Keepsake Blessings


My mother-in-law is wonderfully talented at gifting ornaments. Before meeting her, I genuinely thought that ornaments were simple, colorful baubles picked because they tickled the eye. Au contraire.

Her ornaments have a magical quality.

As my husband and I unpacked his cardboard box of childhood ornaments, his history unwrapped before me more and more with each discarded piece of paper towel: his

first guitar gig immortalized in the form of a white Stratocaster (an exact replica of the one he played and still owns); the sparkling brown squirrel commemorating my husband's year of living with a rodent in his bedroom wall; the figurine of a marshmallow playing guitar, an immediate memory for my husband of going to YoungLife and beginning his relationship with God.

My mom-in-law even started a collection for me (my favorite is the Hotwheels car she smashed with a hammer and tied a string to, marking my first trip to a junk yard...so fun!). These tree-hung memories make me drink deep in thankfulness: blessings of years-gone-by. I'm currently reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. It's one of those soothingly-challenging reads that sinks through the ears to the mind to the thought and then taps on the door of the heart. She speaks of thankfulness, and the documentation of everyday gifts from God, as the most direct path to joy.

So I've begun my numbered list. {Gift number 4: sweet Apple candle - gift unexpected.} My oh-so-easily dissatisfied view of life is challenged by the penning of gifts. {Gooey sandwiches from Panini press.} And each written gift feels like one of my mom-in-law's ornaments--special commemorations of the big and small moments. {Window light in morning coffee.} The importance of the tangible, the written, is the ability to go back to the memory multiple times, remembering, savoring, cherishing. {Sink suds bursting.}

Then the thanks to God comes free-flowing.

The thankfulness blinds the wandering eye of dissatisfaction and instead sees life through eternal-colored glasses (the subtle gifts from God to man sharpen, show themselves). This is the land of joy. The here, the now. The everyday gifts that are woven into our lives so intricately that the fine threads are hard to count.

Sweet, giving Lord, open my eyes to see the blessings I already have. 

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