A Dare to Name all the Ways that God Loves Me

For He is always speaking, if only I could hear Him, see Him, receive Him.

I’ve been reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. To honor the intent of the book, I’ve begun my own list I titled a Dare to Name all the Ways that God Loves Me.   

I had to rename this list because even if I lost every single thing listed here I know that God still loves me.

I’m Thankful For:

  1. Health insurance.
  2. A husband’s love.
  3. A home.
  4. The truth of scriptures.
  5. That Daniel gave thanks.
  6. For children’s laughter.
  7. For children’s questions.
  8. For childlike faith.
  9. Imaginations of children.
  10. The sound of LEGOs pieced together, clicks and clinks as the youngest boy digs.
  11. The click of computer keyboard, as ideas fall onto the screen.
  12. The tinkling of guitar chords, rising from the basement.
  13. Skinny boy legs.
  14. Coffee, warm and soothing.
  15. Enthusiasm of children.
  16. Emma’s laughter.
  17. A loyal pup.
  18. Ginger tea’s reminder of  many things shared with Tom.
  19. A warm, heated home.
  20. A trusty car.
  21. The prayers of friends, new and old.
  22. The hope of Cross Stitch.
  23. Full tummies.
  24. Silly belly laughing at dinner.
  25. Frost on the fall morning’s grass.
  26. The stories of Ho-Chunk people “People of the Big Voice” which I heard about on the radio.
  27. Public radio.
  28. Public teachers and leaders, truly humble people.
  29. The New Yorker magazine.
  30. Books. Books piled up in corners.
  31. Used book store smell.
  32. The sounds of the heater kerchunking in the winter.  (It still works!)
  33. A husband who does laundry.
  34. Drinking Jasmine tea with a friend.
  35. Feeling understood.
  36. the Bible plain and simple, that anyone can open, read and try to understand.
  37. that the Bible doesn’t have to make complete and total “sense.”
  38. my depression.
  39. my alcoholism.   Being sober three years and four months.
  40. Handel‘s Messiah!
  41. Tears, being able to cry again.
  42. Tom.
  43. Tom’s job.
  44. God’s abundant provision!
  45. Good health (so far) for our children.
  46. Molly living at home.
  47. The CIVA project to work on.
  48. The illogic of faith.
  49. My sisters, strong resilient women each one.
  50. That I was able to travel twice to Russia and Ukraine.
  51. The hope that I will one day travel overseas again.
  52. So many talented, creative friends who make music and art!
  53. For pecan pie. 11/28/2011
  54. For the ability to express myself in writing.
  55. A child who tells me when she’s afraid.
  56. A grown up daughter that still listens and grows.
  57. And her big, open heart!
  58. the smell of rice cooking.
  59. the dog growling at baby Jesus and the reindeer in my neighbor’s yard.
  60. Turkey curry with coconut milk.
  61. Vietnamese Noodles with a good friend.
  62. Home made hot cocoa for a sick girl.
  63. sunlight in the window.
  64. Chai warm and sweet goodness.
  65. Mosaics.
  66. Clouds in the blue sky.
  67. Ice on early morning windows.
  68. boy drinking broth with a straw.
  69. the agility and ability of children to sleep in any place or position.
  70. home-made corn bread cooking sweet in the oven.
  71. the grass sparkling with frost. 11/30/2011
  72. Learning humility from a dear friend who is constantly insulted by others’ insensitivity to her beautiful Japanese culture & heritage.
  73. Vanilla Ice Cream!
  74. A night out with Tom and no kids.
  75. Dinner with friends.
  76. Fires in the fireplace.12/5
  77. Classical music.
  78. Jacob’s “graduating” from help at school after eight years of speech and language help!
  79. Sunsets, the color and majesty.
  80. Heat, as in sand and palm trees and sun!
  81. That Junia was a woman and that I know it.
  82. The honor of serving on the board of Lilada’s Livingroom.
  83. Historians, like Doris Kearns Goodwin.
  84. Blackhawk church downtown!
  85. That “public servants” is not a misnomer.
  86. For the teachers, aids, doctors, speech therapists, tutors and interns that have worked with J for the last eight years, giving him language, and speech and the discovery of his own intelligence.
  87. Men who aren’t sexist.


Though I haven’t read her book One Thousand Gifts, I do read Ann Voskamp’s blog.   She so poignantly questions our incapacity to be amazed and grateful.

“Why do I spend so much time struggling to see it?  Do I need to see the world, visit the exquisite, before I face eternity? Or isn’t it here? Can’t I find it here? Isn’t it here? The wonder? Why do I spend so much of my living hours struggling to see it?”

I so relate to that sentiment.  For me it is a struggle to be positive and grateful; to see the wonder in my life here and now.  And so much that I have is wondrous!

Last week in a group we attend we were asked to express some things that we are grateful for and I was absolutely mute.

I felt so ashamed of myself, but I just couldn’t come up with anything.  I was stuck in a limbo.   I have many blessings and things to feel thankful for but

sat there.

I was

unable (or unwilling) to express them.  Unwilling to open my mouth.  It all seemed too risky somehow.

I felt a fragile sense that if I opened up my mouth I have no idea what might happen.  What if it wasn’t words of gratitude that came out?

I don’t know about you but sometimes I am just stuck in my head — too heart and head heavy
to let go and allow myself the space —

to b r e a t h e.  Deeply.  (Do it right now.  In and out.  It feels incredible.)

Why is it so difficult to allow my pulse to slow down and feel

(even just a little)


“God turns you from one feeling to another and teaches you by means of opposites, so that you will have two wings to fly – not one.”  — Rumi

Don’t you think that is true?  From hatred to love.  From dissatisfaction to peace.  From fear or anxiety to hope and trust.

I want to fly!   Some days, I do.

b r e a t h e.  Deeply.  (Do it right now.  In and out.  It feels incredible.)