Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Thousands of Gifts

This post marks 1,000 posts for this blog after nearly six years of writing. There have been several other "thousand" milestones lately so I thought I'd tie them all up here together. 

Several years ago I read the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp and the idea of cultivating a thankful heart by means of writing down those daily little gifts, both joyous and sometimes difficult, really resonated with me. So I started my "Gifts from God" journal.

I finished the first 1,000 gifts this spring. Flipping back through the book not only brings me joy, but watching how God took care of us in every way gives me faith to keep moving forward. As I read the pages I find provision for material needs, spiritual needs, medical needs, emotional needs. 

That fall that Laura had her open heart surgery our family was faced with enormous amounts of medical bills. Far beyond the possibility of us ever earning enough to pay for these bills. For months whenever I wondered what we were going to do all I could think about were four brown bags of groceries. When I was about eleven my Dad worked far away from home and only came back every few weeks. One time he had to extend his stay for several more days and my mom was out of food money and there was no way to get more until he returned. Out of the blue we got a call from a family we hadn't seen in some time whose needs had always been so much greater than our own. They were calling to see if we could use some extra milk and things as they had an overabundance. The picture of those grocery bags entering our house at such a time of need has never left my mind. That experience of God's care in the past sustained me through those months of wondering how in the world we would handle those bills.

It wasn't until the very end of fall that the answer came. Our bills had been forgiven IN FULL. I still can't hardly write or tell this story without tears. The God who provided what seemed like a miracle of $35 worth of food for a young girl had provided again hundreds of time beyond that. 

I hope these little notebooks will be special for the children to read someday and to understand a bit more of how God has been providing for them all these years.

I'm onto my second journal now. :)

And the final thousands thing to mention is that a few weeks ago we celebrated 5,000 days of marriage! Michael was so thoughtful to figure that out and remember it! In the midst of life there are blessings upon blessings.

Oh, how abundant is your goodness,
which you have stored up for those who fear you
and worked for those who take refuge in you,
in the sight of the children of mankind!

Blessed by the LORD,
for He has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me

Love the LORD, all you his saints!
The LORD preserves the faithful
but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride.

Be strong, and let your heart take courage,
all you who wait for the LORD!

Psalm 31: 19-24


southseaislandhome said...

Lovely, lovely, lovely post! I still have that book on my list to read. And congratulations on your 5000 days of marriage!

Rachel said...

Very inspiring! I think I'll find a notebook and start a journal like that. Did you write one every day for 1000 days or several on some days and none on others...just wondering.

Heather Anne said...

Beautiful Heather - you inspire me!

Everydaythings said...

Heather, once in a while I read a very special post on someones blog, and today it was yours!This is such an insipiring and beautiful post. I teared up a little when you told of your story of the four grocery bags. And congratultions not only on your 1000th post but your 5000 days of marriage too.

Amanda said...

This is so special. Thanks for sharing. It is a great idea. I would love to start something like this.

elizabeth said...

oh, what a mercy of God!!! So glad for you, God is so good to us!

Unknown said...

Love that you put it into a journal like that! I did it on my bloggy for awhile...haven't done it recently! :) Great idea for a new little pretty journal I picked up at Barnes & Noble!! :)

Stephanie said...

Congratulations on everything and it's so nice to read about your positive spin on the world.