the distance.

18. A family of wrens pushing leaves aside looking for the first bugs of spring.

19. Buster’s exuberant joy in having me working in the yard again. All I have to say is, “Let’s go do the beans!” and he knows we are doing important “stuff” in the yard together.

20. Two ringed-neck doves who faithfully watch over each other. One watches for predators as the other, trusting her mate’s protection, eats quietly under the feeder.

21. My sycamore tree. Can it truly be 6 years old now??? A gift from my sister, and always a reminder of her love and friendship and all we have been through together. It stood about 4 feet tall when we first planted it. Came with a supporting stake, taller than the tree, and tied securely to each other. Stake and tree together were planted with hopes and faith . . . . . Always hope and a faith that sees a future sheltering shade tree one day. Now? . . . The stake was no longer needed after a few years and the tree broke away the bands holding the two together, now able to stand tall and straight on its own. I smile when I stand at my sister’s place, look over the roof of my house and see those sycamore leaves waving at us. I remember my fears during the dark days of chemo treatments. My tree had begun that spring healthy, sprouting out leaves that turned perfectly green and giagantic -- just as a sycamore is to do. But as the deadly, cancer-killing chemicals left my body, so my tree soaked them up (Yes, I planted it much too close to my septic tank!!!!). The leaves began to turn brown on the edges, curling from the poison being fed to them. But they hung on to life, and the following spring began the life cycle again, new and whole. We’ve made it through so much . . . Juri, the sycamore tree, and me.

22. Large crows cawing in my driveway. All I can say is, I pray the mockingbird does NOT learn THIS song.
The mockingbird sang a contata full of spring melodies this early morning. It was worth getting up early just to hear this one-bird choir sing his God-given song from the top of the telephone pole. Seems to be his favorite pulpit.

23. Whitey’s smile.

24. Loretta’s hug.

25. Artie’s song.

26. Trina’s heart.

27. A Sunday full of reminders that, “His love has no limit, His grace has no measure, His power has no boundary known unto men. For out of the infinite riches in Jesus, He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again!”

By clicking the button below, you will be taken to a wonderful place that will show you hundreds of others who are counting. Somehow, I know God is smiling as He hears thousands of thank-you's being whispered in His ear!


Megan said...

Cora, I love to read your blessings. They force me to see what I take for granted. And to be thankful.

Books are blessings -- especially books so engrossing that you can't bear to put them down (or maybe I should say the storytellers. Books don't write themselves, do they?). I can relate to such (good book) experiences as you talk about today. -Megan-

Lea said...

Cora, I have tears...............................................-- May you continue to "see" everything Almighty God has before you.....
Eagle wings baby!!!

Amy said...

What a wonderful list! I love the part about your sycamore tree. Isn't God amazing - to give us green, growing, beautiful things like trees to remind us about growth and change and rebirth. I would love to see a picture of that tree if you ever post one . . . Thrilled you are reading the book. I feel the same way you do about wanting to go faster and faster to see how it ends. I pray God continues to pour out His blessings on you!

nancy huggins said...

I Love reading what you are thankful for Cora...It does make some of us stop and think (and of course we all know how thankful you are for my Buddy "Buster" the wonder dog :))

Denise said...

You are a blessing...... You just keep on counting those B's and by the end of it you will have 1000 more to start again.....

HE does you ..... more than you know..

Debra said...

I love your 'thankfuls.' As I was braving the zero degree weather, my ugly thoughts wanted to dwell on how tired I am of winter. Instead, I thanked God for a warm home and His protection. That huge piled up snow became sparkling diamonds in the morning sun, and I found LOTS more to thank Him for!
Love, Debra

Patty Sumner said...

Cora, you always challenge my heart and Spirit. What a wonderful idea. I was in a conference a few years ago that I challenged us to keep a thank you notebook. I did not begin it.....I believe I will. I love your wonderful heart and love for our Lord and your recognition of his grace! Blessings!

Kathleen from Yesteryear Embroideries said...

Love your blessings and your thankful heart! What a wonderful book this sounds like! blessings, Kathleen

Nancy said...

Hi Cora,
So nice to meet you. Thanks be to God for His healing work in your life. Truly you and those like my friend are triumphs of God's grace. I get the joy of your being able to work out in the yard again--what a blessing for Buster (your son?) to be able to share that with you. And the Sycamore bearing witness to the stages of your journey, being wounded from the chemo alongside you and yet continuing to grow and flourish. What a beautiful picture! Blessings to you.

Sandee said...

Cora, Thank you for your comment on my blog. Counting his blessings is such a focus changer, isn't it? I too am reading Ann's book slow, absorbing slow... I read it through fast, first...except for the last chapter...I am saving I am now going back and slowing reading chapter by chapter with the read-along.

God is so good.

Lea said...

Cora you are such a blessing to me. Rereading this again just now... just splashed all over me.
You're loved.