One Thousand Gifts

When parents die young, when you’re not ready to be done being parented… and you hear of the young child taken too soon. The utter of those six letters strung together to form that horrific word… cancer.
ISIS, starvation, persecution. How do we battle the sorrow of this world and have a sunshining outlook on what God has bestowed upon us?

In her best selling book, A Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, we are wildly dared to write down one thousand things we love. A list to begin to understand all of the ways we are blessed by God in the day to day – the over lookings, and loved by God. To give thanks for all of these things that we love and live a life with palms up praising God.

In all things – praise God. Praise him for the good gifts, and count the hard gifts.

~ “For the HARD gifts -WILL-BE-FOR-GOOD , the Good gifts will be FOREVER – and the BEST GIFTS …. will be forthcoming…”

{I began this list on December 1, 2014)

1. Jason and my strong marriage
2. My gorgeous daughter
3. New books
4. My friendship with my co-worker Vanessa
5. The smell of Christmas Greenery
6. Great wine
7. Coffee
8. The smell of Fresh baked Bread
9. Warm blankets on a crisp day
10. The way my dogs pounce while trying to run
11. The knowledge that I’ve learned
12. Clean Water
13. Christmas Lights
14. Bonfires
15. Fires at home
16. Camping with great people
17. Reading the bible
18. House group through Renovation Church
19. My small group of women who challenge me and are there for me always
20 Eagle Brook Church.
21. Worship Music
22. Cooking a great meal for my family
23. My cupboard full of spices
24. The sound of snow crunching beneath my feet
25. Motorcycle rides on the Harley
26. The sun on my face
27. the crunch of autumn leaves
28. the smells of Fall
29. Madeline Island
30. Dinner at Wild Rice restaurant
31. The look on my husbands face while toasting wine at Wild Rice Restaurant
32. Romantic dinners in general with my husband
33. Hiking in the woods
34. Watching the playfulness of my dogs
35. The first snow fall of the season
36. Snow Globe snowfalls
37. The entire advent season
38. Advent Wreaths
39. Christmas Music
40. The smell of birch wood burning
41. The smell of Fresh sheets line dried
42. The FEEL of fresh sheets line dried
43. Crawling into a sleeping bag when camping
44. Canoeing
45. Kayaking
46. The moment when you have a fish on your line
47. The quiet still of the water while fishing
48. Silence
49. Snow covered trees
50. The smell of rain
51. My daughters laughter
52. My daughters sense of fashion
53. My daughters sweet and tender embrace
54. My husbands BLUE eyes
55. my husbands manliness
56. My husbands thoughtfulness
57. My wonderful mother
58. My amazing upbringing
59. My friendship with Pam and Phil
60. Freezers full of meat
61. My ability to write and my blog
62. Learning more about homesteading and living life more simply
63. Jesus, Jesus, JESUS!
64. Chickens Bawking in the morning
65. The way that chickens peck at their food
66. Pam’s Kitchen
67. My mom’s dinner rolls
69. Deep conversations with Phil
70. Yarn between my fingers
71. The clinking of knitting needles hitting each other
72. The smell of paper
73. Dogs snoring
74. White Christmas lights
75. Cutting down the Christmas tree in fresh snow
76. Making breakfast on a Sunday morning
77. Corn on the cob on a summer evening
78. Picking strawberries in the fields at MN Fresh Farm
79. Canning strawberry jam
80. Cross country skiing
81. The look on my daughters face when we plug in the star on the Christmas Tree
82. Riding my bike on a warm evening
83. Collecting fresh eggs from the coop
84. The truth and beauty in the song Oceans
85. Ocean waves crashing onto shore
86. The smell of salt in the air from the ocean
87. Trying to outrun the waves
88. Sitting in an Adirondack chair on Madeline Island half in Lake Superior
89. Pens that write nice.
90. The sound the water makes when the paddle cuts through
91. The holiness of Good Friday
92. Robins Eggs (both the candy and actual Robin’s Eggs)
93. The swirl of wine in a glass
94. When heels click click click across a marble floor
95. Wooden spoons
96. Snowflakes falling on my face
97. The smell of toast
98. When the cats nuzzle their head on mine
99. Christmas Ham
100. Traditions
101. Frost on the windows
102. The SMELL of wine in the glass
103. When my daughters hair curls just right
104. A fresh calendar
105. A cheering crowd
106. A baby squeak
107. The sound of a skate blade in the ice
108. The steamy good smell of dishes fresh from the dishwasher
109. Double yolked eggs
110. Sunshiney days on the front deck – breathing in the warm air
111. Wildly endless blue skies
112. Cats slinking into tiny crevices to escape from the dog
113. Sadies ears – how they prick when she senses something, pin back when she is nervous, and flop when she is calmest.
114. Wind blowing and rustling through tree tops
115. Sunshine on my face on the chaise lounges on the deck
115. Rose wine on a hot hot day
116. The velvety touch of water on my fingertips
117. The pur of the Harley
118. Jumping on and off a golf cart while its still in motion – feeling wild and free
119. Butterflies landing close enough to take notice
120. 25 people sitting around the bonfire at the lake
121. Frozen Pudding Pops
122. Shortening baking on cast iron
123. Colored pencils sharp and pointed right out of the box
124. Teaching my daughter about the bible
125. Chocolate melting on the mouth
126. Piano playing
127. Blowing the seeds off a dandelion
128. Giant leaves from trees
129. Sledding down a hill full of joy
130. Hockey games with my husband
131. Clothes pins when they are tight and squeaky
132. Dogs running in the water
133. Electricity to see – so that I don’t have to rely on candles
134. Telephones and the internet to communicate
135. A real roof over my head. To keep me warm, and cool and dry.
136. A shower that I take for granted – to just get clean
137. Bubble baths – which are more ridiculous to those that don’t even have running water
138. Watching my daughter find bible verses
139. Reading by nightlight – wrapped up in a blanket snug with a fire raging
140. Kisses on my daughters forehead before bed.
141. The cry of a loon on a north Minnesotan lake
142. Hummingbirds kissing the nectar from a feeder or a flower – flapping hundreds of miles per hour to stand still
143. Frozen eyelashes on a run
144. Walking on a boardwalk with Jason
145. Bonpas Châteauneuf-du-Pape
146. My red pea-coat that my mother gave to me
147. The red Miata and all that it stood for
148. Cardinals on a winter branch
149. 19 Trumpeter swans waking me up on Savannah Lake in the morning before the sun rises
150. Crackle and pop of a fire
151. Wolf howling at the moon
152. The good garden on the west side of the house
153. My daughter sleeping snuggly and peacefully
154. Fresh veggies from MN Fresh Farm
155. The wearing of my grandmothers wedding ring on my wedding day
156. My new pasta pot that makes cooking pasta that much easier
157. New coats every year from work
158. Lost in the Wild by Cary Griffith
159. Chocolate Chip cookies with walnuts
160. Clean counter tops that make me feel accomplished
161. iPhones. Technology is ridiculous and awesome
162. New puppies cradled in my hands
163. Cats tails swinging in my face
164. My down throw blanket – how it wraps me into cozy oblivion when sitting on the couch or on the deck
165. Our kitchen table that Jason made out of hickory
166. My pink scarf crocheted by Shawna
167. Determination and purpose of tiny ants
168. Grass in the yard
169. Beauty of mushrooms growing wild on a forest floor
170. Moss growing on trees
171. Microwaves. Oh how they make the life easier
172. Dishwasher – how it saves time
173. The coffee pot – that brews me fresh coffee each morning
174. The sound of coffee beans grinding
175. 8 beautiful years of marriage.
176. Hardware stores full of tools to make home repairs a breeze
177. Sand between my toes
178.Lotion to soothe weary hands
179.For keeping both my husband and I safe while in the Navy
180. Umbrellas to keep the rain off our head
181. My piano
182. Co-workers sharing a memory
183. Those moments between Jason and I – when he says something and I set out to prove that fact – and it turns out to be right. The gentle pushes we give and the looks.
184. Long shadows in the summer
185. The swing set in the backyard that gives my daughter and her friends joy
186. Our sacred spot behind the shed where Tyler lays.
187. Memories at the winter cabin
188. Skiing at Lutsen. Both growing up and new memories with my husband and siblings
189. The trip to Voyagers on the houseboat pontoon the summer before my dad died. Such amazing memories were made. As though that trip was orchestrated.
190. The conversations we had on said houseboat with my dad. Special and deep conversations that I will never forget
191. The way my family sings Happy Birthday. Its obnoxious and memorable and I love it.
192. Deciding early enough that Nursing wasn’t for me.
193. Podcasts. Being fortunate enough to tune into Ann Voskamp, other favorite churches I’ve attended and being able to fill up on Christ.
194. Girl Scout Cookies
195. Sitting with my neighbor over some wine and having real – deep – life conversations.
196. Holding my daughter for the first time and being dumbfounded that she was really mine forever.
197. Oxtail Soup.
198. Example of my Gran Fran.
199. How Grandpa made me smile always!
200. Spotify – being able to pull up any worship song whenever I need to hear it the most.
201. Watching 50 or so people being baptized.
202. Free unexpected coffee
203. Playmates for my daughter
204. Playdates with my daughter
205. Fresh strawberries at the farm
206. Fashion shows of young daughters
207. New dishwashers
208. Friends to lift me up in homesteading
209. Crosby’s face
210. The amazing taste of figs
211. Loon couples calling out
212. Falling asleep to the rumble of a waterfall on Fourtown
213. The beautiful lake of Gun Lake
214. The peace and stillness of the BWCA
215. Minnesota Fresh Farm
216. Fresh basil in the garden
217. The smell of rosemary on my fingertips
218. Making a creation of food from Pinterest to dinner plate
219. Cuboid boxed Cabernet Sauviogn
220. Freedom to praise Jesus in this countries
221. Going to the gym with my family
222. Clean counter tops
223. Endless laundry meaning I have clothes to wear.
224. Candy canes hanging on a tree
225. Trips to REI filled with anticipation.
226. Family movie night
227. Homemade popcorn
228. Going to church with a friend
229. Family gatherings
230. The warmth of Frank and Theos wood stove.
231. Frankincense diffusing in the kitchen.
232. Tea Tree shampoo
233. Days to curl up on the couch and watch episodes of Friends
234. White spaces on my calendar
235. Coffee from the Keurig. So fast and convenient.
236. That my husbands injury was not worse than it was/is.
237. A warm home on these cold cold January days.
238. Portable Bluetooth speaker – so I can take God with me to the laundry room.
239. Planning our trip to Disney World
240. Frozen lunch meals – quick and convenient.
241. Working only half day Friday’s in the winter season
242. Vegetable soup from the co-op
243. Projects at work that make me feel needed
244. That the concussion was short lived, and not any worse than it was
245. Flowers all in bloom in the entry way at work
246. Lunch dates with old co-workers and catching up on life
247. Working at a place that I am able to leave work early for appointments
248. Making camping plans with co-workers
249. My silliness regarding my new found love affair with Tacos
250. Friday morning – West Wing talks at work
251. Essential oils!
252. Receiving soup from a co-worker
253. The website – and that I’m able to take it wherever I go
254. Free mittens at work
255. My beautiful outlook interface
256. Greeting people at work
257. Making a list and checking things off
258. The ability to work from home
259. Hilariously sneaky snaps from VG
260. Husband returning to work
261. K-Cups for coffee
262. Dual screens at work. I’m so spoiled!
263. Long commutes so that I can listen to RightNow Media on the way home
264. Shoveling snow – because that means I have a home with a driveway
265. Huge snowfalls – turns everything into brilliant white. (so pretty)
266. Snowshoes – that make me feel like I can walk anywhere
267. The night glow – that comes with snow – we can see at night!
268. Thin Mint flavored coffee creamer! To enjoy the taste w/o as many calories
269. Snow tubing with my daughter
270. Pear Ginger Tea
271. Binge watching shows on Netflix & the like
272. 60 degrees in February
273. French door refrigerators
274. The look of the fireplace with no cover on it
275. Seeing friends baby’s photos online
276. Christian music being played at Starbucks
277. Coffee & Maple Syrup
278. Happy hour with co-workers
279. Finding rocks at Lake Superior
280. The magical world of Disney World
281. Being able to walk into Hogwarts – at Universal Studios Orlando
282. Going on a Gator ride & seeing the sign outside of Catfish Johnny’s
283. Riding the Cheetah Hunt ride with my family
284. Planning our Easter Party
285. Flat finish paint on the walls
286. The smell of a new book
287. Being able to virtually travel via Google Maps
288. The stunning images on Pinterest
289. Simplicity of Starbucks VIA when you need coffee in a pinch
290. Watching the Hummingbirds outside of my office accept Spring again.
291. Lunch dates with my BFF from High School
292. Connecting with old pals and staying connected with family on Facebook
293. Headlines in a hurry on Twitter
294. Snowshoes on the hiking trail
295. Crampons which allow me to tromp up a hill and down a hill
296. Breathtaking waterfalls
297. Hiking poles to keep me stable
298. Friends that are willing to try new things like cold tent – winter camping with me.
299. My car which gets me to places in no time.
300. The Superior Hiking Trail
301. The blue blazes to let me know I’m still on trai
302. Invitation cards for church – that make it easy to invite friends
303. John 3:16-17
304. You Version Bible App working on the winter camp trip so I can read the psalms when I’m scared.
305. Sounds of the humpback whales.
306. The gorgeous sunset of the BWCA
307. Seeing wondrous awe moment of ribbons of Northern Lights summer of 2015.
308. Car Conversations.
309. Gummy Bear Vitamins.
310. Erasers
311. Services like Tenebrae
312. The smell of frankincense
313. Literal translations like ESV
314. Fresh Dandilions sprung up from the earth.
315. Crosby pointing at a butterfly
316. Sounds of chipmunks in the backyard
317. Sunning in the backyard watching the chickens
318. Sunday naps
319. Our new yoke seat
320. Watching Sadie flush the chipmunks
321. Daily devotions from EBC
322. Purified water and ice from the refrigerator
323. Hot water for a hot shower
324. Crushed red peppers to spice up any meal
325. Savory candles burning in the kitchen
326. Open windows on a spring night
327. Dreaming of the BWCA trips
328. Northern lights dancing across the night sky
329. The smell of Idaho Blue Spruce
330. Happy Mothers Day card
331. My Klean Kanteen water bottle
332. The outdoor adventure expo
333. Hikes with the family
334. Visiting Nerstrand Big Woods with my daughter
335. My husband gently rubbing my back.
336. Laundry machine
337. Having too many stuffed animals – we are so blessed
338. Whole30 program which taught me self control
339. Going to the Outcry concert with Vanessa
340. Building the new e-store at work
341. Getting help from co-workers on a big project
342. Dreaming of the “wizard of oz” race
343. Excitement for Super Tuesday
344. Finding out I get a day off work when I had already put in PTO
345. Cheerful attitudes at work
346. Standing desk
347. Leftover pizza for lunch
348. The ability to borrow things from my siblings
349. Dinner out with my mom (and Jason’s parents too)
350. Authentic Mexican Tacos
351. Long commutes to listen to music, or favorite podcasts
352. Wildflowers along the interstate
353. Peppers and sausage
354. Rain falling just after the garden is planted
355. The tiny peep of newborn chicks
356. Victorias Secret – Very Sexy lotion
357. Ballet Shoes
358. Poofy white clouds that extend to the heavens
359. Rain that you can see falling down from a distance – from clouds
360. Google Maps – to look at far off places up close
361. My REI Stainless Steel cup
362. Clean Countertops
363. Bowl filled with apples
364. New stationary
365. Malbec
366. Sound of squeaky clean windows
367. Tall trees, rustling leaves
368. Wild colors of Autumn’s leaves
369. Just around the river or lake bend – to explore something new.
370. Maps. In general. Love to pour over them.
371. The GoPro that captures the memories
372. Fan blowing in my face at night
373. Chocolate Drop cookies
374. Kawishiwi Falls
375. Red Wing Black Birds wild calls on a cattail.
376. Worship sessions in the kitchen
377. Tin roofs
378. Meadow of cows, or sheep, or goats in the country side
379. Wide open farm fields that stretch as far as the eye can see
380. Docks that extend quietly into the lake.
381. Talented nieces that dance to the beat
382. Roast Chicken with Wild Rice
383. Tea Kettles wth coozies
384. Jumping wild and free into Lake Superior off a rock cliff.
385. Winter Camping
386. Snowshoeing on the SHT
387. Sowing a new garden
388. Marigolds in the garden to make it as tasty as it is pretty.
389. These dreams of my dad. Please don’t stop.
390. Western or French Dressing
391. Cold water felt all the way to the belly
392. Tiny white coffee cup
393. Rocks on my desk to remind me of the north country
394. Help from co-workers on a project
395. Grandma’s 1/2 Marathon
396. Mimosas on a hot summer morning
397. Air conditioning to make a hot day or night tolerable
398. Google Pixel with unlimited storage
399. Raiding my daughters Halloween candy
400. Infinity Scarf that Shawna crochet me
401. Being able to hunt on Frank & Theo’s land
402. Ability to throw hair in a bun
403. My Theracane to massage my back
404. Cinnamon whisks from Trader Joes
405. Renovation Church
406. Leaves floating slowly on an autumn day
407. Warm fall days
408. Hot Apple Cider
409. The ease of Shutterfly
410. The North Shore
411. Ability to binge watch shows on Hulu/Netflix etc
412. Uber – and how easy that is
413. When the dogs and cats are snuggled up near us
414. That we can elect our own president
415. My husband getting a deer every year
416. Bog Boots and their ability to keep me warm and dry
417. Access to water in general
418. Mirror sunset, when the clouds meet the water and you can’t tell the difference
419. I’m blessed with an amazing family.
420. That I have a multitude of shoes, so I don’t have to walk barefoot
421. Robust dental care including toothbrushes and toothpaste
422. A bathtub for relaxing
423. Sunglasses to keep my eyes shaded from the sun
424. Vacuum cleaner to keep my house clean more efficiently
425. Washing Machines to keep my clothes clean
426. Email to send faster messages
427. Cameras to forever preserve memories
428. The cool side of my pillow
429. Getting home and changing into my PJs
430. Brand new box of crayons
431. Having Jason play with my hair
432. Savasana
433. Waking up naturally with no alarm
434. Cat head-butts
435. Waking up to the aroma of coffee in the morning
436. Being carried into the house as a child after I fell asleep in the car
437. Fully flossed and brushed teeth
438. Netflix/Hulu marathons
439. The smell of a match that’s struck
440. Afternoon naps
441. Fresh Balsam ~ BBW
442. Pink Cashmere scent ~ BWW
443. Watching Waterfalls
444. Luke Bryan’s Songs
445. Hair being sucked up by a vacuum
446. Chair races with Vanessa at work
447. Asking questions at work
448. Making salsa
449. Baby chicks & big girls getting along
450. Birds in the BWCA
451. Snuggling my daughter in the AM
452. Wine smoothie at the MN State Fair
453. Machine Hill @ State Fair
454. Disks to help move furniture
455. Evites to make life simple
456. High pitch click-clack of chipmunks
457. Moss covered trees
458. New Shoe smell
459. French manicures
460. Wildlife Science Center
461. Patio lunches with KC
462. Perfectly balanced White Russian
463. Transition sunglasses
464. Bandaids
465. Healthy mothers
466. Healthy puppies
467. Watching the cats UFC fight
468. Fortune cookies
469. 5 Spice take-out
470. Brand new scissors
471. Cold air blowing on my face while I sleep
472. Free clothing & shoes from TCM
473. Smell of SE brochures
474. Kettle Corn
475. Sights on top of Mt. Trude
476. Sights on top of Bean/Bear Lake
477. The walk through the deep forest near High Falls near Tettegouche
478. A strong grip to hold a glass of water
479. the soft fall of a leaf from a tree
480. the changing air (cool front) ahead of a storm
481. The sound of ice cubes clincking in a glass
482. The smell of pencils
483. Walk through a cool damp forest
484. Orange mushrooms emerging in the forest
485. Ease of a Target shopping cart
486. Rooftop drinks at Bayfield Inn
487. Ferry boat rides to Madeline Island
488. The Lincoln Memorial
489. Continuing to XC with my mom
490. Learning to XC ski with my mom
491. Sibling ski time at Afton Alps
492. The alpine slide
493. The mountain coaster at Spirit Mountain
494. Staff dinners – marathon weekend
495. Nice logos
496. Spelling lists
497. Terrariums
498. Caribou Falls
499. Mornings
500. Back to school shopping
501. Heat at my desk
502. Ability to purchase food
503. Warm bed to lay on
504. Realizing things could always be worse
505. Metal cups
506. Sound that the turkey’s make when we let them out to free range
507. Nitro Cold Brew
508. Warm weather
509. Rend Collective concerts
510. Fresh honey & syrup from neighbors
511. Very fresh salads
512. Carhartt brand
513. Human connectiveness
514. Bullet Journaling
515. Little bunny noises
516. Cottonwood trees
517. Palliated woodpeckers
518. All woodpeckers
519. Right Now Media
520. Birds migrating back north in the spring
521. Better driving conditions after a long winter
522. Busy days at work – where the time flies
523. Full tank of gas
524. Sounds of the woods in the morning
525. Beautiful sunrises
526. Grocery store pickups
527. Decks & sliding doors
528. Birds stretching their legs out
529. Interns
530. Air conditioning
531. Being born in the technical era
532. Korean war ending
533. Goat noises
534. Good friends to help build deck
535. Hand sanitizer
536. Nearby co-op
537. Walks around the block
538. Almond butter
539. Whole30
540. Turkey calls
541. Our land in the autumn time, leaves ablaze with color
542. Yellow finch on the thistle feeder
543. Instant Pot
544. Garages – that are attached to houses, that you can park in
545. Seeing hay bales rolled tight when driving down a country road
546. Sandhill cranes & their prehistoric calls
547. Kayaking in our pond
548. Collecting Maple sap from the land
549. Boiling down Maple syrup from the land!
550. Seeing the first signs of spring often when we’re collecting sap and you can start to see the dry land.
551. Processing day. Don’t love the act of it all, but always so thankful for the food.
552. Those tall blue Barn silos
553. Actually, all very tall barn silos… okay, any silos
554. Harvesting vegetables from my own garden
555. Hostas lining the sidewalk
556. Food saver
557. Pressure canners to preserve food
558. Composting, and watching waste turn back to dirt
559. Watching little pieces of cotton wood/pollen, slowly float by
560. Fresh cut flowers from the farmstand
561. Aster flowers
562. Natural Medicine
563. Banners to hang in the window
564. Eldeberry Syrup
565. Online Church
566. Online Small Group


5 thoughts on “One Thousand Gifts

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