My 24th Birthday with One Thousand Gifts

On the 11th August 2015 I turn 24 years old. I could spend the last few hours of being 23 reflecting on my life up to this point. But that would be an extremely long post and I would not really know where to start or finish, and what to highlight or leave out. So, to celebrate my 24th birthday I am going to share recent blessings that I have started to record in response to Ann Voskamp’s New York Times Bestseller ‘One Thousand Gifts’. Voskamp encourages us to count the blessings or gifts that we encounter in each moment. A dare to live life fully, right where we are. It encourages us to give thanks in both the good and the hardest times. In ‘One Thousand Gifts’ we are challenged to start our very own list of thanksgiving; to give thanks or ‘eucharisteo’ in everything.

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I have only just started my list of ‘One Thousand Gifts’, but it seems fitting to write about what I am deeply thankful for on my last evening of being 23. How can I possibly enter my 24th year with a heart of grace, thanksgiving and joy without recognising the wonderful gifts that God has bestowed in my life at this very moment? Moments of thanksgiving and blessings that I have recorded recently make up the beginning of my journey to find One Thousand Gifts.

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Here it is – the start of my very own ‘One Thousand Gifts’:

  1. The smell of freshly cut grass
  2. Being inside, all cozy on a rainy day
  3. Cooing of the pigeon in the trees
  4. The stillness of the countryside 
  5. When children say sweet things like “twirly wurly”
  6. Moments of stillness
  7. The sounds of livestock in the distance
  8. Crows in pairs
  9. The joyful flight and walk of the pied wagtail
  10. A mother’s hand to hold
  11. Warm water gushing at the end of work – a relaxing shower
  12. Gentle breeze in a summer’s day
  13. A book that helps me to know God more deeply
  14. Hearing the laughter of my sisters
  15. Warmth of blankets 
  16. Cocooned in a sleeping bag
  17. A cat coming up to greet and hug
  18. A bed to rest
  19. Neatly kept acres of land – soil dug or grass well kept
  20. The hill that, once ascended, allows me to see beauty for miles
  21. Music and popular songs to dance and wash up to
  22. Waking up each morning to blessings new
  23. Clouds moving in the wind to reveal a clear blue sky
  24. A slight breeze on my face as I read God’s Word
  25. The rustling of leaves blowing in the wind – “All the trees of the forest sing for joy” (Psalm 96:12)
  26. A precious child of God growing in their faith journey
  27. A welcome into a friendly game of Mario on the PC 
  28. Horizontal colours of red, orange and yellow marking the sunset 
  29. Worshipful singing whilst cooking 
  30. Shared stories of encouragement among friends
  31. A door held open as an act of kindness
  32. Light breeze over summer feet
  33. Floral patterns
  34. Cat playing
  35. Opening hearts together in fellowship
  36. Realising we are not alone in our struggles with sin
  37. Introverted, quiet, lonely boy beginning to join in with others
  38. Honest youth maturing in behaviour
  39. Holding hands
  40. A still morning in the countryside
  41. Birds talking together
  42. Family in Christ coming together
  43. The sound of the wind in the trees
  44. Medicine 
  45. A massage
  46. Hands 
  47. Working together in the kitchen
  48. Fresh smell of clean counter
  49. Serving food to hungry campers
  50. Warm, snug slippers and socks
  51. My hair being played with
  52. Breathing in
  53. Breathing out
  54. Glasses assisting my vision
  55. Handwriting
  56. Pen gliding over paper
  57. A page filled with writer’s eloquence
  58. Places without the internet
  59. Coins banging together
  60. Music of Disney films
  61. Paintings of landscapes hanging on the wall
  62. Parodies and laughter
  63. Green pastures
  64. Reflection of sunlight on the floor
  65. Windows to look out of
  66. Warm cup of tea on cold hands
  67. Knitted jumpers
  68. Wooden beams holding up a house
  69. Nan’s tin of buttons
  70. Little bows
  71. Light in the darkness
  72. Wedding bands
  73. Engagement diamond glistening
  74. Raindrops slipping down window glass
  75. Plant leaves hanging off windowsill
  76. Birds flying against sky backdrop
  77. Lamp light casting shadows on walls
  78. Soft, comfy chairs
  79. Ticking clocks
  80. Flapping, feathered wings
  81. Conversations with curates
  82. A weary husband  closing his eyes and resting
  83. Beads of water on blades of grass
  84. Frost on a winter’s morning
  85. Trusting that I will wake up in the morning, so I go to sleep with ease
  86. Waking up
  87. Shadows
  88. Young toddler smiling
  89. Baby laughing in mother’s arms
  90. Curly hair
  91. Mother staying at home with children
  92. Cat curled up sleeping
  93. Bananagram tiles outside

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I encourage you to count your own gifts in each moment. Stop trying to rush to the next thing and stay in the present – the gift of today. There is so much beauty and an outpouring of grace – right now. Blessing after blessing. Let’s open our eyes and lift up our hands in thanksgiving, eucharisteo, to God.

Blessings,

Ruth 🙂

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Hi! It's nice to see you here! A little about me: I love God, my husband, sharing the gospel, writing, being church, spending quality time with family, planning a meal around dessert, hanging out with all sorts of people, laughing, reading a good book, seeing new places, going for walks in the country, dancing and singing to music, and preaching behind my ironing board with the bible open on it (it's the right height & nobody's watching, I hope).

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