Monday, February 28, 2011

Counting More Gifts!

I finished reading Ann's book, 1,000 Gifts, and have started rereading it for the second time around. I struggled with it! Maybe it was because it's been a long time since I tried reading really deep books. I used to and loved the challenge and the soul searching they would bring. Maybe I was holding back, not wanting to move out into the truth of its message. Maybe it was all my own past getting in the way of my opening my clenched fists to allow God to fill them with what He knows to be good. Anyways, it was hard. I don't think the author meant for it to be easy, as it seemed to be a soul-wrenching journey for her. I only know, I want it! I want to see. I have so many dark rooms in my life that have heavy locks and no windows, and they have not been open in a long time because what is in them is NOT what I thought I wanted to see and say thank you for. As I read this book for the second time around, I'm finding myself a little less stoic with my clenched fists holding the keys to those dark places. Can I really learn to see, and to find the grace He promises and to say thank you for the hard things, the dark things, the things I don't understand???? Join with me and hundreds of others as we count our thousands of gifts and hold out our open hands for more:

28: Two cups. Always two. They sit on my kitchen counter, waiting for morning,
sleepy eyes, hot coffee. Always two friends, drinking in silence until the caffeine kicks in and we can say "Good morning!" Always two empty cups.

29. Seedlings. Little, tiny leaves and stems pushing up moist, warm dirt. I can almost hear them praising the God who created all things for the chance to live and grow and prove once again that Springtime and Harvest follow the cold and deadness of winter. Faith! So big and vast and we have such a hard time catching it. But there it is --- all packaged up in a little, tiny seed. Dead, but full of life. All it took was believing life was in there and placing it in the ground.

30. Pigeon Peas. Never heard of them before, never tasted them, never saw one --- why would my nose wrinkle at the thought of eating one???? My sister heard about them, and found out we could grow them here. She bought a can at the grocery store just to try, and we are hooked!!!! So the pigeon peas are planted all over the place. Supposedly, they grow quite large, chickens eat them, goats eat the leaves, you can eat them fresh dry them for later, etc., etc. Lesson learned: don't wrinkle your nose up till you try something!

31. Wisteria starting to bloom! Hundreds of flowers pushing their way out! A very dear friend gave me a rooted stick years ago, planted it by my fence, and built a nice high trellis for it to climb on. Talk about faith! Thank you, Dan! Whenever I see those flowers, I'm reminded of your faith, your giving spirit, your love for flowers, and all you did for me!

32. Lea over at the Potting Shed! A gal who can ignite sparks in the deadest of hearts, put a song in a broken spirit, and hold an umbrella when the rain pours down around you!

33. Charlene, a new found friend with a heart of gold and a passion for God!

34. Squeeze of a friend's hand!

35. Meatloaf. Just too good! Comfort food to the max!

36. Iced Tea. Cold, wet, peachy, iced tea after a dirty, hot hour in the sun.

37. Buster's panting, hot face buried deep in his water bowl. He's so happy when
Momma is happy. Big Blue ball gets a work-out, football lands in the pond, feet are muddy, but who cares? Life is good, and we'll do it again tomorrow!

38. Bread. Most of you know I love bread more than anything. But this was special bread. Two long loaves of Italian bread. FRESH! Brought to my sister by our neighbor. Brought to me by my sister. I couldn't stop. Oh, Lord, could this possibly rate up there as one of the best gifts of the week?????

39. Sharing God's word with friends. Like breaking open a fresh loaf of bread and tasting it new and fresh again.

Click the link below and hear the whispers of thanks from hundreds of others who are counting their gifts:


Grammee Linda - Behind My Red Door said...

Wonderful gifts!! in look forward to each post about them Cora. It makes me think...and reflect and that is a blessing!

Have a great week! HUGS

Megan said...

Cora, your blessings are never too hard to understand. I don't have to dig real deep to feel what you describe. I love them, and feel them and am grateful that you take the time to post them. You take nothing for granted, that's for sure. -Megan-

Jennifer @ Studio JRU said...

It sounds like you are learning already Cora. It is a journey. I really enjoyed your list. Your wisteria is beautiful! MMM... love meatloaf! :)

Lea said...

Oh Cora,
I'm blessed beyond words...
"thankyouthankyouthankyou" Lord for my Cora!

I so enjoyed reading your gifts and I love your way of writing them. I'm learning from reading your "heart" that I'm journaling my thoughts too hurried "still."

I learn so much from you Cora...and look forward to journeying life WITH you and Buster too!
Love ya like Pigeon peas and crumb cake.
Thank you for sharing these gifts with us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jodi said...

Dear Cora, my favorite on your list is the wisteria. I don't have any, but I've always dreamed of planting some by our front door so that it could grow over the archway. So pretty! Happy to join with you in giving thanks.

Puffin Hen said...


Thank you for blessing me with your visit and comment. I was doubly blessed as I was prompted to visit you and read about your gifts; very beautiful. I will call by again soon.

God bless.

Amber @ The Mom Road said...

I love your love of bread. I could feel your pure joy! There is so much given in the small things, thanks for sharing!

Kathleen from Yesteryear Embroideries said...

How precious this post is and the more I hear of this book, the more I now, want to read it......thank you Cora, for letting us know about this treasure. Blessings,Kathleen

Dorie said...

Wonderful blessings to list! I, too, enjoy wisteria. It is so beautiful! We have none in our yard, but when I see it out in gardens or at other homes, I can't help but admire its beauty. Your photograph is one to admire as well. :-)

Patti Hanan said...

A beautiful list. I am a new follower who came to visit after you visited me. I am so glad I did. Your words are deep and encouraging. Blessings!

elizabeth said...

Beautiful gratitude...thank you for coming by my place and leaving your kind comment!

Wendy said...

Love the wisteria, and I'd never heard of Pigeon Peas--thanks for sharing1

papel1 said...

Nice to see you posting and your pictures are lovely. I too enjoy reading especially on my Kindle, one can read anything from spiritual to adventure.

susanne said...

this is a fantastic list. my favorite is the bread... i share your love of such a perfect food.

thank you for stopping by my blog and introducing yourself. i've been blessed by your words!