After Eve died, I kept up my gratitude journal, even though it was difficult. I intended to keep counting gifts indefinitely, but as I neared and then passed my one thousandth gift, I noticed a shift in my feelings about counting. Instead of being an exciting (and challenging) experiment, it had become a chore. Something to do because I was a "good Christian," something that would earn me status and worth.
My counting had turned to legalism. And so I stopped counting. I want to only do this experiment out of a sense of want to, not have to or "earning." And I think that I truly did need the break, because I didn't miss the counting.
Until a few weeks ago. As I prepared to share my story of gifts-counting and stillbirth and pain with the women of my church, I began to feel sad that I was not still counting God's gifts to me. I missed cataloging this evidence for myself, these attestations to God's love and care, especially in the middle of crisis. So when I started working through Beth Moore's Believing God study with my women's small group, I was not unhappy to see that the workbook set aside space to count gifts daily. I began counting again.
This time I am counting without numbering each one, hoping to avoid judging my worth by my performance, by the amount of gifts that I can see. I am letting my efforts be smaller -- to not want to count a certain quota of gifts per day, to let myself take a day or days off without guilt if I need to. I am interested to see where the second phase of this gratitude experiment takes me. But for now, to the gifts . . .
... spring snow
... a beautiful time at a friend's birthday party
... new worship songs on my iPod
... Suzi Blu art videos
... feeling lovely for Easter
... a special, surprising present for our rainbow baby
... scrambled eggs and french toast casserole shared with friends
... playing cards at a coffee shop with the Best Husband Ever
... Easter dinner at my in-laws' house
On Mondays, I catch you up on the beautiful gifts — both large and small, hard and comfortable — that God has been giving me. Start your own One Thousand Gifts adventure by clicking on the banner below.