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Counting Gifts

Counting Gifts/ FAMILY/ Featured

My New Way Of Counting Gifts

Moleskine -Journal-Planner

Thanks to Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts,  I have been counting gifts for years.

The most helpful time to count gifts was when I was going through cancer treatment.  I know during that trying time it helped immensely to focus on the blessings in life. I even got my girls involved and we together we looked for ‘treasures’ to count.  The good even in the bad.

When I become mindful of all of the wonderful things there are to discover in a day, it changes me.  It changes my attitude, my heart, & my perspective.  It is hard to have a bad day when you are looking for gifts to write down.

I love having and using tools to help this process.  The camera in my phone is one such tool.  I often take photos of things I see as blessings, big or small, and store them on Instagram.  I call them ‘Captured Life Tidbits‘ –they are just all the ‘goodies’ of life that I find beautiful.  I have also used the notes app in my phone to list gifts, but I found I’m more successful when they are written on paper.

I’ve been thinking a lot about listing the gifts and being faithful in keeping track of them day by day. Because it has been on the forefront of my mind, I was delighted to find the perfect tool for listing all the wonderful tidbits of life.

Enter Moleskine 2015 Weekly Diary/Planner 

I am a huge Moleskine fan, and have over 10 Moleskine journals that I have written in throughout the years.  They are a well-made classic.  I know there are so many cute journals out there, but I’m a pretty simple girl who loves plain & classic. I picture how a journal will look lined up on a bookcase, and I always end up grabbing a simple Moleskine.

I’ve always bought the hard cover journals, but lately I’ve been crushing on their soft cover journals that come in a package of 3.  I keep them in my bag.  I use my phone note app for a lot of things, but for certain things (like my Christmas list) I like having a paper journal to write in.

Moleskine Journal 2

The 2015 Moleskine Weekly Diary/Planner

It has the perfect amount of space to list gifts each day. The new 2015 journal gives you a few days before the new year to start, which I have taken full advantage of.

I will pull it out of my bag during the day when I am at home, and have it in a central location or close by to jot down a gift when I notice one.  I will also take it with me in my bag for on- the- go gift listing, but if I forget to grab it, I use Siri to help me list the gifts while I’m on the car or out and about.  I then grab my journal right before bed and transfer any lists of gifts that i mad during the day on my phone.  It then is right there by my bed when I wake up, ready for me to find my perspective for the new day.

Can you see why I need something that is well made and durable?  This book will be by my side and on the move all year!

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So there is my plan.

What do you think?

Have you ever counted and listed the amazing goodie- tidbit gifts of life?

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Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Counting Gifts/ FAMILY

Our Captured Life Tidbits

Captured-Life-Tidbits-2

   So thankful for these moments — these tidbits that make up life.

Capturing the moments is a gift.

Counting these gifts keeps me present,

 keeps me thankful,

& reminds me to live NEW!

 

It has been too long since I posted about all the gifts that life brings.  The last time was almost a year ago and I find myself sad that I have not been recording all the good lil’ bits of life that has happened this year.

Honestly, it has been a long, rough year.  One of the toughest yet.  BUT…God.  God has been very near and faithful & has brought and continues to bring our family through so much.  I will be sharing some of that journey in the coming year, but in the meantime, how about some gift counting with me?

It is almost 2015 and I am excited to start counting the gifts again. I stopped at #1075 and I’m ready to keep on counting. I have a fun plan how to do just that and will share it with you very soon!  In the meantime, here are a few amazing gifts I have found by scrolling through my Instagram feed from the months of October & November.

#LivingNew

#1075 – #1110

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~my 13-year-old Colsie who is not too old to trick -or-treat yet.  Her fun sense of style.

~a light-up pumpkin give to me by my Mom.  Her knowledge that I love anything that twinkles.

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~ an amazing cake baked for my birthday by my Avery girl

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~a family trip full of magical memories

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~laughter and playfulness

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~the joy of Butterbeer in Harry Potter World

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~vacationing with cousins.  How little ones around multiply the smiles and laughter.

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~daughters who photo bomb.  My handsome husband’s smile.

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~a newly discovered, God-given talent.

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~fancy, smancy restaurants. Photo proof that my daughter has wonderful manners when most important.

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~how Epcot makes education fun

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~Bam! The experience of getting attention from 4 waiters.  The awe we felt when they placed our meals down in unison.

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~an elegant breakfast with my elegant daughter.

~her beauty inside and out

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~palm tree reflections

~a beautiful, huge Christmas tree

~new glasses so I can SEE the beauty clearly

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~clean laundry

~a working washer & dryer

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~another homemade Thanksgiving Day banner made by my Avery

~paper plates

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~a table full of family

~aunts who love their nieces and nephews

~a mother-in-law who does my dishes without me asking

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~seeing my little niece and nephew enjoy the same legos my girls enjoyed for years.

~having them in my home

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~my husband relaxing, getting a holiday break from work

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~a beautiful lake to walk around.

~how nature and exercise is an amazing form of therapy

~winter days that are unusually warm

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~ juxtaposition art created by the Creator

5 Minute Fridays/ Counting Gifts/ Spiritual

Does He Care?

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Participating in 5 Minute Friday.

5 minutes to write about one word. Unedited.

Word: CARE

GO:

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Does He Care?

Do you find yourself asking this question of our God?

Do you find yourself just in the pit of pain and hardship, wondering when and if it will ever let up?

If you have been there or if you are there now, I shout it loud.

HE CARES.

This fallen world that is not our ultimate home is full of disorder, pain & suffering.  This is not how it was meant to be, and someday all will be restored.  Until that day, I want to grab on to this:

HE. CARES. FOR. YOU.

God’s got your back, Beloved.  He is for you.  He sees your struggle, hurt and pain.  He sees and promises to bring good out of it all.  There will be release.  There is hope.  It will get better.

In the meantime, join me in looking for His care.  It is all around us you know.

The past month or so has been a doozy for me and honestly there were days that were pure suffering for me both physically and mentally.  I hated every minute of it, but in the midst of it, I knew God still had me.  I knew this because He has brought me through so much already. When I look back, I see it clear that He has used pain and suffering in my life to bring about what matters most.  He has used it to change me.  He has used it to show me how desperately I needed Him and the hope that the suffering of His Son brought.

So in your pain, I encourage you to hold on.  Grasp hard to what is true.

YOU ARE LOVED. YOU ARE SEEN.

Hold on, even if it by that teeny tiny pinkie.  Raising your hand in faith, even in the midst of slipping, is obedience. Faith the size of a mustard seed can be miraculous when offered to God. You may feel weak, with only the smallest of fingers left holding on; a lonely, scary feeling of losing grip & falling, but guess what?  In your weakness He is strong. He is your strength.  His grasp, even in the slipping, is enough.  He’s got you. His grip is gentle and thorough and enough.


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Do you not feel it?  Do you not see it?

I know. I’ve lost sight too.

Let me encourage you to ask for eyes to see the smallest glimpses of this God who loves us so.  Look for the beauty in the pain.  It is there.  Focus on that bright red leaf that falls, dying yet beautiful, a reminder of seasons and how all things will be made new in time.

Find your thankfulness, even in the pain…especially in the pain. Thank Him for even the smallest of things when you can’t bear to look up for anything bigger.

Count them with me?

1. The taste of coffee in the morning.

2. A smile from a stranger.

3. A soft pillow to lay your hurting head.

4. Music.

5. That shirt you are wearing.

It might seem mundane and not worth your while, but just do it.  Start listing the gifts.  There are so many.  Join me.  I’ve stopped counting blessings and I miss the way it changed me and made me see how He cares. It will also change you.  Thankfulness in the midst of pain will change you.

This change might not happen right away, but keep at it.  Let us count together, claim the promise that He cares for us, hold on with the smallest of fingers & open our eyes even to the smallest of blessings.

Let’s count, change, and see together.

In turn, we will start to feel what we know is true.  Sooner rather than later, we will feel His care.

STOP.

———-

Will you join me & list a few gifts right here and now in the comments?  I’d love to hear of the things that you see, for they, too, will change me.

Counting Gifts/ FAMILY

Our Captured Life–Gifts of Love & Valentine’s Day

Fun red shoes for my Go Big Red Husker date

Sitting by my man & entering his world at a Nebraska basketball game

My Dad & husband attending the game together the week before. 2 of the best men in my life.

A candy store date with my Lil’ One.

A coffee alternative that I have fallen for

Having fun with paid posts, how they help pay the bills

Grandparents who spoil my girl by bringing a very special birthday cake

My sweet Ari Valentine.  I love being her Aunt.  

Silly auto correct texts with my sister.

Digging out my false eyelashes & getting new earrings for a hot date with my birthday man

Ordering several desserts for just the two of us

Ending the date at a cozy coffee shop with each other and our laptops

Our shared love of sushi

Romantic restaurant lighting

Finding ‘throwback Thursdays’ pic on my daughters Instagram
Seeing them all grown up and enjoying each other (?) on a date at the bookstore while I grocery shop
Valentines breakfast table tradition

Her child-like delight in what she woke up to

Very berry smoothies to show I love them very berry much!
(frozen mixed berries, frozen banana, 4 medijool dates, water–blend)
My 4 Valentines, my heart bursting that I am here to celebrate love with them
A handmade valentine from my 10 year old.  
Dippin’ Dot-like snow on Valentines Day. God makes me smile by sending a sweet looking treat.
Perspective.  Oncology appointment on Valentine’s Day.  Thankful I am not in active treatment.

Getting shot, but not by Cupid on V-day.  Thankful for medicine & how it protects.
Brunch quiche at the farm of Krafty Kash.  Getting to see where she creates her amazing jewelry.
Writing this post at Toast.  Eating their amazing Salted Caramel cupcake.

A day to eat sweet treats & celebrate love.
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Happy Valentine’s Day!  
Remember to celebrate the tidbits of life.
Remember to look for the good in the bad.
Remember God promises to work ALL things out for good, for He is Love.

Counting Gifts/ FAMILY/ Kids/Family

Our Captured Life – The Gifts Of The Last 3 Months

   So thankful for these moments– these tidbits–that make up life.
Capturing the moments visually is a gift.
It keeps me present, it keeps me thankful, & reminds me to live NEW!
………………..
Gifts #1044-#1075

Owl art made by my 10 year old Avery with metallic sharpie pens.

The first snow
Having Grandma over for fall soup dinner

My nephews’ visits.  Their matching plaid shirts.

Remembering my sweet friend on what would have been her birthday
Having dinner with her daughter & seeing such familiar beauty.
A private photo book of 3 surgeries in 3 months.  Memories of God’s faithfulness.
A beautiful wedding union, attended with my Teagan girl.
Meeting with one of my inspirations, a friend whom I have not seen in years.
 The example he is in his written words, the impression he leaves in person. My Teagan’s smile.
Teenagers who bake & deliver cookies to raise money for a good cause.
Vegetables juiced.  Healing nutrients.
A phone app that changes the structure of my days & keeps me on track.
Handmade Christmas decorations by my Avery.  The pleasure it brings me all winter season.
An outing after being in bed healing for way too long. Handmade knits to keep me warm.
A Christmas ornament that reminds me how very blessed I am to be here.
Provision.  Gifts bought and wrapped in 3 days because of unplanned surgery.
 A friend of a friend blesses us with free Merrry Maids home cleaning right before 3rd surgery.
Truth words when I got weary.
The smile my girls art brings. “That is not poo Mom, that is dirt”
Reminder that objects in the mirror are closer than they appear.  He is near.
Belated extended family Christmas.  Giant minions.
A satisfied smile after a New Year’s Eve countdown kiss!
Celebrating a New Year with family I love.
Sparkly festive New Year nails.  Strength and length reflect my health & how I’m feeling.
Downtown pizza family outing, even though the weather outside was frightful!
Cupcakes with my sweet cuppy-cake.  I love you Zy!
Fun pics & precious memories with my Zy.
Detox baths.  Hot water.  Healing.
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Are you on Instagram?
I’d love to see you there!
Counting Gifts/ FAMILY

Captured Tidbits That Make Up This Wonderful Life – Month Of September

  Capturing Life in Instagram Photos
    So thankful for these moments– these tidbits–that make up life.
Capturing the moments visually is a gift.
It keeps me present, it keeps me thankful, & reminds me to live NEW!
………………..
Gifts #1045-#1079

picture of our daughter
Our Colsie, her healed knee, and her independent mind.
daughters silly eyes
Our Colsie.  Her silliness.
IOS 7
IOS 7 makes me very happy.  Technology is such a gift to me daily!
baby niece
One of the biggest gifts…my niece.
Biz Love Workbook
Business day retreats with my sisters.  This workbook created by one of them.
Finkle Cosmetic Surgery Center Booklet
A plastic surgeon who goes the extra mile in my reconstruction.
swimming pool and deck table
Fall days at my in laws pool
paper plates, napkins & snacks
Snacks & the friends visit and eat them.
eraser collection
Memories of my teenager’s younger years.  How she arranges her eraser collection for a fun pic.
kettle corn & chocolate cake
Kettle corn & girl nights with my 3 lovelies.
a note from a reader
Notes of love from my readers.  Encouragement.  Smiles it brings.
friends and baby
Friends.  Babies who are loved beyond belief.
english muffins dough and bucket of flour
Homemade English Muffins.  My youngest and her excitement over them.
daughters highlighted hair
Using my cosmetology skills on my daughter.  Highlights.
daughter relaxing in the sunroom on porch swing
Captured quiet moments of my girl.  Her favorite place to chill and drink green tea.
God loves you on your best and worst day sign
Truth reminders.
my friend
Friendships.  The kind that stick.  Perennials.
pumpkin spice tea, box of chai & almond milk
Pumpkin Spice Chai recipe shared among friends.
Shaklee products
9 pics of pool and diving board dives
Last days of swimming before the season is over.
messy dining room table
Messes.  The ability to have the physical strength to clean them.
His reminder words to me.
mom and soccer daughter in car
Car rides to soccer games.  Her cuteness in Neon yellow.
husband driving
Sitting next to this guy through life.
meadowlark coffee shop quiche, coffee and coffee cake
Meadowlark coffee shop minutes from my home.  Food, drinks, atmosphere, & being greeted by name.
soccer team
Wins and losses that teach determination, persistence & teamwork
soccer game
Grandma, Mom & Dad shadows that cheer her on.
block party
A full day of fun for our girls–neighbors who throw the best yearly block parties.
teavana canisters of tea
A tea date with my oldest Teagan.
dressing room of a store
Waiting patiently as she shops for a new dress.  Moments I can’t believe I get to be a part of.  Blessed.
yoga studio
My bedroom/yoga studio.  Peace.  Relief from aches and pains.
grandpa and granddaughter
A Grandpa who loves his Grandchildren dearly.  Priceless relationship.
girls doing homework at dining room table
After school studying with friends. Friends who care about their studies.
daughter and her soccer ball
Her joy in it, despite game after game and practice after practice.
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Counting Gifts/ FAMILY

Our Captured Life-The Gifts Of August

      Capturing Life in Instagram Photos
    So thankful for these moments– these tidbits–that make up life.  
Capturing the moments visually is a gift.
It keeps me present, it keeps me thankful, & reminds me to live NEW!
………………..
Gifts #1020 – #1044
vegetables in mason jars
Nutrition & mason jars.  Two of my favorite things.
a broken window that looks like art
How broken can be beautiful.  A reminder of God’s heart on a downtown window.
baby girl eating a cookie
The pure joy of sneaking cookies to my little niece.  Our secret.
a picture of silly text from daughter to mother
Sweet silly texts from my Colsie
a nine year old girl playing soccer at soccer practice
Having an athlete in the family.  Wearing my Soccer Mom title proudly.
a messy livingroom, a sink full of dishes
Messes.  Energy to clean them. A home to clean. A family to pick up after.
a girl with purple highlights
Giving purple highlights to a girl I call “my heart”  I watched hers break as cancer took her Mom. How the steps she takes to heal her broken heart teaches mine.
a girl with short pixie cut and blond highlights in the bangs
My Lil’ Colsie.  Her cutest pixie cut.  Giving her fun highlights in the bangs.
Her confidence to wear such a bold look.  How God made her quirky and unique.
a clean girls bedroom with polkadot bedspread
A room cleaned without prompting from me.
Jesus calling devotional for kids at breakfast table
Morning breakfast and devotions everyday with my Lil’ One after older sisters are off to school.
Jesus calling devotional for kids
How God speaks clearly to me through a kids devotional.
Nebraska football stadium
Living in Nebraska.  Loving my city.  Loving the people in it.
chocolate birthday cake with four candles
A surprise birthday cake made by Lil’ sister for Older sister.
a teenager with green eyes taking photos of herself.
My oldest & the selfies she leaves on my phone.  Those eyes!
child doing art outside
A Sunday afternoon.  Lil’ One doing art in the backyard.
a romantic pit fire
Our fire pit.  Romantic moments of sitting by it with my man.
woman with long blond hair
Long hair!  3 years ago I was bald…not a stitch of hair on my head.  Healing.
family sitting at soccer game
Family who come out to watch Lil’ One’s soccer game.  The surprise cold drinks they bring.
seagrams sparkling key lime seltzer water
A bubbly drink with no sugar and no artifical sweeteners.  Yes!
S'mores made with apples slices instead of graham crackers
Making s’mores with the family.
pink baby shoes sitting on a dresser
Visits from my sister and her kids.  How her forgetfulness of little shoes and bloomers makes me smile for days as they sit on my dresser.
words about tamoxifen making you tired
Being forced to slow.  Being challenged to practice what I preach. Being thankful for the hard.  Figuring out supplements that help with fatigue.  Hope that it will get better.
grandma at kitchen table with computer
My Mother-In-Law, her willingness to learn social media so we can connect even more.  Having her for lunch.  Her willingness to help me clean my wood floors.  Her love.
babysitter with little boy and girl in a stroller
My middle girl & her first official babysitting job.  Her dedication to being a blessing of a babysitter.  Her love for kids.  My darling nephew and niece and the absolute joy they bring into our home.
Happy To Be Linking Up To Ann Voskamp’s 1,000 Gifts
 
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