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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

One Thousand Gifts

If you're unfamiliar with Ann Voskamp's blog, A Holy Experience, please, do visit quickly. Her blog has such insight and wisdom that connects the plainest of life...if there IS such a thing...on every level with God's wonder.

"Earth is crammed with heaven and every common bush afire with God" is Elizabeth Browning's quote at Ann's header. It's true, you know. God is in the details as well as every breath and for those who live plain lives, we know it well. By plain lives, I mean lives that aren't filled with the minutia of life...the noise of television or radio, the busyness of too many meetings or activities associated with children's school life or even church life. It's all too easy to fall into the busyness of life and then become overwhelmed with it all. To forget that silence is the most peaceful and restorative of all "white noises"; to forget, or become so busy, we don't break bread, together, at the beginning or end of the day; to put catching up on chores around the house before coming together to worship on Sunday and, worst of all, to forget it's all, ALL, a gift from God. Every breath we take, every dollar we make, the food in the pantry, the books on the shelves, cars in the driveway, animals at our feet or in the pastures, clothes on our backs, every blade of grass or rug on the floor. Make your own endless list.

For some years I've ended each blog entry with a small list of blessings. It serves to ground me in a tiny way, to remind me...perhaps others...of things I...we?...sometimes overlook.

When I found A Holy Experience, I found it lush with God's grace, Ann's beautiful photographs, words of wisdom...all gifts in themselves...and began, slowly reading it, pondering her words, seeing similarities and differences in our lives, seeing a vein of gratitude that runs through each and every entry. God has given her an attitude of gratitude and has blessed me with that same gift.

In November 2006, Ann suggests keeping a journal of gratitude, A List of a Thousand Things. When I first ran across One Thousand Gifts, I thought, "I already do this when I list blessings at the end of every post." Then, I tucked this thought away in my mind and, every so often, would pull it to the fore front and ponder it. Yesterday, the light...Light...dawned and I realized why I should begin A List of a Thousand Things. Not for God. He already knows the gazallion blessings He bestowes upon me in an hour. No, A List of a Thousand Things is for me. To see things I never saw, to hear things I never heard, to taste things I never tasted, to feel things I never felt, to smell things I never smelled. To bring Awareness to me in a way never experienced. To bring a dimension to my 'practicing Christianity' that will bring me closer to Him, the Giver of all gifts.

I'm sure to miss writing down things because the List won't be with me at all times. But I'm also sure to expand my Attitude of Gratitude, my wonder and awe at His loving care over me and all of us at Thistle Cove Farm.

Oh, I won't give up my small blessings at entry end; that will always be a part of each entry. I do have a small notebook that, today, begins my journal journey, A List of a Thousand Things.

Earth is crammed with heaven and every common bush afire with God. But only he who sees takes off his shoes. The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.”

Blessings ~ journal journey ~ YOU ~ A Holy Experience ~ Ann Voskamp ~ attitude of gratitude ~ His gifts ~


  1. Morning to you!
    I checked Ann's lovely blog. Beautiful place to stop and take a break.
    With so much hustle and bustle when I'm out and about, a peaceful stop is welcomed.
    God Bless you and I'm so glad you've shared Ann's site with us.
    I'm enjoying getting to know you better through blogging!

  2. Your words always bring me back to what is truly important. Thank you sweetie! Love, Jamie

  3. Hi Deanna, I'm so glad you enjoyed Ann's blog; it speaks to your heart, soul and mind. Words of truth and beauty...isn't that how the old hymn goes?

    Hi Jamie, I've missed you and glad to see you. I always rely on your blog to bring me the latest in witty artful living. Your Mona Lisa is TOO CUTE! xoxo

  4. Love, love, LOVE this post and I will be visiting her blog. The quote is so true, isn't it? Thank-you Sandra!

  5. Thanks for inviting me over ..I love this post !! It is so true ..You know I started a journal of blessings many months back ..and somewhere along the way ..I quit ..This shall be back in my life as of this evening as that is when I journal.

    I will surely pop over to Annes site as well as I am not familiar with her ..I'm sure I will enjoy it thoroughly..

    Your Kindred Friend ..Sara

  6. As usual you are inspiring me.

    After my niece was born (15 yrs ago), I started a Gratitude Journal. I don't remember where I picked the idea up from, but over the last few years I have slacked off in my entries. I also used to write my niece a letter on her birthday each year and put it away for when she's older.

    Your post has encouraged me to take it up again, especially since so much has changed in my life these last few years. I do have so many blessings in my life and I include our new friendship in this abundance of gifts!

    Thank you my friend.

  7. Hi Kathy, it's a wonderful quote, from Aurora Leigh and it's l-o-n-g but worth the read.

    Hi Sara, I know you will love A Holy Experience! I'm glad you're back to keeping a gratitude journal.

    Hi Jules, how wonderful you're going back to keeping a gratitude journal. As iron sharpens iron... -smile-.

  8. Sandra,
    I will try the trick of lime juice on lettuce. Glad you mentioned this.
    Pray you are well.
    Thx for being my blogging buddy.
    I appreciate you,

  9. it's always nice to find people in blogland who are grounded in the right gets old when all people care about is fashion and decorating.
    have a lovely day.

  10. Thank you for leading me to Ann's blog. The Lord knew I needed to read many of those words written, not only on Ann's blog but your's as well. Going through what we go through daily with my parents(Mom) being able to see all the blessings of the Lord in our lives is what has kept us in focus and on the narrow path. When dealing with challenging situations it's easy to loose sight of those blessings, becoming bitter and negative instead.

    Thanks for sharing,

  11. It was such a pleasure to return home from holiday to discover your comments on my blog! Your encouragement made me smile as did a pop around your blog! I see we have many interests in common!!!
    Toma, aka The Antiques Diva

  12. Thank you for your lovely blog. I enjoyed the postings.

    Hi! You visited my blog in January during the One World One Heart Giveaway.
    My new mystery novel KEEPING HOUSE: A MADAME PRESIDENT MYSTERY is out now,
    and my publisher is offering the OWOH bloggers a 10% discount.
    The promo code is DAT10.
    My website is
    You can link to my publisher and the promotion there.
    Thanks for blogging!


Thank you for visiting Thistle Cove Farm; may God bless you, yours and the work of your hands and heart. My goal is to respond, here, to your comments although it may take a while.

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