Archive for the ‘One Thousand Gifts’ Category

If I can end.

Thursday, December 1st, 2011


I’ve been writing more in my journal and in my mind than in my blog, lately.

Writing in my mind?

Yes, that is something I just made up to make thinking sound important. But all speaking, all listening, and even to self with all its divisions and rivalries can be prayer and conversation and learning.

Wherever you write, do you write to discover?

My thoughts are a jumble and I can only unearth what I really mean as I write.  Often when I’m grading essays, I shuffle through words clumsily dropped on a page with no organization or purpose or interest, until — there it is.  The very last paragraph finally finds its meaning. I usually write, Is this what you really meant to write about? That they might turn the conclusion into an introduction and start again, thoughts focused.

The end is the beginning.

Have I even gone far enough into my soul to make the turn?

Far enough into His?


[previous gifts here]

261. Cold sunny walking
262. Gym member status
263. Grating spicy ginger into muffins
264. The realizing of rushing…
265. ..and the stop to close eyes and really taste sweet batter.
266. Good insurance.
267. Blessed assurance.
268. Testing of faith.
269. Church home after two weeks’ absence.
270. Christmas snow globe singing.


Season’s gifts and goals

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

[previous gifts here]

251. The space outside my window all bluster and cold.
252. Our heater vent, though hidden behind the media sideboard (off, because I’m afraid of starting a fire).
253. Blankets and slippers.
254. Coffee, though it loses all its heat before I can drink half.
255. Being wrapped tightly in two shirts, scarf and two coats this morning as I dueled wind with my umbrella.
256. Shiny new tires and new windshield wipers for long icy drives.
257. The weekend’s gorgeous glimpse of brightness…
258. …a shining ocean sunset…
259. and cozy food and drinks and games with good friends.
260. That the forecast rain didn’t show up (and we didn’t miss it).


This working home life is cozy and solitary; I amaze myself with the way I pile up snack dishes and clutter all my own.  I’ve been feeling a bit scrambled, scattered, and blurry — partly from the dark and wet, partly from the solitude, partly from the task juggling.

Next week, though, I have a plan. It consists of a gym membership and a regular schedule of writing three days a week and teaching two.

Because that list I made? I really did know that eventually the unshowered, whatever-I-want-wearing glory of working from home would fade.  I don’t quite have cabin fever yet, but I can tell that whatever a healthy home-working lifestyle may be, I want to find it. And that means I need to quit atrophying.

This year-wrapping-up time is always so nostalgic, and I tend to get reflective and very happy and very sad. I have some far-away goals I will tend to soon, but here are some of my goals for the near future:

• Begin outlining an official business plan

• Thoughtfully choose all of this winter’s birthday and Christmas gifts and do my best to send them on time. (On top of the holidays, my six-person immediate family, father-in-law, and a brother-in-law all have birthdays between October and December.

• Spend time in prayer for grace that that will enable me to interact with my family graciously and generously.

• Approach this holiday time purposefully in my marriage, building memories and traditions for our future family.

• Write as often as possible, particularly when the year’s end stirs up memory, emotion, confusion, joy, and anxiety.

Happy blustery day, friends.

Multitude Monday on a Tuesday….

holy experience

The weight of gratitude.

Monday, November 7th, 2011

[photo credit]

Previous gifts here

241. Heavy cream swirling clouds in tea.
242. Thick socks on hard wood floor.
243. The long, happy life of a missed pup.
244. Magical, unexpected overlap of concepts in sermon and multiple personal readings.
245. Black cat big as my torso.
246. Bright sun/cold day.
247. Trees like fire.
248. New skis and longing for snowy mountains.
249. Saturday long-week-recovery: knitting and Netflix.
250. Words that inject redemption deep.

For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
Habakkuk 2:14

I am still reading One Thousand Gifts; if I was inspired toward gratitude before, taking others’ words for it, I am now electrified, and my thanks is charged with significance.

Why train yourself in thanksgiving?

It is a holy means of transforming ugly to beautiful.
It is moment by moment trust in God’s goodness.
It turns blind faith to soul-dependence.
It invites glimpses of glory on earth and creates insatiable hunger for it.
It clears vision to see grace.

Let gratefulness swallow you up today, friends.


Multituesday: Rejuvination

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

[photo credit]

There’s so much to say!

How I finished that chicken, how Spring Break and our anniversary weekend went, that love story I promised, my new writing plan and vision for how it will fit into this blog, how I thought I had to go to the store today and then made a totally wicked meal plan completely out of stuff we already have…..

But for today, I will just give you a short and sweet look into the last week through the glimpses of grace I experienced.

[231-240. Previous gifts here.]

• ERIC. (Yep, I’ve said it before…. but yesterday was my anniversary, after all!)
• An old, paid-for, reliable car.
• Finally starting to make some headway on our student loans and savings accounts.
• Sweet babies being born to my cousins.
• Games, talks, and walks with Evan and Sam
• CD listening parties with my husband.
• Pinot noir.
• My new, 50% off cast-iron frying pan.
• Budget neurosis. (At least I know where the money’s going!)
• New goals for morning quiet time.

In summary, although I might not feel this way after we have kids and/or if I don’t work at a school, spring break is a fabulous time to have an anniversary.  Oregon “spring” does not quite act like spring, but that’s not stopping me from enjoying it (yet).  I loved being able to give my marriage some stress-free attention and care this week/weekend. I was also able to give our finances a much-needed revamp, and have even begun a little spring cleaning! And….I heard a real live BIRD this morning.  May your spring beginnings be equally inspiring!

More posts coming soon…


This teacher is thankful for…

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

(Two posts in one day?? It’s true.)

[211-231. Previous gifts here.]

  • Post-it notes.
  • Classroom technology, like SMARTboards and gradebook software.
  • EMAIL. (Imagine calling all those parents!)
  • a well-stocked supply cabinet so I never have to buy my own pencils and paper clips.
  • Folders, binders, and paper clips for the paper shuffle.
  • The helpful teachers next door and across the hall.
  • Troubled kids; such real examples of being Jesus’ hands and feet by serving, loving, and teaching.
  • Responsible, brilliant kids who give me hope for our country’s future.
  • A decently climate-controlled environment.
  • Couches in the teachers’ lounge.
  • Always-cheery, funny, thoughtful office staff.
  • Authoritative parents who help their kids learn from mistakes – and stop making them.
  • Supportive administration.
  • Friday break treats (although LOJ’s are better.  Don’t tell.)
  • Being able to eat snacks in class.
  • Independent work time that lets me work, too!
  • The couple kids per class who appreciate my jokes.
  • How amused kids are with educational pop-culture references. (Learning prepositional phrases is exciting when you’re making sentences like “Harry Potter threw Justin Bieber over a rainbow into the river.”)
  • Sarcasm and comic relief.  You just need it, sometimes.
  • A community that does everything it can to support schools.