Monday, November 1, 2010


The other morning Jim was busy when Ethan called for him to come and help him get out of bed. I walked back to Ethan's bedroom to tell him that his dad would be there in just a few minutes. I greeted him with a cheerful "Good morning."

I was smacked in the face by his response. "What's good about it?"

After I picked my heart up from the floor, I sat on the edge of his bed and told him why I thought it was a good morning.

You are here with us.
You aren't in a nursing facility.
You can talk and drink and eat.
You have your intelligence and your sense of humor.

God loves us.
He has forgiven us of all of our sins.

I stopped, thinking I had provided enough evidence that it was truly a good morning.

Ethan said, "Keep going."

I hadn't convinced him.

I continued.

My brain tumor was found by divine chance 6 months
before you were hurt, and it was benign.

Dad is safe and healthy.
He wasn't killed in a horrible car accident 10 months before you were hurt.

You have a brother that loves you with all of his heart.
He is healthy and is living only an hour away.

God has made a way for us to live forever with Him.

With that, Ethan said, with a gorgeous smile on his face, "Okay. You can stop."

I didn't tell Ethan anything new. We've talked, over and over again, about how thankful we are for all the blessings I named.

But somehow him hearing them, one more time, had the effect on him I wanted them to have.

I wanted him to know that it was a good morning. Not a perfect morning. Not a morning where we were going to have everything we wanted. Not a morning where he was going to be able to get himself out of the bed and walk.

But a good morning.

I made a commitment to count 1000 blessings along with a community of women who are connected through the writing of Ann Voskamp at Holy Experience.

The problem is, I seem to count the same blessings over and over again.

I try to keep my eyes open for blessings during the week. I try to be creative in naming them. I try to make them interesting and detailed and unique while being honest. But the bottom line is that just about every time I start to write my gratitude list, my heart always goes to the same blessings.

I've thought that maybe my world is just too small to do this, to name 1000 blessings. There are days when the three of us see no one else. We have days that are so similar to the day before, that we have to remind each other what day of the week it is.

What I learned that morning, when familiar blessings were enough, is that God’s gifts never lose the love and power in which they are wrapped and delivered.

Writing and rewriting them on a gratitude list, sharing them over and over again, thanking God for them daily, can’t take away their beauty or the transforming power and healing they have on a hard or broken heart.

The beauty of His blessings last forever.

I was reminded of that yesterday when our family of four spent time together on a nature walk.

Year after year, God splashes on the colors of orange, gold and red to remind us that He’s still in control. The day still turns into night and the hot, still days of summer give way to the cool breezes of fall.

We have no control of it. He does it all. He is the only one who can.

What man would have ever thought to change green into orange, gold and red?

Who, besides God, would have been creative enough to paint such a picture?

And the beauty of it, even though we’ve seen it before and we know we will see it again, still stops us along our way.

The familiarity of what we see can’t keep us from stopping and pondering the One who is behind it all.

My blessings are like that.

They are never too familiar not to take my breath away.

So I’ll continue to count.

I'll count them over and over again.

If He never gives me another blessing, He's already given me more than enough.


301. Blessings that are too good not to be counted over and over again
302. Sunday afternoons spent together
303. the color orange against a blue sky
304. God in control
305. good health for our family
306. creeks that spring from the earth
307. big bass and turtles
308. quietness
309. a phone call sharing an answered prayer
310. a young mother offering to help so Jim and I can go on a date
311. testimonies from women who love God
312. that God knows He is what I want most even when I forget
313. that nothing is wasted in God's kingdom
314. a wheelchair leaving the hands of a dad, rolling to the hands of a brother, bringing laughter and joy to the one that has to be in it

315. a mom saying, "don't do that again" and they do it again and again.

316. When it's not perfect, that life can still be very, very good.

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