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Guest post from Katie@CardiganWay

Good Morning!

I’d like for you to meet my friend, Katie.  She blogs regularly at Cardigan Way.  I was thrilled when she agreed to share some thoughts on gratitude.  Her sweet spirit shines through her writing.  I know you’ll be blessed by her post as much as I have.

The Grace of Gratitude. Again.

Yesterday was one of those days.  I drove to school through the fog, the trees mostly bare, that in-between time when it’s not yet winter but the vibrant hues of fall leaves are now muted, beginning to disintegrate on the ground.  The beautiful landscape of North Carolina was itself muted, a hazier version of its fogless self.

By the time I hit the pillow, exhausted, it was as if the muted colors of the early morning drive pervaded the entire day.  I felt like the hazier version of myself…or something like that.

I found myself feeling utterly inept at my new job when decision after decision seemed to be the wrong one.

My phone died.  I was disconnected.  And while that may seem a small thing, I should tell you that I am in the thick of the adoption process, and the mere buzz of my phone sends my heart into my throat.

And that was really the main thing, the uncertainty of adoption and the weight of it.  The question mark that lies between today and the day that walk in the front door of our home with a little one in our arms.

A muted day.

You should know that this is not new, that grace has met me time and time again in the act of thankfulness, in naming a gift.  It’s happened before...  And {often} in much harder spaces than what I needed yesterday.

See, when I first read Ann’s book , I began to list my gifts.  We lost twins and I stopped.  Stopped speaking to God really, much less thanking Him.  I found myself confused and indifferent, the other side of angry.  And I believe God was okay with that, waiting patiently for my return to Him.  Actually, that’s not true.

If I say I think He waited patiently, then I picture Him – in my mind’s eye – to be something like the parent whose six year old has obstinately refused to wear anything other than the hand painted nightshirt to school.  And this makes me imagine His waiting idly by, watching from the Heavens, smiling, strong enough not to check His watch, believing that soon enough, I’d realize the error of my ways.

But that’s not true.  I believe {know} He hoped with us.  And then, I believe He grieved with us.  Deeply.  Like the parent whose child cannot understand her mother and father’s love for her.

It happened again.  We lost two more babies and the next day, all I knew to do was to pull up Lamentations 3, that touchstone of God’s faithfulness, whether or not I was able to claim it quite yet.

But I took a baby step.  And made a deliberate choice to…at least…call His grace to mind.

And I began to count again.  Slowly, deliberately, not always easily.

I counted and I shared them.

And last summer, in a little under a year, I made it to No. 1000.  But it wasn’t without the choice to keep counting…and counting…

For I can look back and find in my list gift No. 365…I counted the gifts of new life in my womb.

And then for No. 390, a train ticket of grace {when the babies didn’t make it}.

Then I counted No. 674, which was the text that changed our lives.

And then No. 747: He gives peace.  That was the day the adoption fell through.

And I counted and counted…and when No. 1000 rolled around, I was stunned by grace, by the quote that so perfectly described the journey of my counting.

“I do not at all understand the mystery of grace, only that it meets us where we are, but does not leave us where it found us.”  — Anne Lamott in Traveling Mercies

I was in a very different place when I counted No. 1 than where I was when I reached No. 1000.  And it was Grace.

I’m still counting.

And you’d think I’d remember these miracles, wouldn’t you?  That I’d easily call to mind the amazing grace I’d already known in counting gifts and further, that it would dawn on me in the much less significant, daily little missteps.

Tiny {by comparison} frustrations.

Small, mindless annoyances.

And — okay.  The slightly larger ones of unknowns and questions.

But yesterday, I didn’t remember it {or at least I chose not to}.  So this morning, I flipped my brain back to No. 1000 and Anne Lamott and then decided to count those very things – the frustrations, annoyances, and questions – as gifts.  Because hard eucharisteo is never without grace.  And these things were really… hardly…medium-sized.

I felt inept in my job yesterday. 

So I counted. No. 1426: getting to serve teachers for a living.

My phone died right when I needed it.


I counted No. 1427: forced quiet.

I ached to be on the other side of our adoption.

Again I counted. No. 1428: we are adopting again.


So I think, my dear friends, that we should keep at it, to deliberately recall the waves of grace found within naming the gifts, including the winds, the small rains, and the storms.  It may be a baby step, tentative, doubtful, and feel like the most you can possibly do.  But count.  And then, bask in the grace that He brings.

What are you grateful for today?

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