Sunday, March 13, 2011

Celebrating Number 1,000 and a Give Away

I have finally made it to ‘1,000’ in my gratitude journal!! Yeah!

To celebrate I would like to give away a new copy of One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are. I know many of you probably have this book, but if by chance you do not or if you know someone you would like to bless with a copy, see the end of the post for details.

I wanted to encourage anybody who has not started this wonderful discipline yet. If I can do this, a busy mama to nine, a recovering perfectionist, and a woman who has to work at being disciplined, than you can do it too! I promise!

It has taken me awhile to reach 1000, but I did not let that discourage me. I actually started my Gratitude Journal back in October of 2009, so you can see, it has taken awhile. I would put it down, this practice of recording grace, for months at a time for various reasons. I was sick for a long time, I have been lazy, I have been unthankful, many other reasons (or excuses Winking smile).

This past January, in my effort to relentlessly pursue thanksgiving, I have made it a moment by moment practice to record the grace He pours out. I can honestly say that my heart has changed, truly change. This is big for me, I can tend to be hard on myself and not notice change, but this is an obvious change to me.

You can do this! You will be so glad you did. It can be as simple as a steno pad or as elaborate as you chose. It doesn’t matter, just start seeing His graces all around, and begin recording them.

(you may click on the pictures to enlarge)

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Occasionally there would be something especially sweet from one of the children that I would include. I also put ribbon around some of the pages.

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This a spread that I included what our weekly menu was so the children could see what we had for dinner when they look back. Also, it seems the Lord speaks to me in ‘themes’, and the picture below expressed a lesson in Faith I was learning at the time.

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More ribbon for a border. I just pick pictures that I love. Whether they be flowers, food, kitchens, ect.

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The ‘theme’ currently is peace.

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I often included quotes or poems that were speaking to me at the time. Below are quotes from One Thousand Gifts.

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Nine hundred and ninety nine . . .

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One Thousand!!

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I do not find it coincidental that the page on which my one thousandth gift was recorded was a beautiful spread of purples and greens, with a gorgeous bench speaking rest to my soul. Only my Father knows how much I LOVE purple and green!!

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I hope you have been inspired to begin counting if you have not yet, and encouraged to continue on if you are wondering if you will ever get there. You can do it!

I continue on with 1,001 and beyond . . .

To enter the give-away just leave a comment naming ten (10) gifts the Lord has given you! I will draw the winner on Friday morning, March 18, 2011. (Sorry, only open to US residents)

24 comments:

Akehia said...

Congratulations, and what a lovely book you've created. It is so important to remember the things we should be thankful for day to day. Here's a list of just a few gifts I've been blessed with:
1. a wonderful home
2. the opportunity to be a homemaker
3. a loving husband
4. a great new church home
5. warm weather and a yard to work in
6. the talent to play flute and the opportunity to play at church
7. an entire week with my sweet nephew last week
8. a growing list of blog followers
9. improving health conditions
10. pretty lilies coming up in my flower bed

Elaine said...

I have the book and am half way through. I LOVE your book ... so creative and so pretty. I can hardly wait now to get started. You have been an encouragement. I would love to give the book to a dear friend if I win.
10 gifts:
1. 3 beautiful daughters
2. husband that loves the Lord
3. a house that we just paid off
4. salvation
5. an adorable min. schnauzer
6. a granddaughter
7. love from the little girl I watch
8. a faithful friend
9. 2 awesome son - in - laws
10. my sister
11. my nephew (just had to include him)

Deanna said...

Blessings to you!
What a neat journal to make and cherish.

Thumbing through your journal in days to come will bless you all over again!

Here goes!
1) life
2) salvation
3) a personal prayer life with Almighty God
4) Family
5) Home
6) Living in the USA
7) Husband's employment
8) electricity
9) friends
10)that I can blog!

Thank you for this post!!!
d

Thoughts for the day said...

My husband
My son
His wife
Three sons
My daughter
Her husband
Three daughters
My best friends
My Two sisters
My fantastic Christian counselor

Raquel said...

I would love to win a copy of this book! I have been so blessed - so unworthily - but here is a list:
Salvation for my soul
A warm house
A nice car
A job that pays the bills without driving me too crazy
A wonderful husband who spoils me
A sweet cat to snuggle with me
Great blog friends
Getting in touch with some of my grade school friends on facebook
My good health
My loving parents
The wonderful, deep, abiding peace that a personal relationship with Jesus brings

There is so much more to thank him for, but this will have to suffice!

Ellen said...

Michelle your gratitude journal looks awesome! I have heard so much about this book but have not read it...yet. ♥ My list...

1. Sweet salvation
2. a wonderful husband
3.4 energetic children
5.the blessing of teaching my children at home
6.the freedom to read God's word
7.the sound of birds in the morning
8.the distant whistle of a train
9.goldfish crackers
10.sweet friends I have made through my blog. ♥

Greg and Donna said...

I have also loved the counting of blessings because it makes you see blessings that others may pass up...
1.allergy medicine
2.homeschool books
3.helpful children
4.friends
5.listening ears
6. games
7.planting a garden
8.picking green beans
9."I Love You's" at the end of phone calls
10.Christian blogs to read

I just passed #900 on my blog today!

Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow!

And just so noone thinks I am not thankful I am tremendously blessed by my wonderful husband, 7 children, 5 dogs, 4 chickens, great church family, homeschool fellowship, Godly family I grew up in, knowing that when I die ~ I will meet my precious and wonderful Savior, Jesus Christ, and be able to personally thank and praise him for my blessings.

Cindy said...

I have been wanting to get this book. If I don't win this I may just end up saving some pennies and buying it :)

1. Jesus
2. current health
3. my 5 wonderful children
4. my son-in-law
5. warm home
6. I made it through another snowy winter
7. Spring is right around the corner
8. my dad's gift of another 9 years
9. friends
10. God's love and grace

clemay62 at rocketmail dot com

caroline Cleaver said...

I just love your journal! I have been REALLY wanting this book, but don't have the money to buy it right now! Here are my 10 things!
1. My husband who is also my soulmate
2. my children who each hold a piece of my heart.
3. I have a house to make a home
4. I have a car to get me places I need to go
5. I have a gift and love of cooking

6. I have money to buy food to cook
7.I have a wonderful church!
8. My friends are few, but they are cherished!
9. the tragedies (I've had some doozies) have only brought me closer to the Lord!
10. That the Lord gave us the gift of prayer, to talk to him and ask him for the changes we need in our lives! Peace to you!!

Cathy said...

I would like to receive this book and it's easy to list 10 blessings.
1) Salvation
2)Loving Husband
3)three adorable grown children
4)6 precious grandchildren
5) Christian friends
6)My home
7)The beautiful colors around me
8)The sunshine and the rain
9)A car that gets me to work and home
10) A job (many don't have one)
OH dear, do I have to stop here. I love thinking about my blessings.

mom2six said...

Just wanted to say congratulations on reaching 1,000 gifts. I recently reached 1,000 and truly God is good when we seek Him first and honor his gifts. Please do not enter me in your give away as I have the book. I just wanted to say congratulations and your journal is beautiful.

Kati Potratz said...

That is one beautiful journal, Michelle.
1) Finding joy in the midst of pain
2) Conquering fear in the midst of pain
3) Knowing God will take care of us today
4) My friend Julie loving my son
5) Time to pray
6) Doctors groping for answers
7) Encouragement e-mails
8) Mom to the rescue again
9) Husband working his tail off
10) Spring on the way
11) Hope because of Jesus' blood (just thought of that one so I added it)

Josh and Kelly said...

congrats on reaching 1000! What an accomplishment! I felt so great passing that milestone- and really it's a testimony of His faithfulness and goodness :) Love it!

Laura said...

What a lovely blessing! I would love to give this gift to my daughter as she heads off to college this fall.

*The blue sky peaking through the clouds
*Hugs from children
*Laughter
*Flowers waiting to be born
*Trees waiting for spring to burst into bloom
*Eyes with which to see (and read)!
*Children learning to read
*Sharpened pencils
*My husband
*God who has blessed us with His Gift.

becky said...

would love to read this.
my 10 things to be thankful for.
* My Salvation in Christ
*My wonderful husband of 31 years
*my Log cabin in the woods
*My 3 children & their Spouses
*My Sweet grandbaby-Lila
*My Grandbaby on the way:)
*My middle son being drug free for 2years & 3months
**The lessons God has taught me thru that Nightmare.
*Our Bible church of 17 years
*Watching the deer in our backyard
*My chickens and Garden
Becky e-mail dbgroff@juno.com

joyce said...

I love your journal! What a wonderful idea. I am inspired! I kept a gratitude journal at one time, but I abandoned it. Makes me want to start again. My 10 things:

1. My two wonderful daughters
2. My two special grandsons
3. My sweet one year old grand daughter
4. My only sister
5. My cute, cute, cute little house
6. The fun of decorating and finding treasures for my home
7. My three cats - my babies
8. My writing ability
9. Beauty of nature around me
10. My God who loves me as I am

cooperkelly4 said...

wow! 1000! You go girl!! Love your journal too. I would give a copy to my Mom. =0)
I just hit my 100 mark for thanks. Here are some from the past few days:

1. car broke down BEFORE hubby left town for a week
2. tea with the kids
3. those yummy brown sugar cubes
4. names etched on personal cocoa mugs. what a thoughtful gift
5. rejoicing with a friends deliverance
6. rejoicing in my own change of heart ♥
7. children obeying while running errands
8. kids not crying over spilled milk (literally!)
9. first spring blooms
10. coffee with hubby

I just can't believe how simple this is: this giving thanks is changing me from the inside out: doubly thankful for that miracle!

Michelle, thank you for your sweet encouragement and sharing your heart and being vulnerable. It is truly a blessing. lol add that to my list. =0)

Jenn said...

What a beautiful gratitude journal!

1. My children
2. My humorous husband
3. Music which lifts my heart and soul in praise to my Lord
4. Plenty of food to feed my family and those in need.
5. A home full of love
6. A Savior who never leaves me
7. Sunshine out my window
8. Hugs around my neck by little arms
9. God's word
10. Coffee! :)

Jennifer @ Studio JRU said...

How wonderful to reach 1000 gifts! Your journal is beautiful. And purple and green... SO pretty! :)

Jennifer said...

1. salvation
2. Godly parents
3. a wonderful husband
4. my 8yo and only daughter
5. my 5yo energetic son
6. my 2yo comical son
7. my sweet precious "surprise" baby
8. a home to manage
9. health
10. a church to attend

Cora from Hidden Riches said...

My mouth dropped open when I saw your gratitude journal!!!! Here I am, just making a simple list. I just never thought of it looking like this. I just love it and my mind is going so fast with creative thoughts! Thank you so much for sharing this!
1. Wonderful blogs like this
2. Sweet, Christian music
3. A community of Christian bloggers
4. My health

5. My church family
6. Baked chicken a fresh greens from my garden
7. Buster, my lab
8. My sister
9. Birds at my feeder
10 God's constant care and grace

Beth said...

I'm counting too ... and I love that you are giving away a book to celebrate reaching 1000. I am reading the book and would love to have a copy to give away!You have given me 2 ideas ...

1. your beautiful journal of counting! thanks for all the pictures

2. when I get to 1000 I would love to do a book give-away!

Have a peaceful, joyful week! Beth

Jennifer said...

I have been wanting this book! Thanks for the opportunity to win it! Here's my list of 10 things.

1. My Jesus
2. My husband - the MOST AMAZING MAN ON EARTH!!! Loves so sacrificially
3. Luke - 1st one to call me Mommy. Made my biggest dream a reality.
4. Grace - my mini me. One of the most nurturing people I know. LOVE that she wants to be like me. She makes me want to be the person she thinks that I am.
5. Mary Ruth - my big brown eyed beauty who keeps me laughing!! Such a sweet girl. Looks up to her big sister. Such a mix of girly girl and tom-boy.
6. Samuel - my first loss, brought me closer to the Lord than I had ever been before. I knew when I was carrying this child that he was going to be used mightily for the Lord. Just did not expect it to be this way.
7. Isaiah - my second loss, brought me the biggest despair, but also taught me so much about the Lord.
8. Bella Peace - brought me peace, keeps me on my toes. She has such energy and spunk that I'm sure she will accomplish much for the Lord.
9. Joshua - my third loss. Caused me to dig deeper and really examine my faith. Can I still really trust Him when he's allowed me to loss three precious babies? Answer - yes!
10. Elizabeth - the one that I currently get to cradle in my arms. The one that reminds me daily that I serve a mighty God!

Thanks again, Michelle! You are such an encouragement!!

Jessica said...

Congrats on reaching 1000!