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If you’re reading this first, official post, you are probably friend, not foe.  Thank you.

Life has taught me how important other people are, and though I am not the greatest at reaching out, this is my attempt to be transparent about who I am, and who knows where that can lead.

By nature a blog is a monologue, but I invite you to make comments and ask questions.  I make no guarantees, but my intention is to thoughtfully consider any and all responses, just as we listen to each other in conversation.

This post is going out on Thanksgiving Day 2018, which is Thursday, November 22, and I aspire to post weekly, so if you’d like to follow me, you won’t miss any of the story.  And life, to me, is story.  In honor of Thanksgiving I’d like to share  about a book that has had a huge impact on me over the last six months, and is teaching me to give thanks.

one thousand gifts  came to my attention as a reference in another book I was studying last spring.  Ann Voskamp, the author, was challenged by a friend to write down one thousand things she was thankful for, large and small.  As she did this over about a year and a half, she found her total outlook on life changing, and even better her understanding of God.  I greatly wanted to find what Ann had found.

So I determined I would do the same – one thousand gifts – but I am so much better at the declaration than the implementation.  I’ve only written down 6 so far.  As I set sail on this blogging journey, I hope to update that number, and maybe share some of the things I’ve found to be thankful for in my every day life.  Because as Ann taught me, when I can see something to give thanks for in the ordinary, the messy, the ugly crying of life, I can see that my circumstances aren’t what define me.  It’s the God who chooses to give me these little, daily gifts who gives my life meaning and purpose.

7.  nanowrimo

Nanowrimo is an every year writing-at-breakneck-speed contest to write 50,000 words in the 30 days of November: National Novel Writing Month.  And during this year’s contest my goal is to get several blog posts written ahead, so that I can attempt that once a week goal and keep you entertained while I sharpen this writing calling that God laid on my heart as a very young girl.

8.  tea and cinnamon toast

Okay, that one may seem weird, but as I write I have a cold and sore throat, and when I was sick as a child my mom would make me tea with honey and lemon and cinnamon toast to coax me to eat.  So I’ve been making tea with the last spoonfuls of some very old and almost completely crystallized honey that my uncle brought my mom from the backwoods of North Carolina, and feeling a connection with my mom.

See how giving thanks works?  Until I wrote those two entries down, I hadn’t thought to give thanks for how God has put stories inside me, in my heart and my head, for as long as I can remember.  I know my kids get frustrated with the way I  speak “a novel” every time I answer a question, but it really isn’t a conscious choice.  It’s a gift of God, this thinking in stories.  And I’m finally (57 years in) at a time in my life when I can pursue this calling.  As the Newsboys once put it, “I won’t stop now that I’m free, I’ll keep chasing you like you chase me!” (“Beautiful Sound“)

And I also hadn’t thought much about my mom recently.  That’s a bittersweet thanks.  She died over 2 years ago, but I rarely think of her, and I’m not sure why.  Opening these gifts of gratefulness are giving me glimpses of things that are too important to forget.  But if I don’t write them down, I might.

Which is why I’m writing this now.  To catch the gifts falling down around me and offering them back up, letting you all see them before I forget.

To download “Beautiful Sound” by the Newsboys, go to Christian Book Distributors.

To buy one thousand gifts by Ann Voskamp, go to CBD as well.