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One Thousand Gifts, a review and the reset button

Over the past two weeks, I had been in a kind of funk.  I was tired.  Old, bad, habits (ie: sins) were creeping in.  I had not been keeping up with my thousand gift journal.  And, my prayer times were severely lacking. 

Then, this weekend, thanks to my amazing husband, I was able to push the reset button.  On Saturday, my husband told me that he would give the talk, that we were supposed to do together, by himself, so that I could go to the woman's day retreat at our parish.  It was AMAZING.  Great speakers, great prayer times, great food.  It was what I needed when needed it.  I was able to pray about Lent and what I needed to do to re-order in my life.  I was able to go to confession and get my "slate wiped clean."  My spiritual reset button had been pushed.

Then, Monday, my husband took me away for a night away to a Bed and Breakfast to this cut town, called St. Michaels, MD.  The boys went to stay with friends.  We were only gone for 24 hours, but again, an amazing 24 hours.  We were able to walk around the town, talk, and have dinner without having to clean up the dishes.  And we could stay out without having to worry about rushing home to get kids to bed. Perfect.  Rest button pushed.

Through the last several days, with time to pray and reflect, I have come to realize a few things.  One, I am happier when I am counting my blessings.  Over the months that I have been keeping my gift journal, thank you Ann Voskamp for the idea, I have been more focused on the gifts I have instead of what I lack.

I am currently reading Ann's book, A Thousand Gifts, and I highly recommend it.  Although, I think I have to say that I recommend keeping a gift /gratitude journal for a while first before reading the book (You can read about the list at her website, A Holy Experience).  Ann has a gift with words.  She can craft words into beautiful sentences and it reads like poetry.  She uses a lot of imagery in her book as well.  Altough, I like it, it is not my preferred style, so I am not sure if I would have believed all that she says about how the gift journal can transform if I had not been keeping one already. 

Counting the gifts. Finding gifts in each moment has taught me to savor the moment.  Live in the moment.  Today, at lunch in St Michaels, just a short time before we would pick up our boys and return home (and the list of to dos would overwhelm me), I felt so blessed.  I enjoyed each bite of my sandwich and the conversation with my husband more than I would have before.  Before; my mind would be hours ahead of my body.  My mind would have been anxious for the work ahead of me.  But, today, I stayed in the moment.  Looking for more gifts.  Looking for God's gifts in that very moment.

Therefore I tell you , do not worry about your life .. . Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? . . .But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Matthew: 6:25-34

So, my journal is opened on the counter now.  Pen waiting by its side.  When I see Him in the moment, I write it down.  Because it really all is a gift.  I just need the eyes to see it. 

194. for my husband (I could wirte his name on this list a thousand times!)
195. for the women's retreat
196. for talking to the right person at the right time when I felt most alone
197. Chocolate zin
198. the Old Brick Inn
199. feeling like a princess
200. a walk in the rain
201. the sound of church bells chiming out the hour
202. friends who watched our boys so that we could get away
203. the sound of rain hitting the umbrella
204. cinnamon whipped cream
205. a street lined with old style lamp posts
206. a run with my husband through St Michaels
207. an incredible sandwich for lunch
208.learning to savor everything
209.a perfect time away
210.the sun beating down, warming me through the window
211.chocolate molten lava cake, yummy and decorated to perfection
212. hearing the crackle of the fire in the brick oven while eating lucnh
213. a view of the kitchen from our table- watching the chef, like an artist as he paints a canvas, decorate a chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting as if it is a canvas, each movement done to create a masterpiece - it reminded me of something that St Josemaria Escriva said about work:

It is time for us Christians to shout from the rooftops that work is a gift from

God and that it makes no sense to classify men differently, according to
their occupation, as if some jobs were nobler than others. Work, all work,
bears witness to the dignity of man, to his dominion over creation.
Before God, no occupation is in itself great or small. Everything gains the
value of the Love with which it is done. (emphasis mine)


  1. That's so wonderful, Kate! You are truly blessed to have those awesome oppertunities- and a husband to make it happen! God is Good!!

  2. How wonderful!! A gratitude journal is such a blessing. I really do need to do that.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and saying hi!


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