As I sat down to write this letter, unsure of how to start, a glimpse of the spiral next to my computer with my “gift list” caught my eye. I started my “gift list” around this time two years ago after reading Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts — A Dare To Live Fully Right Where You Are. Since then, I’ve listed not just 1,000 but almost 3,000 gifts that the Lord has blessed me with. And through this process, I’ve learned to notice the little things in each day that I know He intended just for me because they speak to my heart. Some of the highlights from this past year include:
· Finding just the right person to give my Christmas Jar to last year.
· New friends the Lord has placed in my path, many of whom are much younger than me (it’s such grace that they even think I’m relevant or interesting!).
· Getting the opportunity to host family and friends several times over the summer because I’m still in my house.
· Financial provision when, in a three-week span, the air conditioner in my house was struck by lightning (which was not covered by the warranty) and my more-than-twelve-year-old car retired.
· Being able to attend three Longhorn football games.
· My mother’s retirement after 43.5 years at Warm Springs Rehabilitation Hospital.
· Continuing to find treasures in His Word that encourage my heart, like this from Habakkuk 2:3:
“For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end – it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.”
· Having Erin home for Thanksgiving for the first time in five years.
· Anticipating giving my Christmas Jar to someone in need this Christmas.
Ann Voskamp writes, “All’s grace,” and encourages readers to give thanks in all circumstances. So I’m slowly learning to identify and be thankful for those things that are hard to be thankful for, like when the Lord uses something to humble me or gives me circumstances that I wouldn’t have chosen.
I hope that you and your family have experienced abundant blessings from the Lord throughout 2012 and that you take time during the seasons of Advent and Christmas to thank Him for all of the little ways that He has blessed you as you celebrate the ultimate Gift, the birth of Jesus.