Really, could she be any cuter? She is a delight to my soul and to my eyes. What a gift from God, I cherish her and this precious time.
For Christmas, I made Jesse a photo mug with pictures of his little girls. I made myself one too, thinking I might wrap it and put it under the tree signed from him to me, jut as a silly joke to confuse him, but I never got around to that part.
The text I chose for mine was simple: "The sleek pin of gratitude."
Simple but a flood of memories, emotions, and meanings come each time I pull that mug from the cupboard. It is a small part of a quote from One Thousand Gifts that has been significant in my life for, well, exactly two years now. The long quote is: "Because that habit of discontentment can only be driven out by hammering in one iron sharper. The sleek pin of gratitude."
Tonight I pulled up my blog and looked at what I was writing two years ago. I only occasionally do this but I am always glad to see where I was and where the Lord has moved since. Since then I have made it a practice to keep a "gratitude journal." It started off difficult, hard to see the graces in the day. I had no habit of thanksgiving in my mind and heart and my focus fell naturally on the stressful or discouraging.
I thank the Lord that Ann Voskamp has continued to be in my mind and heart as I read her books and follow her blog daily. I am confident that some of the big changes I have seen in my heart over the past several months are related to that little green gratitude journal I have perched on the counter where I can scribble notes to remember.
66. The return of the sun for hanging out on the line
69. Red hair with pink flower
91. Yarn neatly wound, waiting creation and transformation (and aren't I like that half-finished dishcloth, not fully useful but eager for completion and final beauty in the hands of my Knitter?)
112. Stretch marks
122. The promise to make better all the sad things
204. "I love Rosie."
226. Watermelon abundance!
235. Thank you for how you WILL provide for us next month
295. Lines in pleasant places
329. Big smiles, giggles, little hands in big ones for trick-or-treating
499. Gingerbread dough chilling
502. "Grace will season your afflictions which are unsavory without it" - Spurgeon Morning Dec. 12
And on and on... Not only do I reflect on the gifts later, but I am being more enabled toward thanksgiving in the moment by cultivating this habit, thanking Him more even for the hard things, using that sleek pin that is indeed driving out discontent