Tuesday, February 14, 2012

1,000 Gifts

I took the dare ~
the dare to count 1,000 gifts.
It did not seem daunting.
I've been seeing gifts all my life, 
I just had not thought to number them.
But numbering?
Well, aren't we a measuring people?
Sizing up:
* where we fit
* who has more
* if we are better than
* what is success
This deliberate counting of the graces of God
has a way of turning your world
all topsy-turvy.
Counting joy always.
Looking for grace in all things, in the simplest term,
is prayer.
And when through prayer we learn that suffering can be the greatest gift of all ~
the gift that releases us 
from measuring ourselves and others,
what we truly discover is that counting the good against the bad is incalculable.  
Everything is a gift. 
Everything an opportunity to draw deeper into 
this life-long friendship with God,
the Creator who chose to walk the suffering path
before us,
so that we could count
on Him walking it with us.
I took the dare to count to 1,000 last February 13th.
One year of counting and this morning I arrived at 1,000.
It has not been an easy year.
But it has been one where I've learned to stop measuring and start counting.  And all the years of striving towards maturity have added up to nothing compared to this year of learning to 
be joyful always,
pray continually,
and give thanks in all circumstances.
Might I encourage you to begin the count?

...counting 1,000 and beyond

972.  that my life isn't perfect
973.  that compassion is the product of suffering and gratitude
975.  that Thomas' proximity to the "fire" has not resulted in opportunities for his future being "burned up."
976.  that my friendship with You is something I can count on growing for the rest of my life.
977.  I am a sinner.  I continue to sin.  I hate sinning against you.  Grateful I can see these things.
983.  I LOVE my husband.
984.  My husband LOVES me.
986.  Loneliness continues it's transformation to solitude.
989.  We have people in our lives that would honor us by celebrating today's swearing in ceremony.
990.  We will raise a standing stone here.
1000.  I am Tobi Armstrong Benton, and I live a Favored life.  Thank you God, for your incalculable love and blessings.

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