Before I start here, I want to express (perhaps “again” but it never seems to be enough) that the gratitude I feel is not some gratitude to the unknown or unidentified. It is specific gratitude to God for the specific gifts He has given me.
My life is full of His many many blessings, as the list proves. But it is also hard at times – very hard.
These gifts are the reminder that God has put specific things in my life to be encouragement, sources of peace and joy, reminders of His love even through the hard stuff. And He has placed them when and where He does with a purpose.
So, as you read this list, whatever your beliefs about God, I just want it to be clear that these are gifts from God in my book, not a bragging list of what I’ve got and not everyone else does. Nor is it an attempt to prove my worth by showing my blessings.
It is a pure expression of gratitude for the intimate details that God works in my every day, every moment life.
Two nights ago there was a beautiful glow on the landscape in our yard. Please note, I did not say “landscaping”, I said “landscape.” As these photos will establish, we do not have much in the way of planned and organized landscaping – it is “au natural” for our home, and really that is fine with us.
Anyway, the light was such that I was inspired to take photos. So out I went. These photos decorating this list of blessings are the result.
So, here are portions of the list, which grew greatly on vacation:
1883. Lots of blooming trees this year.
1887. The fun of making plans for a day in San Francisco
1890. Dramatic clouds and reflective light in the sky.
1895-6. Andy taking a new last-minute case without panic (totally out of his comfort zone) and his calendar suddenly clearing to make that a possibility.
1901. Birds playing “tag” on a split rail fence when I was walking by.
1907. The power of our Bible study group praying for each other.
1909. Dinner with good friends and new friends
1911. Seeds in the ground in time to be well watered by a steady rain
1913. Good dental appointment – no cavities or other problems
1918. Being able to rent a car without an official credit card
1921. Dim Sum in China Town – feeding 5 for $35 with lots of leftovers and it was delicious!
1923. Easy parking the whole time we were in San Francisco
1925. Beauty at the sea-shore despite all the development
1929. Andy’s joy at seeing beach where he used to scuba dive with friends
1934. Other people’s small (tiny) bathrooms bringing a renewed appreciation for the fact that our home has big bathrooms – just didn’t realized how blessed we were in this way without seeing that it is not universal.
1935. California smells: Oak, oleander in bloom; eucalyptus; manzanita, sea-shore
1944. J’s appreciation of details in photographs displayed at DeSassiet museum (Santa Clara University campus)
1947. Being able to talk to Daniel and Eva while on vacation.
1949. Pine nuts from daddy to bring home and enhance our cooking
1952. Redwood trees and Big Sur river
1953. Safety while visiting the fissures – didn’t lose any young children over the edge!
1955. My cousin’s three-year-old-son’s way of narrating his life – so cute!
1957. Touching El Capitan n Yosemite
1959. Sarg’s vigorous state at age 89
1966. Kids playing with big phone airplane
1971. Fresh fruit
1974. Water balloon launcher and six children
1979. Access to old family photos – especially seeing photos of my mom when she was young
1982. Colorful boardwalk in Santa Cruz
1985. Finding MIL’s grandfather’s grave after many years – and exploring the area while we were at it.
1992. Learning about ducks as egg producers
1995. Janet’s roses
1996. Smell of white poppies at the Peardale house
1998. J’s interest in rasing chickens and ducks
1999. Grandpa’s willingness to struggle with the effect of PD – joining in on eating out, picnic in the park, little bits of a walk.
2000. Andy’s willingness to do what it took to go on family vacation.
2003. Photos of J with his grandparents
2010. Fog coming over the Berkeley Hills
2011. Smooth sailing through TSA at SFO
2015. J’s constant drumming and rhythm expressions
2018. J dealing with his own bag issues (independence) at the airport
2019. Andy praying for our day starting us out on the right foot and bringing about a good day in the midst of a busy schedule
2025. Burning enough calories in a day to promote weight loss
2030. Enjoying music on The Voice together as a family
2032. J’s smile while in his first class back at karate after several months off
2031. Tank’s joyful relationship with water and all things wet.
2034. Liking the results of incorporating the tripod in more of my photography
2037. Fun comments on my blog from people who I enjoy on-line.
2038. J’s exhaustion means he was very active the day before.
2040. Open/transparent discussion in Bible study.
2041. J doing his chores well unsupervised
2045. Watching the little twitches in Tana’s (cat) face as she stalks a moth
2046. Ideas for improving our work situations.
2047. Lupine in bloom along the road where I walk and run
2048. Friend Holly giving encouraging words and bringing up relevant points that strike at my heart
2049. Mangos at Costco (just the right level of ripeness at the right price).
2050. Surprises around the house from the Hawley’s time there
2051. Although Sophie’s kittens were still-born, she is healthy and recovering well.
2052. Leo successfully stayed with Aunt Nettie while we were away.
2053. Green everywhere on our home landscape.
2054. Flowers are beautiful even when they grow among the weeds
2055. Rose bush that grows through the deck cracks and makes a unique decoration
2056. Big clouds over still snow-capped mountains seen from our property.
2057. Raspberries for a snack
2058. Seeds that have sprouted – carrots, pumpkin, peas, lettuce and beans to come
2059. Ideas to improve our yard
2060. Connecting with people after being away for 10 days
2061. Running 3 miles relatively easy after too long of a break
2062. Friends for J to connect with
2063. Bright colored shirt that used to be too small fitting and matching my fun skirt so I can feel good about what I wear without having to purchase anything.
2064. Job/money-making opportunities for J as he begins to save for trip to Washington D.C.
2065. Getting parenting inspiration from watching some of the things that other parents do well.
2066. Plans, ideas and dreams for the future to sort through, analyze and make decisions about, but ability to not have to rush.
2067. Even when being in relationship is hard and chaffing, continuing the relationship is possible and desirable.
2068. The hard parts are never unaccompanied by grace and gifts